If you made a hipster-rap bonus baby in a laboratory, you couldn’t do much better than Theophilus London. The 23-year-old Trinidad- born Brooklyn MC’s neo-retro hip-hop mashes up TV on the Radio’s vocal cadences, old-school break-dance beats and the forlorn melodic tug of a Smiths fan (he dropped This Charming Mixtape in 2009). “Why Even Try” recalls Tom Tom Club’s electro-bubblegum classic “Genius of Love,” but place-holder lyrics—“ “Back on the road again/Hitting Paris on a 10,” from “All Around the World”—show that even in hipster rap, you need to rock the words, too.
Listen to “Last Name London”:
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