The Dark Side Of The Monk
While spending time in California in early 2016, LTtheMonk had the idea to follow his 2015 debut album ‘Monk in London’ with an ‘LT in LA’ EP, over beats from solely Californian producers. Yet as he progressed with the song-writing process, LT found that he wouldn’t be able to say everything he wanted to in the confinement of a 4-track EP, especially on the topic of racial politics, which was a subject of huge interest in LT’s mind at the time due to his reading of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ ‘Between The World & Me’ & ‘The Autobiography Of Malcolm X’. Therefore, after returning from California LT decided to turn this new project into a full album, with the working title of ‘Race Music’. However, as well as discussing the topics of racial politics and identity, LT wanted to challenge himself to get more introspective than he ever had before in his music, which led him to play around with the title of ‘Thoughts From The Monastery’. This title remained until the midst of a summer Jazz, Funk and Classic Rock binge, in which LT re-stumbled upon Pink Floyd’s 1973 classic album ‘The Dark Side Of The Moon’. Sharing a lot of themes with Pink Floyd’s album in the discussion of topics such as mental health and fame, and always striving to study the greats and become even greater, ‘The Dark Side Of The Monk’ was officially born, and with collaborations with producers Versus and KimJazz, and singer-songwriter Josh Osayemi, LT has achieved his goal to talk about racial politics and identity, whilst also getting more introspective than he ever has before in his music. Furthermore, LT’s first effort at writing a song totally in French on ‘Il Faut Que J’Aille’ shows his intent to truly become a global force in music.
Released May 2017
Monk in London
Three generations on from Lord Kitchener singing ‘London Is The Place For Me’ on the quayside, we have LTtheMonk’s ‘Monk in London’. Inspired by Lloyd Bradley’s book ‘Sounds Like London… 100 Years of Black Music in the Capital”, on LTtheMonk’s first commercial album he used his relationship with the city as a metaphor for his journey and relationships in his life. LT built on the feelings he had discussed on Jungle Fever by writing his first true love song, as well as talking more about race and finding his true racial identity, in a Racial Draft inspired by the Dave Chappelle sketch of the same name. He discussed finding his purpose and place as an artist, reminisced on the good old days with his friends, and wondered about what the future holds for LTtheMonk. And with musical inspiration from The Low End Theory, Abbey Road and Moondance, these verses were accompanied by sounds made for every hip-hop lover, with the electronic, futuristic production of YK, Le3 bLACK’s alternative creations, and The Wayward One’s classic hip-hop beats. LT even took inspiration from Led Zeppelin and made a rock song with the band Merge.
Released December 2015
It was an Autumn setting when LTtheMonk started to write this project; he had just fallen for Manuela, and J. Carter (Le3 bLACK) was providing him with the beats. And by the time LT dropped out of university (“semesters it took two like Rob Base, to help me figure out this wasn’t my place”), and visited his Mecca, New York, for the first time, he was in full lyrical and musical flow, taking inspiration from Spike Lee’s Jungle Fever to start to delve into his own mixed-racial identity, and the Jungle Fever that was surrounding him. And LT knew that because after this project he wanted to release a commercial album, he had to make this project as sample-heavy as possible (also an ode to the classic hip-hop producers from past generations such as The Bomb Squad, Pete Rock, DJ Premier and Q-Tip), before he’d have to clear all his samples. Hence why Le3 bLACK’s alternative hip-hop production features great sampling of artists such as Sampha, The XX and Arctic Monkeys, and films such as Jungle Fever and Snatch. The fact that all the artists sampled were English as well foreshadowed his attempt to represent London and make a soundtrack to the city on his next project, and first commercial album.
Released June 2014
The Whole Nine
With the 90s being LTtheMonk’s favourite era of hip-hop, and the boom-bap revival being big at the time, LT tried to get in on the sound with this project, building on the jazz he had created with Tom Misch on his first project by adding some J Dilla and Nujabes production, as well as some BADBADNOTGOOD to keep the jazz vibe strong. This was also the first time LT ever worked with longtime friend J. Carter (now Le3 bLACK), developing the alternative hip-hop style which went on to characterize his next project, where he found his first real ‘LTtheMonk sound’.
Released September 2013
EP, The Crescendo (with Tom Misch)
Starting off with an a capella verse, LTtheMonk always wanted to show that the rhymes were paramount in his mind. And what followed in his first ever project, written and recorded in his school studios, was some of LT’s earliest verses, accompanied by the jazzy production of Tom Misch. Timeless.
Released April 2013