January is the first month of the year. It, quite reliably, presents the opportunity for change — a new year and a new you. Only, this year is a bit different, because, at the tail end of what was a particularly bleak year, we, collectively, lost faith. We lost faith in the system, in each other, and in the ability of new ideas to propagate change. I named the mix We Lost Faith (following the lead of ATL guru Nessly) to elucidate this fact. After all, we can’t combat a problem unless we know what it is. Our generation is one deeply affected by 9/11 and other random acts of terror, the Great Recession, and the most contentious presidential election in the past hundred years. A fundamental lack of faith in institutions is built into our DNA, yet this is clearly a losing point-of-view. We have to regain control of our collective destiny. Thankfully, we live in an era where it is easier than ever to communicate with one another and activate the fellow disenfranchised. So, yes, we lost faith. For a blip on the timeline, we fucked around and elected a megalomaniac into the most powerful office in the world. That… was not the answer, but I am confident we can contain the damage and begin rebuilding our faith.
I’m tryna tell you how it all restarted ’cause of Reagan / You walk out and the cops tryna shoot you like Cary Fagan
NOTE: Original image by Alessandro Ruggieri. Edit and design by Arjun Grover.
Mzwètwo is an artist from New Zealand. That is all I know about him.
Now, I could mention how that is a very 2013 thing–pulling the “unknown,” “mysterious” new artist thing. I could say how that is played out now, and people should just quit the schtick already. I could also say that Mzwètwo sounds like Kid Cudi and our recent loves Young Fathers and The Wyld (and even maybe Chief Keef). I could.
But instead, I’m going to shut up. I’m really going to just shut up. But before I do, I’m going to say: play these songs loud, play them with headphones, and play them when you’re tired. These songs will hit you in your gut and not relent until you’re just destroyed inside (in a good way and not sexually [sorry]). These songs don’t give a fuck about how you feel but will still manage to make you feel better. That’s love.
There are so many ideas floating around at all times. Some ideas peak your interest, and others just sort of drift off into the ethos. Higher education means focusing your attention on the ideas that interest you, because otherwise it is so easy to get lost in higher thought. “Arcadia” might seem like a really pretentious name for a mix, and that’s because it totally is. But it derives from this idea I discovered that interested me (apparently, during ancient Greek times Arcadia represented a pastoral utopia). The mix itself is an epic, 22-track adventure with artists ranging from NZ export Lorde to Chicago’s own Vic Mensa. Hopefully, listening to it will inspire an idea–or even the drive to seek understanding–or maybe it will simply act as an escape. Maybe these songs will take you to your own personal utopia.
P.S. The mix features three different pieces of cover art, each representing a different part of the tape.
- Attu – Don’t Sleep
- Twyaen – Keep on Waiting
- Drake – Come Thru (James Blake Remix)
- Dom Kennedy – After School
- Retro Culture – Let’s Make It Work
- Skizzy Mars – Summer11
- Lorde – Ribs
- Wet – Don’t Wanna Be Your Girl
- PARTYNEXTDOOR – Break from Toronto
- FKi – We Might (ft. Natasha Mosley & Alkebulan)
- Hot Sugar – Erica (ft. The GTW)
- Travi$ Scott – Hell of a Night
- Hozier – Take Me to Church
- SNCKPCK – Mexico (ft. Yuno)
- Mutual Benefit – Advanced Falconry
- Vic Mensa – RUN! (ft. Thundercat)
- RAC – Tourist (ft. Tokyo Police Club)
- Lincoln Jesser – We’ll Be Fine
- Joe Goddard – Taking Over
- Night Terrors of 1927 – Young and Vicious
- Lontalius – For The Ideas (Ryan Hemsworth Remix)
- Mzwétwo – I’d Go Back On My Heart