The spacey, otherworldly by Kanye West on Pusha T’s latest single “Lunch Money” makes for the perfect antithesis to Push’s boastful coke rap lyrics, and sets the Virginia emcee up perfectly to release a new album that will make him worthy of being solidified as a true leader of new millennium hip hop. The video is also a practice in ideas that might not at first seem to go together: as Pusha arrogantly mocks the competition, around him is a stripped down, barren, drug-riddled environment dominated by pop lockers and hood rich dope boy decadence. It’s a simplistic and unexpected approach, but it allows the song to take center stage. And at this stage, that’s exactly how it should be as “Lunch Money” makes hip hop heads salivate for Pusha T’s next full-length project.
- Ron Grant
Death Grips drops a video single for the first track to be released from their forthcoming album, Jenny Death, which is also the second half of their yet-to-be-completed double album titled The Powers That B. I reviewed the first installment earlier this year.
While it is my job to keep a cool head, it’s hard not to be hyped for “Inanimate Sensation.” The revving group vocals, presumably live drums, and ear-searing synths all remind me of Death Grips’ early work–and sound just as exciting. It’s easily one of the most hard-hitting singles of 2014, and I’m hoping much of Jenny Death follows suit.
Dirty Beaches has been laid to rest, but Alex Zhang Hungtai remains a wanderer. In the statement that accompanies swansong Stateless, he comments on the transitory and unpredictable nature of life and prompts us to “brace ourselves for the ever changing tides of time.” Above, find the profoundly affective audio-visual representation of this rather melancholy existential mindset. Godspeed to us all as we wander through this life!
Stateless is out now via Zoo Music.
West Coast experimental hip hop trio clipping. drop a video for the track “Get Up,” which features one of the strangest instrumentals on their latest album, CLPPNG. The bars aren’t anything to shrug at either as Daveed Diggs delivers one rapid fire line after another.
However, we’re talking about a video here: Co-directors Carlos Lopez Estrada and Cristina Bercovitz bring this vid a simple but very effective concept. There’s an eerie, red glow that pulsates behind Diggs’ stiff, lifeless body. On the hook, we get these blindingly bright close-ups that look like he’s about to be taken away to Heaven or something. The assumption that he’s on death’s door is backed up by what seems to be a bleeding bullet wound that becomes more obvious as the video progresses.
If this newly released single is anything to go by, Title Fight‘s upcoming LP will be new territory for the band. The album, titled Hyperview, has a scheduled release date of Feb. 3 via ANTI- Records. The quartet have roots in the Kingston, PA hardcore scene, but have grown to incorporate other styles and genres each time they re-enter the studio. 2011′s Shed felt very indebted to bands like Lifetime and Jawbreaker, while 2012′s Floral Green was a thoroughly-mixed amalgam of ’90s emo, punk, alt-rock, and grunge, feeling equal parts Saves The Day and Dinosaur Jr. On “Chlorine”, we get their now familiar brand of skilled songwriting and forceful melodies, but the vibe is completely different. The guitars are awash in cavernous reverb, and the dissonant chords between the verses feel jarring and unfamiliar. The throaty, angst-ridden vocals are replaced by a hollow, spectral voice tucked in amongst the fray. The result of all this comes across feeling indicative of shoegaze, maybe even a bit of new wave at times. Either way, I can’t wait to hear what the rest of the record sounds like.
One of Denmark’s greatest noise rock bands goes baroque punk on the track “Against The Moon,” which you can catch on their latest full-length album Plowing Into the Field of Love, which is out now via Matador.
The band saw fit to tag some Martin Masai Andersen & Kim Thue-directed visuals to the track, and they’re an esoteric exploration into sexuality, age, and regret. Or, well, at least that’s how I interpret it anyway.
Has anyone called Big K.R.I.T. glam-trap yet? If it’s alright with everyone, that’s what I’m going to do. Displaying incredible technical prowess and a strong ear for a hook, “Cadillactica” finds K.R.I.T. comfortable in his niche. Lyrically, the song isn’t his best, essentially deriving inspiration from sexual brags and success brags. His delivery fits snugly inside a high-hat and spacey synthesizer driven beat. It’s very catchy, great weed music, and easy to listen to, but feels safe for an artist who in the not too distant past was one of the most exciting newcomers to the scene. The synthesizers on “Cadillactica,” specifically near the closing of the song, may evidence an eventual foray into cloud rap territory. Now, trap mixed with cloud beats may not seem like the most original or necessary experiment for any rapper to make at this point, but let’s not forget that not long ago K.R.I.T. was took part in revitalizing a tired southern trap scene. Who knows what he could do if he becomes willing to find inspiration elsewhere?
And by the way, if you want to watch a song about Cadillacs that can’t show a Cadillac logo, check the video above.
- Garrett Cottingham
Nobody tell Sun Kil Moon‘s Mark Kozelek about this band or this video. If he called The War on Drugs beer commercial music, I’m not sure his mind could handle a band whose video essentially is a beer commercial. alt-J channel their escapist 90s soul in this video, and combine it with a very polite but catchy blues riff that carries throughout the song. Just watching this, it’s easy to understand why this band is so controversial. Listeners that need to take their music seriously 100% of the time probably won’t understand alt-J. Sure, they don’t have teeth, Joe Newman’s vocals ape a dated rap rock style, and stereotypical “oohs” and “whoas” persist throughout the song. But you know what? It all adds up to three minutes of pleasant escapism, and that’s all they’re trying to do.
Our review of the new alt-J album:
- Garrett Cottingham
When Kendrick Lamar dropped his latest single a few weeks ago, the hip hop world felt itself once again in an uproar, potentially getting a glimpse into the music from one of the most anticipated followup albums in years. But things quickly took a polarized turn as many fans clearly stood in the camps of “I love it” or “it’s trash.” Now, K. Dot has followed up the release of the single with an accompanying video to coincide with Tuesday’s election madness. The visuals appear to be yet another old to oldschool Cali hip hop, the opening vignette featuring what appears to be a “Menace II Society”-inspired block party as Kendrick gets his hair twisted and proceeds into the dance-y, Isley Brothers-sampled, and positive message’d song. With his signature voice manipulations well-intact, Kendrick continues to gain traction for his third album–even with a less-than-stellar response to the song. And the icing on the cake is Ron Isley’s camero near the end, which goes along with the subliminal messages against police brutality, domestic violence and suicide.
Last month, Pennsylvanian noise-rockers Pissed Jeans reissued their 2005 debut album Shallow on their current label Sub Pop. Definitely check this re-release out if you’ve been digging the group’s recent output and want to witness the genesis of their “power dirge” ways. Above you can watch the music video for the LP’s second track “Boring Girls,” an amusingly uncouth love song whose visuals are part sitcom satire and part cartoony surrealist horror. Enjoy!