Top 5’s | Louis VI

Within Hip Hop culture, determining one’s Top 5 is a debate that will seemingly continue forever. So, with that being said, I’ve asked artists to share and justify their Top 5 selections…


Louis VI – Top 5 Albums*

Isaiah RashadCilvia Demo

“When this came out I was going through a very dark time in my life. I was lost and I was set and ready on giving up music completely, but Rashad came on such a blunt and personal level, it told me everything I was feeling was OK, because he was talking about feeling it too, even on the level of a successful rapper, it was a lot to know it was happening to other people. The Chattanooga sound was something I’d never heard before. I’m a big fan of music from the south, but this was more sophisticated and jazzy, the production was soulful Hip Hop from the south. It gave me a determined rage to be better, I don’t think I’ve ever written so much as at that time, and I don’t think I’ve listened to anything more in the last two years. Lonely Road of The Dreamer was born out of that.”

Anderson PaakMalibu

“I mean, it felt like I’d dived through some glacier water with a coconut in hand it was so refreshing. It was so good to hear the lines blurred on Blues, Soul, Funk and Hip Hop so well. Again, it was like a perfect mark to my life, the transition I’d gone through from the dark days to light, and this was on the light side. Seeing someone that had so obviously just made it out of the struggles of trying to be a successful musician, I mean, every word he talks, you can hear how close he was to giving up. He’s a genius lyricist and songwriter –  I don’t think there’s a track I don’t vibe to. I can tell we’ve got very similar musical influences.” 

Kendrick LamarTo Pimp A Butterfly

“At first, I didn’t get it. I was such a deep fan of good kid, MAAD city (recently seeing Kahlil Josephs visual exploration of the album at the infinite mix exhibition at The Strand brought it all back), that this almost felt shallow for me. But, on about the 3rd time I listened, I made myself go to the end and then Pac’s voice came in. I physically shivered as the realisation of the concept dropped on me, it was like inception, I dropped deeper through the layers of meaning and it was like hearing the album new. The way Kendrick used his voice more like an instrument than I’ve ever heard a rapper do, the bluntness of his reporting on the fucked up things going on around us – it was so personal and worldly at the same time it kinda hurt, in a good way. Also, as a producer, musically, I appreciated this so much. Employing the skills of people like Flying Lotus and Thundercat, almost making something that’s closer to Blues and Soul, Gil Scott-Heron-esque, than the Hip Hop of now. It was an amazing statement of a rapper saying, ‘No, I’m a musician’, I think it is and will be the most important album of our generation for generating new and exciting music.”

Frank OceanBlonde

“I was very closely involved in this project and it was still an unbelievable piece of art to listen to when it dropped. I’m still digesting this really and I think we all will be for a long time. It was total artistry, even down to way it was released. I have so much respect for Frank, he played the game like a genius and the whole project is very high level shit. I remember being on shrooms first time I heard it and I felt like I was levitating in the rafters of some golden church.”

Kendrick Lamar –  Untitled Unmastered

“This did for me what To Pimp A Butterfly didn’t. It gassed me up like good kid, MAAD city – It was raw as fuck. And the concepts on some of these tracks – like track 3, where he goes through life advice to him from different racial stereotypes – it’s such a dope way of interpreting and talking about things. He makes me think like no one else. Also, the ‘levitate’ track, so simple – bars wise – but you couldn’t do any better than the phrase, ‘drugs won’t get you high as this, (X) won’t get you high as this’. It’s some higher level of where he is at as an artist that is hard to even imagine, but something I want to reach. He lets you taste what that higher level of achievement and self believe can feel like. We need that as people of colour plus the whole tone of the album is live to me.”

*Louis specified that his selection be solely based on releases of the last 2/3 years.

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