It’s fall now, which means young bols gotta go back to school and older heads mourn the acceptable display of near nudity that the summer brings in spades. It’s a rough time for everyone. Heads with Seasonal Affective Disorder fin to start feeling real bad on a regular basis as the days get shorter. But, on the plus side, if you get a date with a shorty its way easier to dress to impress, now that you don’t have to worry about sweating through your kufi. So, to try and lighten the mood we got some new mixtapes for y’all to rock to.
There’s some shit that sounds like outer space, which is great for y’all environmentally sensitive types to escape to. We got some remixed jams from the summer that’ll be great when you’re trying to look like wealth for a date. And last but not least we got some joints that’s perfect to rock while you walk the hallways of school and try to work on your nonchalant swag.
Jams for every situation over here…
In the video for Outkast’s “So Fresh, So Clean” there’s a moment when they arrive at the church cum club — in full Technicolor pimp gear. They’re walking up to the spot in slow motion under a purple sky leaning so hard that they’re almost sideways. It’s possibly the best five seconds of expressionist rap videomaking ever. It’s not realistic or even a boast, it’s just a representation of feeling fly. It’s possibly the best 3 seconds of expressionist rap videomaking ever.
Sometimes when you get a super confident MC and beats that are spacey but laid back, you can get glimpses of this abstracted reality where cats wear leopard fur coats and Benjammin Franklin socks to church. Listening to Nacho Picasso you get there a bit. Maybe it’s the fact that a majority of the beats on For the Glory sound like they were made by The Dungeon Family and Tangerine Dream collaborating just cause they really like each other’s music. Maybe it’s the fact that Nacho is on point with punch lines yet still sounds entirely bored by rapping, like he’s a comedian forced to dumb down his routine to a series of fart jokes for a child’s birthday party. Dude takes overly done concepts like tattoos “Sweaters”, reading comic books “Marvels” and tough talk “Benjamin Segal” but flips them over cloudwalking beats, with a sharp but never overly showy wit. He raps that his “African chick looks kinda like Storm”, which is a high bar to reach whether you imagine Storm as Halle Berry or the white mohawked punk version of mid eighties Iman. The important thing here is that dude sounds like he’s rapping from a world where the sky is purple on a regular basis and that’s never been a bad place from rappers to come from.
2morrow’s Victory are some young dudes out of London making live instrument based rap. As you read that sentence, you might’ve thought “this shit is gonna be on some Craig David meets Roots shit and that sounds terrible on so many different wavelengths even dogs hate their music”. But, the thing is this doesn’t sound like Questlove’s best Sherlock Holmes impersonation. Instead dudes come with some quality musical chops, in the pocket drums and mood setting synths that remind you of Castlevania 3 dungeon compositions — you know, right before you meet the boss of the castle.
Their new mixtape Good Lads has seven tracks that revel real heavy in a laid back vibe without ever getting lethargic. Greg B has a flow that reminds a bit of Phife Dog from Tribe. He always sounds like he’s rapping from a place of being mildly excited and almost out of breath. Not in the way that fat dudes rapping are out of breath, more so in a way that he’s excited to get this story about “what had happened” out to you. Jams to look out for on this one include “Breaking Bar” which has some killer bass grooves and an overall feel of chillness that could easily be slipped in a DJ set right after Camp Lo’s “Luchini” and no one would bat an eye. These are definitely dudes to look out for in the future.
As you may remember, when Watch The Throne dropped a couple months ago, it was pretty underwhelming. To sum up the entire album in a sentence it felt a bit rushed and broad. Leave it to OG Ron C and DJ Candlestick to flip the album into something way more ambitious and listenable than what Ye and Jay originally did. Check how OG Ron C and Candlestick chop up “Made In America” while overlaying “Through the Wire” to draw explicit connection between Ye’s current splendor and his humble beginnings. Dudes overlay “Why I Love You” with “Jigga What” while Jay pops off with all kinds of tough talk to subtly remind you of the days when Jay didn’t have Bono’s number on speed dial.
But, it’s not all really obvious remixing that they do, “Primetime” just sounds better than the original with bunch of flanging and doubling to the beat, giving a sense of dynamics that wasn’t there before. The highlight of the tape though is the chopped up transition from “Don’t Look Down” into “Liftoff” that pulls a Kanye reference to Beyonce in the first song and turns it into a orchestral introduction that’s only fit for the reigning queen of pop music. This remix of the album did something I was pretty sure was impossible and made me actually appreciate Watch the Throne to some degree. That shit’s cray.