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Theophilus London: The Charming Mixtape

Until yesterday I have never heard of Theophilus London. Apparently the man is from my neck of the woods (Brooklyn). A homie of mine suggested I give his mixtape a listen. I asked him if it was any good, and he just said, “You’ll see. I don’t want my opinion influencing yours.” Fair enough. So I downloaded son’s mixtape and gave it a listen and let me tell you, I felt like I was trapped in Moby’s mind of what hip-hop would sound like if it were up to him. Son, was Theophilus London on quaaludes when he put this together?? Is he trying to merge the world of techno with hip-hop? Rapid uptempo beats with electronic sounds and crazy kick drums. The titles alone – “The Drug,” “Ultraviolet,” “Aquamilitia” – is enough to let you know this isn’t gonna be your average mixtape.

Some of his lines on “Aquamilita” really threw me off. Just check this: “I inspire you and water inspires me/see, water’s inside of you/and the ways the trees were made on the earth for us to breathe/you’re a chick or a breeze/you’re a cough, I’m a sneeze/this is come/Brooklyn, yeah we on/leave ya head in the fridge, I’m talking Jeffrey Dahmer/yeah these tight jeans, I don’t rock 48’s/me on the verse is like you against 40 apes/40 nights/40 days, I bet I’ll eat 40 steaks.” What the f*ck is he talking about? What part of Brooklyn is dude from?

His version of Lauryn Hill’s “Take My Eyes Off Of You” was the only hip-hop sounding song on the whole joint. And you can credit that to the songs’ original beat.

I think son was trying to break new ground in the same way Andre 3000 did with The Love Below, but see, Andre 3000 is actually a musical genius. Theophilus London seems more like a nutcase. The electronic sounds, rapid beats, taking 64 bars just to start his verse on “Late Night Operation.” What’s really hood with dude? Law & Order: SVU can base a character off this man’s work.

Maybe I’m being too harsh. Maybe there’s a fan base for “cult” music like this. Maybe if Heaven’s Gate or the original Jim Jones was still around, Theophilus London would be doing shows at your local ranch with suspect refreshments and everything. But for me personally, this ain’t my cup of Henney.-The Infamous O

Hottest Joint: “Take My Eyes Off Of You”

Weakest Joint: You want just one answer to that? You’re kidding, right??

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