LALO is the professional name of Denver, Colorado native Logan McMichael. Regular readers of The Static Dive know his name well. The prolific, genre-bending artist has appeared on these pages a number of times, as producer, collaborator and as a solo act. His ensemble crew Roverboyz were featured here earlier this year. His own full-length record “Hunting Wendigos” came out in November of last year. Now LALO is back, wth his first EP of 2020.
The new five song collection, “Strawberry Ice Kream” is another solid example of the music school alumnus’ infinitely creative and defiantly unique approach to Hip-hop. Much of LALO’s previous work incorporated live instrumentation, Rock guitars, Soul grooves and psychedelic vibes. In that sense, Ice Kream is a more ‘traditional’ Rap record. Each song rolls on Trap and Hip-Hop 808 beats and basement-level synth bass tones. However, within that framework the innovative producer flexes his muscles.
The record has a theme of sorts, like a Hip-hop concept EP. Lyrically, most of the record feels like we walked in on an inside joke. Songs like the title track, “Good Lookin’ Out” and “Free throws” find the rapper and his crew shifting between sexual innuendo, rap bragging and dissin foes.
However, it’s not just old school rap frontin’ tying these tracks together. Each song is built around a sample of a classic old-time song. The structure and melodies of classics like “I Scream, You Scream, We all Scream for Ice Cream,” Hank Williams’ “Hey Good Lookin” and The Human Beinz’s “Nobody But Me” are central to the tracks on “Strawberry Ice Kream.”
The last track on the EP has a slightly different feel. It is still built around a sample, but this time it is the guitar track from Iggy Pop’s “The Passenger.” That is a very different vibe than Hank Williams. Lyrically too, the song is a deviation. We find LALO alone, away from the party and in the midst of an identity crisis. Over a slow and somber beat he sings, “I’m so uncomfortable with the old me.” It’s a telling moment, especially after listening to the posturing of the previous four songs. Smart stuff.
Check out “Good Lookin Out” on the Deep Indie Beat. And follow the links below to connect with LALO. Keep in the know on all of this talented artist’s current and future projects.