A friend of mine, who is nearly as big of a Joy Divison fan as I am, told me that someone would be doing some funky thing to the artwork of Joy Divison’s debut album’s cover. I paid it no mind, but after a quick visit to one of my favorite sites last week, I was absolutely astonished at what I found. Funky waveforms on the original were freaked by Michael Zollner, and the finished product was the picture above. Insane, no? Check it, check it out…
I once won tickets to see Chicago rap artist Hologram Kizzie (or Psalm One at that time) and others perform at The Hideout, and the night culminated with me getting a sweaty hug from Psalm One herself. ‘Twas glorious, I tell you. Be jealous.
Besides all of that, Madame Kizzie released Free Hugs on May 28. This 7-track EP was produced entirely by Compound 7, a duo comprised of A Plus and Aagee. You had better believe that Kizzie leaves everything on the floor on Hugs, and how effing dope/clever is that artwork?! Head to her site, throw down some scratch for Free Hugs, and then give it a listen. Oh. You’re welcome.
Download: Free Hugs, Hologram Kizzie (Psalm One)
About three years ago, Chicago rap artists Vic Spencer and Sulaiman teamed up to gift our ears with We’re Just Disappointed. Well, they’re still disappointed. The rappin’ ass duo released We’re Still Disappointed a few days ago, much to the delight of their fans. This album features production from Ikaz, Black Spade, Thelonious Martin and others. Also, there are no features. All you’ll get on this album is Vic and Sul, Sul and Vic. If you’re familiar with the theme of We’re Just Disappointed, then this project won’t catch you off guard. Head to their Bandcamp page, name your price, and download We’re Still Disappointed.
Anyone who knows me is aware that while I am a huge supporter of GoILL music as a whole, I am not afraid to voice my honest opinion about any artist (especially rap and hip-hop) who I feel is less than, mediocre, wack, flat out trash, et cetera. I personally know a few artists and will always be forthright when it comes to my views of their music. Some got it, some don’t. D2G falls into the former, and the silent assassin-like rap artist just continues to grind his way to respectability not only among his peers in Chicago, but those nationwide as well. “Lyfe Change,” which features D2G and fellow “East Side” emcee Young Diesel, is the latest example of D2G’s hunger. The two artists haven’t released a collaborative effort since 2003, but this one does not disappoint. Serving as a little over 3-and-a-half minutes of reflection, “Lyfe Change” is one track that belongs in music libraries.
Chicago rap artist D2G emailed me the first single from his upcoming album, July 9th: A Cancer Story, and I felt inclined to share it with you. “I.R.A.N.” (Ign’ant Rappin’ Ass Nigga) was produced by DC, and you can certainly tell just by the sound of this track. Despite the title of this song, I can assure you that D2G is anything but “ign’ant.” One thing I enjoy about D2G’s flow is that he maintains a reasonable level of aggressiveness without coming off as a diminutive persona with something to prove, but without the means and ability to do so. With each release, more and more people are made aware of just how dope D2G is, and I don’t see him slowing down any time soon.
Download: “I.R.A.N.,” D2G (Prod. by DC)
iTunes streamed Daft Punk’s latest album, Random Access Memories (available 5/17) yesterday and after giving it a listen or six, I can confidently say that it is a good album. One initial review I read was one of disappointment, but I’d like to attribute that more to a tendency for some music fans to compare newer projects with older, “classic” ones. I’m a huge Daft Punk fan, and felt it would only be appropriate for me to share with you five Daft Punk songs that should be in your music library.
1. “Voyager,” Discovery
Without a doubt, Discovery is my favorite Daft Punk album. In fact, it’s one of my favorite music albums, regardless of genre. With songs like “One More Time,” “Digital Love,” and “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger,” I’m sure Discovery is a favorite of others, as well. Despite the number of popular tracks on this album, the one that stands out most is “Voyager.” The beginning sounds like a mashup of Michael Jackson and your favorite electronic DJ, and after roughly over 30 seconds, there’s a small break, and then the wonderfulness begins. I have done just about everything that a human person can possibly do while listening to this song, and that includes voting and taking a final. If you’re forced to listen to one Daft Punk song repeatedly, let it be “Voyager.”
2. “Fresh,” Homework
Daft Punk’s debut album, Homework, is absolutely mind-blowing if for no other reason than that the sound of it will drive you insane…but in a good way, if there is a good way to be insane. “Fresh” sounds serene, but somewhat hectic at the same time. The synthesizer sounds combined with crashing waves give this song an almost therapeutic vibe until you realize that you’re supposed to be dancing insanely to it.
3. “Veridis Quo,” Discovery
“Veridis Quo” (from Latin phrase “Quo vadis,” or “Where are you going?”) starts off like some weird, techno-themed Peter Pan score, but once you get into the crux of the song, it’s ridiculous how awesome it is. The thing I love most about Daft Punk songs are the multiple layers to them, and “Veridis Quo” is no different. In spite of the multiple layers, the overall sound of each and every song is never lost on me. New sounds seem to come into play every 30, 45 seconds or so, but still, losing focus on the track is virtually impossible. My younger brother says that “this is some weird shit,” but he’s a Top-40 kid, so that kind of comment is to be expected. Weird? Yes. Dope? Fuck. Yes. “Veridis Quo” is not something I’d necessarily lose my shit to, but it’s still a solid #3 on this list.
