Released on March 31, 2018, “SHOES” is the first EP released by indie rapper and founder of the ODD FOLKS collective LATE LEE. The five-track EP features four guest artists and four producers. Each track has its own flair that makes it unique from the others.
The EP’s first track creates an ambiance reminiscent of ’90s hip hop with a dash of R&B. One interesting production moment is the seamless transition from synth keys to live piano instrumentation near the end of the track. The transition is so effortless that you may miss it if you are not paying attention.
Produced Johnathan Slim, the track has a bass line that creates an R&B feel. The strength of LATE’s lyricism is seen here. There is a cadence change in the melody of the first verse, where the bass plays the rhythm of the hook while he keeps with the rhythm of the verse before using his own delivery to signal the actual hook. On the first listen, it is quite jarring. Upon further listens, the exact change and how that fits overall with the song becomes more apparent.
Track three features AP. The producer of the track, Yuki, creates a vibe that LATE rides, showing his versatility in delivery. In the second verse, the cadences speed up while the melody does not, demonstrating his ability to play with the tempo of his delivery without being too distracting.
Featuring FLANNEL ALBERT and produced by MKSB, “Star” is the fourth track. In the beginning, the cadences of the vocals and the rhythm created by the track seem off. However, from the first bridge to the end of the track, they snap in line with each other, creating a cohesive flow that is pleasing to the ear. FLANNEL ALBERT’s vocals create an interesting and unique layer of texture here, as his tone and delivery are a nearly perfect mixture of John Legend and Lyfe Jennings.
Who Dat Boy
Featuring Hoonzie the Cla$$ic, “Who Dat Boy” is the last track on the EP. Produced by Ocean Beats, this is arguably the best track on the EP as a whole. The use of filters adds a spice that does not appear in any other track. LATE follows the beat with precision here. But the goldmine is found at the 1:12 mark. Here, LATE rapid fires his verse along with harmonizing the vocal delivery. The inflections in the higher octave of his delivery enable an excellent interaction with the synth. This created the illusion that the synth contains more notes than it actually does. This causes the same effect that a constant high-octave synth would without the harmonization of the vocal but with a fuller sound.
The “SHOES EP” is a solid first project. It is quite possible that LATE will be the next indie rapper to watch out for as he develops and fine tunes his craft. We should all be looking forward to his next release.
Check out the “SHOES EP” on the ODD FOLKS’s Soundcloud. The EP is also available on Apple Music and Spotify. You can also listen to his interview with Ashley Griffin on Anchor show Got News & Interviews.