August is actually the cruelest of months. The sucrose rush of the first month of summer has dissolved and you’re left with sweltering heat and the lingering death feeling. The light is ready to start dwindling, the parties end earlier, and the weather gets colder unless you’re in Southern California. Natia hails from Inglewood, the city that has slowly but surely started to be up to more good — at least between this, the Rams, Cam & China, Kamasi Washington, and the revitalized Forum.
Since Raymond Chandler, the dialectic between light and dark has always been the predictable way to filter the city of Angels. And it can feel like a winner-take-all metropolis, either you make it or you don’t. It’s paradise or an inferno. Directed by Ryan Rigsby, Natia’s “Summertime” video captures that feeling of disintegration. It’s the utopian LA of 360 degree rooftop wine parties and Randy’s Donuts. backyard swimming pools and beautiful girls, but there’s an undercurrent that’s “got you feeling like you want to die.”
When Natia repeats “I wanna die,” it lingers like a suicide note, adding an eerie quality to what otherwise exists as a summer anthem. It almost reminds me of a rap version of The Doors’ “Summer’s Almost Gone.” The second half of the video consists of the black and white, “LA Anthem.” It slaps like a Pharoahe Monch song, shouts out Afu Ra, and goes as hard as nuclear winter. This is the LA I know, where one interpretation is never enough.
His debut, 10K Hours, comes out later this year on POW Recordings. It’s somewhere in the vein of a West Coast gangsta rap hybrid of Max B and Ghostface. I’m biased but I’m also not biased because I hate almost everything and would never sign anyone who wasn’t worth your time. True story.