The first artist I’ll be highlighting is Lé Real 現実. This young south born rapper hails from North Carolina and started rapping when he moved to Bedford, Massachusetts. Although, if you ask anyone that lives there, they’ll refer to it as Boston (it’s a regional thing). I personally discovered him when his song Kame House (prod. by Macross 82-99) started playing through the soundcloud app randomly.
Much like the song, he creates clever rhymes and possesses a laserbeam focus upon his subject matters. Looking through his various songs and collaborations, it would be easy to label Real as an “anime rapper”. This assumption would belittle his artistic portfolio rather severely. If you’ve listened to anime rap to some capacity, you’ll notice he doesn’t quite fit that mold and for good reason. The sum of his parts are unorthodox, part philosopher and a wordsmith to name a few.
He’ll often take you on a journey of a day in his life, reflect on relationships, or share thoughts on popular music. Make no mistake, he can also provide songs that would be considered party starters and club bangers. Like any legitimate rapper he’ll boast about his abilities against all would be challengers. Now, it would be more accurate to quote him and say that — he’s surfing on a vaporwave.
If I were to associate a musical genre with Real it would be vaporwave. If you aren’t familiar that genre, it gained popularity around 2010. It mainly seeks its inspiration from the 1980s and 1990s. Its music similar to what you’d normally hear playing during an episode of the original Miami Vice. Regardless of the genre, Real is able to combine his modern outlook on life in his lyrics deftly and smoothly.
As of now, Virtual Museum is his only album, and yes we say that somewhat solemnly(we await more). The album is a 19 track of what could be argued to be his best over the years. Virutal Museum covers the genres of vaporwave, future funk, experimental, hip hop, thoughtful conscious rap and etc. Side note: he has many songs he’s worked on featured on other albums.
From his intro with the track Water he welcomes listeners to the album. The beat and his lyrics are catchy and attention worthy. After the playful intro we then transition to 1080p. In my opinion, 1080p (prod. Contact Lens) maybe the best song among the album. The song is a serious reflection as he raps about his past, present, and future. The 1980s fusion jazz inspired track goes hand in hand with his musing with life and music.
Now, when Beach クルーザー(prod. Infinite Quazar) starts playing Real manages to showoff more of complexities. Here, he uses what seems like a party beat to surf through a wave of pressing thoughts on his mind.
Yo, your origin is mad irrelevant cause all that really matters is in the end is where you’re going.
It’s often a topic of discussion, but I’m certainly in the camp that one’s origins shouldn’t hold back their journey.
One common complaint is that modern(what’s mainly on radio) hip hop isn’t conscious or thought provoking enough. Real offers another good counter argument via Deep Sea (prod.by Blank Banshee). If you’re a fan of videogames, the sampled song may sound familiar. During the song, Real juxtaposes his place in life is the same as being in the bottom of the sea. But he favors it as he has access to Atlantis and that isn’t readily discovered by everyone.
Now Deep Sea maybe tied with 1080p but another contender to his album’s best is Rick Hunter. In the song, Real describes himself as the young ace pilot from Robotech dealing with a variety of dangers. He then proceeds to quote further threats from various anime and skillfully dubs himself as their heroes as he saves the day.
We could go on but yes the album is an assortment of assertive meaningful messages. Better yet his accompanies many of his songs with raps you have to think twice about. We strongly recommend listening to Long Drive (ft. faxzfade and prod. by HOME) from the album as well.
When he’s not in the lab creating more music, he’s rather active via his twitter account. Here you can converse with him about anime (as I have), music, and etc. Also, considering his thoughtful music, it should be no surprise that occasional he’ll share thoughts on the world.
He’s also critical (rightfully) of mainstream music and what is considered talented.
Before I forget, here are some must listen tracks featuring Le Real:
As of writing we await his next song, collaboration, album, and etc. We’re not sure what the future holds for Lé Real 現実 but we hope his music career has longevity. More importantly, we hope he’s become a new favorite of yours as well.