It is always exciting when a new president is elected in the United States. Between election day and inauguration day, speculation runs rampant, as the President-elect decides who will run the government with him or her for the next four years. During this time of great intrigue, people begin to get a feel for what their country will look like under this person’s leadership.
Earlier this month, Donald Trump was elected to the highest office in the land. Most people who voted for him did so in the hope that he will institute laws that will work better for them and their family. However, so far, during this transition period before taking office, Trump has put questionable people in positions of power, while tweeting thoughtless lies and failing to properly address the global conflicts of interest caused by his company (He has also suddenly reversed his position on many issues, making it seem like he previously never learned the details of, say, climate change.). Right now, the way his first days as President-elect have gone, it seems like Donald Trump will not work for the people who voted for him or for “all Americans,” as he claims; it seems like he will work only for Donald Trump.
That’s why I named this mix No Mans Land. It is a really, really dumb way of saying that I don’t think Trump is going to be a good president.
These lights sparkle but they might hurt you
NOTE: Original cover image by Natasha Jen.
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).
If you take some of the world’s most influential thinkhouses (Pixar, DONDA, Tesla) and ask yourself what they all have in common, two concepts will come to mind: hard work and collaboration (also, risk taking). While many of us are staunch supporters of these brands, only a few actually follow the blueprint of ideation left by, for example, Kanye’s post-Yeezus interview spree. Jon Waltz is one of the few.
The Memphis rapper/singer has taken great care in the making of his upcoming Anna EP. In doing so, he assembled a team of some of the most talented young people in music (Romil, Tebs, Alex Siber, Joba). The title track from the EP is a 3-minute glimpse into a kaleidoscope found on the ground of Coachella that is mysteriously labeled “love.” It is a fluid depiction of young romance that is constantly moving forward, as background vocals from Joba and Taeghan Hagood help fill-in black spaces of the painting.
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.
This is Jon Waltz‘s best song, which is super ideal because it’s also his most recent release. After dropping the fantastic Alyss EP last October, the Memphis native has been quiet. Aside from a show-stopping verse on BROCKHAMPTON artist Matt Champion’s 9-minute odyssey “Burn” (below), there has been no output from Waltz–until now.
“I’m Lonely” is Waltz’s best song mostly because it doesn’t sound like anyone else. He has achieved the most important thing an artist can achieve, and that is find his sound.
Really it reminds me of this girl that I got a teddy bear for last year, but she started messing around with somebody else, that’s why that voicemail from my engineer, Paul, is in there. The concept of it is being around a significant other, but they’re scared to open up because they’ve been broken down so much, but they’re still a blast to be around. Just that playful romanticizing between a boy and a girl when you’re discovering each other.
College is a bizarre place. It is not like the actual world. It is this vacuum of constant intoxication and twisted idealism. Going to classes on a campus is weird as hell. School is the only time all of these individuals will be grouped together like this–packed into classrooms like sardines, awkwardly sweating next to your potential future wife. As much as college is about the whole higher education thing, it is also about forced socialization. You choose a major and a concentration and voilà, like robots or young wizards, you are sorted with kids with whom you share similar interests. You’ll spend years going to the same classes as these kids–some of them you will know and become friends with and others you will recognize but never really talk to. Anyway, I’m not about to start naming names like iLoveMakonnen, but there’s this girl in my major that
has a boyfriend but spends more time with me and got me in this terrible thing where I don’t care what happens, it’s just awesome hanging out with her. I know. It’s disgusting.
Lemme talk to you, I want to hear you talk to me back
*The SoundCloud mix is missing track 15, “Winning” by Just Jack.
There are two ways to listen to Jon Waltz‘s new track “Home.” One is the surface level, where it sounds good–maybe reminds you of Drake. Cool. The second way is if you actually listen to the lyrics and realize that every line is quotable. There is no wasted space on this song, which is a feat accomplished by only the most competent songwriters.
In his own words:
“I wrote this in an empty apartment in Missouri, not Home. Because Home only looks nice from a distant view. It’s a strange euphoric feeling that I get when I visit Home, and I want to translate that feeling to my listeners in hopes that they can relate to it. This song kind of embodies that feeling of being inside your head when you’re at a party and you’re drunk, having the accepted misconception of “fun”, but you still feel really, really alone. But I’d rather have fun to this instead.”
I was on one, fuck it I was on two or three…
S/O to Hypetrak for the premiere.
Here are the visuals for Mulherin’s latest track, 747, featuring one of Arjun’s and myself’s favorite, Jon Waltz. While Jon Waltz doesn’t have an appearance in the video, it’s trippy visuals will do as it captures your eyes and makes you feel like time is like a 747 plane. With no pilots. And this is a great song.
“Bang” was my introduction to Jon Waltz. It has a special place in my heart because I have always been obsessed with that hook (“Left my home with a dream and a cigarette…”), and it always seemed to me to be a very cinematic song–so I had high expectations when I heard there was going to be a “Bang” video. And these expectations were well surpassed due to an immaculate production. The black and white film tells this gritty, violent story that actually elevates the music rather than just exists. It paints a stunning picture that better explains the motives and ideas of Jon Waltz and makes you thrilled to hear and see more from the young artist soon.
It is really really really difficult to believe in love when you have not experienced it, yet it is so engrained in culture that it is instilled in even the most adamant nonbelievers. I set out to make out a mixtape that is as grimy and slimy (sorry for rhyming) as the ZHU smash “Superfriends” and somehow came out with this grand statement on love. I think the context of this love still comes from like a night out, “we found love in a hopeless place”-type scenario, so that is cool and interesting. Other than that, it is just a mix of 24 songs ranging from Mar‘s gorgeous “Ode to Her” (which makes the lyric “If I was born a girl, I would be just like you babe” endearing and not weird) to the addictive and danceable “Coast Is Clear” by the odd couple of Skrillex and Chance The Rapper.
Mulherin is comprised of twin brothers from Memphis, Tennessee. Their new song “747″ opens up with a sound reminiscent of “Cameras” from Drake’s sophomore album Take Care, but as soon as the initial beat drops and the vocals kick in, you are left with a completely original composition. It is a piece of music where the instrumental is just as important as the voice and words, where the melody loops around and locks into your mind and the background vocals transport you into the clouds. Then, Jon Waltz rips a quietly poetic verse, and suddenly, the 4 and 1/2 minute song is over. Damn. I guess, time flies.
Maybe time is just a 747 plane…
Stream the twins’ recently released Noon EP, featuring my other favorite song by them (“Downlow”).
I feel like we are slowly heading towards a wall, or maybe rather, an iceberg. Keeping with the metaphor, the Titanic would be us with our stupid confidence resulting from the endless power recklessly handed to us by the Internet. With this great power we are given so many means to create. Finding out which information to push where can sometimes be tricky. For example, I don’t really talk about my delinquencies on here. I don’t know; maybe I think that would be unprofessional (or maybe I don’t want my parents reading that). But my point is that we are reaching a point where everyone is sharing everything everywhere. But not Jon Waltz. No, Jon Waltz is doing it right. He is focusing his energy and thoughts into one medium: his music. And it shows. The storytelling is concise and vivid. On “LNIA” Waltz makes sure he is not the only one experiencing the events that transpired during his last night in Atlanta.