LA rapper Nocando has long had a flair for the visually intriguing, and he continues that streak with the video for his new single “Severed,” which we’re premiering today. You can watch it up above. The clip for the title track of his upcoming album details the unraveling of a relationship and the longing that comes with it.
While Nocando’s forlorn lyrics tug at listeners’ heartstrings, the music video represents the unraveling metaphor literally, with the MC wearing piles of knit sweaters that slowly come apart at the seams as he tours Los Angeles, from the ‘hood to the beach and back. As Nocando, born James McCall, reminisces on his lost love, his sweaters fall away while he visits coast and strolls a near-abandoned pier and tries to hide his hopelessness “inside of whiskey and women / got even more divided.”
Produced by Elusive, the song features a tinkling beat that brings to mind the melancholic music from one of those wind-up music boxes, and backing vocals from up-and-comers Dream Panther and Jimetta Rose. Astute listeners may recognize the latter from MED, Blu, and Madlib’s “Burgundy Whip” from last year, while Panther most recently remixed Makonnen’s “I Don’t Sell Molly.” This the second single to be released off Severed, which comes out on Nocando’s own label collective Hellfyre Club Records on 5/26. It follows up the gut-wrenching “El Camino,” which dropped late last year.
McCall is a longtime fixture of LA’s underground cipher and battle rap circuit, but he recently stepped away from battling — citing the scene’s increasing focus on negativity — in order to focus on making more personal, meaningful music. He calls the upcoming Severed his most personal music yet, and from the sound of this song, he’s right. He says Severed is “a record about a young, American man losing hope in everything and everyone — including himself.”
With production by Curtiss King, Yonnas Abraham, and the aforementioned Elusive, and featuring guest appearances from LA rap legend Aceyalone, Slug of Atmosphere, and UK grime star Ghetts, Severed joins the ranks of all the great rap that’s coming out of the west coast, and specifically LA, in recent months.
Here’s the album artwork and tracklist:
1. “Severed” (Feat. Jimetta Rose & Dream Panther, produced by Elusive)
2. “Salty” (Produced by Curtiss King)
3. “El Camino (Produced by Jack Jr.)
4. “Wize’s Words” (Feat. Otherwise)
5. “Bodied (Feat. Ghetts, produced by Jack Jr.)
6. “Mykraphone Myk” (Produced by Elusive)
7. “Say Yes” (Produced by Elusive)
8. “Useless” (Feat. Slug of Atmosphere)
9. “Villain” (Feat. Troop produced by Dead Boy Yo)
10. “Sick” (Feat. Aceyalone & Tru, produced by Dead Boy Yo)
11. “Sus Lord (Oooh)” (Produced by Elusive)