Now Reading
G-Low gets down on Lowlife

G-Low gets down on Lowlife

G-Low sits by the window

The dominoes are lined up, and from the opening tick of the hi hat, G-Low’s Lowlife is set in motion. “Domino Effect,” the album’s opener, serves as a grimy introduction to the Portland Rapper’s latest project, and also as the initial force which will carry through the rest of the album. In many ways, Dominoes serve as a central metaphor for the 7 track EP, representing the way events, decisions, and hard work inevitably play out down the line, for good and for bad.

“Domino Effect” features a smooth wash of the sample dragging behind the crunchy cadence of the oversaturated drums, and It’s clear that G-Low could comfortably stay in that sound for an entire project, but instead he takes a turn, moving into the off-kilter horn loop on “Pray For Me,” produced by Ericboderek and featuring the first of two appearances by fellow Portlander Mat Randol. On “Head First,” G-Low opens up about past relationships, trauma, and self-medication, showing another more vulnerable side to the MC, and contextualizing the Lowlife moniker within the larger picture of the artist in all his complexity.

Not to get too sappy, “Trench Talk” moves back into the realm of the grit and grime, with a short black and white video directed by PDX videographer Riley Brown, which finds the MC back barring out over the eerie synths and disconcertingly panned percussion:

Mat Randol returns on “Pea Brains” with a relentless opening verse, further demonstrating the chemistry between the two MCs as they share the spotlight in the official video, directed by Patrick Muskat, another Portland filmmaker, who has the pair moving through dark streets and dim hallways to deliver a pair of perfectly complimentary verses:

See Also
Jazz Raps Tenface album cover

The inclusion of Randol and the turn to Brown and Muskat feels like a celebration of G-Low’s Portland bona fides, an artist taking pride in repping the city he’s from. G-Low and Ericboderek haven’t stopped at Lowlife either, releasing a fresh single, “Tourist Trap,” featuring Milc and Bocha, as yet another ode to their Portland roots.

On the whole, Lowlife plays as both a resistance to and also an acceptance, even a championing of the descriptor. Life inevitably brings us down, but things look different from the underside, the perspective revealing truths we might never have seen otherwise, and from down there with the lowlifes, the only way to go is up.