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This past April, Brooklyn hip-hop artist Theophilus London released his first proper full-length, the highly acclaimed, Smiths-referencing This Charming Man. However, London first garnered attention in 2008 with his riveting (and free) JAM! and This Charming Mixtape, which found him nimbly rapping over tracks from Kraftwerk and Whitney Houston (!) among others. Since then, he’s toured with A-Trak and previously spotlighted artist Jack Penate, introducing his blend of solid rhymes and impressionistic electronic beats to new audiences and garnering coverage from the likes of Rolling Stone (blah) and The New York Times (huzzah!). London, who goes by his real name, is blessed with the sort of innately cool style that can’t really be cultivated, and it shines through in everything from his Reid Miles-looking album art to the perfect cadence of his flows.
“Humdrum Town” is the latest digital single from the Green Label Sound project and finds London again paying titular homage to Morrissey & Co., this time in the form of a copped lyric from “William, It Was Really Nothing.” London’s track also sneaks in some of that song’s melancholy; “Humdrum Town” is a hip-hop banger that is too sedate for the dance floor, a chill-out equivalent for the rap-loving hipster set. At times, gauzy synthesizers stretch themselves out slowly like yoga poses behind London’s vocals, while other passages make way for more animated drum machines and staccato synth pin pricks. Fans of The Cool Kids, Spank Rock, and even Top 40 fiends like Kanye and Kid Cudi will be drawn in by Theophilus London’s unique mystique.