The mercurial emcee returns to spit us some Cali-inspired Harlem creations. Some people are simply talented in finding new, unorthodox ways to make songs that you can’t help but keep on repeat.
Ever since he burst onto the scene with his debut mixtape, “The Elm City Assassin,” L2B has quickly made a name for himself with his unique sound and tendency for catchy choruses and punchlines. Having most recently released his project “The Artist LP” to critical acclaim, L2B makes a triumphant return with his latest single, “Toluca Lake,” from his upcoming project “The Gallery.”
One thing that quickly sets the “Elm City Assassin” apart from his peers is artistic honesty. From his early days in Connecticut to his time in Hollywood and Harlem, L2B’s music has always been deeply rooted in his life experiences.
With his knack for easy storytelling and stellar production, he connects with listeners in a way that most artists cannot. With “The Gallery,” L2B promises to deliver his most ambitious project yet. The album is written while living in Hollywood and reflects his experiences in the city of dreams. Still, it is being recorded and created in Harlem, infusing the project with the energy and spirit of the legendary New York borough.
“Toluca Lake,” off his upcoming “The Gallery” album, is the latest product of L2B’s artistic efforts. Over instrumentals that expertly fuse elements of funk, soul, and hip-hop, L2B’s vocals perfectly meld in.
Dropping bars like the chorus “feeling good, feeling great, feel like it’s something to do with Toluca Lake” and “Do yourself a favor, don’t fall / The key to it all lies behind closed doors,” L2B creates a feeling of ease, even as lyrics like “everybody wants more from it all / In the same place, addicted to the chase” and “Feel like my life is at stake” allude to the danger that lurks. L2B expertly strikes a balance between the pleasure and dangers of life, doing so with keen narration, which can only be chalked up to good storytelling.
With "The Gallery," L2B promises to deliver his most ambitious project yet. For now, though, tap in and stream a preview of what's to come with his new release, “Toluca Lake,” available now on all major streaming platforms.
Welcome to BuzzMusic, L2B. We loved “Toluca Lake”; the balance you struck between your lyricism and storytelling was so good. We must ask, when did you get the inspiration for this song? How did that happen?
Thank you so much for enjoying the story. For two years, I worked in a small town in Burbank, California, called “Toluca Lake.” Many famous people choose to live there for how peaceful, exclusive, and private it is. It is also conveniently close to both Warner Bros. Studios and Universal Studios. I was fortunate to meet a few celebrities and feel like a small part of the local community. Walking through the luxury neighborhoods to get to the metro station after work and passing by the Bob Hope Estate, I would always visualize myself in a home like that one day. It’s that contrast of people who have attained their dream versus those who are still trying, still struggling, even when it is right in front of them, that intrigued me. I wanted to capture how that town made me feel. On the surface level, it’s all smiles, feeling great. Inside, I’m desperate to climb that wall over there at Warner Bros. or Universal and find that success.
So your new album 'The Gallery' is out soon. What was your favorite part about bringing your vision for 'The Gallery' to life?
Honestly, I may split 'The Gallery' into two parts simply because I have so many unreleased songs and new ones. It has been a long process of writing and crafting everything. I’d say 60% of this project was written years ago in Hollywood. My favorite part of this process would probably be learning not to be so hard on myself. I’ve always put so much pressure on the writing and wordplay, matching syllables, etc. I’m learning to let go, have fun, and let things flow naturally. I’m finding that my favorite timeless music is more about the feeling and less about technical perfection.
Why do you make music?
I make music because I genuinely love this. I love writing. I love putting lyrics to music. I even somewhat enjoy engineering and mixing the song because I have been doing it all on my own for so long. But writing, it has been a constant in my life since I wrote my first song at twelve. Almost twenty years later, it’s now a natural part of expressing myself. I don’t see myself stopping. It’s also ironic having a playwright for a father, however, because as a kid, I never thought I’d be a writer or storyteller like he is, but I guess it’s in the blood.
Are there any particular songs from “The Gallery” you’re particularly excited for listeners to hear?
I have more than a couple of things up my sleeve that I’m excited about. As I answer this, I realize there may be an overall theme of dealing with relationships, whether with love, loss, or friendship. As well as my relationship with myself, I have grown so much throughout this. I’ve gotten married and become a father since my last album, and my perspective has shifted. I have a song dedicated to my son that gets me emotional every time. But I also have a bunch of club songs that I had a lot of fun making. I’m just excited to share my work and art with the world. Once it’s out there, people can interpret it in their own way, good or bad. As long as it gets some reaction, my job is done.
What’s next for L2B? Do you have any big plans for the rest of 2023, and can we expect to hear new music soon?
There’s always something next for me. I am constantly writing and coming up with new ideas, so I have no doubt more music will be released soon. I even have a few songs lined up already. I may focus more on visuals, but I also like allowing the listener to imagine their own ideas from a song. Plus, a little mystery never hurts. It’s only up from here, so we’ll see what happens.