When we last caught up with LALO and the Roverboyz, the talented young rapper had just released the brilliant ‘Strawberry Ice Kream’, an essential rap release that more than made up for his absence from the scene the year prior. In the space that followed the album, LALO managed to slip back into his usual prolific style, releasing the epically titled ‘Scorpio Overlord, Pt. 1 (Property Tax Edition)’ in October of 2020 to fit with the Scorpio season. A release that was lost amongst the wave of pandemics, elections, riots, and wildfires that typified 2020, ‘Scorpio Overlord’ has been waiting for its moment in the sun, and now that we’ve had the time to catch up with it, we can’t wait to show it off.
An EP filled with dark undertones and wise guy references to the Italian mob, ‘Scorpio Overlord, Pt. 1 (Property Tax Edition)’ is LALO at his very best, holding firm to the melodic lo-fi rap sounds of his previous release, and mixing them seamlessly with more dark, dramatic vibes. When speaking of the new release, LALO explained, “I am a Scorpio and this project is me explaining why I am the Scorpio overlord”, and in true form, that’s exactly what you get.
Opening with ‘Killin Klowns’, the mob imagery and aggressive rap anthemics come hard and fast, creating one of the most exciting opening tracks that we’ve heard all year. A dark, semi-ambient track that is clad in fierce imagery, it’s aggressive, unyielding and a perfect introduction to LALO’s dark style. What’s more, the track is perfectly balanced, combining more subtle vocal chants and wandering vocals with a sway of melodic hip-hop tones to create a truly disarming sound. In second cut ‘I Hear You Paint Houses’, LALO takes reference from the first thatJimmy Hoffa ever spoke to Frank ‘The Irishman’ Sheeran, splitting the track in two with a clever use of clipped sounds and mob hit references. Easily one of the highlights of the new EP, it’s a track where every part has been built to stand tall and exist on an epic scale.
In following tracks ‘A Bad Hit’ and ‘The Fourth Estate’, we find LALO shifting back to his more melodic, textured approach to rap, offering some evocative, droning vocals that work wonders to paint some truly relatable moments. In ‘A Bad Hit’ we hear him lament, “you love to use me”, while in the ‘The Fourth Estate’ he takes aim at modern media, fighting for clarity and change with a clever use of dual vocals and textured sweeping sounds. It’s a heavy one-two hit, but also a perfect line for closing number ‘The House’. A heavy, aggressive, and arguably brutal final track, it’s a sublime blend of everything that makes LALO so impressive, delivering a non-stop maelstrom of dark rap sounds that will impress, excite, and invigorate in equal measure.
While Run the Jewels might have topped most best albums list for 2020, it's clear from ‘Scorpio Overlord, Pt. 1 (Property Tax Edition)’ that they’ll have some competition from LALA in 2021. A sure-fire statement of intent from LALO as he pushes to make 2021 his breakthrough year, it’s a powerful reminder as to why he’s become our favourite rap artist.
You can stream the new EP above via Apple Music, or tune in to ‘Scorpio Overlord, Pt. 1 (Property Tax Edition)’ on Spotify here.
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