Vic Mensa

Gosh Pith – Gold Chain

Gosh Pith

Detroit duo Gosh Pith blend genres as well as anyone, and their new single “Gold Chain” is a trap-tinged, guitar-soaked 21st century love ballad that is both emotionally resonant and club ready.

They describe the track as “a ratchet love song about the constant conflict between the meaningful and the meaningless,” and that description is certainly fitting.

Shades of Majid Jordan are undeniable in the smoky, smooth bounce of “Gold Chain,” and its woozy rap-sung blend is reminiscent of Sunset favorite All Day.

The duo dropped a stellar EP (Window) earlier this year, and have another project slated to drop at the top of 2016. They’ve already hit the road with acts like Vic Mensa and Odesza, so you’re going to want to have Gosh Pith on your radar before they become the next big thing.

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[Premiere] Kennan Moving Company – Charades

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Kennan Moving Company is a New York-based band who swirl together genres with uncanny ease. They’re reminiscent in many ways of Kids These Days, the cutting-edge soul-rock band where Vic Mensa cut his teeth before going solo.

Their latest single, “Charades,” premiering right here on Sunset, is an intoxicating blend of guitars, horns and powerful vocals from frontman Oliver Kennan. The track is earnest and introspective, but most importantly it’s a blast to hear. There’s an easy chemistry among the members of Kennan Moving Company that is apparent both here and on the rest of their short discography.

According to the band, “Charades is a song about that beginning phase of relationships where you really don’t know how the other person thinks of you… It’s about that point before either of you has made any overt gestures of attraction and you are trying to read their body language and puzzle out any subtle hints they might be dropping. I think it can really be kind of magical and totally excruciating at the same time.”

They dropped their No Fun EP last year, and if “Charades” is any indication, then their forthcoming project will truly turn heads. Quality bands are becoming harder and harder to find nowadays, and the maturity and soulfulness of Kennan Moving Company makes the group a true diamond in the rough.

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10 Songs I’m Playing On Repeat

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Have you ever experienced one of those breakthrough moments where you feel like FINALLY you’ve reached what you’ve been trying to get to for so long? I had one of those today. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been in a funk for a while now – just not really feeling like myself. Work hasn’t been exciting me, and I’ve been letting that affect my personal life. But I turned 27 yesterday and I told myself that 27 is going to be better than 26. And I woke up this morning, and somehow I just felt giddy. I’ve been cheery all morning, and a big part of it has been fueled by the music I’ve been listening to. So I wanted to share 10 songs that I’m playing on repeat today (some new, some old). I don’t usually get into remixes or heavy beats, but I’m feeling it today, so why the hell not! Let the beat build!

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[Download Mixtape] Tape Tuesday: Superfriends

New Tape Tuesday!

It is really really really difficult to believe in love when you have not experienced it, yet it is so engrained in culture that it is instilled in even the most adamant nonbelievers. I set out to make out a mixtape that is as grimy and slimy (sorry for rhyming) as the ZHU smash “Superfriends” and somehow came out with this grand statement on love. I think the context of this love still comes from like a night out, “we found love in a hopeless place”-type scenario, so that is cool and interesting. Other than that, it is just a mix of 24 songs ranging from Mar‘s gorgeous “Ode to Her” (which makes the lyric “If I was born a girl, I would be just like you babe” endearing and not weird) to the addictive and danceable “Coast Is Clear” by the odd couple of Skrillex and Chance The Rapper.

Continue reading “[Download Mixtape] Tape Tuesday: Superfriends” »

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[Straight Talk Sunday] I Miss the MySpace Days

MyspaceStraightTalkSunday

I tweeted a couple weeks ago that I miss the days of discovering music through MySpace. That’s how I got started on this whole thing. I got inspired after talking to a friend when I was home for Thanksgiving break and he told me about all these young hip hop artists from Seattle who he was really into (names like Macklemore, Blue Scholars, Dessa…but this was back in 2008, so even a name like Macklemore meant nothing to me yet). So to find their music, I had to go to their MySpace pages. And what was really fun was to find an artist I really liked, and then find out who they were into by searching through their top 8 friends on their MySpace page. It was kind of like a puzzle for me, and I’ve always been a big fan of puzzles. Sometimes the artists would put their top producers on their Top 8, sometimes they’d put their inspirations, and other times they’d put that artist from down the road who they were good friends with and wasn’t getting much recognition yet. I remember finding Ryan Lewis, specifically, and getting super excited. Here was this guy who was an incredible musician and producer, but also an extremely talented photographer and videographer. But nobody really knew about Ryan Lewis outside of Seattle yet. These days, everything’s so open – it’s almost as though there’s too much access. Everything’s right there in front of you on the table (or in your inbox, if you’re a blogger), it’s just a question of whether you have the time or attention span to go through it all. I miss the pursuit. There was a bit of a chase, and it was fun.

