ACTiVE CULTURES Sound Select
Finding new music is hard. With so much stuff coming out literally every second, its unprecedented accessibility via the internet, not to mention conflicting social media and critical trends, it can be a disorienting process that takes some of the fun and enjoyment out of the actual art. Luckily for y'all, I spend approx. 230493 hours/week on Soundcloud, Youtube, and secret blogs wading through a lot of really bad music, and picking out the gems. Even for me, though, keeping up with everything coming out means that while I'll be really feeling a track one week, by the next it could be replaced by something new, and I won't really revisit it. Thus this column is an attempt to share my findings, as well as reflect on the week past for myself. For 9/7-9/14, this is what was living in my auditory space.
40Thousand – Bird Talk (p. SpaceghostPurrp)
Regardless of the many objections one might have to SGP (homophobia, his beef with Lil Shark, ugly falling out with A$AP Rocky), he’s still one of the most creative and interesting producers to watch. 40Thousand, a NYC/Tumblrwave rapper who put out a high-quality tape in last year’s Digital Cocaine seems a natural fit to link up with Purrp, and I’m certainly glad he did. Bird Talk is hypnotic in its hook (which dominates the sub-3-minute track). The lyrics are nothing that will make you spin the record back, but Purrp and 40Thousand have put out a weird, atmospheric jam focusing more on verbal rhythm and a minimal, spooky beat that completely delivers on its promises.
Well$ - 98 Juvie
If y’all didn’t already know, last week was deemed the ‘Week of Well$’ by the up and coming North Carolina rapper. What this means to me is really unclear, as I don’t think he dropped a new track every day or something, but he at least put out 3 or 4 songs and a video, all of which were on point. ’98 Juvie’ stands out as the best of the lot, Well$ sounding downright menacing while dropping cliché but hard bars (You can live like a man/Or you can die on your knees…). The Juvenile tribute is a bit unclear, but Well$ is able to affect some interesting flows, not dissimilar to the OG Hot Boy. Dude shows a lot of promise, and I would recommend his other tracks released this week, as well as his first tape, ‘Revenge of the African Booty Scratcher’.
Ba-kuura x Objectives – Make Out
The past few months I’ve been betraying my hip-hop roots and listening to a lot more Jersey Club-ish stuff, much to the chagrin of my friends who can’t stand its chipmunky, attention-grabbing bullshit. Chalk it up to a guilty pleasure (not that I believe in such things), but, nonetheless, within the genre Moving Castle has been putting out really consistent, high-quality tracks. This one is courtesy of Ba-kuura and Objectives, and flips Alicia Keys’ ‘Unthinkable’ into a high-BPM dance banger. Made me revisit the original too, which is one of the GOAT femme-empowerment jams. If you like, check out the Hyperboloid, the Russian collective which Ba-Kuura is a part of, found on a late night Soundcloud trawl...
Hucci – Realm
Similar vein to the previous track, but this one seems to care less about… being an actual song. It doesn’t read as Jersey Club to me, it’s some next wave electronic shit. Infectious arpeggios, bootleg Kanye samples, but a decidedly ‘big’, stadium sound. Kinda like he just threw a bunch of sounds and samples in a blender but, hey, it works, and is practically a 30 second clip repeated 4 minutes (save the switch at the end). Hucci has been blowing up on Soundcloud, despite the UK-producer’s lack of press coverage up until this point. I want to drive expensive cars to this shit, hopefully with sunroof(s).
OG Maco – U Guessed It
OG Maco, and this video in particular, seems to be bubbling with popularity over the past week. And this is not without merit – the video is heavily stylized and well edited, Maco’s flow is original and LOUD, reminiscent of Danny Brown or Mystikal. He also satisfies the apparent never-ending appetite for new Atlanta stars (see: Quan, Migos, Thug, Makonnen). Apart from that, it’s another trap banger, the kinda shit that will inevitably cause invisible pull-up bar dances from all the dudes in the club. Not really my cup of tea, but it is a step above some of the more generic new wave ATL trap songs, just due to the uniqueness of Maco’s flow. If he can continue to experiment with his voice and keep his golden ear for beats, then I could totally see him doing big things in the future.