June 13, 2024

The Westside Chicago native At-N Ausara-Lasaru aka Lylantz, started his artistry in the metropolitan area via open mic scenes and numerous studios. Lylantz is one of a kind. This may sound like a cliché characterization that could be used to describe almost any musician, but in the case of Lylantz, it’s true. He ranks among the most eclectic rappers in the game, with most of his eclecticism coming from being an underground presence as opposed to being a major label slave to the corporate rhythm. “Nature V. Nurture (Deluxe Edition)” is a big album – ambitious in scope and extensive in regards to talent. Lylantz offers an alternative rap album that is strong from start to finish. Given his stylistic restlessness, he incorporates a little bit of everything on here, and by everything that includes blowing your mind.

With his dramatic vocals, ragdoll hair, machine gun flow and searing emotion, Lylantz is like the rock n’ roll star of underground hip-hop. His lyrics are hard-nosed, the production heart-pounding and experience so authentic it’s surreal. This makes for an impressive run of bated breaths and multi-syllabic rhymes.

His punchlines are like pyrotechnics, the verses dark and disturbing. Throughout the 13 songs on the album, he never runs out of ways to express his feelings in rhymes. The undertones of angst in all of his music is a powerful motif for momentum, keeping the energy levels on each track running way above the red line.

Right from the opening track “In The Wilderness (Darling’s Prelude)”, Lylantz forges his dark and schizophrenic themes while bringing his fast spitting and twisted flow. By the time you hit play on the second track, “Echoes”, you already realize that Lylantz’s unique technique of rapidly spraying and bellowing lyrics makes him firmly standout from his peers and contemporaries.

In opposition to mumble rappers, Lylantz sounds like an opera singer, stretching his vocal cords to insane limits. In a normal situation this album would revolutionize the world of hip-hop. Unfortunately the genre is Trapped right now.

But that doesn’t discourage an ambitiously creative artist like Lylantz, who continues to stupefy, and leave in awe, all those who lay their ears on “Nature” and “Oops!”. Here the Chicago rapper blends melody and bombast in theatrical appearances that embrace the borders of brilliance.

The latter track being a masterclass in rapid-fire flowing. It’s also interesting to note that 5 of the tracks are produced by Lylantz himself. They include “Echoes” (feat. Covert), “Oops!”, “Serio(sly)?”, “Guillotine” (feat. Addison Flux) and “Für Clementine (Love)”. To state that Lylantz is talented, may just be an understatement of sorts.

I won’t be as presumptuous or condescending to claim that Lylantz is the most complex and extraordinary minds in all of underground rap music. But he is certainly one of the most creatively fearless and technically skilled urban artists I have heard in the last few years. In fact, simply labelling “Nature V. Nurture (Deluxe Edition)” rap music, sounds like a heresy to me.

How the fuck do classify three and a half minutes of pure adrenalin-pumping genius like “Guillotine” (feat. Addison Flux)? The same theory applies to “Für Clementine (Love)”. Produced by Lylantz, both these songs sound like totally fleshed out, mini rock-operas. The instrumentals, arrangements and vocal performances are on an inventive and innovative level that can only be described as visionary – for any genre!

Almost frighteningly, the album continues to impress with “Nurture” and “Afterlife” (ft. Citizen Myx, Evan Snyders, TK., & Addison Flux), but rather than repeating any one formula, Lylantz continues to take risks with a staggering range of styles. Totally in awe of the technicalities and stunning vocal performances, I was unable to focus on the lyrics themselves, and I doubt I will be able to so for the next few listening sessions at least.

A dynamic vocal presence such as Lylantz’s is really hard to circumnavigate, and a complete art unto itself. If you like “Nature V. Nurture (Deluxe Edition)”, it’s because you love alternative rap, and creative artists that challenge, and take you out of your comfort zone. If you don’t like it, you may consider yourself outnumbered pretty soon!


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