There’s arguably never been as big a demand for inspirational jams as there is this year, and answering that call is none other than rapper Leph Louie in his new single “Motivated.” Much as the title implies, “Motivated” is uplifting and geared towards getting the audience into a place of optimism over fear and isolation, which in itself is something Leph Louie should be commended for. In a time when so many of his contemporaries want to rap about indulgence exclusively, here we find a player concerned with a world view that is too often overlooked in every genre of modern music.
The verses in this track are entirely forward-thinking and avoid negative poeticisms in every instance. The piano-born melody that follows Louie’s every move is reminiscent of an old school-brand of G-funk balladry not nearly as prominent today as it should be, but at no point does the instrumentation – or the style of track in general – feel like a throwback to the past. After all, this story is one built for 2021, and that’s made evident in even the most cursory of listening sessions spent focusing on the lyrics and, specifically, how they’re framed by the music.
A well-paced delivery of words allows for instrumentation to be a component of the narrative more than it already would have been, and by using this songwriting technique over something a bit more streamlined, Leph Louie makes it difficult for a critic like myself to overstate his adept skills in the studio. He’s grasping the art of making timing work for you better than a lot of other veterans with as much experience as he has, and honestly putting on a clinic for some of the young upstarts trying to develop their own unique definition and communicative ability.
I don’t think you have to be a hardcore music enthusiast to tell that Leph Louie is genuinely invested in the work he’s producing in this piece; frankly, his passion here is evident even at a distance. “Motivated” gives him enough of a challenge at the helm of the mic that he has no choice but to give us as much energy as he can muster as the climax of the track falls into place, and rather than taking the safe route, he goes bold with his flow and winds up sounding more on-point than most any of the mainstream players I’ve reviewed in the past month.
If this is just a preview of what Leph Louie’s next chapter is going to sound like, I would have to say that this longtime indie favorite is going to see much more success than he did in his first eight years in the game. He’s come a long way since Work & Faith, and whether you’ve been listening to his jams from the beginning or are just now finding out about his inspiration style of music for the first time, I’ve got a strong feeling you’re going to understand his buzz-worthy status after hearing “Motivated” for yourself.