Louis Picasso continues his prolific output with his latest, Behind The Paintings pt 2. The emcee, lyricist, producer entrepreneur, and proponent of collective cultural initiatives (see his label: Hiiiger Minds), has been hard at work these last five years, with a slew of releases and, now, some international tour dates’ logged.
Most local audiences first heard Picasso on his 2016 EP-sized statement Behind the Paintings, in which he actively addressed more complicated issues with his bars and came to fortify his resolve and reshape his perspective – appreciating how much of a story, how much pain, how much joy, how much growth, can be tied into one piece of art, one song, or even one painting. And that meticulous approach shines on the sequel to that album, with each song giving off its own radiance in the production, be it a unique percussive arrangement, entrancing vocal effects, multi-tracked vocals, narrative performances with between-song sketches, and dramatic utilization of minimal refrains and maximal crescendos.
“Move On” is my current favorite – because it represents one of Louis Picasso’s most vibrant traits: propulsion. Not dwelling. Not getting tied down. Not looking back. Refusing to be slowed down by (or even haunted by) the past. Taunting or shrugging off anyone who may slow him down, but any of the vitriol here is just a means of having its sharp edges fray anything that could tether him down. What you hear on “Move On,” and on other songs like “Right Here,” (a coming-of-age/reflective song that brings him into a fresh state of blunt honesty) is a lyricist who’s singing to you from a vantage that’s affording him a bigger picture, or a glance down the road, thinking three moves ahead.