But what I can still hold on to is the joy I got out of listening to good hip hop. There’s something about finding a hip hop song that not many people have discovered yet and listening for raw talent that really gets me going. And to be completely honest, I haven’t been able to find much lately that’s been able to get me going. Day after day, everything seems a bit the same, life seems a little redundant. I’m stressed out at my job, I miss my family at home, and I look forward to vacation time more than anything else. I miss my friends and the simple lifestyle in North Carolina. It’s a scary feeling. But I reminded myself that I’m lucky to know of one thing that makes me really happy. It’s not that easy for some people to pinpoint. Music has been a constant for me for many years. So I let myself slow down and get back to doing what I love – finding music, and letting myself stop and listen. I took myself on a search for some new hip hop music (to be honest, I tried to recreate the MySpace chain search experience on SoundCloud to find people I hadn’t heard of yet, but it didn’t work very well) and included some songs below that I liked as I went along.

One thing I’ve learned in the past couple years is that you may not recognize as you’re doing something just how meaningful it will be in your life. Ordinary things may not stand out to you while you’re experiencing them. But once some time passes and you think back on those things, some moments may stand out that you didn’t expect. It’s like when you smell or see something that immediately reminds you of a time in your past. At the time, you may not have realized that you were creating a memory. But looking back, you wish you could go back to that moment in time. I had no idea that MySpace would be one of those things for me. It feels kind of weird saying that. But those days also remind me of being in college, of days of lesser stress about getting older and needing to know exactly what I want to do with my life, of having all of my closest friends within walking distance at all times. It’s not just about MySpace, it’s about the times that surrounded that experience. But while I sit here and wish I could go back to those days, I’m also trying to take a second to recognize the good things I may be overlooking in my present. I may be going through a hard time, but there are little things (right now it’s the smell of the wreath in my apartment, the cozy feeling of the twinkle lights I just put up in my windows, and the good music I’m listening to right now) that I may look back on and long for someday in the future. We’ll see, maybe I’ll be posting something a few years from now called Straight Talk Sunday: I Miss My Twinkle Lights.

 

OnCue – Staring at the Stars (prod. CJ Luzi):

 

BMB – Playah (ft. GoldLink)

 

Sunni Colón – Jezebel

 

Logic – Like Me (ft. Casey Veggies)

 

Vic Mensa – Suitcase (ft. Chance The Rapper)

 

NoName Gypsy – Samaritan (ft. Mick Jenkins)

 

Brothers From Another – Groov (ft. Asher Roth)

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[Download Mixtape] Tape Tuesday: Arcadia

New Tape Tuesday!

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.

  1. Attu – Don’t Sleep
  2. Twyaen – Keep on Waiting
  3. Drake – Come Thru (James Blake Remix)
  4. Dom Kennedy – After School
  5. Retro Culture – Let’s Make It Work
  6. Skizzy Mars – Summer11
  7. Lorde – Ribs
  8. Wet – Don’t Wanna Be Your Girl
  9. PARTYNEXTDOOR – Break from Toronto
  10. FKi – We Might (ft. Natasha Mosley & Alkebulan)
  11. Hot Sugar – Erica (ft. The GTW)
  12. Travi$ Scott – Hell of a Night
  13. Hozier – Take Me to Church
  14. SNCKPCK – Mexico (ft. Yuno)
  15. Mutual Benefit – Advanced Falconry
  16. Vic Mensa – RUN! (ft. Thundercat)
  17. RAC – Tourist (ft. Tokyo Police Club)
  18. Lincoln Jesser – We’ll Be Fine
  19. Joe Goddard – Taking Over
  20. Night Terrors of 1927 – Young and Vicious
  21. Lontalius – For The Ideas (Ryan Hemsworth Remix)
  22. Mzwétwo - I’d Go Back On My Heart

DOWNLOAD ‘ARCADIA’ HERE

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Chance The Rapper’s 15 Best Guest Verses [Free Download]

New Chance The Rapper!

