Today we talk about the new cenorship from Youtube in regards to the Drill Music Scene. As well as the new beef between both Drake and Pusha T. Jheez lotta things going on right now.
By Andrew Ho
Superstar Calvin Broadus, better known as Snoop Dogg has put out 2 released within the new year. His first release, 220 was a surprise EP which coincides with his original and most popular persona, Snoop Dogg, with tracks comprised of funky worms and ringing flexatone bringing out that “g-funk” feel definitive of an early 1990’s West Coast sound. Although the release was unexpected, it was definitely not as unexpected as his most recent release, Book of Love, a complete 180 turn from what he has offered the music industry so far. Instead, Broadus has made the choice to produce a Gospel album featuring many superstars of the gospel world like Marvin Sapp, Kim Burrell, and The Clark Sisters. Perhaps signalling a change in his way of life, Bible of Love is undoubtedly Broadus’ lengthiest work yet; it is a full 134 minutes long, about the length of a full feature Hollywood film release.
For the average Snoop Dogg fan, like myself, the album was incredibly hard to swallow. Even musically speaking it is reminiscent of a long sermon, or Sunday morning televangelist programming. The tracks are long winded, and he raps, most literally, about Jesus and his miracles, but it gets astonishingly long winded. Unlike his other works, which had always been about his gangster lifestyle, his insatiable appetite for the best buds, or the wildest parties on the block, this is a collected Snoop Dogg, one which touts the word of god. Instead of referring to the never ending parties, many of which his reputation has developed out of, Snoop Dogg now sings about “Power, glory, faith in Jesus”. His success as a gangsta rapper has surely paved way for him to toy with different alter egos as he did with DJ Snoopadelic and Snoop Lion, but these characters always had some sort of relevance to his original character. For him to produce a Gospel album seems not only out of character for him, but for his collaborators too as Snoop Dogg seems to be very non-pious. Perhaps I am not in a position to judge as entertainers are misfortune enough of being expected to maintain a consistent image, but I cannot help but feel that Snoop Dogg’s album is a bit… out of the loop.
Today we discuss the twitter firestorm that was sparked by Grapevine. If Dj Khalid is actually a producer. The Kanye West album rumours, and the argument against rappers and ghostwriters, what the F*ck happened.
By: Brandon Ben
Brockhampton is a hip-hop group initially formed in San Marcos, Texas, but currently based in California. They are a self-professed, “American Boy Band.” The group consists of many very creative individuals including rappers, art-directors, producers, photographers, and more. I had only heard of the group before and passed them off until I saw their interview with Nardwuar (check it out below). After I saw the creativity, humor, and passion from this group, I began to listen to their music. From then on, I was hooked. Let’s break down the members.
Kevin Abstract: Rapper, founding member. Kevin hints at his sexuality in the Narduwar interview, stating that Dr. Dre did a lot for LGBT rappers back in the day. If you listen to his lyrics, he talks about his sexuality a lot, and often points out that not many rappers talk about being gay.
Ameer Vann: Rapper. Ameer seems quite personable, plus he’s on all of the album covers. He’s a long-time friend of Kevin, and a core member for sure.
Matt Champion: Vocalist. A very versatile singer, he adds a lot of personality to the group. Check out the track “BOYS” to hear him shine.
Jabari Manwa and Kiko Merley: Producers. These dudes are a duo known as Q3. During the Nardwuar interview, Kiko was not actually present, luckily Narduwar brought in a photo of the man. Jabari was, and he shared that he was almost not a member of the boyband. It wasn’t until he impressed Kevin with some “hard beats” that he jumped onboard.
Ashlan Grey and Henock “HK” Sileshi: Photographer and Creative/Art Director. Clearly, art is important to the image of Brockhampton, and you can see it in their videos, and the album art. These guys help the group be more than just a band, but a group of influential individuals.
Marlyn Wood: Rapper. Quite the quirky individual, an important voice in the band. He may be a funny rapper, but he’s also very meaningful. Listen to him on “MILK.”
“Walking through the pit falls of a college student/Crazy how you get them letters and that make you feel accepted/Til you walking ’round the campus and you the only African”
Bearface: Singer and Producer. This dude is from Ireland, which was quite surprising to me. To me, he adds a certain flavor to the group, I mean, he goes by Bearface!
Robert Ontinient: Web developer and Producer. Robert is a self-proclaimed “utility player.” Its cool that they list their webmaster as a member. Goes to show the importance of everyone in the group.
Romil Hemnani: Producer. He is an important contributor to the sound of Brockhampton as he produced a lot of SATURATION as well as the early work of Kevin Abstract. He’s also a very excited and spunky individual, check him out in the interview with Nardwuar!
Dom McLennon: Singer, Rapper, producer. A huge contributor to lyrics. He tackles a lot of issues regarding mental health. Listen to “TRIP.”
