A message came in from L.A. rapper/producer Rhys Langston. He wanted to share his latest album, “The Chocolate Davis Sessions Volume I”– sounds delicious.
Rhys Langston is a rapper/producer from Los Angeles, CA. His instrumental work ranges from dark, electronic and bass-heavy compositions to crunchy golden-era-esque drums with simple but layered sample work. Lyrically merging a certain West Coast eccentricity and boom-bap-influenced percussive poetics, in some ways he is stylistically transient, a reflection of his residence on both east and west coasts— and also perhaps, of his (mostly) unconscious fracturing of racial preconceptions by means of the racially ambiguous person through which he transmits his breed of hip hop. His dense verses span his personal experiences and convictions through lenses of racial politics, trans-atlantic history, social alienation, and the occasional off-kilter name drop. Langston’s live performances see energy surged renditions of his songs with the occasional insert of an epigram poem.
Visual art and writing have always been constant means of expression for him. In addition to his music he continues to paint (often designing the artwork for his own albums) and write short stories and what he coins “pre-post-racial poems” (non sequiturs that he randomly blurts out during his performances).
His latest project, The Chocolate Davis Sessions Volume I, released in October of 2014, stars the regulars of Langstónia, Tercero Washington, Resident Harebrain, Calculus Johnson and Muckraker Jones in a series of audio short films. It sees Rhys Langston’s first official collaboration, one with Netherlands based producer Papppa, who provides 5 out of 8 of the instrumentals (the other 3 being Langston’s own compositions). Throughout, Rhys Langston’s deconstructionist lyricism is grounded in and shaped by the soft-focus aesthetic of the instrumentals. Furthermore, short and concise in tracks and album length, Chocolate Davis draws from a literary tradition of epigram poems and challenges the listener to define what constitutes a “full length” release.