New Orleans’ glbl wrmng makes a statement with debut project
Sometimes in music, certain movements exist that go hand-in-hand with a specific geographical location. A few examples that immediately come to mind are Seattle and its grunge explosion of the 1990s, the 2000s post-punk revival centered largely in New York City, and most recently, Atlanta and its massive mainstream proliferation of trap music that took place in the 2010s. While this doesn’t always include its own genre like in the aforementioned examples, there’s almost always some sort of musical entity or collective involved. For New Orleans, the most recent such collective to emerge is glbl wrmng, a multi-faceted group of NOLA creatives led by style-smashing emcee and producer Pell.
The group’s debut, aptly titled glbl wrmng, vol. 1, is a 16-track endeavor that serves as both a dedication to their home base and a call to change the current cultural climate, two themes teeming throughout the entire project, but perhaps best embodied on the profanity-littered intro “Look at Lolly” and the battle-ready banger of a closer that is “504.” In addition to the statement bookends, Pell and company primarily keep things focused like with the meaningful cuts “Take Time” and “Colliding” and the pandemic-inspired reflection “N95.” Occasionally the collective ventures into pedestrian territory, such as on “Party” and “Really Really,” but even these more mindless moments don’t damper glbl wrmng’s overall mission.
Musically, vol. 1 touches on several different sounds and sub-styles within the hip-hop super umbrella, likely due to the wide range of contributors that played a role in this project, spanning from members of Tank and the Bangas to TUNED UP favorite LeTrainiump, to New Orleans rappers galore. Nevertheless, there’s a sense of continuity that holds throughout, with several smooth song-to-song transitions mirroring that of a mixtape, much of which takes on trap-like characteristics. This is often bolstered with melody and horns—such as hearty saxophone on “Ivory” and “What Is Love?” and even a bombastic trumpet outro to close “504.”
Another quality worth noting is the parallels to Lil Wayne. Say what you will about the fellow NOLA native, but you can’t deny that the Young Money CEO has left quite the impression on his city’s musical landscape over the past two decades. It’s a lasting impression that inspires the sung delivery present throughout vol. 1, a recurring trait most evident on “Take Time.” SaxKixAve even calls back Wayne’s iconic “F is for phenomenal” lyric on the steady yet melodic “On Everything.” While this reference is just subtle enough to miss, everything about the project has been deliberate, so why would “On Everything” be an exception?
The debut project from New Orleans–based glbl wrmng successfully pays homage to the group’s hometown in addition to flipping the script on the cultural climate as it is today, all while having fun doing it. A largely enjoyable listen which feels more like a mixtape than anything else, glbl wrmng, vol. 1 makes a statement: the Pell-lead group is on a mission, and they won’t stop until they are recognized, not just as a collective but as a movement.