Summer is slow. Or at least that's how it feels. Weekdays and weekends bleed into one another, sun and heat the only constants, beachside sojourns the only escape.
Dogtown rap trio Warm Brew know. They’ve been making polished, summer-primed rap for years.
The group (Ray Wright, Manu Li and Serk Spliff) has been relatively quiet since their last EP, Diagnosis (Red Bull Records), which culminated in a sold-out show at the Roxy last summer and remains one of 2016’s best rap releases. Surrounding their Powerhouse 2017says performance, however, they’ve dropped a spate of equally auspicious tracks, including the G Percio–featuring “Mansion” and the Hippie Sabotage–produced “Let’s Get Paid” (video below).
Today, L.A. Weekly is premiering their next single, “Full Effect.”
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The latest song from their forthcoming, still-untitled Red Bull Records debut album, “Full Effect” is both languorous and propulsive. Produced by frequent Warm Brew collaborator DeUno (who also did “Gang Signs” for The Game), the slowly swirling atmospherics and glinting keys sound between crisp percussion. A low-stakes affair about confidence and swagger as aphrodisiacs, it also features L.A. rap fixture Dom Kennedy, who will be executive producing the album.
Ultimately, it’s the coherence of seemingly disparate voices that proves to be Warm Brew’s greatest asset. As usual, Ray Wright proves to be one of L.A.'s most unsung talents, rapping and crooning with style, assurance and perfectly calibrated timbre. (The fact that he hasn’t supplanted Ty Dolla $ign as the industry’s answer to Nate Dogg remains a mystery.) Manu Li offers smooth, laid-back game where Serk Spliff packs his narrative with sharp internal rhymes and punch lines. Like most of their catalog, “Full Effect” evokes the nostalgia of West Coast rap’s past while driving the proverbial lowrider toward contemporary horizons.