4. “Teachers,” Homework
Pay homage, people. Unless you can show concrete, physical evidence to prove that you are the originator of some profession, fashion statement or some sort of creation, someone came before you in that particular field. I’m a big fan of people who acknowledge those came before them, and that is why I love “Teachers” so much. Set to “simpler” production, a list of influences of Daft Punk’s sound are read off by a computerized voice. I have often told myself that one day, I will listen to work from each name mentioned in this song. Should be some kind of mission. “Dr. Dre is in the house, yeah…”
If you know even a little about Daft Punk, it’s probably that most of their songs don’t contain vocals, or at least vocals that are remotely intelligible, for the most part. “Something About Us” is very different in that regard. While no one would mistake it for Marvin Gaye-like crooning or Minnie Riperton-esque balladry, when considering Daft Punk’s style, this track is effing greatness. It’s true that if you’re head over heels in love with someone that this song will appeal to you more than if you’re not, but nevertheless, dope shit is indeed dope shit. The concept of this song is very simple. Why try to explain the beauty of finding someone that you’re compatible with and committed to when you can simply use the reasoning of “But there’s something about us…“ and it actually apply? Right. Exactly.
Originally, this list was going to be 20 songs long, but that immediately smacked me in the face as overkill. Yes, I’m partial to Homework and Discovery, but I do love Human After All as well. The sound of Human After All is very minimalist and appears to be improvised more than Daft Punk’s other studio album releases, but I won’t pretend that “Make Love,” “Robot Rock,” and especially “Technologic” wouldn’t have easily made my list of top 20 Daft Punk songs. Human After All is a damn good album. Now…
I didn’t write this post to convince you to become a Daft Punk fan, but so that you could, if you haven’t already, diversify your music library a bit. Enjoy, and as always, you’re welcome.
I think it’s safe to say that just about everyone has a guilty pleasure of some sort. Be it a television show, movie, clothing line, song, celebrity or downright odd act or activity, it’s hard to be surrounded by so much mundane crap nowadays and not succumb to at least a small portion of it. I won’t get into my guilty pleasures right now, but I will let you know that New Orleans rapper Curren$y’s music is most definitely one of them.
Curren$y, an artist I’ve been a fan of since his Sqad Up days on the Cash Money label, is a weed-smoking, fly car-driving, woman-chasing lifestyle rapper. If you’re unfamiliar with what a lifestyle rapper is, don’t wrack your brain over such a simple concept. Lifestyle rappers simply spit bars about what they do on a regular basis; usually things that aren’t too far-fetched or grandiose. Dropping his latest mixtape, New Jet City, before yesterday’s Super Bowl, “Spitta” had a certain contingent of internet users in a bit of a frenzy.
No, Curren$y is not Immortal Technique, Nas or Jay Electronica, from a lyrical standpoint. His fans don’t want him to, or need him to be that. We simply want that heavy southern drawl, blatant pop culture references and mentions of skunk ass weed and easy living. New Jet City follows in the footsteps of Spitta’s previous works, a mixtape that sounds like it was somewhat hastily thrown together while also sounding like someone actually gave a shit. Enjoy: “Sixteen Switches, Pt. 2″ “Coolie in the Cut, ft. Trademark” and “New Program, ft. Young Roddy”
Download: New Jet City, Curren$y
One of my favorite music artists (and part-time crush), Carlitta Durand has gifted us with a single from her upcoming debut album, I’ll Be Gorgeous When I Die, set to be released August 12 of this year. The songstress teamed up with Vaughn Garcia, who produced this track, on “Blown Out” to give us a teaser of what her album will sound like. Enjoy:
My favorite rapper of 2011, Chicago’s very own Vic Spencer, sent me this tasty treat today. “Out The Water” features fellow Chicago rapper, Chance The Rapper, and was produced by ‘Goans Nez and Rio. While I’m very familiar with both Spencer and the always-dope production duo, I’ll admit it’s Chance The Rapper whose flow catches my attention on this track. He just sounds so…smooth, which is perfectly complementary to Spencer’s grungy flow. Even when he changes the tempo of his verse, my dreads continue to shake. I last posted the video for Chance’s “Fuck You Tahm Bout” and I’ll continue to fuck with this kid in the future. I’m not sure what project this joint is for, but when it drops, I’ll be on it like Kim Kardashian on any pro athlete with a bit of money and time.
Please, get with the program and download: “Out The Water”, Vic Spencer ft. Chance The Rapper
Insanely dope GoILL rapper/producer brandUn DeShay hits us with this video for a track off of his latest release, All Day DeShay: AM. Nice lyrics, skaters, a little bit of Chicago sightseeing and partying actually make this song that much doper. Check out Sir Michael Rocks’ making a cameo appearance towards the end in the demure yet super fly Hermes hoodie. YER.