TRACK PREMIERE: XL MIDDLETON “GENTCHED UP”
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XL Middleton (interviewed here) is one of the MoFunk Records masterminds, an occasional L.A. RECORD contributor and a lifelong devotee of funk in all its forms—musical and just as crucially philosophical—and his coming 2 Minutes To Midnight LP is reinvocation of the power of g-funk, including cover art by Doggystyle artist and genre icon Joe Cool. New single “Gentched Up” is a surface-street scorcher with Middleton’s trademark sizzling synth and viciously specific lyrics about a city where “tech money is the new crack money” and it costs “$5,000 a month for 1,000 square feet.” There’s more—lots more—where that came from, too. XL Middleton describes top-down displacement and “the way the rent’s rising up is starting to panic me / in the city with no control / … / your home turns to rubble / there’ll be condos in its place / none of them low income, though / 3 Gs a month for a creative space? / Shit, I been making basement tapes at mom’s since 88.” He explains the song and the title:
“Seems like in every major city we’ve seen a transformation happening in working class neighborhoods. In short, what used to be the hood now looks like a real life Etsy page. Nobody dislikes seeing a neighborhood get fixed up but when the longtime residents get forced out by rising rents because of it … well, then that neighborhood has been ‘Gentched Up.’ This song is my observation, coming from a lifelong L.A. area resident who has seen too much of this kind of change. And of course, on a musical level, we’re bringing the funk with this one like always. This one gives me the feeling of a backyard house party circa 1995.”
2 Minutes to Midnight is out Fri., June 7, on MoFunk and you can pre-order it here. XL Middleton has two crushing local gigs booked now, including his funk monthly at Melody Lounge on Sat., June 1, and the signature Modern Funk Fest at the Echoplex on Fri., June 28. Full list of dates below!
6/1 Pop Lock Funk @ Melody Lounge (monthly funk party thrown by Zackey Force Funk, DJ Tremaine & XL Middleton w/ this month’s special guests Loser (Funk Freaks) & Todd Shima)
6/28 Modern Funk Fest @ Echoplex (annual live show + record fair w/ lineup: XL Middleton, Moniquea, Zackey Force Funk, Ivan Makvel, Amadeo 85, Moon B, & Hotthobo)
8/2 Winooski, Vermont
8/3 Montreal, Quebec, Canada
August Toronto date TBA