“Everybody smilin’, I don’t see what’s funny
Everybody friends, guess I wasn’t lucky
Family full of athletes, I was kind of chubby
Shit was never sunny, wrists were sorta bloody
Lick my wounds with honey, save me for the vultures
I’m fallin’ in the void, I don’t know what I discover”
JOBA: Singer, producer, engineer. Another high school friend of the group, he is quite the talented musician with actual music theory training. He sings on many of the tracks and gives a very interesting sound. To hear him sing, check out the track “SISTER.”
So, Brockhampton is full of a diverse bunch of young, genre bending, talented musicians, rappers, singers, producers, etc. They are kind of like Odd Future, and there’s no doubt that Odd Future has influence the group, but, they seem to be more artistic, and more emotionally driven. It’s a refreshing take on today’s rap and popular music world. These guys aren’t going anywhere.
By Andrew Ho
Internet meme and sensation Lil’ Pump has just released his first full-length studio album in late October of 2017. But as it is only 36 minutes in length, it just qualifies as a full-length album. The self titled work features many of his prior SoundCloud releases along with other new recordings. This alone is amazing for a teenager, so props to him! He has also managed to pull together a feature list of respectable artists beyond his childhood friend and frequent collaborator Smokepurpp: an almost irrelevant 2Chainz, an asthmatic sounding Rick Ross, and even a new and improved Gucci Mane all appear on his debut release. Yet, even with the support from big-name artists and skilled producers, it is still undeniable that Lil’ Pump still has a long way to go before he will garner the respect from the industry he ultimately deserves.
If you’re into memes with excessive audio distortion or 15 consecutive hype up tracks suitable for a pre-drinking event with lyrics that are chantable and memorizable even for the most intoxicated of days, then Lil’ Pump really has something going for you. He is loud even when you have the volume turned down (which is an astonishing feat on its own), shameless, and undeniably full of energy and bravado. Perhaps this, in part, has to do with his age, but unfortunately, he is still quick to dismiss the progress his fellow SoundCloud lineup has recently done for hip-hop. Whereas artists like Playboy Carti, Lil Peep (god bless his soul), and even convicted felon XXXTentacion have repeatedly pushed the limits of where hip-hop lies, Lil’ Pump over glorifies the now. He is proficient at not only conglomerating but also over-exaggerating all of the catchiest traits of the status quo. Ultimately, Lil’ Pump is no Kanye and couldn’t care less about art. Instead, he is eager to sing about his ludicrously expensive watches ($100K on his wrist), his oversized chain, his lack of respect for any company (WestJet in particular), his lean, his youth, and his trigger happy antics. He’s proud that he’d rather spend on Balmains than his partners, but again, what more could one expect from a teenager?
It is unfortunate that his immaturity as a lyricist seeps through into his performance; he finds himself having difficulty saying anything of substance and resorts to chanting the chorus to fill up what would otherwise be silence. Take the track Crazy, one that lasts 2 minutes and 5 seconds, or a whole 125 seconds. Out of that, he is chanting “Jump in this bitch and go crazy” for a whole 53 seconds. That’s 42% of the track where he is just chanting his chorus! On the following track, Back, Pump does much of the same where 50% of the time he is chanting “Throw it back, yeah”. Even when given a verse, he is outdone by his feature Lil’ Yatchy as Pump ends up struggling and doubling up his rhymes instead:
“In the kitchen whippin’ up babies, ooh
In the kitchen whippin’ up babies, yeah
And I got a bitch named Hailey, huh
And I got a bitch named Hailey (brr)”
Lil’ Pump defines what it means to be a SoundCloud rapper by bringing together all of the hottest hip hop trends: Lil Uzi Vert’s and Yatchy’s hair, cartoon-y album covers, the most potent narcotics, and even down to their hooks. Where he lacks in lyricism, he makes up for with his ad libs. His oohs, okays, ayys, brrs, and whats are undeniably catchy and at times, outright comical. He is a genius when it comes to these tricks. Take, for example, a line out of D Rose, a track originally off his SoundCloud account and later worked into Lil’ Pump. He raps:
“I just fucked your bitch (what?)
I just broke my wrist (okay)
I just fucked your bitch (ooh)
I just fucked your bitch (okay)”
His creative wisdom shows itself in his ability to develop a plot mid-verse (a comedic one at that) by toying with call-and-response all by himself. Like this, he is able to keep his audience entertained even with his lacking lyricism, although it does ultimately call for excellent collaboration between him, producer, and sound engineer.
Perhaps it is these traits which make artists like Lil’ Pump attractive to major game-changers like Gucci Mane who is apparently eager to part with $8 Million for him. As Pitchfork mentions, his punk-esque attitude, his incredible work ethics, and his marketing talents make him shine brightly amongst a sea of mediocre rappers. If this is truly the case, Gucci would have to come up with a roadmap to success to bring out the Iggy Pop in him or suffer the fate of being labelled a sell out to the hip-hop community for drooling over a cash grab. Likewise, this would be detrimental to Gucci’s own comeback to the game as the last thing he would want is to be remembered for glorifying the now and overlooking other artists with more potential and that live off more than just a meme.