In his book Hit Makers, author Derek Thompson unceremoniously drops this gold nugget of wisdom: “The chaos of life is a chronic condition for which stories are the remedy.” First of all, whoa. Secondly, what, then, are the stories we tell ourselves? For me, the story I tell myself is that the myriad of little, daily decisions I make as a recent LA transplant will pay dividends in the long run. In other words, I convince myself that I’m working towards something, and there’s nothing particularly unique about my story. It is the same one that’s been sold to us by society: hard work pays off. But what if it doesn’t? This tape is about being new to a place, having self doubt, and being a tad bit delusional in the pursuit of your calling.
NOTE: SoundCloud is missing track 15 (“Hurt” by Eyukaliptus).
The great artists suffer for their art. The great listeners suffer along with them. I think without truly intellectualizing it this Tape Tuesday is inspired by Na’kel‘s soul-crushing verse on “DNA” from Earl Sweatshirt‘s album I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside. For those of you who don’t know, Na’kel wrote and recorded his verse just after hearing that one of his close friends had died. And you can hear the pain in his voice, and he’s not a rapper (he’s a skateboarder) but he laid down a brutally poignant verse. He wrote his feelings on paper, and now whenever I listen to the song, I find myself feeling the anger and despair that Na’kel is trying to convey.
The sad thing is that in the vapid hype machine that is the music Internet verses like Na’kel’s could be overlooked. Hype is easy. I mean to dedicate my life to the creation of timeless art. When you’re honest and uncompromising, that’s when you become a step closer to creating art that is timeless.
And it’s okay to be emotional.
You used to say you like violins and your lifestyle depend on me
*SoundCloud mix is missing track 2 (“Mantra” by Earl Sweatshirt).
I recently started doing “freelance graphic design” work (in quotes because what). Part of me hates it. Selling stuff that you make is an odd business and perhaps an even odder reason to call a mixtape Voyeurism. As soon as money is involved, people are suddenly interested in your process and want to overlook your creative reaches. I’ll be the first to admit that I make horrible covers all the time, but I know that and put pressure on myself to improve. Added, exterior pressure is completely unnecessary.
I promise this mix isn’t as self-involved as its title. It includes a super fun Snoop Dogg/Oliver Tank mash-up made by Oliver, a solo track by Yeezus producer Arca, an interlude by one of my favorite beatmakers Ta-ku, the best song from Observer Drift‘s free album, a hilariously out of place Death Grips song, and the most hardcore closing tracks of all time. Voyeurism is a freakin’ adventure.
- Wise Blood – Alarm
- Oliver Tank – Drop It Like It’s Beautiful
- Arca – Love You in Chains
- Ramsay Almighty – Vampire
- Ta-ku – Chop
- SAFE – Normal Needs
- Ang Low – Life Goes Down
- Sleeping At Last – You Are Enough
- TV Girl – My Girlfriend
- Observer Drift – Binary Love
- Black Moth Super Rainbow – Old Yes
- Death Grips – Bitch Please
- GROUPLOVE – Ways to Go
- Bipolar Sunshine – Blossom
- Raleigh Ritchie – A Moor
- Jack Magma – SuperPowers
- Arctic Monkeys – Do I Wanna Know
- Young Fathers – I Heard
Sometimes we live too fast as it seems, we don’t even look around