Introducing JoeJas: The Free-spirited Hip Hop Artist Doing Everything Himself

On JoeJas’s Spotify bio, he explains how his music is inspired by his personal experiences being labeled weird and different. After listening to his music and checking out his various design projects, it becomes clear that being weird and different is an asset, not a hindrance, for the UK-based creative. Few artists embody today’s limitless do-it-yourself (DIY) spirit quite like utility man JoeJas, who has found a way to control the entire narrative, all from his own island.  Continue reading Introducing JoeJas: The Free-spirited Hip Hop Artist Doing Everything Himself

The Top 5 Songs from High Fidelity

Zoë Kravitz stars in Hulu’s spinoff of the 2000 RomCom movie High Fidelity; both are based on Nick Hornby’s novel of the same name. In Hulu’s version, Rob (Kravitz) is the music-obsessed owner of a record shop in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. The show’s soundtrack is an incredible curation of music from all eras and genres, thanks in large part to Executive Music Producer Ahmir Thompson, AKA The Roots’ Questlove, and the people at Aperture Music. Here’s our list of top 5 songs from the show, and why. Continue reading The Top 5 Songs from High Fidelity

Presenting… Erykah Badu’s Quarantine Concert Series

With the future of in-person concerts paused for the foreseeable future, musicians and fans alike are hoping that virtual concerts and performances can temporarily fill the void. One of the musicians looking to make the most of the circumstances is neo-soul legend Erykah Badu. Joined by her live band, Badu has streamed 3 performances from Dallas in increasingly elaborate settings, featuring jam sessions, experimental dj remixes, and commentary on everything from the COVID-19 pandemic to asteroids flying towards earth. Continue reading Presenting… Erykah Badu’s Quarantine Concert Series

Introductions to the Dinner Party Roster

Terrace Martin, 9th Wonder, Robert Glasper, and Kamasi Washington have come together to form a new supergroup. They blessed the world with their 7-song debut album, called Dinner Party, this past Friday. In collective form, the group is musical royalty: an elite roster made up of musicians who continue to thrive at the creative forefronts of their respective genres. Continue reading Introductions to the Dinner Party Roster

The Gradually Increasing Significance of Kids See Ghosts

Creating one of the most innovative albums in a respective genre, as Cudi did with MOTM, comes with the burden of astronomical expectations and an elevated standard, which make it extremely challenging to follow up. With KSG, Cudi finds that elusive spark that made his albums from a decade earlier so visceral, evocative, and… alive. The key difference on KSG is that he’s shed his tendencies toward self-consciousness and insecurity, and replaced them with self-motivation and faith – culminating in his symbolic re-birth. Continue reading The Gradually Increasing Significance of Kids See Ghosts

REVIEW: Thundercat continues to invent his own brand of groovy and goofy soul

Thundercat is on a mission to build his own brand of funky neo soul music. On his new album, It Is What It Is, the talented bassist concocts another blend of avante garde jazz with funky bass lines and dopey humor. Thundercat throws the weirdness of an Adult Swim segment into the webs of contemporary jazz compositions to tell goofy love stories that bring his musical comics to life. Continue reading REVIEW: Thundercat continues to invent his own brand of groovy and goofy soul

REVIEW: Childish Gambino’s 3.15.20 is a sprawling example of anti-genre

   Childish Gambino does a little bit of everything on his best album yet: 3.15.20. By drawing clear influence from the likes of Frank Ocean, Prince, Kanye West, Toro y Moi, and Andre 3000, Gambino creates an eclectic and sprawling work that’s been a decade in the making. On 3.15.20, Donald Glover shifts the paradigm of what anti-genre entails in contemporary music – but his newest experiment doesn’t come without a catch. Continue reading REVIEW: Childish Gambino’s 3.15.20 is a sprawling example of anti-genre

In the Era of Unlimited Access to Music, Yasiin Bey’s Negus Exhibit is the Antithesis to Streaming Consumption

Yasiin Bey, formerly known as Mos Def, is re-imagining what it means for fans to experience music. His new album Negus is exclusively available during ticketed listening sessions taking place at the Brooklyn Museum. The listening sessions will run through January 2020, and the album component will not be released on streaming services or hard copy – not any time soon at least. Continue reading In the Era of Unlimited Access to Music, Yasiin Bey’s Negus Exhibit is the Antithesis to Streaming Consumption

