Review: lojii – Lofeye (Youngbloods, Mar 23)

I recently mentioned that lojii & Swarvy’s Due Rent was one of the only hip-hop albums I loved last year. While I was initially drawn to its dusty, inventive production, it was lojii’s entertaining flow and lyrical earnestness that kept me coming back. His chops have only improved on his new solo record Lofeye, tackling less concrete subject matter with dizzying rhyme schemes and endlessly creative instrumentals. lojii employs a wide variety of producers across the album’s 14 tracks, with results ranging from Thook’s dark atmospherics on leading track “Spook Who Sat by da Floor” to the schizophrenic musique concrète of Marc Rebillet on “Run It Down,” which probably has the craziest beat I’ve ever heard in a hip-hop song. Despite the much larger talent pool, everything on Lofeye feels like it fits; it all has a smoky, shadowy feel to it, and lojii’s smooth bars are always center stage. It’s a lot to take in at first, but Lofeye has already well exceeded my expectations, and I’m hoping that further exploration will only cement its quality.