Consider it the alchemy of Madvillain and “The Maltese Falcon”: a five-part fable of tangled crimes, narrow escapes, and raining lead. The door busts open with â€œA Conspicuous Man.â€ Lâ€™Orangeâ€™s carefully severed cinematic clips hold the frame steady. The Windy City-raised Jae muscles the narrative forwardâ€”the hitman creeping.
Beats bend sinister with imagery aiming for the temples. Jae invokes dark clouds, crowns of thorns and LSD eyes. Bars written in dirt. Samples are disembodied and ethereal. Itâ€™s like a grand jury indictment doubling as a Greek chorus. A song title like â€œIce Obsidianâ€ says it all. This is frozen lava, black and white celluloid, the spoils won by sinners. Watch your back rap.
Or maybe itâ€™s the hip-hop version of the gangster flicks made before the Hays Codeâ€”raw and uncensored, deeply artful without pretension. Pitchfork once described Jae as: â€œa lot of people talk loud and say nothing; Jeremiah Jae finds strength in the inverse.” On “The Night Took Us In Like Family,” he inhabits both eulogizer and executioner. He triumphantly looms over the corpses and explains how this all came to be. Lâ€™Orange supplies concrete requiems of dusted soul: beats to crack safes, soundtracks to stealth assassinations.