It’s been several years since we last heard from Left Boy, former rap wunderkind with an oddly unique sound. Which leaves room for speculation as to what he’s been up to: He must be in some sort of creative drought, devoid of ideas, a one-hit wonder, scared of that sophomore album. But none of that is true. As a matter of fact, far from it!
While the media remains second-guessing what’s next for Left Boy in hip-hop, the latter has long since moved on and is now waving from the opposite bank: Left Boy has decided to leave the game. Sure, it’s not like we ever suspected him of being that radio-friendly next-door pop star, but something inside him has changed. Rap is no longer his first voice, no longer the first thing that comes to mind, when he’s making music. He feels he’s outgrown the possibilities that genre offered him to say what he had to say and get things off his chest. Which is why he needed a change, a second skin, a reincarnation. Welcome Ferdinand.
Ferdinand is not just some lame new alter ego of Left Boy, which in turn is an alter ego of Ferdinand. Left Boy is Ferdinand, is Left Boy, is Ferdinand. It’s time to remove the mask. And we get to know Ferdinand, the mastermind, the craftsman, the tinkerer and the thinker. Ferdinand is about to take us on a journey of his world and show us how Ferdinand became the one we still believe to be Left Boy. Sounds complicated? How nice we have the universal language of music to lead the way!
Left Boy has produced a rock album. Yes indeed, a rock album. Not your ‘average old white dude’ type of rock album, but one that stays line with his own musical principles. Which to a certain extent remains pop, and to a certain extent is still rap, but most of all it’s rock music. Building on a healthy ‘been there, done that’ attitude after countless sample-madness years, Ferdinand has decided to move on and finally rediscovered the guitar. The guitar as that new challenge: The oldest instrument in the history of rock music, suddenly as a fresh new tool. And boy, does he run with it! Left Boy’s new album is an exploration of the genre’s various possibilities and styles – classic rock, AC/DC, glam rock, country, you name it. Ferdinand got there before you did. But it’s not just about recreating those styles and possibilities. That would be far too simple for such a complete artist as Ferdinand. He dissects them, takes the styles apart, considers their fragments and puts them back together to create something new. And while they still breathe the spirit of their origins, they also contain something surprisingly unpredictable as only Left Boy’s pop music can.
A track like “Father of God”, for instance, which begins with the line, “the kids want hits,” is a very good indicator of where Left Boy’s new journey is headed. The song’s grating guitars sound as if Angus Young himself had stopped by the studio to drop a riff. Then you have that opening line, that grand rock star pose and you think you’ve grasped what it is the ‘new’ Left Boy is up to. But then you hear a song like “Kid”, a heartfelt ballad of loss and closeness and you become confused. How does this sensitive side match up with that rolling gait, that ‘money, drugs, bitches and fame’ pose? And those aren’t the only questions that arise. So what’s the glue that holds this record together?
His vision: Ferdinand takes us up close and personal on a journey to himself. Each companion video is a piece of the puzzle that is his story. Each song is a piece of Ferdinand. And a piece of Left Boy. This project is more than just the sum of its parts. Each video, each song is a small work of art in itself with Left Boy as the catalyst, trying to create a whole. As such, each song has the chance to make it big.
A concept album? Maybe. That is if you understand life as a concept. Ferdinand decides to open up to the public, in order to get the most out of Left Boy. And we are invited to join him on this journey. So let’s get on board because Ferdinand is most likely already five s