Within passion comes a hunger for learning and the knowledge that one's desires often lead them to. This rings true for the emerging Lyndon Laveaux, who has always been a music student.
As an infant, his mother often indulged him in musical records from many decades, with the 80s being the most prominent. From Queen Latifa to Nine Inch Nails, the main emphasis would always be on the lyrics, as Lyndon Laveaux's mother would say words have.
Throughout Lyndon Laveaux's career, he has met many influential people that have helped guide him to where he is today. Using those relationships as the fuel to continue lighting his fire, there are no signs of stopping for the up-and-comer.
As we tap into Lyndon Laveaux's latest body of work, 'Round 2,' we're exposed to 17 tracks that have a colossal impact in their respective manner. All lyric oriented, he applies the power of his words to submerge listeners in relatable lyrics, both English and Spanish, that are refreshing to grasp.
Kicking off the album with perseverance, "Downfall" ignites slick rhyme schemes that are drenched in a message of carrying on no matter who is praying on Lyndon Laveaux's downfall. Taking that bet on himself, he pairs his witty wordplay with his unapologetic persona radiating in each word performed.
Whether it be his passion-fueled rhymes performed with conviction or taking a more melodic approach by swooning listeners in truthful croons, he drives it home every time. "Blood In Water" is an example of where he takes an ominous twist that is intriguing to the core and presents a more laidback tone in his delivery - further entrancing you in the gritty textures that come from being a shark in the water of life.
Songs such as "Plays Tricks" and "Come Home" are drenched in melancholy tones that tug on your heartstrings as you dissect the lyrical motifs Lyndon Laveaux bastes in truth. Exposing this side of himself to us, there's more than meets the eye with how he showcases his artistry. You hear the authenticity in his vocal performance with each song being unraveled, and it feels as if we get to pick up on a distinctive piece of himself through every song.
We admire the versatility that's displayed and find that as soon as Lyndon Laveux recruits some heavy hitters on notable collaborations like "Shangri'La (feat. Rocki So Crazi)," "Survive (feat. Young Tez)," "Bounce Up (feat. Rocki So Crazi)," "Swaggfia (feat. Rocki So Crazi and Young Tez)," "No Quiero Mota (feat. Kili631)," and "Loco (feat. Rayner G)," there's more flavor introduced. All bringing forth a different flavor that compliments Lyndon Laveux's already adaptable tuneful tailoring, there's a feast of layers riddled within each of these tracks that promote vibrant energy.
As we progress through the record, a few standout tracks make it impossible to sit still. "On Go," "To the Moon," and "Island Gyrl" will have you navigating through the vigor that Lyndon Laveaux effortlessly displays. Pulling through with a potent recipe for catchy grooves, the production in each record heard is fresh and lively. Swaying from subgenres of hip-pop to UK drill styling and the slow to upbeat tempos that range in ambiance, there's a compelling nature released in every note heard. Lyndon Laveaux uses these inimitable canvases to his advantage repeatedly, fully engaging us in the brilliant dynamism and imagery he puts forth.
On the same note, there's a track like "Deep," which has us sinking into our seats as our thoughts fall in rhythm with the music. Divulging lyrics that are raveled in elements of love, lust, and romance, we get to take in the lulling verses that Lyndon Laveaux passionately reiterates. Then, treating us to his soft-spoken yet prevailing lyricism, he uses the chorus to indulge us in his dreamy timbres, further pulling us into the storyline of this record.
We see another parade of this in the following song, "Down," where the intensity of the instrumentation picks up in effervescence, and the well-formed harmonies Lyndon Laveaux performs take the spotlight. This is one of those amusing songs that sweeps you into its compelling embrace the moment it comes on and leaves a vibrant, lasting effect on you.
Bringing the album to its final sonic showcase, "Que Calor" leaves us in a forcefield decadent, upbeat ambiance. Lyndon Laveaux approaches this song in such an intriguing way as he weaves between Spanish and English lyrics that effortlessly blend. Keeping the energy at an all-time high, we find that the liveliness he leaves us with is a direct reflection of his ongoing mission to keep the sensations elevated and put out good music to the world.
'Round 2' is one of those albums where you get to take in the entirety of an artist - so we suggest you bask in all 17 tracks as you hear the latest and greatest from Lyndon Laveaux.
Welcome to BuzzMusic, Lyndon Laveaux! We’re thrilled to have you here discussing your latest album, “Round 2.” Each track delivers a unique, refreshing sound, and we’ve found some new favorites on it. Could you please shine a light on the album's concept?
