The producer/rapper collaboration continues to be successful
Since the beginning of hip-hop, the producer/rapper combination has given people successful and defining albums. From Doggystyle in ’93 with Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre to Alfredo in 2020 with Freddie Gibbs and The Alchemist, we see these collaborations really help create these great concepts and build a concrete sound for these artists. Namir Blade and L’Orange continue this successful method with Imaginary Everything.
The title track kicks off the album, introducing listeners to this rock-infused beat. An electric guitar is the main focus, with a horn section underlying it. Lyrically, Blade reminds people of his goals, determination and that he isn’t afraid to come after anyone trying to ruin his plans. “Lyra” follows immediately after, displaying his melodic flow over a simple guitar and drum looped beat. Detroit rapper Quelle Chris hops on “Point to Point,” where the two talk about life on the road and what it entails. The chorus gives an overview with lyrics like, “From point to point I gotta go…I been spending time on the road from the crib, to the car, to the couch, to the motherfucking floor.”
“Corner Store Scandal” comes as a single and the standout track of the album. The rock/hip-hop vibe is brought back in a more obvious manner. The song is filled with clever wordplay and figures of speech like, “We blend in like Randall” and “I might just go and Crash like Bandicoot.” The fun energy of the song matches the video that accompanies it. “Gassed Up” has a feature from Fly Anakin. The funky bassline, sampled voices and drum pattern allow for the two rappers to skate over the track effortlessly. “Late Nights Early Mornings” features Jordan Webb. The lyrics describe what these late nights and early mornings mean in retrospect. Accompanying Blade on the final track, “Pipe Dream,” is Marlowe. With a spacey production, it reflects the motivation and determination the artists have to continue going hard on their creative endeavors.
It’s common for producers and rappers to reach out to each other and see the magic they can make. A focus on each party’s strengths and where there is a need for improvement provides a cohesive and solid project each time; Imaginary Everything is a perfect example of that. With L’Orange’s sampled production and Namir Blade’s witty wordplay, the two were able to step outside the box to prove that they have only gotten better.