• 26Sep

    L.A., “LA Riots” Album Review

    The hype that is Latasha Alcindor, better known by her MC name, L.A., makes for an interesting story. There is no doubt she has accomplished a lot since her rapping debut in 2010. But by no means should she slow down now as her momentum starts to pick up speed. With her second project, LA Riots, that’s exactly what happened. Not even her speedy flow could make up for the fact that LA Riots: Mental Fatality seemed like one long track that dragged on. With every negative, there were plenty of positives as well, though.

    On her “Clouds” intro, L.A. sets the tone for the whole album. Her delivery seems to be angry for the majority of the tape which translates into her sounding as if she’s trying too hard to get her point across. In doing so, she takes away from the strong messages she conveys through her words. “Rainy season,” is the one exception to this. Addressing personal issues with a heartfelt approach, she paints a poetic picture with each verse. The production on the track also gives off a Golden Era vibe that is up to par with her much cleaner flow.

    The overall subject matter in LA Riots is definitely commendable though. LA’s strong point lies in her ability to speak on issues that the majority in her lane are either too afraid to address or just don’t want to be bothered with. “Reborn free” is a fine example of that. “…forgot to take the Plan B so now we pregnant with issues that Uncle Sam can’t beat.” As a female Hip-Hop journalist, it’s great to see a female MC tackle real issues in her music. LA doesn’t give us the typical, feminine content that plays on the radio. She steers away from water-downed material.

    Earlier, I mentioned how LA comes off as trying too hard to get her point across. In “Great Walls of China,” I was pleasantly surprised to hear how the much calmer portions of the song actually speak more than the grittier sections. Whether it’s a part of her personal style of rapping or not, LA’s aggressive demeanor in her music takes away from her content. And in some cases, it’s a shame because when you listen closely, the subject matter she covers are ones that need to be talked about. Many artists have this idea that the “harder they go on a track, the more people will listen.” In most cases, it’s actually more difficult to digest. LA is talented and has a way with words. She doesn’t need to throw knock-out punches with each bar she spits. When she embraces that, her music will be much more receptive and will diversify.

    With that said, LA Riots sounds like one synonymous song with the production supplying the dynamics that keep the album interesting. Not to say her actual rapping wasn’t attention-grabbing, but there were no differentiating variables. Variables, as in, she needs to pay more attention to how she is structuring her music. Like an orchestra, crescendos, diminuendos and other musical changes, keeps the listener’s attention. When LA incorporates that to her music, her overall sound will be more focused.

    In a culture where males appear to be the dominant force, LA holds her own. How she improves herself with the criticism that is thrown at her, how she continues to hold her head high as haters try to knock her hustle down and how she continues to grow as a promising artist, will be an amazing journey for her. The riot has only begun, lets see what stories unfold in result of it.

    RATING: 3 Out Of 5

    Download LA Riots: Mental Fatality

    Follow Maria Myraine Yap on Twitter @YoItsMyMy

    Spitting Out Blood from L.A. on Vimeo.

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