XL Middleton & Delmar Xavier VII (New LP)XL Middleton & Delmar Xavier VII
Label: MoFunk Records
"Taking a sharp detour from synthesizer-heavy, uptempo modern funk tracks, XL Middleton teams up with mysterious producer Delmar Xavier VII to rap over a deftly curated selection of samples on their self-titled duo debut. DXVII's lush sample choices provide the perfect backdrop for what amounts to a collection of vignettes in which XL details LA life in the corona era. He bounces from reflections on social unrest in the city to an all around history of civic corruption on "Lament For The Angels," then takes a more nostalgic approach as he reminisces on growing up in Pasadena on "626 Since It Was 818", his native corner of the LA area, alongside hometown cohorts Blkwest & Moniquea. "L.A. Noir" feels like the Cliff Notes version of the book City Of Quartz in rap form, while "Strange Dance" (feat. Young Sau) examines the mindset of those who were determined to stay outside even as covid was peaking. The hypnotic "Fire (Storm)" was written when California was in the throes of some of the worst wildfires in its history, a somber, smoke-permeated acceptance of a new normal..."