Many purists believe hip hop is dead, that the new music being produced today does not live up to the standards of its forefathers including Grandmaster Flash and The Sugar Hill Gang followed by acts like Rakim, A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul. And even though urban legends like Jay-Z are still putting out platinum albums, many hardcore hip hop fans have “Reasonable Doubt” as to the direction of the genre when they see him collaborating with pop entertainers like Justin Timberlake, regardless of how good that work turns out. Just the other day one of my favorite groups from back in the day, The Roots, did a remix with Miley Cyrus. Has hip hop gone soft?
Just as I was ready to take my turn tables and go home, I’m happy to report from the underground that there is hope still. The talented producer L’Orange and lyrical mastermind Stik Figa have managed to take listeners on an interesting journey between two worlds, diving into concepts of urban alure and mental divergence, giving you a glimpse into The City Under the City, a product they call a “strange melding of textural bliss and verbal dexterity.”
The album also warns of the materialistic nature at the foundation of our corporate culture that promotes us to be “carbon copies, who feel like Martin Luther King for working at Martin, Lockheed.”
L’Orange & Stik Figa – The City Under the City – Album Stream
Listen to the entire album here which is like wax poetics over bass aesthetics from start to finish.
So What Lies Beneath the City?
You turn down a dark alley, seeking refuge from the sweltering heat of the factories that line the city streets. As you wind through a maze of alleyways, darkness falls and the sky glows a toxic orange. You hear music coming from behind a door at the end of a dark and narrow tunnel. You know that once you open the door and descend into a world beneath the concrete, you will never be the same.
This is The City Under The City, a new collaboration from producer L’Orange and Topeka, KS MC Stik Figa. Mello Music Group teams up with L’Orange and Stik Figa to take you on a dark and abstract journey through a realm that lies under the surface.
– Mello Music Group
I have to say this is easily the best new hip hop production I’ve heard in a long time, and in case you didn’t realize as the album suggests, “There’s a world under the concrete. The question is – can you see it?”