Mixtape Review | The L.A Riots Mental Fatality – L.A
Written By: @Josiah_Perez
If The L.A Riots were a painting, it’d be abstract. It’s not often I listen to a body of work 10+ times and still discover something new about it each time, but this is what’s happened with L.A Riots. It’s not just the fact that there is not one bad song on this mixtape that causes me to like it so much, if that was the case it would just be a “good mixtape”. The whole thing has a very polished feel to it, from the track sequencing to post processing, to individual tracks and the total concept, to the entire sound and feeling Riots has and gives. I really appreciate the evident attention to detail this tape was given, nothing seems to have been overlooked. There is to much this project does correctly to mention here, but I will do my best to fit in what I can.
One of the first things I noticed was the strong lyricism present. It’s not a difficult task to string a number of metaphors, similes, punch lines and double entendres together (see: lil wayne), and it seems all to common now a days for MC’s to equate the use of a large number of literary devices to being lyrical. What L.A does that is much more rare and valued is mixed in with literary devices, she is able to capture your attention and make you think with a plain sentence. “Satan been hated on me since I told him no” – As soon as I hear this I want to know why she has told him no, what she has told him no to and in what form he’s been hating on her. Besides the questions the line gives information, you can guess that satan hating on you wouldn’t mean an easy time. That line is from the intro track, a song with so many intricacies it gives me the same feeling I get when listening to a Lauryn Hill or Nneka song. Not to prematurely catapult L.A to that level (or to put Nneka on Lauryns level) but it’s the same genre of very good, very smart music that weaves in and out of styles and gets deeper and deeper as things move foward. What takes place on the intro is not an isolated case, this is the story for the whole album (I’m done referring to this as a mixtape).
L.A has a very brash, aggressive style that is present for the majority of her time on Riots. It doesn’t get tiring though, since it takes many different forms and L.A’s ability to switch flows on the drop of a dime and even transition to singing is a talent she takes full advantage of. It’s a difficult thing to present music this deep and keep the listener entertained acoustically (see: Talib Kweli) but I really don’t think it’s possible to get bored listening to L.A. This music lends itself to active thinking and mental participation, but it sounds so good that if you’re not in the mood to think and just want to kick back and listen it fills that role. To have such a solid grip on so many styles and an understanding of what type of sound is attention grabbing and attractive can only come as a natural talent , this can’t be learned. Every time L.A opens her mouth on Mental Fatality she’s effectively letting you know that she was born to do this – “this” being song writing [read: poetry], story telling and rapping.
I like every song Riots offers, one of my favorites though is Conspiracy Theorist. It takes a look some of the worlds ills (Lupe Fiasco – Hurt Me Soul) and points the finger at government. “I need protection from the worlds worlds, I’m second guessing every shells pearl” and “They will say it’s treason, I will say it’s reason” are examples of how L.A gets her point across so beautifully, effectively and simply on track #4. Another of my favorite songs on Riots is “Spitting Out Blood”, partly because of the Kill Bill nostalgia it envokes but mostly because L.A shows off her flow on this one with no reserve. Production on both of these tracks fits perfectly as well. Actually, production on every song fits perfectly. The beat selection is top notch and the beats don’t only aid to the sound of each song, it feels like it adds to the song concepts at times to. An example would be the beat on track #2, “Reborn Free”, the chaotic sounding and almost clashing noises provide a perfect backdrop for the song.
I cannot recommend this project highly enough. I haven’t scratched the surface of what this album has to offer and I wouldn’t be able to do so in one write up, the best thing to do is download and listen to it by clicking here and see for yourself.
- Love It
- Hate It