Observe since '98 - Le Dernier Royaume

Prelude: “The era of the Savage has ended but what’s left of the kingdom still remains. Rotting and decrepit, it is a reminder of the reign of terror he inflicted on thousands. They say late at night, deep inside his former lair you can still hear him laughing. His resurrection is inevitable…”

“Le Denier Royaume” is the 4th rap album fully produced by Loretta Records founder Observe since ‘98.

Observe since 98. The name says it all. In the late 1990s a young Hip-Hop head from Madison, Wisconsin was on the outside looking in. He started dabbling in graffiti and then beatmaking to get involved, but it would be years until Madison developed any kind of legitimate Hip-Hop scene. However, by the mid-naughts, Observe had launched Loretta Records and put out a handful of local releases. The imprint failed to garner much attention outside Wisconsin and in 2006 he decided the venture had run its course.

Fast-forward a decade, and Observe felt the climate was right to resurrect Loretta with a focus on the beat scene and the just emerging Boom Bap renaissance. Over the last four years he has become recognized as something of an indie label maverick. The new era of his record company saw Observe help break some of the biggest names in underground Hip-Hop, including Benny The Butcher, CRIMEAPPLE, Rome Streetz, sadhugold, and many more.

Regardless of the strides he has made as a label head, his real achievements have been as a crate digger and sound architect. When he relaunched Loretta it was largely to showcase his own beats and he dropped three well-received beat tapes between 2016-17. Yet, it was Observe’s satirical industry mogul persona The Savage and the trilogy of producer albums he released baring the character’s name and image that really cemented him as an underground favorite. 2018’s “Portrait of A Savage” sparked off the series and led to the sequels “Return of the Savage” and “Royaume Du Sauvage” in 2019 and 2020 respectively.

While fans feared that Observe was preparing to hang up his hat, heady melodies started drifting out of his lab once again during the dog days of summer. By the time Fall had slipped into Winter, he had finished sculpting his magnum opus, “Le Dernier Royaume.” This themed project is packed with loops and soundbites off obscure French records. While the guest line-up includes a mix of established and up-n-coming emcees such as Planet Asia, Knowledge the Pirate, Pounds, MAV, Ankhlejohn, Juga-Naut, Jay NiCE, All Hail YT, Sully Nomad, Jamil Honesty, Midaz the Beast, Napoleon Da Legend, Monday Night, Ru$h, Bubu the Prince, and more. Other notable contributors include DJ Dolo76 on the cuts on “Fly Beret,” Deuce Ellis on guitar on “Narcissus,” and Francophone super fan Croco Mort doing the album intro.

Jordan C.

Produced and mixed by Observe since ‘98
Executive produced by Jordan Commandeur & Observe since ‘98
Additional mixing and mastering by DJ Dolo76
Guitars on track 10 by Deuce Ellis
Official album artwork by RDRB
Variant vinyl art by Ttakingg & Pablo Thunder
Art direction by Observe since ‘98 and Jordan Commandeur
© 2021 Loretta Records llc

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