Back at it with another bi-polar review on another rap album, it’s me, Lee Ferguson, the rap expert. This week I’m sharing critiques with Bucketlist Music Reviews freshest face Davide Spinato as we tear into The Index To MY Inner Thoughts, the latest EP by Montreal jazz-rap artist L. Teez. I always get excited checking out the home town talent and I saw Davide’s first debate last week in which he dropped some notable names in the rap game, so I am doubly mother fucking excited. Who’s got more game? Is Davide the Scotty Pippen to my Michael Jordan? Let’s get it.
I may not know who Scott Pippen is, and I may not really know anything about basketball, but I’m going to make up for it right now by dropping some hip-hop knowledge on y’all. Immediately, the listener sinks into a relaxing mood with the “underwater” guitars and smooth trumpet playing. As soon as L. Teez is on the mic, you could tell he understands delivery and wordplay. “Boxed In” had great energy and was dripping with the rapper’s swagger. However, I found the lyrics stood out most on tracks “Pain” and “Hold On.” The Montreal jazz-enthusiast reminds me a lot of Rhythm and Flow winner D Smoke, with their background in music and their love for jazz. I consider that both rappers fall in a “Kendrick” sphere of influence, all while maintaining a unique style. Lea Keeley’s features are very tasteful as well, and I very much appreciated their presence when they came in now and again.
The production works well for the style and there was a great choice of synth sounds sprinkled throughout the EP. The drums and bass grooves held it all down nice, and my only issue would be with the bass being too “deep”. I understand it’s appeal for occupying the low-end in hip-hop, but it sometimes sounded muddy. Also the “Sss-ing” sound in the vocals was slightly distracting, and although it can be fixed in post, syllable choice is still a crucial element for flow and delivery. To be fair, I also admit that I’m nitpicking a bit and that these are purely technical and don’t take away from Teez’s rapping and composition abilities. I’m sure that, as Teez keeps upping his game, my worries will be gone.
I could easily see tracks from this record appearing on “Chill Vibes” or “New Rappers to Watch Out For” playlists on Spotify. The beats are fresh and accessible, a winning combination for gaining a widespread appeal. I recommend this album for late-night walks and rainy days, or for whenever you feel like the mood should be just the right kind of mellow.
What!? Check out “The Last Dance” on Netflix, my dude. It’s riveting. Speaking of riveting, I love what L. Teez has done on The Index To My Inner Thoughts, melding jazz and trip-hop with a sleek and easy-going rap style. To reiterate what Davide said, Lea Keeley’s features are incredibly thought out and work in perfect harmony with L. Teez’s rapping. “Pain” demands your attention, and earworm if I’ve ever heard one, borrowing tons from early trip-hop acts such as Morcheeba and Thievery Corporation. True melancholic rap, L. Teez is in his wheelhouse when it’s laid back and depressed. “Hold Me Down” is a track mired in it, “I just wanna chill, kick back and just smoke my weed,” L. Teez is not out to impress or shock, this is a much more introspective, take it or leave it brand of rap and I’m fucking rolling this bad boy up and smoking it down to the filter.
There’s a large throwback quality to this EP, perhaps most apparent on the track “Hold On,” which is also one of the more energetic numbers. The track proves that L. Teez can also go big and bust out an anthemic banger…ok it’s not fully there but I see the bones of it and imagine it very well may come to fruition.If you’ve read my other rap reviews you’ll know that I put a premium on production for the genre and The Index To My Inner Thoughts is satisfactorily produced and mixed. Technology has made it so that a teenager can masterfully produce an album in his or her bedroom, but it needs to be mentioned that this is a nicely put together EP. L. Teez has shown in a matter of six songs that he’s got his own style and can be incredibly diverse. This one’s a layup.
Written by Davide Spinato & Lee Ferguson
*Edited by Dominic Abate