Monday, December 16, 2019

Ken's Best of 2019 - #2: L'Orange and Jeremiah Jae - Complicate Your Life with Violence

2019 was the year I rediscovered my love of hip hop. If you had told me last year that I would become obsessed with a hip hop concept album about the effects of modern war on soldiers, I doubt I would have believed you. But Complicate Your Life with Violence is brilliant on all levels. Broken up into three parts (recruitment, war, and the aftermath), this album is obviously best listened to as a whole, but the individual songs are highly listenable on their own. I was somewhat familiar with L'Orange before this release, but had never heard of Jeremiah Jae before. The pairing is perfect. The duo have crafted an album that has a laid back vibe while still being intense. Complicate Your Life with Violence is perfect for lapsed old school hip hop fans without being a throwback at all. It's both smooth and perfectly produced while being more than a little uncomfortable. It's like a more smooth and modern version of classic Public Enemy.

Songs of note: "Behavior Report," "Dead Battery," "Ghost Town," and "Summer Camp"

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