Lan Lawd returns to the front page of the indie music press with his hottest jam yet in “So Good” this autumn, and though he’s been known to deliver the goods in the past, he brings an evolved songcraft into the studio with him for this latest firebrand ballad. “So Good” unites melodic hip-hop’s relaxed style of attack with a new school reggae flavor via Nicko Rebel that is fresh, flexible, and supremely smooth. Though the song is steeped in surrealism and focuses primarily on Lan Lawd’s acerbic rapping, there’s just as much to be said about its skillfully arranged beats, which create a sensuous environment from the moment that they enter the fold until the very instant that they retreat into silence at the end of the track.
The lyrics are delicately woven into the fabric of the instrumental melody in “So Good,” with some of their most sublime moments centering on the heavenly harmonies forged between the two elements. Lan Lawd takes his time cutting into the rhythm of the percussion with his velvety voice, and though it creates a lot of tension that is only somewhat released in the chorus, I think that it adds to the overall listening experience tremendously. This single is all about its mood, from the music supporting the vocal track to the master mix itself, and though it’s not the tightest song that Lan Lawd has attached his name to thus far in his career, it’s one of his most pendulous and groove-laden.
This percussion is, for all intents and purposes, as evocative as the verses are in “So Good,” and that’s no small statement to make when we isolate the lyrics and consider their immense emotional depth. Alongside Nicko Rebel, Lan Lawd is bearing his soul to us here, putting his heart on the line and begging for a little bit of clarity in this haze of a romantic vibe he speaks of in the words, and the beats magnify the passion in his voice beautifully.
They’re not quite as loud in the mix as I would have liked, but they’re nevertheless quintessential to the recipe for relentless magic that “So Good” utilizes so brilliantly in its superbly stylish twists and turns.
Without a doubt in my mind, I can affirm that Lan Lawd has got one of the best new singles that I’ve heard in hip-hop this season, and unlike cuts that have been getting a lot of mainstream attention this season, I think that “So Good” has a massive crossover appeal that could easily elevate his professional profile into the mainstream once and for all.
He’s been pushing against the barriers within the international underground for a minute now, and this track has a certain color to its main melody that you could argue is a product of his hard work and artistic development over the years. Lan Lawd has come a long way since his debut, and with “So Good,” we hear a sampling of what he can do when he’s operating at full creative capacity.
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