Lawrence Matthews by Ahmad George



Memphis rooted Lawrence Matthews shares his new single “Once More & Again” featuring Idi x Teco. “Once More & Again” is an ode to all the fallen black souls of the South. Alongside the new song, Lawrence shares the stunning video directed by himself and his brother, Martin Matthews, portraying a pastor played by Lawrence coping with loss. Both the song and video examine themes of death, black Southern traditions, and religion. Lawrence recently spoke with Sam Hyland of Sammy’s World to dive deeper into how his hometown influences his art, what he has in store on his latest album and the current state of rap music.

Speaking about “Once More & Again,” Lawrence shares, “Written and recorded in February 2022, this song visually feels like a funeral procession in New Orleans to me. It’s also just a song that honors the mountains of lost black folks here. Generations and generations of enslaved folks, farmers, everyday black folks that have lived and died on this land for me to be able to walk it.”

On his forthcoming album Between Mortal Reach & Posthumous Grip Matthews moves forward toward a healthy and free self, all while reckoning with the extreme environmental stimulus of southern poverty and violence. Though often imagined as opposing forces, the horror and beauty of the south often live in the same space. Matthews navigates this in-between space as an extension of the southern gothic voices with whom he is aligned.

Between Mortal Reach & Posthumous Grip will also include the recently shared single “Limelight Honey,” which arrived with a cinematic video directed by Lawrence and Martin Matthews and the 2023 offering “Green Grove (Our Loss),” which The FADER described as “a tapestry of a track, weaving elements of hip-hop, soul, and breezy acoustic rock into a striking work of art.” Formerly known as Don Lifted, Matthews released three full length albums, Alero, Contour, and 325i, under his previous moniker. Taking up his birth name, Lawrence is now stepping out for his most vulnerable body of work yet.

Anchored by sample-heavy production and clever wordplay, the new album finds Matthews moving forward with bravado, quiet tenderness, seething anger, and a wistful melancholy, all while providing thoughtful discourse on art, mythology, blackness, and sexuality from the heart of the bible belt. Creating this album has led Matthews to a deeper and more honest relationship with his community and himself. The unbelievable became inextricably linked to what is real. He ventured into the unexplored corners of himself, places and stories forgotten or suppressed behind traumatic environments and a survivalist mentality. Now a reborn artist, Matthews is intentional about aligning himself with others. That intention is a thread in his new musical journey, as he compares his stories with the stories of those who came before him and walks alongside their traditions.

“Once More & Again” single artwork

Between Mortal Reach & Posthumous Grip album artwork

Between Mortal Reach & Posthumous Grip
Lawrence Matthews
Fall 2024


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