Lolawolf makes music that sounds as crazy as the emotions they are trying to convey. There is no filter here. In the five tracks on this free EP, Zoë Kravitz and Co. translate all of the defiance and acceptance that accompany heartbreak and love into music and lyrics. At one instant there will be cries for battle and literally the next second there will be the sweetest sounding melody you have ever heard.
This is ADHD pop for the iPhone generation. It features so many beat-switches and sudden changes it will seem at times like it was produced by a tandem of the world’s best mashup artists. But it’s really just Jimmy Giannopoulos and his friends Zoë Kravitz and James Levy. This is Lolawolf.
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)
We hate being hurt. Like we really fucking despise it. I’m getting angry right now thinking about the possibility of being hurt ever. It sucks. As a result, we don’t put ourselves out there very much, and we distract ourselves with like borderline crazy amounts of drugs and alcohol. Externally, these substances get us overactive and rowdy while internally, we get all sad about the strangest things. I am almost 100% sure substances got us this song from Lolawolf, which condenses all of the emotions of some Saturday afternoon day-drinking into a beautiful, two-and-a-half minute mess of a pop song.
“Every Fuckin Day” will be featured on an upcoming mixtape from Zoë Kravitz’s band due out this summer via Innit Recordings.
Every fuckin’ day, I think of you / Every fuckin’ day, I’m serious
I have to be honest with you guys (but actually, don’t worry, I’m always honest with you guys)…sometimes the Sunset Fam finds really good songs and sends them to each other and we keep them to ourselves rather than sharing them. It’s selfish and probably uncalled for (or maybe you guys deserved it, but nobody has ‘fessed up yet), but it happens. It’s real life.
But I wasn’t about to have that today. This song was sent around the group, and I needed you guys to hear this. The song is called “Jimmy Franco” and it’s by LOLAWOLF, a group led by Lenny Kravitz’s daughter Zoë Kravitz.
WARNING: I wasn’t sold in the first 0:40 seconds of the song. The tribal beats were cool, but the whiny “ahh” noises sounded a bit irritating. But then the vocals hit and they’re powerful. And then at the 1:00 mark, the song kind of changes tracks entirely. It lightens up, the whiney noises are gone, and it’s like you just walked out of the darkest area of rainforest, cleared the overhanging leaves and hairy things hanging from the skies, and found the light of the sun. The sounds kind of come back and haunt me a little bit, but that’s just what happens when you’re in the rainforest. It’s unpredictable. And that can either be seen as an annoyance, or instead, maybe that’s just the allure of the rainforest: it’s going to do its own thing. And you can’t stop it. And you don’t want to stop it.
And now I realize I just told a really weird story, and those last two sentences are all I really needed to say.
BONUS: Hit the jump to watch the music video for Jimmy Franco, featuring A$AP Rocky
I made at least 20 different variations for this mixtape cover, and I showed my friends the different versions and gathered opinions on each cover. This one was always my personal favorite, but literally no one else’s. So why was it selected? Well, probably because I’m stubborn–but also because there is something to be said for sticking with your guts. There is a basic instinct that comes with any creative endeavor and everyone might not appreciate it at first (or ever), and that’s okay as long as it reflects a piece of you.
I told a musician friend that art is an energy you have to learn to control, and now I’m not really sure I agree with that. Lately, I’ve been thinking about what makes a classic album (you know, trying to create a classic mix for ya), and I actually think what makes a classic album is an artist unleashing his or her unique (sexual [...sorry]) energy in an untempered environment. For this mix I tried to start at the base level (“The Floor”) and find these really unique artists with extremely recognizable styles to create this really gritty, powerful hour of music. Also, it’s kind of dancy, which is mostly why it’s called “The Floor.”
- Sydney in Theory – Diamonds & Dirt
- George Barnett – Down on Me
- Benin City – Wha Gwan
- ASTR – R U with Me
- Sylvan Esso – Play It Right
- Hayden James – Embrace
- holychild – Happy with Me
- Lime Cordiale – Sleeping at Your Door
- Lolawolf – Drive
- The Hard Knocks – Coast
- Ben Khan – Eden
- Jagga – Hold Me
- CliffLight – Summer of Sin
- RÁJ – Ghost
- Body Language – Charm
- John Wizards – Muizenberg
- High Highs – A Real Hero (College Cover)
- Twin Shadow – Old Love / New Love
- Great Good Fine Ok – You’re the One for Me
- Bipolar Sunshine – Love More Worry Less
- Lontalius – Furthest Thing (Drake Cover)
What am I supposed to say? An old love called me yesterday.
It’s almost become a lazy cliché to throw around phrases like “this would’ve fit perfectly on the Drive soundtrack” when describing any new synth-based song with airy vocals. Sure, the soundtrack was awesome and it hit at a perfect time when music like this was becoming really popular, but that was two years ago and it’s time to finally move on. That being said, THIS NEW SONG FROM LOLAWOLF WOULD HAVE FIT PERFECTLY ON THE DRIVE SOUNDTRACK. Featuring airy vocals and driving synths, it makes me want to have one of those corny self-reflective moments you see in movies where the main character breaks down and goes on a long emotional drive by themselves to figure out where exactly everything went wrong with their lives. Am I wrong? I mean, the song is even called drive. You get the point.
Lolawolf is taking that whole “lets remain mysterious” approach that’s been working out for everyone lately, but I did a little
digging creepy Internet stalking and found out they’re from Brooklyn and their names are Zoe, James, Raviv and Jimmy. Rumor has it that Zoe is Zoë Kravitz — co-star of After Earth and daughter of Lenny Kravitz. More importantly, I also found a slightly older (but worthwhile) track on their bandcamp page called “Wanna Have Fun” that I’ve included below as well.