Fake DEEP: Logan's Funeral Party and the Emergence of Loren
Loren knows how to serve his fans while staying true to himself. His sense of the commercial is impeccable, creating music that sounds high-quality and stacks up next to sounds coming out of major labels. What makes Loren an intriguing artist is that he achieves this level of quality while retaining his sense of autonomy. His name change signifies his own self-awareness and the need to evolve, a sense of taking control of his own destiny without having to prove anything to anyone. It’s in that spirit that FAKE DEEP is a welcome return to self for the artist formally known as Logan.
There was a lot of pressure surrounding the release of FAKE DEEP. The change of name from Logan Cage to Loren Joseph corresponded with a relatively quiet period for the artist where releases had slowed and he was recalibrating his next steps. That all changed 3 months ago when he began releasing a torrent of new music. Solid tracks like “SNEAKINaround” and “Puerto Rican Mami” delivered for the fans and got killer responses. Importantly, they showed that Loren was a force to reckoned with when it came to bangers. This steady diet of street-ready songs was a smart move as it set the table for a more inward reflection of the album.
The album begins with the appropriately titled ‘RIP Logan.’ It’s an emphatic declaration of his own evolution as a person and an artist. He doesn’t shy away from the difficulties of growth he went through, but proves that he has come out on the better end. “I had to do it to em. Logan was just a phase. See Loren had to fade way before all the acclaim.” Lines like this reveal the impersonal self he was reflecting during his time as Logan Cage. He felt as though he had to be someone else to get where he needed to be. One he realized the false nature of this thought, he was able to celebrate the death of his former persona and move on to being himself.
FAKE DEEP is as much of a reverential ‘thank you’ as it is a defiant ‘fuck you.’ You can hear Loren reflecting on his time in the music industry and the pitfalls he’s encountered. The harsh realities of death in his family and the pain of betrayals from those he once thought close. These are harsh subjects, and it can be difficult to navigate a listener through an entire project with these themes. On “Underground Legend” he breaks down how “I used to be on the train a lot. I used to care about fame a lot. I used to think I could save the block.” His openness with his transformation and acceptance of the things he cannot control in his life are compelling for the close listener.
Loren is successful on FAKE DEEP because he maintains that sense of the polished or commercial with his own traditional sound, simultaneously gritty and sleek. His always impressive bars combined with his more reflective approach to writing, a bevy of great choruses, and lightly belted melodies will bring you into the sounds of his experiences while providing raw entertainment value in a relatable way.
Longtime collaborator FLIGHT shines delivering heaters that anchor the deeper parts of the album, as well as methodically rolling beats that match the low-key moments. In fact, now is a great time to shoutout FLIGHT, who has been with Loren every step of the way and helped him craft a sound that is his own. This is truly a dynamic duo, and tracks like “FAKE DEEP” and “1139” have infectious qualities to them that show why the two artists remain close collaborators. Loren is able to find his pocket and experiment with new vocal styles with the space provided to him by the talented producer, giving the album a sense of unity in its departure from older style. The two artists are sure to produce more great music together.
Loren Joseph may have taken a while to emerge, but the coming out party is a banging album that solidifies the rapper’s position as a Chicago staple. FAKE DEEP proves that Loren was elevating his music to a more personal, inward place during his time away from the spotlight. He no longer felt like he had to take on a persona, willing to step out from behind the shadow of Logan and be comfortable with himself. It is a welcome evolution, one that has us looking forward to the next offering. “Never Forget”, the 2nd to last song, puts it well - “don't forget about the struggle, forget about the hustle, don't forget about the pain, remember where you came from, never forget about it, never forget about it”. And it’s all coming back to him now.