Boomkat Product Review:
Pink Siifu collaborator Lord Byron comes correct with his anxious latest full-length "VLADIMIR", a slippery set of loose-limbed Southern rap experiments that showcase his dextrous rhymes.
Hailing from Dallas, Texas, Lord Byron has been churning out essential hyper-lyrical gems since 2013's supremely underrated "Dark Arts Vol. 2". Since then he's released umpteen projects, including the self-titled Kryptonite album, a collaboration with Jade Fox and Pink Siifu. "VLADIMIR" then is the sound of a rapper who's completely in control of his flow, working with regular producer Ben Hixon to realize a coherent palette. And from the first few moments of opener 'OBSERVE' it's pretty clear we've been dropped into a tight sonic universe: Hixon's beat is twitchy and robotic, with galvanized hits and gusty "Silent Hill" pads leaving a wide open space for Byron to spit catchy couplets and absurd non-sequiturs.
The stifling airlock vibes don't last for long, 'YOU SEE IT' is classic slow 'n sleazed Southern funk, and Byron sounds fully lubricated dancing between taut snares and languid plucks, sounding somewhere between OutKast, Main Attrakionz and G-Side. 'HIGHLOW' flips the script again, driving Byron into a snaking minimal trap zone with a single synth lead and blown out beats, while 'SIMPLE' dials up the sleaze, fuzzing Byron's AutoTuned croon over canned piano loops. 'PURPLE REIGN' is our pick of the bunch, a doomy low-end focused neon burner that gives Byron the widest space to crack his knuckles. "It's hard to be us, if you ain't us," he deadpans. "But if you is us, it's easy. Honestly."