When super collectives like D-12 and the hip-hop cultural dualities like Eminem-Dr Dre slowly fragmented into nothingness, the rap communities across the world were perhaps fully convinced that they were not going to see another tongue-in-cheek hip-hop camaraderie on the screens anymore. How wrong they would have been. Just when the crickets had started to chirp on his discography since his 2019 release CounterTrap the Mixtape, Leland Philpot returns with a flamethrower of a full-length EP that does away with any doubt of insofar as even a hint of musical retirement.
A fifteen-minute superheroic adventure, LIMITBREAK! The EP features Leland Philpot in collaboration with Tyrece Love a.k.a Ty Luv the MC, which not only showcases incredible esprit de corps across the tracks but also old-school hip-hop humour, slapstick and allegiance to the fundamentals of lyrical rapping. The EP is divided into six tracks — WALK DISCREET, JUST DO, FLOOD THE STREETS, LIMITBREAK! Skit,LIMITBREAK! and YUP YUP.
The EP leads off with WALK DISCREET and its ominous synth waves that flow across the track under some unforgiving and firm drum-n-bass. The track sounds like a Freddie Gibbs, Busta Rhymes and A$AP Ferg track all at once, making it a banger suited for the loudest volumes. The track is distributed in the traditional one-verse-per-feature style and both Philpot and Ty Luv deliver incredibly contagious cyphers on the beat that prove that they mean serious business. JUST DO is a funkier track and shares lyrical and rhythmic similarities to earlier Eminem records recorded for Interscope, and makes it a cypher made for inducting listeners into the Philpot-Ty Luv clique as they hit back at their naysayers and establish their predominance over the hip-hop scenes around them.
FLOOD THE STREETS opens up cinematic and quickly gets morphed into the cyphers that highlight the hardships of rising to the top in the hip-hop community, marred and forever haunted by unfortunate childhoods that witnessed maternal commodification and financial instability — times where the artists were strengthened only by their love for the artform. The artists express their introspective dialogues about giving up in times of cruel adversity in near repentance. LIMITBREAK! Skit is the EP’s narrative break — a dramatic forty eight seconds featuring conversations between the two artists as heroes to save the day in superhero comic-style narration. The track is said to ‘activate’ LIMITBREAK that sounds close to a musical superpower.
The EP’s title track is the song to remember not only the EP by, but also a benchmark track for the entire discography of Leland Philpot. LIMITBREAK is in no way less of a clique-track than some of the best tracks to come out of the West Coast-East Coast rivalry and pays homage to the foundations of old-school hip-hop. Listening to the track, the audience is immediately drawn towards the ridiculously attractive hip-hop coterie of the duo. Descriptive, superheroic, humorous and assertive — the track is undoubtedly ending up on the Philpot Top Ten list. YUP YUP is understandably a more downbeat and relaxed track, featuring jazzier instrumentation and leisured lyricism. Although the track would feature better earlier in the EP, it is still a brilliant closer for the EP.
Leland Philpot’s musical hiatus may have allowed some moss to have grown on the ears of his audience, but with recent releases like LIMITBREAK! The EP, how long can it be before we see him headlining?