Last year, 22-year-old New Orleans–born rapper Pell turned heads with his Floating While Dreaming mixtape, a collection of hazy rap-sung songs branded as "dream rap" evocative of Chance the Rapper. For his label debut, LIMBO, released last week, he worked with TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek to further experiment with his sound. On the album's standout track, "Queso," he matches Sitek's cowbell- and bass-heavy production with lyrics echoing our Tinder age: What's the point of courtship, anyway? In its colorful, '70s-inspired video, which Vulture is premiering today, he cuts to the chase, flirting with the object of his affections in more absurd ways, like role-playing as her gynecologist and romancing her with a talking deer head, as you do.
In an intense handwritten note, Pell recalls to Vulture all the uncertainty that accompanies dating, which inspired the song: "Even when the world opens its arms as big as the universe, you still refuse to engage it. I wonder if that's how you feel when I call you late at night after I've had the world kick me in the face 100+ times," he writes. "I guess I'll never know until you reply. No pressure, just know that either way, you're an inspiration for me to find what I don't love about myself — so much that I seek it in your conversation."
LIMBO is out now on Sitek's Federal Prism Records.