“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”
There isn’t much to say about mainstream media these days. We’ve reached a pinnacle of repetition, and unoriginality(Yes. I did make that word up to express my originalness .. that one too). The only hope we have is that as human beings faced with creative extinction we will do like Kanye in the Runaway film and come back to life through Murcielagos and fire and shit. Rebirth through progression.
These are 5 bodies of work that are that fire.
Minimalism to the max.
(see what I did there?)
“How to Find a Party“
Ludovin , or maybe more notably recognized as Ludwig Goransson , the producer responsible for the indie rock fused production Childish Gambino raps over.. Well.. This guy can make music. How to Find a Party is the audio equivalent of a bike ride from Williamsburg to Greenpoint on a $24 bicycle to scream at your ex girlfriends 3rd story window. For 25 minutes I was engulfed in Industrial Brooklyn covering a range of emotions that ended in me and my friend Donald reflecting on failed relationships. I was there.
A little NWA , a little Kanye West , a lot of Soul , and an abnormal flow… Poof. You have the new west. This was the first time I was really REALLY excited by a new rap talent in a long LONG time. I’m done emphasizing , but b.. In a generation where we’ve seen everything done , and then done backwards , Ab-Soul still figures out a way to shed new light on old subjects with melodies your favourite artists won’t figure out how to replicate for another 3 years.. but I’m done emphasizing.
This tape..hmm.. I want to say this right.. This tape was experimenting(not Frank Ocean exp…nvm) that turned into solution. With every young artist getting put through the meticulous editing gauntlet of major labels, it’s rare to come across some real human emotion. You mostly get robotic club cadences designed to empty your pockets onto any girl that dances in front of you. Songs like “Hardknocks” bring you inside the mentality a young man coping with the challenge of having to balance the allure of fame and the responsibilities of a man to remain true to himself. Lyrically Joey Bada$$ is fearless, he isn’t aiming for witty punches with every bar , but rather searching inside himself to find the perfect words to deliver his story. So, no.. this wasn’t an experiment. I was wrong. This is the growth of artistry in its most honest form.
The common theme of all these albums is atmosphere. With that being said Jaime Xx executes. Since the last Xx album was recorded in the basement of their labels office Jamie’s remixes have launched Adele into international infamy , reminded the world of Gil Scott-Herons genius , and finally landed Drake in Rihanna’s bed.. We knew he wasn’t going to know how to act after he got it tho. As soon as snare drops on “Angel” you are sure this kid could produce his way out of aids, if he hasn’t a couple of times already. His growth and desire for crowd connection are apparent on songs like “Reunion” as he dictates the tone immediately.
As great as Jamie is, Oliver Slim and Romy write a brutally honest portrayal of love in today’s society. This is the first time the co-writers have actually wrote in the same room. The entire first album they wrote in secluded from each other. Their growth is also evident… The Xx have everything in place to be that universal group that progresses us into an era of something different.
All of these albums do, but eventually Wale will get ahold of them and figure out a way to ruin these to.