February 13th, 2012
So you may have noticed that we were pretty pleased to see that South Philly’s Lushlife signed with Western Vinyl last month. His killer Plateau Vision comes out April 17th, but that doesn’t have to stop you from enjoying most of it RIGHT NOW. Back in October, he released an excellent mixtape called No More Golden Days. Everyone bugged out over it, including the New York Times’ Jon Caramanica. He got all kinds of guests to spit a verse for it: Heems, Dice Raw, Cities Aviv, and tons more. You can stream last year’s mixtape real nicely on his Bandcamp page, which has half of the songs on Plateau Vision.
Flows and lyrics aside, Golden Days is rife with insane production. There is something undoubtedly throwback about a bunch of these tracks; there’s a freshness and a focus on beats that takes you back to the ’90s of De La Soul, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, or Grand Puba. Lush, born Raj Haldar, uses a mixed bag of production techniques: he employs atypical samples, melancholy pianos, psychedelic strings, hiccuping percussion and fluttering organs. Even more refreshing is that it’s rare when two tracks sound alike, not only because so many guests lend their distinct styles, but because the production is so varied. After hearing mixtapes that are undoubtedly great from the likes of ASAP Rocky, Yo Gotti and Gucci Mane, the amount of diversity on a Lushlife tape is refreshing.
Sometimes he sounds like Nas rapping for The Roots, shouting out South Philly and rapping with urgency and clarity. All with a Neon Indian-flavored nod to the past with a fondness for musical nostalgia. It’s satisfying to see local talent flourish in Philly, grow and come up in the scene and Wednesday night should be a great moment for Lushlife and Philadelphia hip-hop.