Track Work: The Urban Cartel, ‘While We’re Young’

By Briana Younger



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With a sound it’s described as “indie-rock stylistics matched with hip-hop and R&B spirit,” local ensemble The Urban Cartel formed in 2009 on the campus of University of Maryland. Since then, the group has released a steady stream of music, so far culminating with last August’s The N.I.T.E., a seven-track collection of feel-good compositions driven by live instrumentation.

As The Urban Cartel gears up to give The N.I.T.E. a facelift and proper release, the band has re-released the project’s lead single “WWY”—or “While We’re Young”—a warm and weightless tune fit for a balmy D.C. summer.

In an email, the band says its aim with “While We’re Young” was to “capture the naïveté that we enjoy in our youth and the opportunities that a person has limited time to take advantage of.” Yes, there’s a tinge of YOLO here: “It’s sort of a modern day carpe diem,” the band says.

The Urban Cartel’s revamped EP, MID N.I.T.E., is expected to drop later this year.