Atlanta rapper Madeintyo’s “Uber Everywhere” was a bona fide hit in 2015, earning nearly eight million views on YouTube and earning the MC a place in his city’s rising crop of left-field, off-kilter MCs.
His track has been remixed by the likes of Travis Scott and Tory Lanez, but we’d wager that the latest incarnation of “Uber Everywhere” is the best spin since the original. Australian producer Swell, who recently had a breakout hit of his own with “I’m Sorry,” gives the track a 4/20 suitable spin, cloaking it in a mellow, yet moody haze.
By now you have probably read 5-10 “Best Albums” lists compiled by your favorite music conglomerates. This list is different for several reasons. First, this is a list of my (Arjun’s) personal favorite projects from the year. I did not have to dilute my taste through a group dynamic. This is my unfiltered opinion, which I think makes for a more honest list. Secondly, I did not include any artists for political reasons, which larger sites are prone to do. Lastly, this list is a bit unusual in that it combines albums, mixtapes, and EPs under the blanket term “project,” which in the age of long EPs, free albums, and high quality mixtapes is a necessity.
I am not going to write about every album on the list. Nobody has time for that. Instead, let’s hit the highlights and the lesser known projects.
Travis Scott‘s “Antidote” is many things, it’s a non-album single that proved so popular it was added to Scott’s debut, it’s one of the few solo records on Rodeo where Scott shines, it’s James Harden’s favorite song to yell out of moving cars.
It’s also a record that lends itself quite well to being remixed, with its moody, spartan soundscape and undeniably catchy refrain. Here, production duo Christian Rich, the minds behind Vince Staple‘s “Seniorita” and plenty of other hits, re-imagine the weed anthem into a bouncy piece of slow-burning electronica.
The flip retains almost the entire intro, before the track morphs into a surge of shining synths and pounding drums. Christian Rich don’t try to do too much, but it’s a quietly imaginative rework of one of 2015′s dark horse smashes.
R&B singer Jordan Bratton turned Drake’s “Hotline Bling” into a bass-heavy electro R&B anthem, and now he’s back with a dramatic and soulful rendition of Travis Scott‘s standout “Drugs You Should Try It.”
Bratton is an excellent vocalist with a unique sound and a strong falsetto, but it was difficult to picture him occupying La Flame’s drug addled fog that made the original track so stellar. Scott isn’t half the singer Bratton is, but “Drugs You Should Try It” worked because Scott’s auto-tune warble simply swallows you whole.
On his cover, Bratton toys with some vocal effects, but also creates a moody piano-and-string soundscape which effectively turns the track into a heart-wrenching ballad.
The track builds in its second half with a subtle 808 tick, as Bratton throws some new lyrics into the mix that fit well.
Ultimately, “Drugs You Should Try It” is another testament to Bratton’s versatility and creativity both as a singer and a producer.
With Lollapalooza about to hit Chicago like a fiery, musical comet this weekend, hundreds of thousands of concertgoers will flood Grant Park to witness the likes of Paul McCartney, Metallica, Florence + The Machine, Sam Smith, and The Weeknd among others, rock the fuck out. Sure, the headlining acts typically prove to be the best sets. They’re polished, have an expensive stage design, and possess a catalog of hits that, in some cases (cough Sir Paul cough), stretches decades.
But what about the ‘little’ guys? The blog-certified up-and-comers. The indies about to boil to mainstream. The sub-headliners that could very well be taking the main stage in the not so distant future. Not to worry, we got your back. Here are the 10 Must-See Acts That Aren’t Headliners at Lollapalooza this year, conveniently broken down by day and set time.
Believe it or not, Garrett Borns (or simply BØRNS) earned his chops as a professional magician before he hit it big with jams like “10,000 Emerald Pools.” Don’t miss his groovy, psychedelic brand of pop at Lollapalooza this year. He’s sure to have a trick or two up his sleeve.
Young Thug (6:50-7:30)
Thugga Thugga has been a surefire hit machine between his own cuts and guest verses alike. His eccentric flow, fashion-forward style, and summer-friendly beats will make for a must-see set on Friday night. I know there’s gonna be good times.
Sylvan Esso (7:45-8:30)
If you’re searching for something that’s equal parts folky and electronic, look no further than the duo Sylvan Esso. Chilled out, synthesized beats will meet seductive female vocals at this set. Expect lots of eyes closed swaying and swooning.
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Two of my favorite movies are Gia Coppola’s Palo Alto and Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere. Both movies are set in affluent areas of California, which I’ve sort of been obsessed with lately. Not to get too weird but the complex relationships had by young adult children of stupid rich families fascinate me.
So I set out to make a mix that sounds like the hills of the ‘Basas.
It started in Hollywood…
*SoundCloud mix is missing track 11 (“Bellyintro” by Lord Byron) and track 23 (“L$D” by A$AP Rocky)
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).
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
Got a mean one from Pusha that dropped recently. Pusha has the second best grunt in the game; second only to Rozay himself. Popcaan and Travi$ Scott add to the track here but the real stars are Push and Young Chop on the beat.
Cool to see Young Chop blowing up the way he is; just a few months ago he was a low-level Chicago producer working on straight ign’ance with Chief Keef. Now he’s going hard with the G.O.O.D. crew…atta way Chi town, atta way.
Not much more to say about this one but if you’re looking for a new song to mean mug to, you’ve found it here.
I got diamonds on my blocka UNGH