XL Middleton is one of the few remaining musicians from California whose format falls into the funk-laden style the region was once known for. The Pasadena-based artist/producer has been hard at work for years. His melodic, chord-heavy tunes and party-flavored lyrics have earned him accolades on major websites such Dubcnn.com, Uproxx.com, and HipHopDX.com, where his collaborations with Sly Boogy and Eminem signee Crooked I made the rounds. XL toured Japan in 2006, playing to packed houses in Tokyo, Yokohama, and Gunma. He caters to fans of the traditional, funked-out West Coast sound – a fanbase which, although not the norm in mainstream music, still has a dedicated following overseas, particularly in Japan, France, Italy, and all over Europe.
XL has released volumes of work, the sound of which embodies the party feel, bringing music back to where it was before it found its way into upscale clubs, while at the same time mixing it with a futuristic brand of funk inspired by legends such as George Clinton, Roger Troutman, & Morris Day. He evolved from his beginnings as a hip hop artist to a full-fledged modern funk musician, educated by the music he once sampled in the course of creating rap beats. At an XL show, you might find him singing notes through a vocoder, rapping, or shredding solos on a keytar. A Google search will quickly reveal the underground following that Middleton has already amassed through word-of-mouth and internet buzz. Already, his titles have been picked up and licensed by labels overseas, mainly in Japan, where XL is quickly becoming a foreign sensation.
Through guest appearance or production, XL has collaborated with notable artists including Crooked I, Sly Boogy, Kokane, Fingazz, Cashis (Shady Records artist), Jon B., Ralph Tresvant, Down (of “Lean Like A Cholo” fame), Suga Free, Shade Sheist, Bad Azz, Mistah FAB, and many others.
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