Aside from being one of the most technically proficient rappers coming up in the game, what makes Chance The Rapper great is his willingness to collaborate. Before Acid Rap he would do features with nearly anyone, which I think is a great quality in a young artist. His guest verses have helped rising Chicago artists, such as Alex Wiley, Kids These Days, and Milo & Otis, get their rightful notice, as well as helped Chance expand his own fan base through collabs with artists like Childish Gambino, Joey Bada$$, and Hoodie Allen.

Hit the jump to download (!) the top 15 verses from Chance The Rapper. Click on the MP3 link to download the songs. Continue reading “Chance The Rapper’s 15 Best Guest Verses [Free Download]” »

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[Must Listen] Nico Segal – Illasoul: Shades of Blue

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I love/hate starting posts with these kind of introductions. I love it because it means I’m excited about the music, I hate it because it means I dropped the ball.  Anyways, I’ll say it, as I’ve said before; I’m sorry.  By not introducing Sunset readers to the incredibly talented Kids These Days I have let down my hometown, Chicago, the windy city the Kids call home, and I have let  you guys down for not sharing some of the best new up and comers out there.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to Nico Segal, one of the very talented Kids. He plays trumpet for Kids These Days, but is also a moving, intricate wordsmith; complex and emphatic.  He recently released a solo mixtape titled Illasoul: Shades of Blue, and it is truly an incredible project.

I guess most people would call Nico Segal a rapper, right? I can’t, though. What he’s doing is different–it’s more poetic, I guess, than what I would be accustomed to hearing from a “rapper.”  This is true not just in the way he writes (and good lord, the young man can make magic with his words), but in the way he speaks.

This is clear on “Music Found Me,” which is just Nico’s voice sans instrumental–simply a poem.  But not a simple poem, to be sure; I spent an hour today listening to it on repeat, and each time I heard a new line, found a new meaning. “My world is made of bouncing rhythms and traveling pitches,” Segal informs his listener.  And so, really, is his voice; weaving and flowing through rhythmic rhymes and intricate tales of his hometown, his life, his artistic visions and journeys, and his unquenchable desire for poetry and the artistic craft of spoken word.

I Once was Lost, but Now I’m Found. Was Blind, but Now I See; Music Found Me

Kids These Days will be a big deal. If they’re not, it says something very disappointing about the music industry. They are incredibly talented, and easily one of the most moving acts I have heard in a long time. Vic Mensa, the lead rapper of KTD, is featured on both Clear Eyes and Come Closer.

It’s been a while since my voice looked at me with clear eyes/ It’s been a while since my voice became shaky with sniffled cries

He has a beautiful voice and is also an incredibly gifted rapper and singer, but look up some KTD–literally every member of the group is extremely talented at what they do. I can’t remember the last time I listened this intently to every word an artist has said on a mixtape. I found myself completely entranced by Nico’s words on Music Found Me, Clear Eyes, and Musica Mi Vida.

“But of course corpses that never breathed art before will forever reek of remorse/ for pledging allegiance to ignorance and price and pristine politicians, demeaners of indifference/ How many presidents were musicians? People aren’t blind when it comes to politics they just don’t listen”

Nico and Vic both have an old school, bluesy sound to their words and voices, so they go along very well with the Dilla, Thelonious, and MF Doom classic, jazz infused production.

I don’t know what else to say about Illasoul. You just have to listen to it guys, it’s necessary. Let me know what you think, too, because I’m curious. Am I giving them too much credit? Are they as good as I make them out to be? I hope so. I believe so.

“My Rabbi is Miles Davis”

 

 

Download “Illasoul: Shades of Blue”

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D Prep

 


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Chance the Rapper – Family (ft. Vic Mensa & Sulaiman)

Chance the Rapper - Family

This is why I love the Internet. Over the course of a few hours, I went from not knowing who Chance the Rapper was to becoming super excited for his upcoming release #10Day, a mixtape inspired by a 10-day suspension he received in high school last year. The self-defined miscreant has real potential. “Family” finds him talking honestly about his personal life, utilizing a relaxed beat and flow. If you want more Chance RIGHT NOW, because you’re an impatient little baby, you can check out #5Day, a short preview of #10Day, notably featuring the Chicagoan MC rapping over “Nantes” by Beirut.

MP3: “Family (ft. Vic Mensa & Sulaiman)” – Chance the Rapper

If “Family” and #5Day haven’t made you excited for #10Day already, you can check out a video of the mixing sessions for #10Day, which offers a glimpse into the recording process as well as previews of some upcoming tracks, including a Chuck Inglish-produced joint that will be featured on the mixtape.

#10Day will be release on April 3rd. Shout out to It’s the Bino for the heads up.

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