New kid on the block, ELAW, has carved a spot at the cool kids table with the drop of Before Arrival. This seven track, hip-hop debut is an invitation to boldly journey through a sonic Rubik’s cube of genre-bending production laced with soul samples, ethereal effects and drums that slap all linked together by the commanding drawl of Elaw’s delivery. Timeless themes sex, drugs money and high fashion are presented with unconventional prose throughout this pristine body of work. The endless conflict between the desire to be a conscious artist or simply delivering vibe-heavy bangers comes to a cease-fire with Elaw managing to do both effortlessly. Case in point, on premier track “Facetime” where he describes his perfect baddie as a secure, luxury label adorned Coretta (yes THAT Coretta) over an uptempo track that would heat any nightlife venue dance floor. As a producer, Elaw’s creative liberties are abound with beat switches mid-track that melt into the next moment adding layer upon layer to the EP. Beyond standouts, “B.M.F.” and “Real Nice”, the festival season sonnet “Fly” a major deviation yet pleasant surprise draws anticipation for Elaw’s future projects. Abundant variation characterizes Before Arrival without losing consistency or authenticity; something to be expected from an artist that names Bon Iver, Guru and Jay Z as major influencers.
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