Just ask Mr. Channel Orange: when a hot artist takes a multi-year break from releasing new music, they generate more mystique than even they’re prepared for. Los Angeles’ A. Chal doesn’t seem to be interested in dispelling the mystique that the three-year gap between his first and second projects generated. In fact, given the looks of the video for “Round Whippin’,” the second clip from his debut album Welcome to Gazi, he’s down for a reputation as R&B’s ravaged Professor X.
The song’s lyrics focus on a reckless late-night cruise in LA – donuts on Rodeo Drive, a possible detour to San Diego; you know how it is. Paired with vertigo-induced visuals of a seated, reeling A. Chal in a windy, light-streaked room, you get a sense of depressed discombobulation that seems fated to wind up hurting its victim.
LA is an excellent place to lose it, and “Round Whippin’” is far from the only unsettled City of Angels anthem on Welcome to Gazi. “Beverly Kills” is the story of cutting lines with an unstable partner and “Far From Home” narrates a bender stocked with an “after party, you know drugs and stuff” and “a girl I saw on TV.”