CLIFF NOTEZ, DEPHRASE, AND LATRELL JAMES MAKE LO-FI HIP HOP BEATS TOO HYPE TO RELAX/STUDY TO WITH “VOODOO DOLL”
It’s no coincidence that the cover art for Cliff Notez, Dephrase, and Latrell James’s new track feels like an homage to the always reliable YouTube channel: lofi hip hop radio - beats to relax/study to. Cliff Notez sits at his laptop, with a pet (and Dephrase), a plant or three for ambiance, and a desk lamp on above their heads. In the background we see Boston -- Citgo sign, Prudential Center, and the T -- with Latrell James hanging out on the balcony next door.
This is truly the experience of crafting a song with your friends, working together to find a beat that hits the feels and spitting some bars over it. Maybe the featured vocalist is just in the next apartment over and a good homie to boot. Give a shot to another rapper on the come up and help put Boston on the map for the first time in who knows how many years. There’s no need for big studios and ear-splitting monitors when bedroom producers have been proving for years that all that’s necessary is a laptop, headphones and maybe a microphone or two.
CLIFF NOTEZ x DEPHRASE FT. LATRELL JAMES - “VOODOO DOLL”
Dephrase’s beat is so silky smooth, laying the fundamental groundwork of relaxation. It most definitely belongs on the aforementioned YouTube channel, with the sparkling stars of some jazzy keys keeping the beat alive and oh so fresh as you lean back to listen and chill.
But as the bars build so does the beat, and quickly Dephrase’s lofi beat advances well past relaxing and into full on hype mode. Add some finger-snaps and a horn section, so by the time Cliff Notez drops his verse we’re up and dancing and definitely not studying anymore.
This song is a trick, but one that we love. It lulls you into a false sense of comfort and security before twisting things on their ear. If you want something to relax to, maybe you ought to look somewhere else. But on the other hand, if you want to hear something that’s going to make you feel alive for the first time since quarantine started, “Voodoo Doll” might just be the track for you.
Check out our Best New Artist feature for Latrell James for a more thorough take on one of our favorite new voices. Be on the lookout for a new EP by Cliff Notez coming August 14th. Boston hip hop definitely hasn’t sounded this hot since Guru and Mr. Lif were roaming the scene, that’s for sure. Wish it was more like this when I was at college there.
From deep within the murky depths of the Los Angeles River emerged a creature: 50% raver, 50% comedian, 10% Robotcop. Kurt Kroeber doesn’t own a dog, operates Soundbleed (the world’s only dance party comedy talk show rave), and is down to party with you. Come up some time and say “Hey dude!” But definitely make sure to casually drop the secret Illuminati password.