On January 22nd, Loner Avenue, a Virginia rapper and producer, dropped the My Lil EP.  It’s a lean but loaded album at 11 minutes and 38 seconds long with four tracks and five producers.  Loner wears his influences on his sleeve, and the tags ‘#upbeat,’ ‘#skreet,’ #lil yachty,’ and ‘#lil uzi vert’ make up a pretty accurate description of the album’s sound and general vibe.  Overall, it’s a fun project that shows off the rapping and producing chops of every artist in the mix.

G.i.M.C., at a very brief 1 minute and 45 seconds, sets the tone for the album.  A giddy ‘OKAY’ kicks the song off, followed immediately by smooth, quick-paced strings and keys, and of course a rattling high-hat.  Loner’s gravely voice stands out from and is accentuated by Janz Helli’s catchy production.  Both are rough but upbeat, grimy but borderline silly in a style that resounds throughout the project.

Favorite Bar: Mix the lean with the champagne, nigga had to do it for the thrill

Wrist Work, produced by Hellasketchy, leans harder into G.i.M.C.’s upbeat, sunshine sound with high-pitched whistles and keys and bouncy harmonization.  Loner’s vocals take a less prominent place without slacking, blending beautifully with the beat as he spits, adding an extra punch to the chorus.  The tempo slows down about three-fourths of the way through the track, for a short but very sweet finish.

Favorite Bar: She just want dick / I just want to fuck her older sister

Loner’s production in Takeoff has a more dreamy, heavier feel to it.  Lyrically, it’s the most impressive track so far with agile but clouded features from Benji, Hutch, and BabyJay, all frequent Loner collaborators.  All three have a consistency in their sound that keeps the track continuous while diverse and interesting, and Loner switches up the beat slightly to fit each one’s delivery.

Favorite Bar: Ice on my wrist like a drank / Codeine my teeth purple paint

Gassed Up is by some distance my favorite track of the album.  It starts out with a few shrill ‘OKAY’s, but quickly takes on a smoother, more vibey tone.  It effectively abandons the upbeat mood of the rest of the EP outside of Loner’s delivery, but even that is muddied and distorted to vaporlike effect.  It all comes together to a track that makes the listener feel like they’re underwater, in the warmest and most comfortable way possible.

Favorite Bar: Fuck your bitch in a tank / Dump her ass ‘cause she stank

Altogether, I was more than pleased with the My Lil EP.  If I had to offer up some criticisms, they’d be that the lyricism can be pretty basic (though as I’ve said each rapper more than makes up for this with delivery) and the two singles, Takeoff and Gassed Up, well outshine Wrist Work and G.i.M.C.  Beyond that, it’s an excellent project that has me excited for all eight participators’ future releases.

Check out Loner Avenue’s My Lil EP for yourself below, and let us know what you think on twitter @yudorva.

-Koby

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