- “CLVRFLD Anthem”
- “L-Boogie’s Lament”
- “…Nothing (April 30th, 2015)”
Creative projects are few and far between in music. Once an artist finds their formula they don’t stray far from it as it eventually brings them the fame and fortune they’ve sought. 2016 saw plenty of artists taking risks on a major label and it was refreshing to hear. If you want creativity in your music all of the time then you should start listening to more indie artists. Since creating the site seven years ago I’ve had the opportunity to hear many eclectic projects from talented artists from around the world. These are artists that aren’t afraid to take risks because they’re experimenting with music. They’re trying to find what sound works best for them so you’re able to hear something that bends genres or goes against the mainstream. Run The Jewels is popular with fans because of this.
When you’re friends with an artist this process is fun to watch. You get to see their music evolve and sometimes you even get to help with their creativity. K1NG ELJAY is the first person to give my writing a chance and he’ll always be a friend because he believed in me. I didn’t have to put that same belief in his music though. If it was lame I would have told him because that’s what friends do for each other. You don’t let your friend look like a fool in front of the world. Alas, I didn’t have to do that. ELJAY’s music is unique as he draws inspiration from the things he holds dear to his life: anime, Sprite, video game’s, his wife, and hip-hop.
Take one listen to a song from ELJAY and you’ll hear a beat that features a video game sample or at least video game references in the lyrics. The Alabama native is full of creative ideas like this and they’re on full display with CLVRFLD: Director’s Cut. Released on September 30th, this project is a mesh of two previous projects that ELJAY put out in 2015. He treats this one like a movie as he adds skits explaining the meaning between a few of the songs so you don’t feel lost if this is your first experience with his music. I tend to write about the difficulty of an artist to share their true self in their music; K1NG ELJAY shatters that stereotype and gives you everything that has happened in his life over the last decade while turning it into catchy songs you’ll find yourself rapping.
Battling your demons is never pretty but it makes for beautiful music. CLVRFLD: Director’s Cut is an example of what it means to put your struggles into audio form and let that frustration out. Whether he’s addressing rappers not wanting to rap (like on the first few bars on “Ready Up”), getting overlooked for less talented artists (“CLVRFLD Anthem”), or his day job (several tracks), ELJAY paints vivid pictures thanks to the help of “CLVRFLD”. This is a monster created by him on previous projects that resembles the “other side” of ELJAY. CLVRFLD taunts ELJAY on the project later as this whole album serves as one long therapy session. This is why I say the project is one of the more creative one’s I’ve heard in a long time: the setting is a therapist’s office with ELJAY throwing jabs back and forth with the receptionist in between tracks as his therapist is running way late.
The overall theme of CLVRFLD: Director’s Cut is great and yet it doesn’t take away from the individual songs. There are fun records like “(2 Minute Drill)²” that have ELJAY rapping bar after bar even after a clever beat switch to what sounds like a sample from Sonic The Hedgehog. “L-Boogie’s Lament” is one of the best produced records in ELJAY’s catalog as he flips Lauryn Hill’s vocals from The Fugee’s “Killing Me Softly” and loops them to make a beat that he rides effortlessly. This is a project that sounds like it was not only made out of the frustration from life but also a place of fun. Sometimes you have to laugh through the pain and CLVRFLD: Director’s Cut puts this into perspective.
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