New Orleans rapper Pell is a survivor. After being displaced by Hurricane Katrina, he moved to Jackson, Mississippi. There he worked behind the counter at the Dollar Store while he rapped on the side. But everything changed last year when he released his debut mixtape, Floating While Dreaming. The album was met with critical acclaim and amassed over 19 million plays on Spotify.
It wasn’t long before he caught the attention of Dave Sitek. The TV On The Radio multi-instrumentalist and producer remixed Pell’s “Eleven:11”, leading to a face-to-face meeting between the two artists in Los Angeles. Sitek not only wanted to produce much of Pell’s record, he signed him to his label Federal Prism. Now, Pell is ready to release latest album, Limbo, out November 6th, which he’s previewing today with the Sitek-produced “Almighty Dollar”.
The track makes Pell and Sitek feel like a natural pairing. Opening with a surge of synthesizer fuzz, Pell follows with devilish two-note lines about waiting for money to come in. The song quickly pivots from ominous droning into banger territory, Sitek’s beat bouncing rabidly as Pell spits payday woes. It’s a flip on Jay Z wealth brags, talking about his hope to have enough money to buy gas and trading in poker chips for nachos. It’s not so much a commentary on the lifestyles of the rich and famous as it is about showcasing Pell’s personal struggles and triumphs.
“More often than not, money grants you the luxury of time,” Pell tells Consequence of Sound. “When the money isn’t there, you don’t have that extra time to waste. It can be a daunting task to wait for something that you know you deserve right then and there in that moment. I feel that struggle every day when I wake up. So, I really made this for everyone that feels anxious on the 1st and 15th.”
Listen in below.