Words by Josh Pavlou
Barclay Crenshaw, the hip-hop moniker of house maestro Claude VonStroke, returns with the intergalactic sounds of ‘The Baddest’ alongside female tag team, Cam & China.
Crenshaw, the Dirtybird Records boss, has carved a name for himself in the house music scene, most notably for tracks such as ‘The Rain Break’ and ‘Mind Yo Bizness’.
When probed about his decision to explore hip-hop, Crenshaw acted surprisingly lax. ‘‘I actually forgot to do the thing I was supposed to do in the beginning. I said I was gonna do hip hop but then I got really good at house’’.
The Los Angeles based artist has returned to his roots under the guise of Barclay Crenshaw, allowing him to canvas a variety of synthesised, atmospheric sounds.
‘The Baddest’ is undoubtedly the sharpest of Crenshaw’s recent releases, leaving a lasting impression even upon the first listen. A pungent bassline introduces the track, groovy and poppy in its own right but certainly not overpowering enough to be considered thuggish.
The real strength of ‘The Baddest’ lies with the vocal dominance of Californian rap twins, Cam & China. The Missy Elliot-esque verses ooze equal parts sass and potency and breath life to a throbbing beat. The duality of successful rap combinations such as Outkast and Run The Jewels have certainly informed these fiery females, as they ‘let em’ know that chu’ the baddest’.
This release acts as a spring-board for a run of dates across the North America in April, followed by an appearance at Sasquatch! Festival in May 2018. Listen below.