Standout Track: No. 11, “For You/Love It,” a thematic two-part posse cut from D.C. rap collective the Far EXP’s new album, The Expansion. On the first half, using a folksy instrumental from Kev Brown, the track’s producer, the crew members ponder their reasons for rhyming. Local moombahton pioneer Dave Nada gets a shoutout, and rapper Fleetwood Deville blasts the concept of so-called “DMV unity,” deriding the infamous 2011 DMV Awards that ended in a series of fights in Crystal City. Then, Flex Mathews goes at it alone with an upbeat, nonstop flow on “Love It.”
Musical Motivation: When Far EXP rapper Renell McEwan secured the Brown beat, he knew they had to discuss meaningful topics—the beat, and its reflective soul sample, made for a meditative vibe. “We knew we had to make something that’s classic,” he says. “I’m a fan of these MCs; you should be, too, and that’s what makes me rap with these guys.”
Starting Over: The song was recorded two years ago, but the album was just released last week. Numerous setbacks threatened to derail the project: Soon after the Far EXP finished recording The Expansion in September 2013, rapper Stephen Redhead left the group. Then, the collective’s label—-Blackboxx Online LLC—-collapsed, which left McEwan searching for another place to distribute the LP, the crew’s third release. Eventually, he landed on D.C.-based Delegation Music. “The goal is to drop good music and to get more eyes on the group,” McEwan says. Now that the album is finally out, it “allows us to go forward together and as solo artists.”
Stream “For You/Love It” after the jump.