Will Schube is the non-denominational High Priest of the Valley.
Rhys Langston is the sort of dude who’s always one step ahead. When you’re still catching up to his last thought, he’s onto the next one. For a rapper, this is a wonderful trait to have—his music is effortlessly engaging, as Rhys is both self-serious and totally willing to laugh at himself at any moment. On Langston’s latest LP, Aggressively Ethnically Ambiguous, the LA emcee turns in his strongest iteration of this style to date, blending real life struggles with witty observations regarding our general absurdity—often within the same line.
The album’s first single, “Jesus of Los Feliz,” exemplifies this best. Over a wispy flute, Langston cycles through a variety of flows, trying them on for size, presenting a mighty grasp of his voice with each. I’m a particular fan of the Migos-style triplet flow. He raps, “Raised them pitchforks before the move to Hollywood and Leimert/Away from vegan breadcrumbs/And non fat-free/White guilt trip rule of thumb.” The lines are densely layered, and by the time you begin to unpack one, he’s rattled off three more worth re-visiting.
Rhys Langston’s been around the LA scene for a minute, but Aggressively Ethnically Ambiguous is the assured statement he previously hadn’t made. LA staples Kenny Segal and Daddy Kev mix and master it, respectively, and the result is a crisp, immensely listenable, lyrically focused rap record that also bumps.
Passion of the Weiss has the pleasure of debuting the stream for Aggressively Ethnically Ambiguous, which is out today. Rhys will also be playing a record release show at 2234 W. Temple street in Los Angeles on September 26th. VerBs and Henry Canyons will be there as well. Check out the stream of Aggressively Ethnically Ambiguous above, and read a statement from Langston on the LP below:
This album is for all the hours I spent in the club thinking about side-chain compression and Post-colonialism. It is as much a reluctant manifesto and audiobook, as a simultaneous infatuated curiosity with the direction of modern music and intrinsic desire to insert myself into the Black American poetic and musical tradition. I wrote the nine songs/chapters between Baldwin Hills/Leimert Park and the liberal arts university I attended in Connecticut. I often think of the time I spent in airplanes dissecting my bars and rapping under my breath as a metaphor for the themes of transiency expressed in the lyrics.