“Do you chase this dreams or do you chase your loved ones?” The opening spoken words of rap deity Latrell James‘ new single hit hard. It’s no secret that the music industry has one of the toughest shells to crack through, but when you’re in a city full of talent and you’ve grown up watching it rise, you can’t help but wonder how you fit into it all. “On Your Own” is James coming to terms with adulthood and the never-ending battle to balance your dreams and a social life.
A remarkably smooth beat opens up the track, encouraging soft cymbals to tap throughout while Latrell James whisks the words off with a dream-like delivery. When your priorities switch from buying new sneakers to buying a house, it’s clear you’re growing up. His flow on isolation matches with the music video’s aesthetics perfectly. Dark rooms and shadowed urban caves house his colorful words with equally vibrant graffiti. It’s a video of city-life spelunking amidst inner personality caves, all sandwiched between identity issues (“James synonymous with real”) and back-to-back pop culture nods (“You put your hand out for one; it becomes Chubz and that gator/ You lose your hand at that moment that’s Luke Skywalker and saber”).
Give it a spin before the whole release, Twelve, drops May 12.