REVIEW: Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Bandana

For all the debates ablaze in the hip hop community, the unanimous appreciation for Freddie Gibbs and Madlib’s music is a true testament to its quality. The duo has released two albums together, Piñata (2014) and Bandana (2019), and are planning on a third installment to complete the trilogy. The rapper-producer team up combines Madlib’s pristine jazz-fusion, soul-sampling production with rapper Freddie Gibbs’s knack for storytelling that is hardcore yet full of streetwise sensibilities. The result is a sort of hip hop purism reminiscent of the early 90’s.  Continue reading REVIEW: Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Bandana

REVIEW: Wilco’s ‘Ode to Joy’ Is the Band’s Best Album in Over a Decade

Last year, Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy released his memoir, Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back), along with two 11-track solo albums, WARM and WARMER. It was an especially busy year for him, and fortunately this pace hasn’t slowed down in 2019. Tweedy reunited with his Wilco bandmates to release their 11th album, Ode to Joy, on October 4th, which they are following up with an accompanying tour through the rest of the year.
Continue reading REVIEW: Wilco’s ‘Ode to Joy’ Is the Band’s Best Album in Over a Decade

REVIEW: Danny Brown – uknowhatimsayin¿

At no point during Danny Brown’s critically acclaimed Atrocity Exhibition could he reasonably ask: uknowwhatimsayin? That’s because, frankly, very few people (if any) could relate to the disturbing drug-filled and deranged sex-obsessed trip he shared via his last album. What might be reality for Danny Brown is merely vicarious fantasy for the vast majority of his listeners. Atrocity Exhibition was a cringeworthy wild ride that was simultaneously jarring and thrilling; it was like the musical equivalent of a haunted house. And that’s why people loved it.  Continue reading REVIEW: Danny Brown – uknowhatimsayin¿

REVIEW: Sturgill Simpson – SOUND & FURY

The success of A Sailor’s Guide to Earth brought fame that Sturgill Simpson never wanted. The Kentuckian appreciates the simple, organic pleasures of life, as opposed to the hollywood charades. Surrounded by an unfamiliar world, he quickly sniffed out all the bullshit around him, and made the pessimistic SOUND & FURY as a cathartic middle finger to all the destructiveness he wanted to hop in a car and drive away from. In other words: he made art, not friends. Continue reading REVIEW: Sturgill Simpson – SOUND & FURY

ALBUM REVIEW: Chance the Rapper’s The Big Day is full of ecstasy, but lacks in consistency

Chance’s three mixtapes leading up to his debut album were impressive and impressionistic. Acid Rap introduced a trippy free spirited talent and Coloring Book found him refining his sound, and bringing gospel hip hop to the mainstream. With The Big Day, Chance further expands and experiments to make the ultimate musical toast to his newly wedded wife. While The Big Day’s toast finds beauty and bliss in alternative hip hop territories, it gets unpleasantly interrupted too frequently by bland and random moments. Continue reading ALBUM REVIEW: Chance the Rapper’s The Big Day is full of ecstasy, but lacks in consistency

‘Afilando Los Cuchillos’ Is the Soundtrack to Puerto Rico’s Political Victory

High profile Puerto Rican musicians, such as Ricky Martin, Residente, and Bad Bunny, stood  in solidarity with the protesters, joining the rally as it flooded the streets of San Juan. The artists used their platform to protest and perform, to energize and unite, in a way that only music can.  Continue reading ‘Afilando Los Cuchillos’ Is the Soundtrack to Puerto Rico’s Political Victory

The Artist’s Revolution: The Significance Behind Chance’s ‘The Big Day’ Release

Chance the Rapper’s hugely anticipated debut ‘owbum’, The Big Day, is coming out this Friday. His earlier projects 10 Day, Acid Rap, and Coloring Book were all mixtapes that were available for free online on sites like Soundcloud and DatPiff, technically making them different from official … Continue reading The Artist’s Revolution: The Significance Behind Chance’s ‘The Big Day’ Release

REVIEW: In a year dominated by hip hop, Noname’s Telefone emerges as one of the best

REVIEW Telefone is a profoundly optimistic album filled with organic rhythms and cohesive storytelling. Noname, formerly known as Noname Gypsy, delivers her music through a monotonous but silky smooth voice that is unequivocally confident. On Telefone, She describes her universe with … Continue reading REVIEW: In a year dominated by hip hop, Noname’s Telefone emerges as one of the best