Theophilus London: Remolding Electronic Hip-Hop

| September 6, 2012 | 0 Comments

by: Brett Harker

“These kids paid money to have a sweet experience,” explained Theophilus to his crew before commencing the chant of his hit song “I Stand Alone.” A skinny MC from Brooklyn, Theophilus bounced onto stage with skin tight jeans, a black blazer, and a heavy gold chain only a microphone could complement. Aside from the usual DJ, an animated bass player and tranquil guitarist accompanied him.  As a roaring funk rhythm sounded, the chicly dressed New Yorker waltzed up to the rose-wrapped microphone stand and waited for his cue. He opened his mouth, triggered a vocal effect with his shiny new Jordans, and vanquished any tranquility that was still lingering.

To put Theophilus London’s sound into words is like emptying your clothes out of the dryer by cradling the bundle to your torso; you can never get the whole load because your underwear and socks keep slipping out of your grasp. You just can’t explain his genre without leaving something out. With that being said, his musical style resembles a distorted Kanye West and new-school Marvin Gaye frolicking to House beats while reggae/jam guitar riffs fill in the spaces.  Originality seemed to ooze through his stage presence, modish clothes, and eccentric mannerisms, portraying himself as the guy at the party you want to talk to.

Theophilus demonstrated a genuine relationship with the crowd that I have seldom witnessed. During the hour-long performance, he interacted so frequently that there was an unspoken camaraderie amongst the show-goers by the final song.  Theopholis took song requests, gave high-fives, pulled people on stage, and dove into the crowd, all the while dancing about with his posse of goony misfits.  By the end of the concert the venue was in chaos; the bass player was running through the crowd shirtless, girls were dancing on stage, Theophilus was rolling around as if on fire, and the crowd was in a party-induced pandemonium.

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