Song You Need: Kelow LaTesha won’t stop switching it up on “Relax”

Song You Need: Kelow LaTesha won’t stop switching it up on “Relax”

Kelow LaTesha.


Photo by Xavier Luggage.

The FADER’s “Songs You Need” are the tracks we can’t stop playing. Check back every day for new music and follow along on our Spotify playlist.

Going against the grain is just Kelow LaTesha’s style. The Prince George’s County, Maryland rapper has an animated and playful take on DMV rap that allows her to stand out from the sea of dead-eyed flows and bluntness associated with street rap from the region. Her new EP Turbo breezes through a variety of modes in 20 minutes. On “Titanic,” she slithers over a creepy Mannyveli beat, and on “He Ain’t Mine,” Kelow and Asian Doll sound like they’re ready to set fire to the industrial-sounding beat.

“Relax” is a syrupy sugar rush. Over the blown-out drums, she stretches her voice until it sounds like it’s about to squeak. Kelow has all the space in the world to try carve out new grooves over the hypnotic beat. She’s rapping with a machine’s precision in the first verse, forcing every syllable to land a uniform distance apart. In the second verse, Kelow switches to a smooth melodic flow that sounds like she’s leaning back in a recliner. It’s the most chill flow you’ll hear all week.