These days everything’s in constant motion. Music, technology, and culture are moving furiously at breakneck speeds, which is equal parts frightening and exciting. Locked inside the echo chamber, it can be easy to feel lost, depressed, or lose sight of your goals, as you are constantly informed of other people’s achievements. In two weeks, I graduate college, and suddenly even life seems to be moving at a rapid pace. My friends are preparing to move on to the next stages of their careers, most following the path paved for them the day they chose their majors. I am taking a different route. And even though everything will likely work out in the end, I am scared. For practically the first time in my life, I have no real plans: no school after summer, no shitty internships, no job. So, with the last Tape Tuesday ever (!), I am asking: what now? And if someone has the answer, please let me know in the comments.
Thank you to everyone who has ever listened to a Tape Tuesday over the years. It has been a great honor to have a platform to put out these personal projects. If you ask me, that is all anyone could ask for, and if people listen, it is an added bonus. <3
And we can turn back the clock, making moves that I thought I wanted back at 21, 22, 23, 24 / Never wrong, thought I was never wrong and better off just wanting less but I knew all of me wanted more. -”Untitled” by Matthew Chaim
- Sway Clarke – Champagne Supernova
- Matt Champion – Punks
- Asaiah Ziv – Here (ft. SPZRKT)
- Alex Young – yrstruly
- Rostam – Gravity Don’t Pull Me
- Tunji Ige – War
- Broderick Batts – Fuck the New Kids
- Matthew Chaim – Untitled
- Richie Quake – Irresistable (Ice Cold)
- Mndsgn – Camelblues
- Rome Fortune – All The Way
- DJ Dodger Stadium – I Don’t Love You
- Ny Shallah – #PassOut
- Elijah Fox – Komodo
- Lil Uzi Vert – 1987 (Edit)
- Ricky Anthony – GHOST
- Babeo Baggins – Things I Forgot to Do (ft. Drake)
I am a month into my final semester of university. Obviously, this is a very reflective couple of months in my life, but like my peers I am also looking forward, trying to attain a job, stability, and some sense of control over my own personal roaring ’20s. My path in particular is unclear, as if I am climbing a mountain where the fog is not clearing from the top. This mix is about holding onto youth, facing doubt about the future, and persevering through the challenges of transition.
P.S. The next Tape Tuesday will be the 50th and final Tape Tuesday I produce for Sunset. Thank you to all the people who have listened over the years. Hopefully, the change will allow me to explore other avenues of music coverage for this site.
Tell me when to stop, tell me when to stop feelin’ for you / Tell me when to flop, tell me when to flop so I can make you feel better
I just finished my second to last semester of college, and it was a really frustrating semester. Let me preface this by saying that I am not going into the same industry as my major post-graduation, which right off the bat is frustrating. As you would expect, senior bioengineering courses are massively time consuming and detail-oriented. I could not even pretend to give a little bit of a shit about cell biology. My schoolwork suffered, and I could not do the things I wanted to with music. It was suffocating. I think I grew a beard just to feel control over part of my life (even the beard is kind of out of control).
When I came across the phrase “Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out,” popularized in the ’60s by psychologist Timothy Leary, I could relate to the sentiment. In college, it is so easy to get wired in and lose sight of what is important. Per usual, music dragged me out of this rut, and I got really inspired by Kevin Abstract and Tyler Mitchell‘s “Echo” music video and The Internet‘s recent album Ego Death (in fact, the mix includes two tracks by their guitarist Steve Lacy).
This mixtape is a direct result of the light extracted from those projects during a dark time in the life of Arjun Grover.
I remember nights in November, last year I was stressin’ out, yeah / I remember nights in December still stressin’ ’bout Novemeber, oh yeah
NOTE: The SoundCloud mix is missing track 4 (“Meredith” by Dorian Concept) and track 17 (“Melting” by Kid Cudi).
I have a weird confession. I had not heard the “LA Girl” part of “Robocop” until I saw clips of Kanye’s recent live performance of 808s & Heartbreak on YouTube. I don’t know how this happened. I must have downloaded an unfinished version of “Robocop” from LimeWire when it leaked and never replaced it with the finished version! For years I have been unaware of one of the most beautiful album interludes of all time by my favorite artist of all time.
To make up for it and way overcompensate for that prior gap in knowledge, I made a mixtape inspired by “LA Girl.” It continues to highlight the recent upward trend of California-inspired art à la Gia Coppola’s Palo Alto, The Weeknd’s “The Hills,” and this past July’s Tape Tuesday The Hills Have Eyes.
Goin’ up in L.A., girl I know what you’re used to / Don’t worry ’bout a thing, we can just keep it simple
NOTE: The SoundCloud mix is missing track 13 (“Daddy Issues” by The Neighbourhood).
The surprise album drop has been a popular trend for the past couple of years. I think the concept is a boatload — maybe ever many boatloads — of fun. The problem is it often keeps music media in the dark, and music media doesn’t like being in the dark. This forces them to speculate a lot. As a result music media has been flat out wrong more this year than any other year in its history.
How many times recently have you seen Pitchfork or Fader report false information and then apologize for it? The answer is way too many times, but the media is a reflection of the people. We are the worst speculators of all. We are constantly speculating on Twitter — like 24/7. It’s all we do. Bro, one of Drake’s… friends… instagrammed… fake artwork of a Drake-Future collab, and people lost their shit. Now, that rumor happened to be true, but as this constant speculation transforms into obsession, it becomes a totally unhealthy behavior.
Speculators is a 21-track tape. The original idea for the tape came from 19th century oil speculation à la There Will Be Blood. Somewhere along the way it morphed into the rant above. With this tape I made an effort to include more indie rock songs, like the older Tape Tuesdays.
