NEW ARTIST: LATRELL JAMES
From his impressive production credits with artists including Lil Dicky, Cousin Stizz and J.I.D, to his 2016 “Good Goes Around” Cheerios anthem, chances are you've heard some of Latrell James’ work. A Boston native known for his relatable writing, clean production, and dynamic, engaging live shows, James is someone to take note of. Described by Vanyaland as “one of the best hip-hop artists in the city,” the rapper and producer has been steadily gaining national attention for his originals.
James’ 2018 release, “Okay,” won song of the year at last year’s Boston Music Awards, and there’s no question why. A melody that sticks + shimmery production by Loman + a call and response chorus that New England crowds have been singing along with since before the song’s release = a song that can take over the local hip-hop scene and beyond. Following “Okay,” James released the uptempo, danceable track “Mona Lisa Bonet,” further solidifying James’ identifiable, though versatile voice. He marries the singable, melodic style that we’ve all come to love, with interesting phrasing and song structures. Combined, “Okay” and “Mona Lisa Bonet” have garnered nearly 600,000 streams on Spotify.
After scrapping an album over the summer, James released his EP, Still. Standout track, “Tracphone” hits hard with all of the essentials: a memorable hook, bass driven production with minimal, but effective percussion, and powerful lyrics. James speaks directly and honestly. “Tracphone” discusses gentrification and highlights some of the realities people of color face daily: “ They'll be 50 squad cars outside for loud music.”
LATRELL JAMES - STILL
Most recently, James released “Vices” featuring Lilah, accompanied by a fitting video. Evoking gospel sensibilities, James and Lilah speak of individuality in a sing-songy flow. In a cool toned desert, James and Lilah catch the eye in striking yellow hoodies, reflecting exactly what they’re singing: “They think in their boxes/ Ain't no way to box us/ I just do my own thing/ That's the trending topic.”
LATRELL JAMES FT. LILAH - VICES
Photo: Niklas Weikart
Arielle Tindel is a Berklee College of Music student from Cleveland, OH. She will graduate in December with degrees in Music Business Marketing and Songwriting. In her free time, Arielle can be found gardening or playing bass.