Cavalier Blends A DOOM Flow With Ghosts Of New Orleans (Video)

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Though raised in Brooklyn, rapper Cavalier now calls New Orleans home. In 2014, he released CHIEF, which included a Raekwon-assisted single. On his third album, Private Stock, the Big Apple and the Big Easy bridge together in ways both evident and subdued. The album’s production was handled primarily by Iman Omari, the person Cav credits for inspiring him to move to the birthplace of Jazz. Cavalier’s steady childhood diet of JAY-Z and calypso music merged with an ear for the experimental West Coast production styles espoused by the likes of Omari and Madlib, and together these elements combined with the sacrosanct history of Jazz music in the Crescent City (featured guests on the album include Quelle Chris and Georgia Anne Muldrow, two artists frequently associated with experimental Jazz-Rap). As a result, Private Stock features references that few outside of New Orleans may understand, but the music itself is not confined by the rigid parameters of what some assume a New Orleans-inspired Rap record should sound like.

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Cavalier collaborated with video director Vashni Korin on the album’s first video, for “Open Season.” In that video, the two pay homage to important places in the New Orleans civil-rights movement, including Dooky Chase’s restaurant. “Holla Kid” is similarly weighted by history, in that it takes place in the 300-year-old streets of the French Quarter and opens with an aerial view of the city’s iconic above-ground burial sites. Other nods to New Orleans’ days of yore include hints of its African influence like instruments, jewelry and art. As do most buildings in the Vieux Carré and other neighborhoods, the ones used in the video feel like anachronisms, their centuries-old walls inhabited by both ghosts both past and future. Similarly, Cavalier and his co-star Tishka Dupera sport styles inspired by bygone eras; Cav appears in the role of a 19th-century apparition whose mouth opens only to inhale and exhale wordless secrets. However, snapshots of what some of New Orleans’ neglected streets look like today add a contemporary element, as does a stunning street dancer.

Private Stock follows 2015’s Lemonade EP, a collaborative effort from Cavalier and Iman Omari on their Vibe Music Collective imprint.

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