Lancey Foux - LIFE IN HELL
LIFE IN HELL by Lancey Foux is a vibrant voyage through this entrancing 1-hour and 5-minute soundscape; a journey of emotional turmoil, inner conflict, and learned lessons. And for me, it was quite inspirational and influential. I was cruising down the Blue Ridge Parkway into the late hours of the night, getting lost in the sounds and the scenery. I felt free. I felt alive. I feel as though many of the things he said really hit home for me, making me consider my own life and who I am. This colossal 22-track album is labeled as “Alternative Rap”, which is accurate. It is a very progressive and different sound and thrives on this uniqueness. This is nothing new to Lancey either, along with executive producer Jay Trench and other collaborators; they are crafting a genuine, genre-breaking sound. This unapologetic dare to be different is displayed throughout his other projects as well. FRIEND OR FOUX and Pink II are great, to name a couple. Though even dating back to 2015’s Pink where he was freestyling over YouTube Trip Hop type beats for fun in his bedroom, this fun-filled approach that he takes to his music has always been there.
This passion-powered method, along with pulling from a wide range of genres, creates a set of sounds that is fun and authentic. The vocals on the project are really well done; he taps into the energy of each beat quite distinctively, doing some excellent singing as well on tracks like “SPIRIT OF X2C”, which is one of the two lead singles for LIFE IN HELL. He harmonizes over a somber, film score-like beat with a chorus, expressing his deepest emotions through a psychedelic forcefield. The music video for this one (directed by Calvin Pausania) is also phenomenal, featuring him and a girl (model Rosie Reyes) embracing each other in a dark candlelit circle before he turns into a beast and then exits, leaving her shrouded in darkness.
Lancey does some serious digging through his past, his mind, and his life on this one. On tracks like “CASINO ROYALE / THANK YOU” he recollects his past and the things that have made him who he is, expressing gratitude for them. On “TOO HARD TO KILL” he literally picks himself apart, venting about how he feels as though there are “[t]wo people in [his] body and they [are] both competin' for the main seat[.]” On the closing track “WAKE UP / I’M ALIVE” he is essentially opening his eyes and having a catharsis, realizing that he is alive and recollecting the things he’s grateful for in his life; it’s kind of like a prayer. Not to mention, the aforementioned soundscape on this album is many-sided. Aside from more cathartic cuts, more euphoric and aggressive cuts are also housed. Tunes like “LANCEY OR LANCEY” (the main lead single for the album), are more explosive and nonchalant. In the music video (directed by NO CRDNTLS), he is in mobster/rockstar/gangster mode; it’s dope.
SPIRIT OF X2C [prod. BNYX® & Jay Trench]
The intro and second lead single to the album. It is beautiful and awe-inspiring, with a very nice melody, deep drums, and an uncomfortable voicemail. The beat is closer to a film score and it is delightful. It also has a wonderful music video.
DID IT AGAIN (feat. Jah$tar) [prod. Jay Trench]
An ethereal, high-energy swag track with an explosive feature from Jah$tar. Makes me feel like I just had a crazy night out and then went to an afterparty.
WORLD ON FIRE [prod. Jay Trench, Bally & ShaunGoBrazy]
A scorching song with a trippy intro and a simmering soundscape; the perfect rebel with a cause track in my opinion if you read the lyrics.
12TH HR [prod. 2AAB & Sverre]
A blissful, psychedelic track with a beat that makes me feel like I just woke up floating in space. The lyrics are self-assured and introspective.
SUN MOON [prod. azure]
An intense, hyper cut with imagery that makes me picture cruising down the highway through the late hours of the night into the early hours of the morning.
COLORS [prod. Jay Trench]
Vibrant and multi-dimensional. This one is energizing and a deep vibe; a painting of emotions.
GIRL A GUN [prod. Jay Trench]
A cool, laid-back love song about his girl and how she makes him feel.
I FEEL LIKE I’M ME [prod. Jay Trench]
A confidence-boosting, euphoric track about loving yourself and being loved by others.
ALL NIGHT LONG [prod. BNYX® & Gibbo]
A smooth, romantic track about having a fun night with a partner.
PENDULUM [prod. Iankon, Dane Burge & Elliotreadd]
This one is a wavy-groovy piece on which he is processing the duality of life and its ups and downs.
LUVS KILLING ME SLOWLY [prod. Jay Trench]
This one is a slow-burning track (iykyk) where Lancey is spilling his feelings about the toll that love takes on him.
LIES WILL SET YOU FREE (feat. KAYTRANADA) [prod. Jay Trench, COLDSUMMER & KAYTRANADA]
An epic, open song discussing the concept of truth and its place in the world as he grapples with this reality.
RIDE TIL YOU DIE [prod. BNYX® & Luca Malaspina]
A fun, ecstatic cut about loyalty and who is going to be there for him; it creates a very enjoyable parallel to driving and/or riding in vehicles.
TRY AGAIN [prod. 2AAB]
This deeply emotional number sees Lancey Foux going deep into his relationship with this girl and expressing how he feels about it all, insisting that they should give things another shot.
LANCEY OR LANCEY [prod. Bally]
The hypercharged lead single for the project, it has a vicious beat on which Lancey delivers a cold, versatile performance. The music video is equally cold and versatile.
ALMOST READY [prod. Bally & ShaunGoBrazy]
An exhilarating track on which Lancey gives his heart out to all of the things he has prioritized in his life, relentlessly insisting that he takes care of them whilst trying to also be there for this woman.
SHE THE ONE [prod. Jay Trench]
A psychic love song in which he confesses his love and admiration for this girl and how they are for each other, but also emphasizing his own value.
NOW > THEN (feat. 070 Shake) [prod. Jay Trench]
A soul-lifting interlude on which 070 Shake delivers a reassuring chorus that affirms the value of life and the present moment over the past. Lancey gives a brief, clean verse in a similar fashion.
TOO HARD TO KILL [prod. Dane Burge & Lancey Foux]
A solitary song that pauses Lancey in the moment, forcing him to pick himself apart and focus on where he is in his life and who he is.
CASINO ROYALE / THANK YOU [prod. Jay Trench & Dane Burge]
The first of two double tracks. On the former, Lancey divulges his philosophy on life and how he leads his. The latter sees him pausing for a moment to reminisce his past and feel gratitude for it.
HIGH GRADE (feat. KAYTRANADA) [prod. KAYTRANADA]
A funky track on which Lancey asserts the fruits of his labor; how he got to where he is and plans on going further.
WAKE UP / I’M ALIVE [prod. BNYX®]
The second double track and closer of LIFE IN HELL. The first half sees him recollecting himself and how those around him (namely his family) have impacted him. After an uplifting beat switch, the second half begins, reasserting who Lancey is and how he plans to continue growing and working on himself, having his own back.
A LIFE WE LIVED ALL ALONG
A LIFE WE LIVED ALL ALONG
Overall, LIFE IN HELL is a forward-thinking, emotive album taking us through the life and mind of Lancey Foux; touching on his memories, thoughts, and feelings. It dives into the decisions he has made and how all of this has shaped him into who he is today. The project is engineered to perfection, bringing its aura alive. Lancey’s vocal work and lyricism are phenomenal throughout; he speaks from the heart, syncing with each beat and letting his mind flow over it. The soundscape is carefully crafted into this world that encapsulates what Lancey has experienced and learned; mirroring his reality. The visual design for the album is wonderful as well, synthesizing these visions. All of these elements work together to create this piece that sees the darkness and is able to shine a light through it. Definitely give this album a listen.