Check the preview video for SEALAB 2012 (officially dropping tomorrow). This album marks La’s third time out with his third different producer. Jester gets behind the boards for a full 12 tracks this time, lacing the MC with sample-heavy joints that are less aggressive than Roll With the Winners but more contemporary than Gravity. The title of the album references the eponymous cartoon series from the early 1970’s and the Adult Swim redux from 2000.
La is still a problem on the mic, his metaphors and boasts sticking to the beats like darts on corkboard, but LAB is definitely the weakest of his three LP’s. It’s become clear that La can outpace the majority of Town rappers and it’s this blogger’s belief that dude can rhyme about anything and make it sound interesting. For the duration of LAB, however, La concerns himself mostly with two things: weed and sex. And, while this may have been the point, it doesn’t mean it’s as engaging as his previous albums.
The other issue is with Jester’s production. What made Winners such a dynamic listen was the jab-hook-uppercut combination of La’s all-out rhyming-like-his-life-depended-on-it steez and Blu-Ray’s throwback sample slap. Jester’s beats often lack the same authority. Not to say there aren’t highlights: “Dutches” and “Magnums” feature heady, hazy synth and both tracks refreshingly stand apart from anything found in La’s back catalog. And “Goods” is the most radio-ready the MC has ever sounded with a track that pops along in the same mode as Biggie’s “Juicy.”
The other notable aspect of LAB is the presence of some fairly heavy-hitting cameos. I won’t ruin the surprise in advance of the album’s release, but I will say “Diamonds” is a triumphant posse cut that features two of La’s prominent brothers in both rhyme and ethnicity. It’s dope to see accomplished MC’s co-sign for La on his own album, but the greater testament is the fact that their presence isn’t (and never was) necessary to affirm his skills. On his way to local rap stardom, La has held his own consistently. With a few adjustments on the next go-round, his star will grow even brighter.