How many rappers are name-checking Morrissey as an influence and using Smiths song titles for their various outlets? Trinidad-born and Brooklyn-raised, Theophilus London is quite possibly the only one. The twenty-something London, whose debut full-length, Timez Are Weird These Days, dropped in July, is an exemplar for the modern musician. Establishing himself as a persona through social networking and his sense of style long before he released any music, London is creating a blueprint for current artists.
London is not all about futuristic approaches. He preceded any original material with two, now-classic mixtapes: This Charming Mixtape (a twist on the the Smiths’ “This Charming Man”) and I Want You. And prior to the release of his EP, Love’s Holiday, he had firm ties to high-end fashion brands such as Cole Haan.
Alongside all this, London is maniacally active on his Twitter feed, his Facebook page, his “This Charming Blog” posts, his numerous Tumblr account posts, and his Hypebeast — not repeating the same information on any of those outlets, keeping the material fresh for today’s media-hungry, short attention span audiences.