"I used to have tons of songs in my head, but since I couldn't play anything well and I didn't know how to use programs [so] I was never able to make them," Chicago emcee and former Cool Kids affiliate Hollywood Holt writes within his rather compelling Facebook Bio section. Now better known as simply HXLT (pronounced: "Holt"), the former club-friendly rapper has returned with the lead-off single from his as-yet-untitled G.O.O.D. Music debut; "Holt's manager told Billboard at the time of his singing that "it's like if Joy Division, The Strokes, and Dr. Dre made an album together."' Judging by "Live to Death," it would appear as though HXLT has somehow already managed to master the whole Psych/Punk Rock-leaning brand of Alt. Hip-Hop that Kanye's former protégé Kid Cudi has spent the past five or so odd years aimlessly trying to hone and perfect. Although, prior to unleashing "Live to Death" last week, HXLT's only released material on G.O.O.D. Music was relegated to a cover and companion remix of Kavinsky's Drive Soundtrack stand-out, "Nightcall" and a self-produced 5-song COVER ME EP.
The latter merely consisting of spirited Electro-Rock renditions of Florence + The Machine, Billy Idol, Drake, The Neighborhood, and a quasi-remix of HXLT's own production work lifted from Music from Baz Luhrmann's Film The Great Gatsby – delivered in the vein of Beyoncé & André 3000's stripped down Chopped & Screwed-leaning cover of Amy Winehouse's infamous "Back to Black." "Live to Death"'s companion HXLT, Chelsea Lombardo & Jimmy Regular-directed visuals play out almost how I would imagine a zombie-infested circle pit would look or similar to one of those seedy underground raves you would always see in late 90's-early 2000's vampire flicks like Queen of The Damned. HXLT's long-awaited re-branded "debut" is expected to emerge on G.O.O.D. Music & Def Jam Records sometime in the not too distant future; but until then, feel free to revisit Hollywood Holt's awesomely-titled DJ Benzi-hosted mixtape, These Are The Songs That Didn't Make The Album But Are Still Cold As Hell So Shut The F*ck Up! Vol. 1 (2010).