If you're friends with Devon Ewalt — aka Learic — on the Facebooks, you know dude has been gobbling up some Tolstoy lately. Seemingly on an hourly basis for the last few days, the local MC has been sharing one heady Tolstoy quote or another that's popped up in my personal FB feed. It's not really surprising. Ewalt is a pop culture sponge who absorbs all manner of music, movies and, apparently, writings by iconic Russian philosophers.
That voracious intellectual appetite has long fueled his music, whether he's with seminal local hip-hop group the Aztext, sitting in with Lynguistic Civilians, more recently with the Precepts on their killer debut EP or generally laying waste to all challengers as the area's reigning battle-rap king. But Learic's varied interests have perhaps never manifested themselves as deeply as in his collaboration with Upsetta Records' Dante Davinci, the Write Brothers
In a new single from their forthcoming debut Take Flight
called "Extraordinary I," which debuted earlier this week on Earmilk.com
, Learic unleashes a torrent of acrobatic verses laced with all manner of razor-sharp pop culture innuendo. And he does so with such staggering swiftness over Davinci's bruising beats — bonus points for the Shangri-Las samples! — that you almost have to hit rewind to make sure you heard what you think you did. Like, for example, this:
"Life's passing me by like a marching band. / Ask Gary Larson if he's a Pharcyde fan."
Check out the single below and look for Take Flight
later this summer.