^^ Here’s a piece I wrote on Rick Ross’ bodged tribute and the Rich Kidz video for ‘Trayvon’.
Lil Silk - Son of a Hustler
I blogged about Lil Silk, and his great new tape Son of a Hustler over at Passion of the Weiss.
Killer Mike: Life Advice
”Just be the best ‘you’ you can be, and the best ‘you’ you can be is probably about average - so learn to celebrate average more.
Buy better beer. Don’t try to be a better human being.”
^^ I reviewed Young Thug and Bloody Jay’s Black Portland for The Quietus. I DON’T LIKE USING PROFANITY, but I fucking adore this tape.
For a little related reading Fader did some digging as to why the record is called Black Portland, and David Drake at Complex wrote this on why everyone is (and should be) talking about Young Thug right now.
Twista - Ferocious (2013)
I wrote a quick thing about the new Twista EP, ‘Back to Basics’.
The Field: Violence, hip hop & hope for Chicago
World Star’s first foray into documentary-making focusses on Chicago’s drill scene and the violence which plagues the surrounding neighbourhoods. The situation in ‘Chiraq’ has by now been widely reported in the international media, but “The Field...” is uniquely placed in allowing the artists themselves to tell the story - featuring Lil Durk, Tink, Lil Mouse, Young Chop and Katie Got Bandz among others (including Lil Durk’s grandma).
This isn’t exactly new - they’ve been telling us their story for the past few years over blaring synths and hi hat rolls - but through a series of intimate interviews the documentary traces the lines between person, artist and environment. The film isn’t without its flaws - at just 40 minutes it feels a little rushed and skips between subjects too readily without fully exploring any one of its stories. But still, it’s refreshing to hear first-hand accounts of Chicago, and the results will always be more powerful than those from an outsider looking in.
Shouts to Meaghan Garvey for writing this great piece on the film for Pitchfork. Go read that if you haven’t already.
Serengeti – Find My Peace (2013)
If you’re anything like me, there’s a reason that you organise a birthday party for yourself. It’s not just a good excuse to get together, and it sure as hell isn’t a chance to celebrate the passing of time. We reach out to our friends and ask them to meet in one place – usually a bar, or a house with a beer-stocked fridge – and we do everything in our powers to avoid reflection. Our friends are there to support us – or maybe for distraction – and the beers are for drowning out those nagging internal voices saying we should do more with our lives. Age terrifies us, or at least it should, but birthday parties offer a momentary escape.
For the very same reason, spending your birthday alone is a bad fucking idea. This is the situation on Serengeti’s ‘Find My Peace’, which finds him house-sitting for a friend of a friend in Berkeley, California. The apartment is beautiful, big and modern, with automated lights to give the impression that somebody’s home. Those little details are only slight, but they’re the evidence of togetherness and smart domestication – meanwhile Geti is alone in his 30s, eating eggs and drinking beers in the shell of a stranger’s life. He worries about the man coming home to find him there in bed, not because he might be mistaken for an intruder, but because he fears the man’s pity.
The song is loosely based on Serengeti’s own experiences and real-life fears – having spent much of 2009 to 2011 couch-surfing in Odd Nosdam’s cottage studio – but it spirals into paranoia and suicide fantasies. As somebody who spends most days having some minor existential crisis, ‘Find My Peace’ is haunting and also comforting in that messed up way that shared anxiety can be. Geti’s narratives are often as creepy as they are sad or funny, and maybe it takes a certain kind of person to really enjoy his music – but there’s a powerful poignancy to exposing these twisted internal monologues.
Listen to Serengeti’s C.A.B. over on bandcamp.
Reason #155 why I love Roc Marciano: You can order his new album with a full-blown gentleman’s kit.
Oh yeah, I wrote about my favourite rap records of the year.
Check it out.
I went to Krakow a few weeks ago for Unsound, and here’s the resulting review. I don’t really like live reviews and normally I wouldn’t post this here, but this was a hugely significant trip for me which has really got me thinking about how I consume music. If you ever get the chance to go to Unsound, I can’t recommend it highly enough.