Little Rock, Arkansas native Kari Faux recently dropped her debut album Lost En Los Angeles. It’s a short album, with eleven songs, and only about 30 minutes from start to finish – so it’s just enough of what you need to digest, and it’s not overwhelming, especially for a new artist. She’s been in the “internet rap game” for a few years now, and some of you may know who Kari Faux is if you’re familiar with Childish Gambino’s STN MTN mixtape – where he remixed Faux’s song “No Small Talk,” originally a track from Faux’s mixtape Laugh Now, Die Later.
“I’m not supposed to be here, but I am…” Lost En Los Angeles opens with a spoken word like intro, with the short mantra “focus and breathe” repeated in the background. The entire intro sounds like a stream of consciousness as Faux just flows from one thing to the next, for example, being misunderstood, drinking more water, calling granny, and making music.
Furthermore, the title track expands on this idea that Faux is “lost” with lines like “all the way across the country/trying to make something out of myself” and “now I’m trying to find myself all by myself.” And even though Faux talks about the uneasiness she felt, “you can [still] play this at the function” because the song is “bumpin’.” Production wise, the title track has that west-coast vibe to it, fitting in with the Los Angeles aspect of the album.
On one of the album’s funnest tracks, “Nada,” you can hear lines like, “he said ‘oh let’s do it’ like it’s Waka Flocka Flame,” “and you are not a synonym ‘cause we are not the same,” and of course, the catchy hook, “I’m poppin’ what you stoppin’, nada hoe ass thing.” Kari Faux’s wordplay is simple, but it’s clever, witty, and somewhat comical. Some may find this aspect of Faux’s music elementary, or even say that her lines are weak. Either way, they’re really quotable.
While most of the tracks have something distinct about them, there is one song I that made me think, “you know, I get it, and I’m sure plenty of other people will too.” That’s the interlude “Don’t.” It’s kind of a silly track, but you wouldn’t think so because of the way it starts. Faux starts of by talking about how relationships can be fun at the beginning, and how things can quickly go left. No worries though, because Faux has some advice for you–all spoken and sung over a dreamy instrumental. It’s a simple song with a simple message, but it works.
There are always complaints about the lack of female voices in rap, and arguments for and against that can be made. What I will say is that it is refreshing to hear a new voice in rap, who not only represents this current generation of young adults, or “millennials”, but also happens to be a woman. Songs like “This Right Here (Hold My Phone)” are instantly relatable, because as a woman, how many times have you been in the club or at a party, and stopped everything for no other reason than your jam coming on? Exactly.
Lost En Los Angeles is current, and it’s relatable. Along with that, Faux also seems to really make music based on her own experiences. What’s great about this album is that even though it’s based around this theme of uncertainty and feeling lost in a new place, it is still pretty fun and upbeat. And even though she didn’t feel like she belonged in Los Angeles, she channeled those feelings into her music and made a decent album. If you tie all of this back in with the sentence that opens the album, it’s all about making the most out of a situation you don’t think is going to work. Okay, so you’re “not supposed to be here,” what are you going to do to make things better?
Connect with Marissa via Twitter at @marissamakesart. No small talk.