Underground hip-hop heavyweights L'Orange and Namir Blade have shared a versatile new album called Imaginary Everything. This record finds Namir Blade laying some clever, poignant verses over top of L'Orange's textured, smokey production.
Album opener "Imaginary Everything" provides a powerful entrance, showcasing L'Orange's raw, moody production and Blade's clever lyricism. The instrumental for this track is centred around energetic guitars and assertive horns. Underneath, rumbling bass and organic sounding drums glue the song together. Over top, Blade comes through with some versatile flows and sharp lyrics. This track is followed up by album highlight "Lyra", which contains gritty guitars that ring out over top bouncy drums. Once again, Blade provides some versatile flows, but this time he injects more melodies into them, providing a prime example of his versatility. The pair follow this rugged cut up with the glitchy "Nihilism", a song that suits our difficult, confusing times well. It features choppy vocal samples and dizzying guitars that create a head-spinning concoction of heavy, psychedelic sounds. This song feels vaguely post-apocalyptic and industrial, providing a dark, head-banging offering.
Another album highlight is the smooth "Late Nights Early Mornings", featuring Jordan Webb, which primarily consists of swirling vocal samples and clunky percussion. Galactic keys are woven in alongside jazzy guitars, creating a deeply layered soundscape. Finally, the album closes out with the epic "Pipe Dream", which contains icy electric pianos and driving bass. Underneath, muscular bass and textured drums create an intense rhythm section. Over top, Blade lays down some of his best verses on the project- they are full of emotion and raw honesty. Furthermore, the song features Marlowe and Solemn Brigham, who make some strong, soulful contributions to the track themselves.
Overall, Imaginary Everything is a superb, focused release from this under-rated Mello Music Group duo. They come through with a versatile album that has something for everyone, providing an authentic record that is not afraid to experiment. Moreover, the diverse range of this album is truly impressive, featuring everything from raw boom-bap to experimental, melodic hip-hop. Hopefully more is soon to come for this talented pairing.