DrawbackChicago Transcendentalist, L.A. VanGogh Drops Indefinable Project,
Evan Dale // Feb 4, 2020
Chicago is fertile ground for music. It always has been. And if exists a coalescence between everything Chicago has ever stood for – the conscious hip-hop, the electronic production, the generations of funk and soul, and the understated sense of light-heartedness – L.A. VanGogh is a thriving example. Lamont Anderson (L.A.) has long been making waves in further worlds than the SoundCloud sphere he’s curated. For years, he’s been existing between those SoundCloud drops, more perfected releases on Spotify and other streaming services, and the open mic scene around Chicago. And his newest release, a project titled Drawback, pays homage to the former and the latter.
Drawback is a SoundCloud-only mixtape more thought-out and well-rounded than most projects that boast the same delineation. A lot of the project’s well-roundedness is owed to L.A. VanGogh’s. The artist is, well… an artist. Transcendence is his number one weapon. Splitting his time on Drawback between being a vocalist, a rapper, a torch-bearing remixer, and the skit-highlighting host of his own open mic night, L.A. VanGogh wears many hats. And he wears them all equally well. Vocally dominated modern soul riffs bleed effortlessly into exhibitions of bars. Just listen to Wicked to get an idea of L.A. VanGogh’s range and Drawback’s many subsequent directions. Beyond them exist proper takes on established mainstream bangers like Kendrick Lamar’s DNA and Drake’s Come & See Me and Passionfruit (L.A.’s being Come & C Me and Pashunfroot).
But the remixes take on a different identity under L.A.’s direction, and Drawback at large is much more than a look back at hip-hop and R&B’s coalescence over the past decade. It’s also a study on what’s to come, and L.A. VanGogh is again, a fit example of exactly that. A producer, a vocalist, a rapper, a writer, a remixer, a host, and a subtle comedian of sorts – paying true homage to hip-hop’s past and his own with a series of intertwining skits – L.A. is the kind of transcendent force that’s coming to define hip-hop and R&B’s experimental futures.
And Drawback is a display of the kind of creativeness and experimentation we’re bound to continue seeing as the do-it-yourself generation of rapper-vocalists continues to defy boundaries and expectation.