If you don't know, now you know. My friends and I have shared an appreciation for Loyle Carner for some time now. Our first exposure, the track, 1992, featured on Rejjie Snow's EP, Rejovich. Carner's contribution is show-stealing on the project for me, no harm to Snow (not that he'd give a fuck) but I found myself constantly going back to that track for him. From here, I had the opportunity to explore his work.
"A Little Late" dropped in September last year. Loyle's lyricism cuts close to the bone. His writing centres on family, referencing the loss of his step father, stepping up, taking care of his mother and brother, all the while, we experience his existence as a 20 year old dude from London trying to pave his own lane. Talking about smoking weed, drinking and girls, of course. But there's an emotional weight to it. It doesn't sound forced or contrived. That integrity probably stems from the base that is his family at the heart of the music.
The production side of things, for the most part, is handled by long time buddy, Rebel Kleff. There's a considered, new age groove that hints to the 90's across Carner's tracks. This nostalgic hit compliments the artists lyricism, inflection and flow so well. Maybe that opening Notorious BIG reference at the start of this piece makes sense now? Carner has a multi disciplinary approach to his creativity. The reason I felt compelled to write this was upon seeing his latest video for "Ain't Nothing Changed" (below) and realising his name is on the directing credits for all of his visuals. The track is a great example from his discography to demonstrate his flow, the combination of banal upbringing and family life and Rebel's production qualities.
If you can, check out his visuals for BFG, Florence, Cantona, October and Tierney Terrace. You won't be disappointed. All that's left to do is champion his work. Perhaps it's not radio friendly, over produced bull shit. That's why it'll struggle to chart, if that even matters. Carner's work is most definitely worthy of a bigger audience. He's most definitely an inspirational character for someone so young and his words will resonate with many people. Going places. If you want to listen to "A Little Late", the project is linked below. Thanks for reading.