More Life and the making of a global icon

...ther,” 2 Chainz’s delivering us with an iconic verse on “Sacrifices,” and a surprisingly decent feature from Kanye West on the eighteenth track, “Glow.” Young Thug also shows up with not one, but two jaw-droppingly brilliant features on “Sacrifices” and “Ice Melts,” confirming Drake’s ability to bring out the best in every artist he collaborates with. The moody Drake we knew on Take Care is brought back from the dead on the fourteenth (and...

Danny Brown loses his mind on the infectious Atrocity Exhibition

...’, on which Danny is completely strung out but still making crack (‘ Hunched over the stove gotta water water whip it / Lost in the sauce but a nigga still stirring ’) we are lead into Atrocity Exhibition’s second act, which features back to back to back to back high-energy bangers about cocaine that themselves sound fueled by cocaine. The first of these, ‘Ain’t It Funny’, hits like a truck and comes dripping with hyped-up club vibes, featuring...

Jaden Smith’s SYRE exceeds expectations

...Falcon” is another one in which the scattered song structure comes off really well. We have Jaden and Raury switching off between singing and rapping; Raury’s verse is superb, and Jaden gives a decent performance himself. It features a really bouncy beat with some 80s nightclub synths, but switches this format multiple times throughout the track. It keeps the listen refreshing and captivating. Upon first listen, I thought the opposite was true...

Lower Dens: romance, dystopia, and 80s synth

...nd by all means, if you haven’t heard the song yet, LISTEN TO IT. Be sure to follow it up with the track “Stem” which “Brains” precedes, carrying over the exact drum line. The music video for Brains is downright haunting. It features Hunter staring at the watcher for five minutes, flickering in and out behind television interference that thumps along with the incessant percussion. Book-ended by a normal feed of her shot from a Fisheye lens the...

Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book is a musical blessing

...Friends”) to taking time off every once in awhile (“Smoke Break”). Half of the album is a gospel-inspired lullaby, while the other half shows off Chance’s lasting ability to create summer-defining anthems—“No Problem,” which features Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz, is a clear example of this. The album features a variety of guests, from big names like Kanye, Future, Justin Bieber, and T-Pain to lesser-known names, like Chance’s gospel favorite...

Top 10: Best and Worst Hip Hop Releases 2016

...s Trap Lord and 2014’s Ferg Forever. Here, “Psycho” and “Let It Bang” are also evidence of the statement, but everything else — from horrible attempts at hip-house to an awful assortment of commercial features — reeks of failed experimentation and lacking attempts at mainstream exposure. “We could fly to Puerto Rico and fight a mosquito” (“I Love You”) MIA – AIM I really wanted MIA to be the...

Drake’s Views pedestrian, uninteresting

...e — his. But the guy has put out 50-something songs in the last year, which averages out to a song a week about Drake’s life. Is there enough material there to be mined? Views would suggest a succinct ‘no.’ “Pop Style” features tough guy leader-of-the-crew Drake (seen most famously in 2013 on “Started From the Bottom”). “Fire & Desire” is I-just-wanna-get-married-and-be-happy Drake (“You just like my sidekick, I just wanna wife /...

All the Feels in San Francisco: TOKiMONSTA at Mezzannine SF

...-out synths, vibrant vocals, and danceable beats; TOKiMONSTA (born Jennifer Lee) delivered a versatile set resulting in a 2-hour long dance party in the middle of a work week. While Lee’s latest album, The Lune Rouge (2017), features more introspective and emotional songs tied to her personal life, the live set combined these sentimental tunes in perfect balance to upbeat songs to keep the energy buzzing all night. Whenever an artist goes on...

Moses Sumney starts tour off with a bang after dropping Aromanticism

Moses Sumney is talented, majorly talented. If the first minute of his show couldn’t tell you that, his features on tracks of big name artists like Flume ( “Weekend” ) and Solange ( “Mad” ) should. With a voice as skilled as his, he could have taken his artistry in any direction: jazz, soul, funk, pop – you name it. It makes it all the more interesting that he chose to craft a genre-bending album exploring layering, distortion, and...
Imperial album cover

Denzel Curry’s Imperial: Florida Man Spits Fire

...owever, is Curry’s counterpoint to his aggression: “This Life” and the hook for “Sick and Tired” reveal a surprisingly melodic side to an especially vicious artist. Additionally, the implementation of features by Twelve’elen on “If Tomorrow’s Not Here” and — yes — Rick Ross on “Knotty Head” leads to an emulsion of intermingling styles, with both artists playing sonic counterparts to...

Tyler, The Creator’s new album is really weird

...ke “Garden Shed (feat. Estelle),” for example – it doesn’t get much softer than that, not to mention that sweet melodic piano that gently supports Frank Ocean’s godlike vocals on “Where This Flower Blooms.” Speaking of features, Tyler brings in some of the most talented, yet most underrated, voices to handle a lot of the singing on the album that was just out of Tyler’s insanely low vocal range. Kali Uchis’, the Columbian love ballad...

Remembering Chris Cornell

...e” and “Outshined” stand out, and helped Soundgarden gain a healthy amount of radio play. In 1992, the band released a recording of a live performance at the Paramount Theater in Seattle on VHS called Motorvision . The video features 8 songs, mostly from Badmotorfinger , and truly captures the essence of the era. In 1994, Superunknown launched the band and Cornell to another level of stardom. The lead single, “Black Hole Sun,” is undoubtedly the...

Surfer Blood on new record, guitar heroes and Thomas Fekete’s Burner

...John Paul Pitts as he and the band were en route to a show in Tallahassee about the past, present, and future of Surfer Blood. The name “Snowdonia” seems to be a 180-degree pivot (rhetorically), including the album art which features an iceberg from past albums with tropical connotations such as 1000 Palms and Astro Coast. Can you comment on the significance of this shift? For me, the name Snowdonia is something that actually came to me in a...

Shit Robot gets groovy and historic on We Got A Love

...of yesterday’s sounds. Lambkin takes advantage of his connections on We Got A Love, collaborating with Nancy Whang and Reggie Watts, two vocalists who appear on a number of LCD Soundsystem tracks. In addition, We Got A Love features Museum Of Love and Luke Jenner (from The Rapture), artists who are also signed to DFA Records. The two house tracks on the record feature vocalist Holly Backler and house legend Lidell Townsell, further evidence of...

Burial’s Rival Dealer Pushes Uplifting New Sounds

.../I saw something come down to us.” River Dealer‘s midway song, “Hiders,” is perhaps the most different and uplifting sounding Burial track to date. It begins with a piano ballad atop melancholy bass hums. And again, it features another vaguely romantic sample. “You are the sunrise/I will always protect you/you don’t have to be alone.” Halfway through, the song is struck by an 80s-sounding rapid fire of a drum machine, high hats, and...