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
18-year-old rapper Max Wonders keeps getting better. Arjun wrote about his progress in June of this year: we’ve seen Max Wonders push forward in “perfecting his verses so all that his wording is perfect,” which he spat on “Swim 44.” Since then, he released his debut EP You Will Never Find, which is a fantastic collection of hip-hop tracks that vary in their composition from deep and introspective to light-hearted and upbeat. It’s the perfect soundtrack for the indian summer season we’re currently experiencing in San Francisco.
In Max’s own words, “The EP is the soundtrack of a summer. It’s from the perspective of a young person trying not to get “lost in the summertime”, so-to-speak, finding themselves, etc. It’s all of the ups and downs of being a young person in many different moments. I really tried to capitalize on moments, being descriptive and paying attention to detail. Observing my surroundings more than partaking in them. This summer was an experience. I spent the entire bulk of it in Chicago.”
My favorite track from the EP is the lighthearted summertime anthem “Party In The Hills.” It’s clear that it’s intended to be light and fun, as Max Wonders opens the track with a repeated line “I rip my jeans on purpose.” It’s humorous, nostalgic, and begs to be played on repeat. So I’m going to do just that and bask in the glory of the last days of summer.
This your jam, go tell all your friends they’ll play it back again, there’s a party in the Hills so you should cancel all your plans. – Party In The Hills
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)
Max Wonders is doing it right. He has released a slew of excellent songs since last year’s The Wonder Tape, his main producer Sowle is one of his best friends, and he divvies up his time between the music mecca that is L.A. and his hometown of Chicago. Most importantly, he keeps improving. Since his mixtape last year, his songwriting has improved drastically. The songs sound fuller. He doesn’t just attack the beat head-on; he picks his moments and finesses over the beat at angles. He sounds more confident like he’s not fronting as much and just talking about his current situation and future aspirations. His most recent songs (“Swim 44″ and “88 Changes”) are his best, and if he keeps it up, his upcoming You Will Never Find EP will be one of the year’s finest. Shout out to our kinfolk over at P&P for their profile.