Closing out a whirlwind week in Los Angeles, Theophilus London performed a free set for fans at Amoeba Records Wednesday afternoon. The show was in promotion of his brand new album, Timez are Weird These Days, which had just been released the day before. London was also at the Troubadour on Monday night for the official record release party, sold out of course, making his presence at Amoeba that much more welcome. Succinct, but energetic, his performance was a perfect taste of Timez and some of his previous mixtape material.
Armed with only a back-up dj, guitar player, and a microphone, Theophilus London exercised compete control of the record store’s humble stage. Wearing fresh sneakers, gold chains, and a sharp-looking suit jacket, London certainly dressed the part for the material off of his debut album, a refreshing blend of electro, classic hip-hop, and lyrics that dare to venture beyond what’s typical in his musical niche.
London gave the crowd a whole lot of love, reaching out to younger fans that were in the front row, inviting one on the stage to dance and pump up the crowd by his side, a moment that was sincere and just plain cool of the Brooklyn MC. Even in the narrow aisles of Amoeba, people were throwing their hands up and getting themselves to dance
Theophilus London may just be breaking out big time now, but based on what he served up yesterday, he’s earning all the attention he’s getting. Timez are Weird These Days is bridging the gap between genres and challenging expectations in hip-hop (he cites his influences as Prince, Kraftwerk, and the Smiths), and with a repertoire of collaborators that includes Solange Knowles, Sara Quinn, and David Andrew Sitek, it’s exciting to see where he goes.
London’s music is the kind that you feel cool listening to. It’s well-produced, fresh, and most importantly, intelligent. He’s not Weezy or Yeezy, and that’s totally okay–he doesn’t have to be, because when it comes right down to it, like the song says, “last name London, first name Theophilus.”
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