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Complicate Your Life With Violence

by L'Orange & Jeremiah Jae

Keep dreaming bout peace Sunny skies On repeat Landmines on the beach Serenade under moonlight heat
Say It All 02:12
Dead Battery 03:02
Daffi on ya radio dial Stay tuned to the base, yo you know we keep it raw The powers got your back to the wall But tonight we gonna party like it’s 1984 The empire strikes back Heavy like an Aztec Steady like the Ottoman Ready with the hazmat Black on the Star Line Take you to the far side The new world awaits to take and fire on Welcome to Babylon Where the streets ain’t calm Since B.C we been reigning on Feel it thunder storm From Zeus when he clashed with the Titans Leviathan biting, tidal waves from Poseidon Across the landscape That cause the earthquakes The cost to cross gates A price that’s man made She’ll bargain for a trade Or slaughter for the gang Bring honor to her name Or march into the flames Would you fight for me? Would you die for me? Would you live for me? Then come away with me Daffi on ya radio dial Stay tuned to the base, yo you know we keep it raw The powers got your back to the wall But tonight we gonna party like it’s 1984 Yea we here to take it back from the wack on the wax From the front to back, Genocide on track From the crack of the whip, to them bricks that you sold Take it back, tell em we ain’t gonna take it more The sound plays, in the street while they downplay The message and the art reign harder than an autumn day Birds flying over head Leaves falling in the ground Nature on a course And man built the fort Working on the clock While his big brother watch For the stock If it drop, then you back to the block Get shocked or keep it tame Obey, fall into place Bring honor to her name Or march into the flames Would you fight for me? Would you die for me? Would you live for me? Then come away with me
Summer Camp 03:30
The lab on the land Hidden deep beneath the soil A clever frog, gnats by the pond Not a false alarm Really going off
Ghost Town 02:56
The Light 02:49


Complicate Your Life with Violence answers eternal questions with an assassin’s bluntness: when do you fight and when do you flee, what does sanity look like in a sick world, how does one retain valor among the corrupt, and why does the union of one producer and one MC always yield the best music?

The complex anti-heroes at the center of this blood hailstorm are Jeremiah Jae and L’Orange -- the Chicago fracture rap demigod and the sampledelic North Carolina cubist. Sequels are usually fated to be repetitive: a ceaseless treadmill of repeated jokes and concepts. So for their sophomore effort on Mello Music Group, Jae and L’Orange went full True Detective, transporting their existential outlaws into an entirely novel universe.

Their debut, The Night Took Us In Like Family was a seedy shadowland that subverted the tropes of film noir. It was hailed by Pitchfork as a “seamless pairing,” while Okayplayer raved about its ability to conjure dark and treacherous vibes. But this is Marlowe meets Mad Max, where Jae’s furtive hero staggers through a futuristic dystopia that feels vaguely familiar. A landscape whose kill-or-be-killed binary is best summed up by the koan: “Nobody feels like a hero with a machine gun popping off at him.”

Over the course of this decade, L’Orange has become a master of weaving chimerical narratives through chopped up fragments of vintage films. If he originally slanted towards player piano jazz and old detective B-movies, he’s become adept at summoning any mood: afro-futurist space orbits and carnival whimsy, rain-slicked melancholy and straight up guard-your-grill boom-bap. With his latest slab, he incorporates nearly all of his sides -- creating something that feels somewhere between a Spaghetti Western on 25th Century Mars, Bogart starring in Blade Runner and a rap soundtrack to a Steve McQueen jailbreak film.

Since his early days on Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder imprint, Jae has staked his sterling reputation on abstract poetics and caustic bars, wreathed in fog, static and high voltage. Yet this might be his finest performance. He inhabits the role of a man trying to escape a life of crime who gets caught and conscripted into an army. The historical setting of the record -- told through interspersed cinematic vignettes -- is used as a backdrop to examine the character’s perspective and the “war” that’s happening in his own mind.

The records were approached like an actor working on a film: with the artists researching, finding inspiration in books, film, and music. L’Orange even buzzed his hair and simulated a soldier’s workout routine to get into a zone during the writing and recording process. The result is suitably transformative.

On “Behavior Report,” Jae tells his loved ones that he’ll be back before the break of dawn while L’Orange creates a whirlwind of eerie instrumentation that leaves listeners feeling like the War of the Worlds is about to break out. “Say It” is a warped trick mirror nightmare, a call and response to the griots and ghosts of antiquity. “Dead Battery” combines filthy murder mystery basslines and concussive drums to Jae unfolding the stories of titans clashing. While “My Everything Is Bulletproof” finds the rapper interpolating old Puff Daddy verses to invoke dystopian scenarios of martial enemies lying in wake, the feeling of constant encroaching fear, and allusions to Behold A Pale White Horse. While L’Orange filters Sergio Leone through Madlib. The pair are backed by brilliant turns from the most enigmatic geniuses of the modern underground: Chester Watson, billy woods, Zeroh and Lojii.

The end result is something that fits few analogies: a record that exists in the warped dust of history but feels innately relevant to the schizophrenia of modern existence. It’s Jeremiah Jae and L’Orange on a great escape, finding no concrete answers but asking all the right questions -- a masterpiece that can be interpreted in a dozen different ways, glimpsed through a gun smoke haze, hard boiled but blood simple.


released October 4, 2019

All Songs Produced by L'Orange
All Songs Written by Jeremiah Jae

Mixed by Drew Vandenberg
Mastered by Joe Hutchinson

Illustration by David Lapham
Graphic Design by Ruff Mercy & Austin Hart
Album Cover Font by Jeremiah Jae

Executive Produced by Michael Tolle & Austin Hart

Sounds Beautiful Like the Truth
Mello Music Group, 2019


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