Until 27 (Feat. Michael Christmas)
James Lanning made his first salvo into the ongoing struggle for notoriety in New York hip-hop with the gutsy single “One” in March, 2016. The music video, filmed by the rapper himself, saw James climbing and teetering on top of Big Apple skyscrapers. Combined with his thick lyricism and daring flow, the audio-visual combination was a feast for the senses. Now the driven and introspective rapper is back in a big way with “Until 27” featuring a witty verse from the talented Michael Christmas. “Until 27” is the first single off Lanning’s upcoming debut album Another Day Wasted out December 16th on Onamazu.
Off the bat, this beat slaps. Producer glocque pairs the lo-fidelity of a classic hip hop beat with low-end bass manipulation from the realms of dubstep or glitch hop. This unique backdrop is well-suited for the unorthodox, rapid-fire lyricism of Lanning. He stays in the pocket, and with this beat there’s some wonderfully spacious room for him to rhyme. “You don’t like me? I don’t like me neither / He might be Eazy or he might be Bieber,” Lanning starts in, alluding to his crossover appeal or perhaps some inner tension. Michael Christmas’s verse is a splendid addition to the track, rounding out the ironic tune with a bit of humor. In a city of almost 9 million people, and probably about 15,000 rappers, Lanning is wisely flexing a fresh and unique sound to distinguish himself.