South London rapper Theodor Black has garnered critical acclaim over the past two years with a string of strung-out, somnambulant releases, blending his laid-back flow with jazzy beats so mellow that they're almost ambient. His debut EP, 2018's Black Boy Blues, laid the groundwork, and the singles he's released then, including collaborations with fellow Londoners Osquello and vzline, have demonstrated progress without tearing up the blueprint — more evolution than revolution. But on his latest single, "Sub Culture," premiering below, Black retains the groggy production that underpinned his earlier releases while delivering his lines with more venom, picking apart his city's racism and the violence it breeds.
“I wrote it about a year ago and funnily enough it just seemed to fit into the context of the times we’re currently in,” Black said in a press statement. “I was angry about a lot of things when I wrote it, my filter was completely switched off and I ended up writing what I would say is one of the most honest pieces of music that I’ve composed so far.”
In an email to The FADER, Black said that the song's video, directed by Louis Lincoln-Bottcher and streaming below, was inspired by Mathieu Kassovitz’s 1995 film La Haine, which focused on the plight of three young, marginalized immigrant men in Paris. "It’s one of my favorite movies, it’s beautifully shot and brutally honest with its intentions," Black wrote. "In a way, I feel like 'Sub Culture' is the same.”
Check out the video for "Sub Culture" below.