Lando Chill’s debut for Mello Music Group, For Mark, Your Son is one of those life-affirming records. It’s a 12-song tribute to the father who passed away when the Chicago-born and raised rapper was just three years old—the rare shout into the existential abyss that actually receives answers echoing back. It’s a coming-of-age story rooted in life, death, and legacy. It reminds us how the dearly departed can leave behind an indelible light. It’s the work of a brilliant 24-year old Tucson transplant with a wicked jump shot, who steadfastly embodies the compassion, strength, and talent of his vanished hero.
When you listen to Lando Chill, you hear traces of Gil Scott-Heron, Pharoahe Monch, and The Roots. At times, his rollicking cadences and innate gift for melody feel like a one-man equivalent of The Pharcyde’s Labcabincalifornia. While the album’s sepulchral finale feels like the most gorgeous song TV on the Radio never wrote. But mostly, For Mark, Your Son marks the ascendance of a singular talent, fusing scattered influences into a coherent vision, an artist scarred by his experiences but healing through his broken poems.