Rhys Langston (@rhyslangston) makes ‘alternative’ rap “that is at the front of experimental trends while remaining accessible and engaging. Think hearing raps breaking language while breaking your neck head nodding to the beats. Like medicine with spoonfuls of sugar, radical Black theory gone colloquial over raw compositions, songs for the cool nerds who neither need to prove their coolness or their nerd credentials.”

Langston and yours truly discuss his latest album, Grapefruit Radio, his background coming up in Silver Lake and Leimert Park, nerd culture, the legacy of Kerry James Marshall, the writing process as a craft, calling out rappers, click-bait culture in its current form, Saul Williams, and more. We also shout out Langston’s new video from the album, In the Suburbs of Babylon.

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In Los Feliz, No Good Deed Goes Uncovered

The working people of Los Angeles are people who do not believe in much until they see it. Here is a recovered Deed Restriction from Los Feliz, circa 1926, reading, on Paragraph 11:

“This property…subject to the following conditions…That said property or any part thereof shall not, nor shall any interest therein at any time, be rented, leased, sold, devised or conveyed to or inherited by, or be otherwise acquired by or become the property of or be occupied by any person whose blood is not of the Caucasian Race, but persons not of the Caucasian Race may be kept thereon by such a Caucasian occupant strictly in the capacity of servants of such occupant.” 

The image is taken from Cal State University Northridge’s LA: On Film and On Record series.

Since 1926, the Los Feliz neighborhood has grown in diversity, but according to a study of the 90027 zip code, in which Los Feliz is situated, as recently as 2018, 59% of the neighborhood remains white. Latino and Asian residents make up 21% and 13% of the neighborhood’s population, while Black residents make up only 3% of the population. The data make Los Feliz one of the more segregated neighborhoods with respect to the city of L.A.’s current demographics.

To learn more about deed restrictions and housing in Los Angeles, you can now RSVP for Making Our Neighborhood: Redlining, Gentrification, and Housing in East Hollywood, our panel series with This Side of Hoover, via EVENTBRITE.