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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??

  • http://www.thezookru.ning.com Slick Tha Kid

    Ok Omar. I had to admit, when I first popped this in, I was thinkin, “What the fuck is this?? A reject 808′s & hearrtbreak??” but after listenin to this I said, its aight. Give him credit. Its his DEBUT mixtape. not many people can get this many crazy beats & cover them with The music you hear in rave parties. I bet if someone like, Wayne or ye’ did somethin like this, people would have this on they ipod in 2 minutes. And even though not many will like him at first, but I mean, he has a song called, “Day One Fans”.Or listen to “Take your life”. At Least give it a “BAD” for a good 1st try. At least he aint bein cocky & shit like Charles hamilton (WHO RHYMEFEST JUST SLAUGHTERED!!! CHI-TOWN!!)

  • Teddy

    Trust me man he is very good. If you dont like this one check out his last mixtape. He did a song using Solange’s Sandcastle disco. That song alone got me hooked. He also has a song called departed that was just soulful and smooth. He even sampled a Prince song. (“I will die for you”)

    There are many layers to this dude and you have to be very open minded. Hiphop is changing the way it does things. Theophilus is just very innovative and experimental. Hey thats what Mixtapes are for right? Right?

  • darrell

    ummm you obviously didnt get a good hearing to “Fatality” and “Cold Pillow” did you?

  • Tk

    One of the best cds of the Year. And why does everything from BK have to be HOOD? Love Below was not Hood. it was Brilliant. And Theophilus is on the precipice.

  • http://twitter.com/crisepic,myspace.com/crowntowncrise Crise P

    I’m not gonna say its hate but come on man, ppl should get out of dis mind frame of what hip hop should sound like, cause as of lately I’ve been considering nas’s major statement “hip hop is dead”, I know dude personaly, and lyrically he will destroy who u think is nice. Finally some 1 comes along and is not afraid to make reality music and ppl criticize, well I guess he gotta kill a few ppl, sell ki’s, have wild sex every nite, for folks 2 say he da shit…Yo Theo, go shoot sum 1…..

    Crise P (www.twitter.com/crisepic , http://www.myspace.com/crowntowncrise)

  • the_shit

    might be to advanced for the average consumer..

  • Blah Blah

    Nice review man. At last someone not working for the man and kissing ass.

  • james

    i think “this ain’t my cup of Henney.” sums up your mindset.

  • YOU’RE AN IDIOT!

    THIS MIXTAPE IS WAAAAAY OVER YOUR HEAD AND THAT’S WHY YOU DIDN’T LIKE IT. POINT. BLANK. PERIOD. YOU PROBABLY LISTENED TO ONE SONG AND JUST MADE A SNAP JUDGEMENT. XXL MAG IS A JOKE ANYWAY. THIS SHIT IS REAL MUSIC!

  • http://www.myspace.com/lingoscott Lingo Scott

    This review is so ridiculous this reviewer deserves to get fired!
    How is hip-hop supposed to evolve without artists taking it to new directions? If you open your ears you’ll hear that

    1: Theophilis is better than a lot of spitters &


    2: most current music nowadays (incl. that dirty south shit) uses electronic “techno” sounds.


    I’m fed up of these one-dimensional, ignorant, hood-reppin mofos having a say when it comes to black music!


    Let’s get some intelligent brothers up in this to change this shit for the better!

  • MissBanxx

    he’s not from brooklyn.. he’s from the poconos.

  • geez

    this is good for a debute mixtape, but i would have to disagree with anyone saying its the best. Londons good but in my oppinion hes tryin to sound too much like cudi and and cudis kid named cudi mixtape killed this one

  • jarrett

    yea… who ever wrote this review needs to lose his job. forreal. if ur job is to judge music, u should kno that this mixtape is more than just an average mixtape. a 5 year old could have wrote this crap, your journalism is in the basement. on top of that,, this is Fiya son!!!! wayy above his time and is something that an idiot like u wouldnt appreciate. check out his 2010 joint, “I want you” mixtape,, also crack

  • Concerned Fan

    I just started listening to Theophilus today and was blown away just as you were, but for the completely opposite reason. I think you’re being incredibly naive in your review. You cite Andre 3000 as a musical genius. What made him and Outkast as a whole such a dynamic group? They consistently changed their sound with each album, always pushing the musical boundaries. That is exactly what Theophilus is doing in his mixtapes – pushing the boundaries of hip-hop (or whatever genre you want to classify him as). His sound is refreshing and new. I can definitively refute your belief that he has no followers. And I also think you’re right in thinking you’re being too harsh.

    I don’t know if you respond to comments, but out of curiousity, what were your friend’s thoughts on the mixtape?

  • Daniel

    Shut the fuck up.

  • Trk

    You must open your mind
    This is music “This 2010 ain’t 1864″
    This mixtape is dope!

  • the infamous o has horrible taste!!!

    Whoever wrote this is a close minded idiot!
    You not knowing what the lines in aquamiltia means proves that you are a idiot. How old are you? 10? How could those lines go over your head? smh.
    And you saying “Take My Eyes Off Of You” was the only hip-hop sounding song on the whole joint.” proves that you are a closed minded idiot. So you only like hip hop? Your music taste is so limited, you are so one dimensional.

    Theophilus is for the musically advance not for some fool talkin bout “whats hood” fuck out of here.

  • Daj

    That verse on Aquamilitia is sick. I can’t really make it through the whole record, but that track is hot.

  • Daj

    Oh, and the line is “Brooklyn yeah beyond ya / leave ya head in the fridge, I’m talking Jeffrey Dahmer.” Dude is telling you that he’s over your head and you’re missin it.