Max Bell is chiller than you, dude.
Sadness sells. If you’ve ever wondered why Canada’s ambassador to the Cheesecake Factory wants to convince the world he’s crying about failed relationships inside his Calabasas Xanadu, it’s because he knows it guarantees that his grandkids will be able to pay their property taxes. Fortunately, there are still rappers capable of transmuting genuine pain into art without timeline-tested artifice. Enter Mello Music Group’s newest signee, Lando Chill (formerly Lando Chillrissian).
Born and bred on Chicago’s South Side, Chill attended high school with the Acid Rap guy before leaving for college in Arizona. Earlier this week, the Tucson-based rapper released “Coroner,” the lead single from his forthcoming MMG debut.
Plaintive keys are laid overtop the warm crackle of needle on wax, the halting percussion punctuated by the ticking of a clock. Chill’s voice cuts through like nighttime desert wind, the melodies of his half-sung lyrics as unique and poignant as every breakup. Throughout, he shuns the saccharine, finding new ways to articulate the depression and reflection that accompanies irreparably fractured unions (“I’m not the man you believe in / See, I’m just the man you were leaving”). For those who latch onto comparisons, the verses sit somewhere between early Kid Cudi and Kweku Collins. The hook wouldn’t sound out of place on a TV on the Radio album.
The video for “Coroner” isn’t as singular as the single itself, but it doesn’t need to be. Chill’s once happy relationship is undone, his brain and body so wracked with hurt that the latter begins to break down. Blood is spilled from mouth and nostrils, teeth and fingernails are lost. The metaphor might be too transparent for some, but, at the very least, it’s comforting to have a rapper lay his heart at your feet and mean it.