Today’s song of the day comes from the audio magician Supa Bwe. Supa, yet another rapper coming from the cultural renaissance currently happening Chicago, has been producing and rapping for a few years now. “Stay Awake”, from Supa’s Hurt Everybody mixtape, produced by Zen Zan, was released seven months ago on Soundcloud. The slowed down beat, extended bass, and wavey melody sets makes a perfect canvas for rappers Twista, Mick Jenkins and Supa Bwe to work with. Supa’s talent for making a hook sets a stage for Mick Jenkins and Twista to go in. Mick Jenkins lyrics, “let me see that dropped pin”, takes a unexpected satirical twist to this song. The juxtaposition between the slow verses of Mick Jenkins and the rapid lyrics of Twista makes this a complex and unique banger. Enjoy this song to wherever you’re heading this block break.
I chose “That Green Gentleman” as my first song of the day for a number of reasons. Not only is it a fantastic Panic! throwback–backwhen Panic! wasn’t just Brendan Urie–it also reminds me of simpler times. When I was in grade school, my good friend Alexa would let me listen to her iPod with her on our busrides to and from school. These rides were 45 minutes long and covered winding roads over two different mountains. It was wearying at times, so to lighten things up in the afternoons, we’d have “karoake day,” where we’d essentially sing at the top of our lungs to whatever Fall Out Boy or Panic! song we were currently obsessed with. Alexa just recently texted me a link to the music video for this song and after re-watching it, I couldn’t help feel nostalgic for those busrides, and the lyrics had never rung more true: “Things have changed for me, / And that’s OK, / I’m on my way.” If you get the chance, give the music video a watch–it’s a good one.
Milo has got to be one of the most emotional and interesting figures in the world of hip-hop today. “Folk-Metaphysics” is a track from his album Things That Happen at Day. It is one of Milo’s most engaging songs and showcases his ability to let his mind take him where it will. His vocals dance over a minimal beat while he covers the world of relationships and gives us a look inside of his mind. The lyrics do not rhyme in many places, but his cadence lets the words flow in a completely natural manner. While sometimes Milo loses me in his world, this song is easy enough to digest, while still moving away from the world of materiality that many hip-hop artists fall victim too. Milo is vulnerable in the song and not in an overly emotional way. He raps, “I’m going to write rap songs to find objective truths.” He’s searching for something and I think he touches on a poignant moment with this line: “I don’t make promises I can’t keep – So I’m not going to make promises ever – And when I write letters to my ex-girlfriends that’ll be the header.” He is navigating a difficult world it seems, and we’re lucky enough to get a look inside.
Sometimes you have to look back to move forward. With the resurgence of R&B from D’angelo to Chris McClenney, I figured I would share this original R&B jam from 2005. In his track “Sacrifice”, Darien Brockington brings the beautiful production and tempting voices come together beautifully in this one and creates truly timeless music.
Last year was a ridiculously strong year for hip-hop, and I’d say Milo’s sophomore album So the Flies Don’t Come was one of the best. This track, like all on the record, are produced by Kenny Segal. His production is atmospheric, mellow, and off-kilter, which perfectly complements Milo’s style. Milo doesn’t rap with urgency, but he has a lot to say. His word play is intricate, witty, and cryptic. Milo is able to make every line poignant and poetic, and his sarcastic, self deprecating humor shines through every once in a while. Myka 9 is featured on the hook, and the dude can sing. He gives a great performance, and his voice works perfectly with the production. All in all this track is fantastic. Give it a spin.
I saw Porches post this song on their Facebook on Monday, and got unbelievably excited –– and with good reason, I think. Though much more electronic than any of the songs off their debut album, Slow Dance in the Cosmos, the two singles off the upcoming Pool – Car, and the recently released Be Apart, continue to tell intricate and relatable stories through their lyrics. Just like the title might suggest, the song transports me into a state of mental motion. Pool is out tomorrow on Domino Records, so if you like this song/Porches in general, the rest of the album probably won’t disappoint.
Stumbled upon this track in my trusty Discover Weekly playlist and I must say, I am a very fast fan. This all-girl band hails from Madrid and just recently released their first album. Their garage-rock sound reminds me of Chastity Belt or a grittier HAIM, both fresh and familiar. I expect their debut album, Leave Me Alone, to make a splash this year and for this gals to show up on more festival lineups as this sort of grrrl grunge rock is ~so hot right now~. Unappetizing as the title may be, “Warts” has an upbeat tune and catchy guitar riffs to keep this song stuck in your head all damn day.
I was trying to think of a Béla Fleck/Abigail Washburn song to post, since this incredible duo will be playing at CC in a matter of hours. While I could have played some of Béla’s selections from Rocket Power (the best Flecktones album, in my opinion), or from his recent duo album with Chick Corea which absolutely blew my mind when I heard it, or something of Abigail’s insanely creative “City of Refuge”, I decided to go with a new and seemingly humorous piece the married duo performed almost a year ago.
When I talk about their performance of Europe’s “The Final Countdown” as humorous, I am really only extending the degree of levity to the superficial: the wigs, The A.V. Club’s tradition of comedy, my obsession with GOB from arrested development. All other aspects of this performance, though, are met with the gravest intent, as if the duo are performing a sacred Appalachian folk song from deep within their repertoire. From her first chord, Abigail sets the tone of the performance as different and beautiful. Her accompaniment to Béla’s tender rendition of the melody and chorus make turn the performance on its head. Where others like to keep in the A.V. Club’s tradition of satirizing popular music (of course, not that this is a bad thing!), the duo quietly and methodically go about fulfilling their endless creative impulses and leave us, the listener, with a piece of astoundingly spiritual beauty.
Even though “Snowblind Friend” is undoubtedly about cocaine rather than snow, it still promotes the kind of vibe you might feel in looking out the window today in Colorado Springs.
I heard of Steppenwolf when I literally judged them by their appearance and bought this hilariously 70s-looking record Steppenwolf 7 from Independent Records my freshman year at Colorado College. When my mom first came to visit my dorm room in Slocum and saw it on the wall, she groooooaned. Steppenwolf is one of the many bands that makes her cringe and think of her and her brothers in high school. I loved that.
“He said he wanted heaven, but praying was too slow.”
This beat is TASTY, right from the start. Busta’s production team needs high fives all around for this one. Also, Chance The Rapper does his thing for like… 2 minutes, nonstop, stream of consciousness or whatever. It’s nuts. But to be honest, my favorite part of the song is that one little bit where Busta is all “sing it, Chance The Rapper” and Chance just goes for it. I dig it. Hella tight beat for real. Someone tell Cisco the Nomad (I know someone who reads this has to have his number) to do some remix thing over this. I’d pay money for that.
This track is off Busta Rhymes’ new mixtape, “The Return of The Dragon: The Abstract Went on Vacation.” It’s free. Go get it.