MarloweMello Music Group
Released: 19th October 2018
Hyper-kinetic hip-hop innovators, North Carolina’s L’Orange and Solemn Brigham are the hard-boiled duo behind the fun house fever dream, Marlowe.
Released on Mello Music Group, Marlowe is a triumph of ambition, a rap bricolage blending prohibition and civil rights-era samples with Asian psychedelic rock flourishes. Solemn Brigham controls the microphone like a general who can’t help but be right. His flow is a blitzkrieg. It’s an Olympian sprint, gliding over snares and kick-drums like hurdles. He’s a showman seeking revolution—resolute in his desire to strike equilibrium between awareness and entertainment.
Solemn applies the fictional protagonist’s search for the truth towards different ends. His crimes are existential yet specific, rooted in the injustices of the past and the attempt to redress them in the present. He’s an artist perennially seeking something to fight for, channeling energy from the music of the civic rights era, stealing timeless rhythms and inflection from classic funk and soul. An old soul with original ideas, tapping into the eternal reservoir of Sam Cooke to Ice Cube, Otis Redding to Chuck D, Curtis Mayfield to KRS-One.
This nostalgic album will scratch an itch that few other rap records in 2018 could reach. If you’ve worn out your copy of Madvillainy—as these two obviously have—you could certainly do worse than give Marlowe a spin. From the label that brought us Quelle Chris and Open Mike Eagle.