The Needle Drop

Theophilus London- "Why Even Try" / "Flying Overseas"

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OK, so I'm officially late to the Theophilus London party--or maybe I'm just really early, because I don't really see a lotta people here.

The Brooklyn rapper's new EP, Lover's Holiday, wasn't exactly greeted with the warmest of welcomes when it dropped back in February. The reviews have been mixed.

And I'm not sure why. What Mr. London is doing, to me, seems like another step up the staircase in a series of current MCs combining rap and pop. If Drake, Kanye, and Kid Cudi can build a fanbase, so can this guy.

So while Theophilus' music isn't exactly a new idea--I mean, it even reminds me of some early LL Cool J songs--I think he's grooming this rap hybrid with much more finesse than he was on his debut album. The hooks on "Flying Overseas" and "Why Even Try" burst with memorability, and the dude lays a lot of personality into his rhymes.

He's not exactly a spitter, but that's not what the mission of the music. Essentially, it's pop. And catchy pop at that!

Theophilus has a new LP coming out in June via Warner Bros., which is titled Timez Are Weird These Days.