Leaving Ambitious Entertainment has been the best decision thus far in A-Reece‘s career. He’s been making some of the best music of his life and “L3 (Long Lost Letters)” is a potent addition to that impressive list. A joint project with two of his (The) Wrecking Crew compatriots, Ecco and Wordz, “L3” has been a delightful, regular listening experience for the past two weeks.
The project boasts 9 tracks produced by the ever so talented MashBeatz, whose production blends seamlessly with Reece, Ecco and Wordz’ flows. The production truly is the highlight because it just sounds so pristine. I found the heavy sample laced synths that make for the perfect trappy yet boom-bappy sound quite impressive. It created for the cohesiveness of the project and even though the beats sound very similar, that does not bring any element of monotony at all. If anything, one can appreciate that while the blueprint to make each of the beats may have been the same, there is some care and craftiness that was employed to make each beat unique. I genuinely give a perfect score for the production on this project.
Synergy is what I commend the MCs on. Getting three MCs to sound so in sync is not an easy feat. The chemistry that A-Reece, Ecco and Wordz possess is a rarity. And while it’s quiet easy to arrange them based on their MC’ing prowess, I felt that was unnecessary throughout the project. At no point do any of them sound like they’re competing to outdo the other on any of the tracks. I genuinely appreciated that. Naturally, there are tracks where Reece may have snapped more than the other two guys, but in the same token, Ecco got busy on some tracks. Wordz held his own too. But truthfully, these guys are in harmony on all of these songs. None of them miss a step. Couple that with MashBeatz, ‘Houston, we got a problem’ (c).
Perhaps the only critique I can put forward is that the content is very inconsequential. But truthfully, I don’t care. I may not relate with the content but I think it’s very honest and forthcoming. This is how these guys are living. And I may not share the same sentiments with how they’re living but I can’t fault it. It’s refreshing to hear young guys just living and enjoying themselves. For their age, I am not at all surprised that that’s how they’re living. I may not condone it but I can’t knock it. And the most important thing is, they’re rapping about their lives in living colour and they’re pretty damn good at it!
“Long Lost Letters (L3)” was reportedly created in a space of 7 days. That’s incredible! It’s the most cohesive, sonically brilliant, near-flawless project I’ve heard come out South Africa in a long time, let alone this year. It’s easily my favorite project of the year. It reminds me of what Just Blaze said on Jay Electronica’s seminal track “Exhibit C”:
“Things we do without even trying, be better than a lot of ya’ll records… don’t get mad!”
And that’s just what it is. These boys weren’t even trying to make the hardest record or the one that’s gonna sell the most. Nope! These are some dudes who are friends, who happen to rap really well, and just wanted to put out a record talking about their lives and how they’re living. In 7 days! That’s it. No frills, no stunts, no nothing. Just dudes rapping! Lo and behold, they just put out a brilliant record. And they seem to have had the most fun while doing it too. That’s also something that’s very permeable to the ears when you listen to it.
If you love Hip Hop, this is essential listening.
Long Lost Letters is now available oniTunes