This album was about vulnerability, I've reached a point in my life, and in my artistic life, I want to do my best to be my most authentic self. If I miss you, I'll call; the game of "I'll call when they call" is no longer interesting to me; in that same spirit, that's how I approach the craft and this album. I began writing parts of this album during the early phases of the pandemic; my first and current album came from a sense of survival. I needed an outlet during that time, and simultaneously the pandemic did for me what it did for a multitude of people. It gave me time to sit with my wounds and explore them at length; I grew tired of my intimate relationships being trauma bonds, and the way to free myself from consistently living through my trauma was to finally name my demons on a human level. I've done this through therapeutic techniques/sessions, and artistically I did with this album. My first album, Earn The Title, was me realized I had enough material for a project. I was recording to survive, woke up one day had enough to piece together a cohesive project. I was reluctant to put it out because, at the time, I was beginning to record Round 2. I knew I leveled up on this second album, so I was insecure about putting out an album with dated material. Still, JB, my lead engineer and part of the super-producing group The Track Burnaz (DJ Khaled, Future, Big Sean), convinced me to put the first album out and let the audience go on the journey with me. The first album was received well, but what was right about this second project was that I was curating it from the ground up. I knew the story I wanted to tell with Round 2; I wanted to release my demons and give spaces to others, especially Black Men, to see their vulnerabilities as their superpower and not a hindrance when we're able to choose a path of healing. There's victory in that. I no longer wanted trauma to dictate my actions; this album was a way to heal and upgrade artistically.
We love how you approach the diversity of beats and stylings throughout “Round 2.” Do you often dip between various subgenres of hip-hop? Have you found a favorite sound to create?
I enjoy playing with different sounds; my mother has an eclectic ear; I grew up listening to George Michael Kompa (Meringue Haitian dance music), Michael Jackson, to Rakim; my Mom loves music; I developed the same ear, but I have not only enjoy Hip Hop, but I throughly enjoy Nu Metal, Reggaeton, Pop, etc., so I don't have a favorite sound per se because I feel one Hip Hop is all-encompassing, Jay Z playing with Linkin Park, Eminem with Aerosmith, I grew up understanding that an MC can jump on anything that connects to his spirit and deliver. You will never be able to box me in as an artist. I wear it with a badge of honor when I hear the compliment, "no one sounds like you," and that makes me proud because growing up, I saw MCs embrace the need to stand out, I'm a product of that school, and I'm going to continue implementing the lessons that my OGs put me on to.
All of the features seemed to fit so well in this project! How did these collaborations come to be, and are there any memorable moments from the creative process with them that you care to share?
I kind of just let go and let God with those situations, meaning I go off of feeling, and if someone recommends someone to jump on a record, I'm open to it. Shangri'La was one of my favorite records, not only for myself but my little sister Rocki So Crazi ATE that verse, but the way her feature came about was after I was done with my two verses which JB was impressed with, I knew that the song was missing something and that was my sister, JB was like "she better delivered cause you went hard" I said "she will" and she over delivered, that was the same sentiment when I had her jump on Bounce Up, and Swaggfia, when Rocki's on record she amplifies what I'm already bringing to the table. Young Tez is one of my favorite artist to collab with, we did a collab album before Round 2's release entitled Heroes & Villains, and one thing about Tez and I is that we bring the best out of each other; anytime I have an opportunity to record with Tez, I make an effort to make it happen, and this album was no different, he also encourages me when I'm feeling low, when we recorded Survive at the time I was homeless and just got out of a toxic situation, I remember recording my verse and feeling lackluster when it came to confidence. Still, he and my second engineer Nathan Bankston reassured me of how ill the verse was. Still, at the time, I was severely insecure about my work because someone who was once close to me attacked all my vulnerabilities, but I'm fortunate that I had a great team to take me out of my rut. Kili631 happened because Cuzz Zaid (who produced a lot of these beats) told me Kili dug my music, so when I made a record celebrating the relationship that I've had with Colombia in variant ways, it was super tight to have an artist who is leading the drill movement in South America be a part of it, I have mutual respect for him, so when the right beat/hook came along I had to have him on it. The collab with Rayner G was a long time coming; I've admired Rayner since we were kids in high school. He is an immensely talented artist whom I used to bug all the time for advice, so flash forward years later when JB was venting to me about the malarky that happens in the industry, he led with the "the industry will make you forget about what you've done, we (The Track Burnaz) can make anything, and he proceeds to play me the Loco beat, and I was floored, and I immediately knew who would instinctively give this record what it needed, and Rayner exceeded expectations. My collabs come from what feels right, artistically like; regularly, I go with intuition and see where the cards land.
Do you have a favorite song within the 17 tracks? Why?
No, not really, because I feel like every song connects to tell the story I wanted to express. To me it was almost like going through what my dark days can feel like, the beginning of the album starts with a flew, then we get honest with a song like Plays Tricks where I talk about depression, or in Blood In Water talking about being assaulted which I didn't know was assault until years later but then we go from that to aggressively putting my walls up but then lead to Come Home where I talk about the losses in my life, but then the rest of the album is about perseverance and the love/light, my album was me expressing how I feel the daily journey can be, there are times it's dark, and then you shake yourself out, but there you are again triggered by a death in your life etc, but then you remember what a gift it is to be alive, that's what I hold onto, no matter what honor what you're feeling in the moment but remember hope, there are moments where hope isn't feasible and that's definitely within reason depending on where you're at mentally, but my hope is that when you have the bandwidth you can remember the light.
What can we expect to see and hear from you next?
Well, in '23, more music is to be released, and singles, visuals, and live performances are on the way. I will continue collabin with my Swaggfia collective; we got so much more to come in the new year!!