Torii MacAdams once stole a family photo from KK Barrett’s house
Andre Martel’s a unique figure in Los Angeles rap. The city has legions of Chicano punks, and dozens of Chicano rappers, but it seems that, of these sizable demographics, Martel is the only rapper to operate in both scenes with an earnest deftness. It’s not an uncomfortable admixture–rap and punk both express the anxieties of a city perpetually struggling with economic stratification and segregation. There are plenty of Angelenos who, as kids, wore Tupac shirts on their torsos and mohawks on their scalps. That’s just how it is here.
It’s been more than a year-and-a-half since Martel’s last mixtape, His Majesty Obscured. Not all rappers can afford to be as prolific as Young Thug or Future–rappers pay rent (and utilities, and taxes, and cable…) like the rest of us, and Martel is no exception. He works a full-time job, lives with his bespectacled painter girlfriend, and has reportedly spent much of the time since his last project wondering whether continuing the manifest sacrifices necessary to the pursuit of rap greatness are worth it.
Apparently they are. Martel is releasing an EP, Perfect Statues, on May 5th, and Passion of the Weiss has the privilege of premiering its first single, “Coupe.” When asked if he had anything to say about the song, Martel responded:
These songs were originally meant for other releases that never came to fruition. Over time it finally connected and I realized I actually had something I could put out. The photo used for the cover of the EP was taken by my mother on her most recent trip to Mexico. It’s a giant statue of Jesus with fractured limbs. The idea behind the title is that ultimately we as people are perfect even while tremendously flawed. I fell out of the loop for a year and wanted to quit music so the songs kind of reflect a very disillusioned sentiment. Took me a while to realize this is what I’m meant to do and be regardless.