Main Attrakionz's Mondre M.A.N. and Squadda B have always been pretty clear that the "cloud rap" tag is fine, but they have no desire to be pigeonholed as such. The young Oakland rappers' frequent use of the cloud motif is just one aesthetic element of many that they use intermittently -- and one they're tweaking with today's new Cloud City EP.
Back in 2011, they told me that they already found the deluge of sultry, lo-fi "cloud" beats in their inboxes to be a bore. The real goal was to get weirder, more creative, and constantly escalate their output. And if you're willing to hack through the underbrush of their Bandcamp page, you might be aware that they've been doing just that. What's gone up in even the past year alone is a discography too tangled to enumerate here. There are multiple solo works from both emcees, re-brandings and pseudonyms, pre-tapes, the list goes on, and on. Then, there's all their work with fellow Green Ova members Shady Blaze and Dope G. And don't forget their "official" debut LP, Bossalinis & Foolyones, which was released in October on Young One Records. It's a body of work that's hit-and-miss, at times absurd, and entirely adventurous far beyond whatever "cloud rap" encompasses.
This is all context for Cloud City, the new "official" EP which, in spite of the name, is probably one of their more out-there collaborations to date. In all, the four-track EP came together across four countries, taking production from Montreal bass duo Grown Folk (which had one beat on B&F) and remixes from Berlin-based experimental/dubstep pioneer Kuedo. Grown Folk's beats hold their own as club-influenced hip-hop, banging like Canada's friendly answer to trap, and Kuedo's remixes disassemble the tunes into reflective and surreal dream-states that play like weird, vague memories of the originals. Cloud City drops today on Australian label Templar Sound; you can check it out above.