There are so many discoveries on this one. I hope you take the time to listen.
Now I could die today and the world won’t change, so I’m not ready
I am not going to talk about flowers in this writeup. The name of the tape is more of a feeling. This is morning at the beach music. You can start your day with any of the first 13 tracks — preferably in the arranged order. After track 13, the mix veers into darker territory. It is like when the high wears off, and you realize that the summer is coming to an end.
And the flower is dead. Sorry, just needed one flower reference for it all to make sense. And the beginning is like the flower of love, blooming. Ugh, gosh, sorry… two.
I know enough about being high to know you my ultimate drug
The Weeknd has been on a roll in 2015. He has released two singles, “Can’t Feel My Face” and “The Hills,” both of which are currently sitting pretty in the top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100. I convinced myself that he was going to name his third album The Hills Have Eyes, and when he didn’t (he went with Beauty Behind the Madness), I decided to name the Tape Tuesday that as an homage to his exceptional year.
The tape plays like an escape from summer camp. I imagine around track 7 (“Round Whippin’” by A.CHAL) the protagonists are whipping their shitty cars around the hills while on copious amounts of ecstasy. Through the rest of the tape, they get in trouble, fall in love, and honestly maybe have a brief stint in rehab. I don’t know. Something crazy must happen to explain the seriousness of “Mend” by Planetarian.
But I guess that is the point of the mix. You can do crazy shit in the Hollywood Hills or wherever you are, but that crazy shit will catch up to you because the hills are watching.
Do you ever feel like the only one? ’Cause I always feel like the only one
NOTE: The Soundcloud mix is missing track 8 (“The Hills” by The Weeknd).
Hit the jump to view the full tracklist…
I think I am going to need to prelude this writeup by saying that I do not pop xannies and do not condone the abuse of prescription medication. The purpose of this tape is simply to highlight a growing trend in rap music. It is not surprising that the effects of the 21st century prescription drug culture has trickled into the rap scene, and I would argue that much like Wiz Khalifa makes certifiably dank weed rap, artists like Lucki Eck$ and Jimmy Prime (formerly Jimmy Johnson) make “xanny rap.” As you will notice, the mix is not all rap music. I tried to space out the journey and the rewards of hearing some of the trippiest rap music being made (Also, “Lilly” by Toro y Moi is a wave). If you’re an impatient bastard, tracks 11 through 14 show the heart of the phenomena.
When I’m off all these bars I should be behind some bars
*SoundCloud mix is missing track 6 (“Lilly” by toro y moi)
Two of my favorite movies are Gia Coppola’s Palo Alto and Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere. Both movies are set in affluent areas of California, which I’ve sort of been obsessed with lately. Not to get too weird but the complex relationships had by young adult children of stupid rich families fascinate me.
So I set out to make a mix that sounds like the hills of the ‘Basas.
It started in Hollywood…
*SoundCloud mix is missing track 11 (“Bellyintro” by Lord Byron) and track 23 (“L$D” by A$AP Rocky)
The great artists suffer for their art. The great listeners suffer along with them. I think without truly intellectualizing it this Tape Tuesday is inspired by Na’kel‘s soul-crushing verse on “DNA” from Earl Sweatshirt‘s album I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside. For those of you who don’t know, Na’kel wrote and recorded his verse just after hearing that one of his close friends had died. And you can hear the pain in his voice, and he’s not a rapper (he’s a skateboarder) but he laid down a brutally poignant verse. He wrote his feelings on paper, and now whenever I listen to the song, I find myself feeling the anger and despair that Na’kel is trying to convey.
The sad thing is that in the vapid hype machine that is the music Internet verses like Na’kel’s could be overlooked. Hype is easy. I mean to dedicate my life to the creation of timeless art. When you’re honest and uncompromising, that’s when you become a step closer to creating art that is timeless.
And it’s okay to be emotional.
You used to say you like violins and your lifestyle depend on me
*SoundCloud mix is missing track 2 (“Mantra” by Earl Sweatshirt).
Based on probability alone, most people are bad for you. The problem is my generation is so antisocial that they cling to any semblance of familiarity. Familiarity, oftentimes, is also bad for you. This mixtape documents that internal struggle between the comfort of familiarity and the drab of routine. I miss new feelings. In order to experience newness, you first have to acknowledge how damn easy it is to be sucked into unhealthy but familiar tendencies, and then you have to fight those urges. Progress comes from the fight for novelty.
On a different note, “Vic Mensa sang beautifully on a Kanye West song” is not a thought I ever imagined I’d have. But on “Wolves” Vic croons, “I’m just bad (bad, bad) for you,” and it’s the most affecting part of the song (along with the haunting sounds that follow his verse). This mixtape is in part an ode to the perfection of that song. It’s my attempt to channel the same energy of “Wolves” into an entire mixtape that doesn’t include the song itself.
And I was only trying to make it
*SoundCloud mix missing track 7 (“Home” by Heems), track 8 (“The Death, The Funeral” by Sean Leon), and track 19 (“Stay Down” by Big Sean) — so basically, download the entire thing below.
There is a reason coming-of-age films like Dazed and Confused, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, The Myth of the American Sleepover, and Palo Alto all revolve around the same three things: sex, drugs, and youth. The reason is that they are one and same. This is the mixtape that understands that.
Much like those coming-of-age films, it is about not letting the little things bother you and seeing the bigger picture in a small town setting. It is about having the clearest ideas under the cloudiest circumstances and about dark times from which you rise above. It’s about getting really, really high and staying there for a week. It is about traveling to a foreign city and fucking shit up with your friends. It’s about the things you can only do when you’re young. Or maybe it’s just the soundtrack.
Don’t tell my momma I’ve been smoking