Loyle Carner – Nobody Knows (Ladas Road)

23rd September 2022 · 2020s, 2022, Hip-Hop, Jazz, Music

I have not closely followed the career of foodie rapper Loyle Carner but I’ve got time for anyone who makes his stage name a spoonerism of his real name (Benjamin Coyle-Larner).

I also love the fact that he has named two of his songs after chefs – Ottolenghi and Carluccio – and in his spare time he runs a cookery school in Croydon for children with ADHD… called Chilli Con Carner.

I first heard him filling in on 6Music for Craig Charles and was impressed not only with his enthusiastic personality but his nerdy knowledge of vintage funk and soul.

He uses that to great effect on his powerfully emotional new single, sampling an old spiritual from slavery days by Pastor T. L. Barrett & The Youth For Christ Choir, released in 1971 that I’ve posted here before.

The gospel sample, smoothly integrated with shuffling beats by producers kwes. and Nick Mills, lends the perfect backdrop to a confessional lyric about fatherhood and cultural identity, emphasised in the striking black-and-white video made by George Muncey and Elliott Elder.

The most striking moment is the painfully personal lyric, one that will particularly resonate with anyone of mixed race: “You can’t hate the roots of a tree, and not hate the tree. So how can I hate my father, without hating me.”