It looks like we’re getting new music from Al James.
The Filipino rapper shared a photo of himself last Thursday (December 2) sitting on the hood of a DeLorean, writing “Back from the future ?✨ #PSG”—hinting at new music, his first solo project since 2020’s “Repeat” with Rjay Ty (Bawal Clan) and Lexus (Owfuck).
Earlier this year, Al James appeared in Mike Swift’s “Fire OG” with Jim P but no new solo project thus far. Fans have been repeatedly clamoring for new Al James music and with this sneak peek, it looks like fans are finally heard.
Before that, let’s have a look at Al James’s relatively young—but wildly successful—career so far through his biggest hits.
Al James belongs to the category of artists whose debut single is also their breakout hit. In his case, 2016’s “Pahinga” (Rest) has made a successful mainstream crossover two years later thanks to a local McDonald’s summer desserts ad that featured a reworked TV ad version that managed to reinforce its chill-to-the-core sentiment in something equally thirst-quenching and wholesome. As a bonus, both the “Palamig Ka Muna” (Have A Cold One”) ad and the track hold up well in 2021.
Released in 2017, Al James outdid himself with the runaway success of “Ngayong Gabi” (Tonight) which is currently his most-viewed video on YouTube, with the lyric video racking up nearly 60 million views as of writing and the official music video viewed more than 6.6 million times.
With his sophomore single, the Filipino rapper is on track to becoming a household name with his nocturnal R&B-hip hop hits, promising every night to be sexier than the last.
Since making his debut in 2016, Al James has only released five tracks, just about one song a year, creating an air of mystique both as an artist and in his personal life.
His 2019 track “LATINA” continues his established lothario-esque narrative in the accompanying visual; this time, running a phone-based companionship scheme that promises a few minutes of his time to those who are willing to pay for it. Al James’s long-time collaborators in Baryo Berde Atbp. also get a nod in the music video.
Compared to his earlier 808s- and synth-heavy singles, a Latin American-style guitar solo is the highlight of the track’s sonic structure (which might suggest the title).
Also released in 2019, “Pa-umaga” (Daybreak) sees Al James showing his appreciation for a romantic partner. The track is a significant switch from his past singles, which are more of him seeking short-term pleasure and rarely suggesting stability. “Pa-umaga” gives a sense of commitment.
“Repeat” ft. Rjay Ty and Lexus
“Repeat” (2020) sees Al James collaborating with fellow hip hop artists for the first time. Teaming up with Rjay Ty and Lexus, the trap hitmaker blazes up with friends. It’s a straightforward track for the most part: laidback and fitting, theme-wise.
Watch Al James perform some of his biggest hits during FlipTop’s 10th anniversary music festival in 2020: