At Modern Luxury, connection and community define who we are. We use cookies to improve the Modern Luxury experience - to personalize content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyze our traffic. We also may share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. We take your privacy seriously and want you to be aware that we have recently made changes to our Privacy Policy, which can be found here.


Snap Judgments (exist) - 6

Dan Strachota | November 1, 2011 | Lifestyle Story Reviews Culture Music


(Quannum Projects)
Many of the Bay Area’s brainiest rap artists to emerge over the past 19 years—Lyrics Born, DJ Shadow, the Blackalicious duo of Gift of Gab and Chief Xcel—have come from the Quannum Projects collective. Lateef the Truthspeaker does, too, but he’s kept a lower profile, while collaborating with Born (as Latryx) and with both halves of Blackalicious. His relative obscurity should end with the first record issued solely under his name. Produced by a posse of his longtime pals, the disc sounds amazing—lushly melding funk, synth-pop, and electro-rap—and paints an evocative picture of East Bay street life. Over the noir-jazz rhythms of “Say What You Want,” Lateef reports the truelife nightmare of his cousin’s shooting being avenged by another cousin. In “So Sexy,” he’s the late-night player, offering salacious come-ons in a
hushed whisper. “Oakland” conveys all he finds good about his city, with shout-outs to AC Transit, Everett & Jones, “corporate businesswomen freaky in the sack,” and plentiful cannabis. Already known as an accomplished rapper and singer, Lateef proves to be a fascinating lyricist, too. A


Photography by: