Ben Winch's Album Review
I’ve got no time for people who say rap is dead, or rock for that matter. The good stuff’s out there, it’s all about finding it. Without the help of a friend on social media, I wouldn’t have found Lojii. Unlike Nas, Pac, Biggy or any of that golden age stuff that naysayers are always comparing rappers to, Lojii doesn’t have a big promotional budget, and maybe won’t have one anytime soon. But Lofeye has a golden-age-like proportion of stone-cold classics: “Lo in the Jungle” (mindlowing beat, reminds me of Tricky circa Nearly God), “Bananos” (“Hatred ain’t nothing to me / You won’t get it back if you put it in front of me”), the electro-ish “Dutti”, the hard-hitting “Reignfall” (“Punk in my veins, jazz in my soul / Elvis was a troll / I’m so rock ’n’ roll”)—all are great, sparse, dark, off-kilter productions, graced by the smoothest of subtle, unshowy raps. Beats have so little rhythmic information it seems as if the vocals are all that holds them together. Swing is set to unsettle. No r ’n’ b choruses, no guest vocalists, no desperate attempts to convince, no bluster. As he says in “Cause and Effect”, “I don’t need no manifesto, I just manifest”. True, over the length of its fourteen cuts Lofeye lags in places, but only barely, and album-closer “Reignfall” is a masterpiece. “Blood on the walls I made banging”—a horror-rap, viscerally real, without a trace of cartoonishness, it paints Lojii or his protagonist as a kind of gangsta Lady Macbeth, haunted and desperate to scrub off the blood. This is heavy, heavy stuff, and anyone who bemoans modern rap’s gangsta posturing but still digs its dark smouldering groove should pay attention. First line of the first track here is “Dirty dishes on the kitchen stove”. That’s how real Lojii is. “I’m a go-go-go bananos”—you’d best take him at his word. Pop hooks and major label or not, Lojii is the business.