The up-and-coming and extremely young London-based hip-hop collective The Age of L.U.N.A. have quickly developed an international profile with the release of an critically acclaimed mixtape earlier this year. And although they clearly possess an infectiously youthful energy, they have publicly cited a diverse array of acts as influences, including A Tribe Called Quest, NWA, Public Enemy, Tears for Fears and a lengthy list of others — and as a result, their material possesses a self-assuredness and swagger that belies their age.
“Boom,” the latest single off their Live Under No Authority is deeply indebted to old school hip-hop. Consisting of an ambient and glitchy industrial production paired with boom bap-like drums the song’s production channels the sonically challenging production style of Bomb Squad-era Public Enemy and Paul’s Boutique-era Beastie Boys — in particular, think of “Welcome to the Terrordome” and “Night of the Living Baseheads” and you’ll have a good sense of what I’m getting at. During the song, two of the emcees pay homage to the legendary Ol’ Dirty Bastard by referencing lines from his songs — and mimicking his cadence. But no matter, the song manages to be pair industrial sounds with a trippy, psychedelic feel. Considering how obnoxiously ubiquitous the trap sound is in the mainstream, it’s refreshing to know that there are young artists who still pay attention to real hip-hop — in other words, emcees spitting fire over dope production.
As for the video, the group pays homage to the 90s by having the video shot on grainy, glitchy VHS tape. Watching the video, I was reminded of watching worn and warped cassette tapes on dirty tape heads. And interestingly enough, the video’s director has mimicked sequences from A Tribe Called Quest’s “Buggin’ Out,” and others while capturing the group’s infectious energy.