Ricky Anthony is an LA-based singer-songwriter-producer. Last October he released “Ghost,” which is still probably his best solo song to date (it’s crack). That got him a lot of buzz along with some choice collaborations with Drake’s credited “ghostwriter” Quentin Miller and the legendary producer Hit-Boy. But you know–it’s 2016. This is an era of music that requires quantity until you are an established voice. So Ricky dropped three songs in 10 days, including one that features SITR favorite Allan Kingdom.
It can be easy on first listen to dismiss Ricky as another Soundcloud artist overdoing the autotune and pill references. But if you actually listen to the music, you will notice that these tracks are completed visions. These are carefully considered productions and arrangements. Furthermore, a mark of a great artist is the ability to collaborate well, and it seems that Ricky is consistently able to get the best out of his collaborators.
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
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 are ebbs and flow in the vortex of music on the Internet: times where you spend hours searching for new music and get nothing but the same vapid raps and overly cheery indie rock jingles. Right when you are about to give up, fate throws you an artist like Allan Kingdom, and suddenly, your sleep deprived mind feels revived again. The artist that matters makes you pay attention, and St. Paul native Allan Kingdom matters. I had the privilege of talking to Kingdom last week. In our interview, we discuss the making of his new Future Memoirs EP, the booming St. Paul music scene, and his team made up of the legendary Plain Pat, DJ Kaslow, and Ben Hughes.
Hit the jump to listen to and/or read the interview… Continue reading “[IRL Interview] Allan Kingdom” »
Allan Kingdom and Kevin Abstract, two Sunset Selections and leaders of the future regime of hip-hop, join forces on “Already.” The title of the song is fitting because both of these guys just dropped their own projects super recently, and they’re already in the studio making moves. The most impressive part of this collaboration is how both artists maintain their own sound, while working towards a greater, collaborative sound. The biggest challenge for young artists is finding your own sound, and these guys have done it at such a young age, which is part of the reason we are so excited to watch them flourish in their careers.
I don’t trust artists who don’t look at the camera in their music videos. I was watching a video just yesterday, and the rapper refused to make eye contact, and he was rapping the whole time just like, to himself. I felt like I didn’t exist. Allan Kingdom on the other hand is fearless. He is confident and commands attention. It’s not easy to make a professional-looking video as an independent artist, but when you got a good team around you, it becomes a lot easier. It seems like Ben Hughes, who also directed the “Evergreens” video (below), is the ideal collaborator for Kingdom. And while the “Evergreens” video was impeccably shot, I see the “Souls” video as a step up. They are depicting the Minneapolis landscape, while also throwing in some mean imagery about Allan’s rise in the music industry.
I have been waiting for Allan Kingdom‘s Future Memoirs EP ever since it was announced. Or maybe ever since I asked him to be on Sunset Selections last year. I needed to drive. The past few days had been weird–lots of little things piling up into this large, unnecessary mound of tension. I try to maintain a cool exterior when all this shit happens, but I really needed to drive, and I noticed the project had dropped. So I quickly downloaded it, burned it onto a CD, tweeted what I was about to do, and drove off listening to Future Memoirs for the very first time.
As the CD traveled through the first three songs, I felt like it was good; a step in the right direction; a realization of some of the limitless potential we saw from last summer’s Talk to Strangers. Then, the project’s single “Evergreens” played. That is undeniably the best song on the tape. I danced. But it wasn’t until I got to the completely freestyled “Positive” that I realized this was a moment. The actual song speaks to my undeservingly optimistic generation. The tape as a whole speaks to… me. Without making this into an uncomfortable, awkward situation, I feel how Allan feels. I try to maintain this cool exterior when shit hits the fan; Allan makes music about keeping that cool exterior when shit hits the fan. In other words, he completes me. Wait, nevermind nevermind nevermind–that was, uh–I didn’t mean that.
Stream and download the 12-track EP below. Note that it features Spooky Black with most of the production done by Allan Kingdom with help from Plain Pat, SITR favorite Bobby Raps, Psymun, and Ryan Olson of Poliça.
I’m wonderful, I’m wonderful, that works for me
Allan Kingdom will be famous–whether he wants to be or not. It’s funny how truly great artists are most often the ones who don’t try to fit in. Here, Kingdom isn’t transforming Polica‘s “Chain My Name” into a pop song, but it really could become popular. His music is such that it is so unique to him and weird and catchy in the most intuitive way possible. This remix, completely re-produced and written over by Kingdom, will simply make you feel things, and isn’t that what good music is all about?
[via Yours Truly]
Sunset Selections is a curated collection of original songs written exclusively for this mixtape by our favorite breakthrough artists of 2013
A lot of people contributed to the making of Sunset Selections, so I decided to write this post as a thank you note. It feels dumb writing it, so if you feel dumb reading it, understand that that is okay. First and foremost, I would like to thank the artists who were a part of this mixtape for being so accepting of this idea and all-in with this project. You guys surpassed my expectations on that front and then met my expectations with the awesome songs you sent (my expectations were really high okay–that’s why we asked you to contribute). I would also like to thank the Sunset Fam for working their asses off for me and this idea. Without getting too sentimental, I love these people more than my own family. Just kidding. But they are cool, and it’s cool how Lydia set up a submissions page, Eric made a legendary trailer, Alicia let me use her collages, Jordan and Andy got artists on board, and they all listened to me vent about all the bullshit and awesomeness that took place while heading up this project. I really think the mixtape does its job of capturing this moment in time, but more than that, pieces of it are timeless. Oh God, that was ‘cheez‘-y. Fuck, I can’t stop. Just… let this mixtape soundtrack your 2013 and then your entire life.
We were floored by Minnesota-based rapper Allan Kingdom‘s 2013 mixtape Talk to Strangers, so naturally we asked him to join the cast of this year’s Sunset Selections. He quickly blessed us with “Cheez,” which to me sounds like the most zen trip into a lost Tibetan monastery. The sparse beat is challenged by Kingdom’s questioning (“so why you trying to climb up my sycamore tree?”) and a razor sharp closing verse. Talent-wise, I think the sky is the limit for Allan Kingdom, and with friends/fans like Plain Pat and Poliça, I just don’t see him not making a big splash in hip-hop and music in general.
Sunset Selections will be here on 10/10 (next Thursday!). The final single comes out next Tuesday (10/8).
Allan Kingdom is all I have been listening to for the past week. The 19-year-old Minnesotan raps with the loose exactness of Andre 3000 and even SITR favorite Chance The Rapper. The difference is, well, just how crazy Kingdom is willing to get with his flows and astonishingly progressive
beat selection production (Allan produced all of the tracks, except the last two) and songwriting ability. His newest project Talk to Strangers puts his creativity on full display. The hook on album opener “The Dwelling” sounds like a lost James Blake sample. “Binnis” begins with hip-hop familiarity trapped within the fluctuations of Kingdom’s voice–only to end with a glitchy and soulful outro. Now without going into a full track-by-track review, let me just say that this album piles so many ideas on top of each other, and it works. The young MC/producer is easily one of our most exciting discoveries of the year and someone to keep an eye out for in the near future. In the meantime talk to strangers… and probably tell them about this album.
Download the album via Allan Kingdom’s label Friends Only Records here.
Album highlights: The Dwelling, Binnis, Wimme, Try It
I’m a better guy, that is the epitome of thought, lies