Born Allah is a grizzled veteran of Los Angeles‘ hip-hop scene. The Los Angeles-based emcee had been quietly enjoying retirement, when German-born producer Zpu-Zilla contacted Born Allah and sent him the beat for “Dedication.” The “Dedication” beat inspired the Los Angeles-based emcee to rethink his retirement — and ultimately, the end result wound up being Born Allah’s latest EP Analog Baby. “After we talked about it, I sent a stack of beats and Born was hyped,” Zpu-Zilla recalls. “I’m so glad I could take him out of retirement for this project, and I hope it was worth it.”
Analog Baby not only reflects the talents and passion of the Los Angeles hip-hop vet, but it lovingly captures the era of hip-hop that Born Allah comes from. “I recorded on four-track recorders, reel to reel, and analog gear,” Born Allah says. “I wanted to tap into that energy, feeling and love I had for rapping when utilizing that equipment.” “This is me having fun spitting again,” Born Allah continues, “I’m an analog baby in a digital world.”
The EP’s latest single, opening track “Dedication” is a golden era-inspired banger centered around tweeter and woofer rocking boom bap, a soulful gospel choir sample, thumping low end and some dexterous scratching from DJ Nu-Mark. Throughout the track, Born Allah spits some witty, grown-ass folks lyrics that mesh swaggering braggadocio and hilarious, self-deprecating and self-loathing: the track essentially finds the Los Angeles hip-hop vet saying “yeah, I made be a cantankerous old head, who talks too much about the ‘good ol’ days’ but my old ass can teach you a thing or two!” (Personally, there’s something about this track that I can really associate with. As I inch further into my 40s within an industry that seemingly values youth at all costs, I’ve kind of felt the same!)
Directed by GuapCityProductions, the recently released video was shot in Downtown Los Angeles — and it captures the bravado and swagger of the song by following Born Allah as he cruises through town and hangs out with his crew. And while the crew does feature some young bloods, they seem to pay the old timers one and respect — in a way that seems all too uncommon.