Lazee
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Lazee

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"Lazee-Setting Standards"

When you think of music in Sweden, images of ABBA, Ace of Base, and Roxette come to time; fun pop music that is incredibly catchy and makes you want to hate yourself for enjoying the music so much.


a young rapper started making waves of his own by the name of Lazee.
In February, “Rock Away” came out of nowhere and rocked the crowd. I didn’t pay much attention to Lazee at first because I figured he was another American rapper making waves overseas. Then “Hold On” featuring Neverstore (a blending of rock pop Neverstore with Lazee rapping) got released and I thought I would see if I could listen to rest of his CD. To my surprise, Setting Standards wasn’t released. I tracked down a copy to review and needless to say, Lazee didn’t let me down.
Born Maluwi Kulego, Lazee grew up in Malmö, Sweden. He spent a few years in London crafting his sound and returned to Malmö where he put out a mixtape that got some attention in the area. Producer Ishi contacted Lazee to help him work out a sound that blended house music with hip hop and rock. Together with house DJ Sebastian Ingrosso, they pumped out Setting Standards.

Featuring Fred Durst (Limp Bizkit), Loon, Salem Al Fakir; Million Stylez and Neverstore, Lazee drops his debut album with better skills than most seasoned artists. Opening the CD is the title track “Setting Standards”. It’s edgy and aggressive with a definite pop sensibility. But don’t think that Lazee is another bubble gum pop/rap artist. “I’m Not Pop” sets the record straight that Lazee is “hip hop, drum and bass and rock.” He brings in the drum and bass beat and drops in some attitude before moving into a more heartfelt sentimental track featuring Neverstore on “Hold On”. It’s reminiscent of “Apologize” by Timbaland. Neverstore is more known as a pop punk band but they sound very much like One Republic here. The two play off each other very well and shows the diversity of Lazee’s influences.

Lazee goes back to the house music sound with addition of Million Stylez. They share rapping duties here and bring the house music beat that Lazee is known for in his home town. The oddest opening for any rap song I’ve heard in quite a while leads off “Rock Away”. The track opens with violins before jumping off into a mad dance hit. From there it’s all about name dropping, being a bad ass rock star and pimp. It’s the song that will make Lazee go from a local celebrity to international star. It won’t be hard for him to make the jump across the Atlantic and score a decent hit.

The two tracks, “Back to 85”, “Fastlife” featuring Charlie King are the low point of the album and really don’t offer up anything memorable. Fortunately, they are really the only two tracks on an otherwise exceptional album that lack any real punch. The back half lacks the intensity that the front half has but Lazee still keeps the beats flowing. He ends the CD on a more sober note with “My Hero”, a touching song about his mother. I don’t know if it was the best song to end the album with and a track like this would normally be somewhere in the middle. Luckly, there are three bonus tracks including a version of “Rock Away” with Fred Durst that ramp up the energy again.

Lazee is a solid artist and Setting Standards will do well in his native Sweden before it eventually makes it way to the U.K. and the States. In the meantime, you can find him on MySpace and on his website.


- Kristofer Svanberg


Discography

Lazee-Rock Away(radio play)
Lazee-Hold on #1 single chart Europe(radio play)

Photos

Bio

Mawuli Kulego, Aka Lazee, came to the world in 1985 and was brought up in Malmö, Sweden, with his mom and two sisters. In 1998, his mother however decided that Malmo didn't provide the right environment for
her son. She therefore sent Lazee to London where he could "become something". Six years later, Lazee,
moves back to Sweden with the ambition of finishing his first hip-hop album.
Lazee found hip-hop in the early 90's and wrote his first rhyme as a 10-year old. Back then, it was just for fun.
The big turning point came when he heard "Players Anthem" by Notorious Big. During his years in London,
Lazee recorded a mixtape named ''IT IS WHAT IT IS'' which was hosted by the one and only DJ Kay Slay.
Back in Sweden, Lazee passionately spent most of his time in the studio recording. He then hooks up with
Producer Ishi and together they start working on a new sound. A new and fresh sound. A hybrid of hip-hop,
house, grime and drum&bass, with a dash of R&B. All this topped by Lazee's lyrical rhymes, always deli-
vered with high energy. It was this sound that got SONY BMG's attention with "Rock Away", the first single
from his forthcoming album "Setting Standards".
Lazee had a flying start. Without the single being officially released, it came out of nowhere and rushed in
on the charts. No 1 on iTunes, Smash Hit of the Week on NRJ, Voice Choice on The Voice and Fresh on MTV,
with over 120 spins a week.
Lazee is a hard working young man who's been brought up in the knowledge that nothing comes for free.
His expression is hip-hop, but he's not only a hip-hop artist, he's an entertainer.
He has the confidence, the attitude and, above all, the talent, to take him all the way. In the words of Pro-
ducer, collaborator and friend Ishi: "The whole world is our playing field, and that's our goal".