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 think this is one of my favorite mixes. It is everything that’s good about hip-hop right now. You got Jon Waltz-collaborator NOVA moving to vocals from behind the boards. You got Bobby Raps going ape shit on a record. After that, Young Thug implements a game-changing autotune on “Halftime,” and then OVO-affiliate Jimmy Johnson (or Jimmy Prime) rips into a slow-burning anthem. BROCKHAMPTON artist Matt Champion and Jon Waltz made a 9-minute song, and it’s perfect. I could go on, but you should probably just listen and smoke a lot of pot. Happy 4/20. Stay ~wavy~.
*Missing track 3 (“Halftime” by Young Thug)
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” »
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
Future pop star Blackbear and my current favorite rapper Bobby Raps teamed up to make “Heartbroken,” and this song is intense. Bobby explodes on his verse; like, I feel he legitimately combusted after recording the track, and it kinda sucks ’cause I was looking forward to new music from him and to have someone blow up is always pretty sad. His verse starts at the 1:00 mark, but all hell breaks loose at 1:12.
Just don’t be scared to get your heartbroken…
Bobby Raps is a rapper and producer from Minneapolis, who is part of the same crowd as Sunset favorite Allan Kingdom and the mysterious, young Spooky Black. I like him because he makes interesting music that seems to take a piece of his soul with every second of his rapping. And with his rapping, he seems willing to do whatever it takes to make the song better–unafraid to change his flow or yell or as on “Blind,” scale it back a few notches to wax poetic about suicidal fantasies.
If you only have time to listen to one song, “Part 1 – The Exodus” is one of my favorite tracks of the year.
Fuck a tattoo, bitch I got scars
The name “Waves” came way before I found the song “Waves” by the incredible Aussie artist Japanese Wallpaper. I was reading about Jackson Sonnanfeld-Arden’s philosophy (introduced to me by Deru) about these Nine Pure Tones, or waves, that serve as the basis of all life and existence. It was a riveting read that has since been taken down from the Internet, and it was just crazy enough to sort of blow my mind and maybe influence my entire life.
You hear about how we’re the most informed generation, but how much of that information are we actually implementing in our behavior? Are we constantly having our behaviors and ideas reaffirmed by seeking comfort in niche sections of the Internet, which monitor our searches to customize the ads we see–only further reaffirming our behaviors? Or are we seeking and interpreting new ideas and incorporating them into our ever-changing social dynamics?
So these have been my thoughts and questions the past two months. You can see how “waves” could work as a metaphor for the ebb and flow of life. And the philosophy takes it like a zillion steps further by defining all science and behaviors in nine different waves. So yeah, um, that was the idea for the mixtape. Also, I just wanted to make your soundtrack for the beginning of summer.
She wears my favorite color, everyday in her eyes…
*Not including track 16 (“Berlin” by Highlands) and track 20 (“Mad at Me” by Sage The Gemini).