Ital Santos is never going to quite do something predictable and it will always have a point. Sometimes that point will simply be to amuse himself but if we’re being honest that’s what a real artist is. Fresh off his Reflections beat album, he returns to a practice not used since his Supremo album, but this time instead of pouring out his frustrations on DJ Premier selections, he waxes philosophical about modern romance on instrumentals from 9th Wonder’s Tutankhamen.
He tells the story of two single parents in the Inland Empire who meet each other and start dating despite not really being ready to be selfless enough to make such an arrangement work. Skin deep in every song is the implication that this new world of disloyalty, thirsty instagram shenanigans, and unlimited options through technology is ubiquitous, all too repeititive; the album’s thesis is that it’s hard to find real love in Babylon.
“You Single?” begins the courtship, “Chocolate Hearts and Roses” deepens it, culminating in “These Girls (Somebody Stop Me)” in which our protagonist finds himself drinking and contemplating new conquest and possibly starting the cycle all over again. Ital’s details about working class parents, the flippant humor about the painful idea that no one is really putting their true self out there, the fun made of the idea of something being “wrong” with single people that’s always to be discovered by their new lovers…all of it paints a relatable human picture that everyone always wonders about. Documents like this album will be there to answer folks’ from the future’s inevitable question, “what was dating in the 2000-teens?”
Enlisting his own raps and high-key lovely guest vocalist Eugene O’Neill, he rides the 9th Wonder bangers smoothly creating an EP that feels like one story and one piece. Don’t miss Ital’s take on what everyone is really talking about when they say they are talking about love.