These days, Rhys Langston ’16 spends most of his time paying fealty as a vassal to the Estate of Langstónia—a purportedly earthly domain which is located, as far as I can tell, somewhere between Los Feliz and Phuket. This weekend, he returns to perform at the alma mater from whose generous womb he recently walked into what some call reality. Last month saw the release of Rhys’s long awaited album, Aggressively Ethnically Ambiguous, which features a few familiar bangers from Eclectic shows of yore amidst plenty of new material. Listen to the tape and read more after the jump.
To my ears, the flow on this album seems to take cues in equal measure from the art-rap verbosity of the Hellfyre Club collective (Busdriver, Milo [formerly], Open Mike Eagle) and Migos’ compound pulsed mumble trap. Rhys deftly navigates postmodernity with citations across the high/low culture divide. He cross-references Edward Said and Cooking Mama almost in the same breath on “Obligatory Techno-Orientalism” and imagines “a TED talk on Tumblr kids profiting from complexion” on the title track. On the sonic side of things, MVNTRA’s tight production accents all the right moments and the whole thing practically gleams from the polish of Kenny Segal’s mixing console.