Gucci thinks he’s a loser. He also thinks you’re a loser. Anyone who hustles is 100% a loser and anyone who doesn’t is too. I could have sworn having a drop top was pretty tight, but that also qualifies you as a complete loser. On the other hand Gucci surprisingly confirms that riding around Miami with your shirt off on a scooter does not make you a loser, even though logic would suggest otherwise. Gucci has somehow leveraged uncannily simple lyrics into a web of complexity and contradiction. Words that shouldn’t rhyme somehow rhyme. Other words clearly don’t exist at all. I can imagine Gucci stirring his alphabet soup deciding on what word to use next. Fortunately this song slaps:
Album: Aquarian God Form
Aquarian God Form was produced and recorded in a Hyperbolic Time Chamber. An oasis of exhaustive solitude, where days are years and inner turmoil flourishes. The type of seclusion that causes complete banishment from reality. Providing time to cherish thoughts on existence and creation. Consider the past and future in no such order. There’s a certain reverence for this type of isolation, a longing for it. Reality is overrated.
The backwards progression from industrious torment into a subdued passivity is a fascinating evolution. Like a creature elaborating into its perfect form. The first half of the album is a consuming and destructive, the sounds mined directly from Saturn’s Red Eye. It fervently depletes every ounce of available energy. The second half of the album is subtle and reflective. Spiritual. Otherworldly. Containing the buoyant, ethereal state of the night sky as it’s examined on a, seemingly endless journey home. It recognizes the absent energy, and settles into an enjoyable, relished state of exhaustion. The lyrics and sounds forming a spiraling, elevating, dew filled cloud. A graceful vessel to sail off into the abyss. A restful sanctuary in another reality.
This is the second air tight effort from Seattle rapper Mackned and a slew of producers and artists, who may or may not be universally adorned artists on another planet, as they should be on earth.
The perfect circumstance for IVRY to glide seamlessly into your ears is underneath a glistening disco ball, drenched fully in lit dry ice, while emerging from a crushed velvet sofa from the back of a club. You’re likely bathed in different types of silk and or cashmere garments. Perhaps a satin turtleneck. Certainly some gator skin. An uncomfortably large rope gold chain rests steadily on your breast. Everyone else in the club was unaware of your presence, secluded in the plumes of dry ice exhaust, that linger on you momentarily as you effortlessly float to the dance floor. It’s undetermined if they are more mystified by your presence, that they are now aware of, or the existence of a crushed velvet sofa. Either way it is beyond crucial.
The smoothness of IVRY is unrivaled. It’s a glass of 25 year Macallan. A perfectly vintaged saison. Its the slow motion cascading Carmel in the twix commercials. A chinchilla that took a dust bath in cotton candy threads. The consistency of T1000 from Terminator 2 when it interacts with fire. It has notes of a house party in the mid to late 90’s where everyone has achieved a perfect buzz and has abandoned any self awareness. Lending themselves wholly to the joy of the music and the accompanying bad dance moves. Harmony.Flow.Delivery. Drop the top and enjoy.
Artist: Jimmy B
Song: Screwface ft. Mr. Muthafuckin eXquire
I didn’t think summer still existed. It may still not. Screwface is a sliver of hope that suggests otherwise. A slight nudge on the thermometer. It’s probably the spitting, hyperactive synth baptized in a sprawling baseline. The only appropriate dance is no dance at all. It might also be the unwavering optimism in the lyric delivery, I despise the word swagger…but this song is brimming with it. It’s insane that two people with such immensely different styles can exist on the same track. Something about it makes me believe there is grass under the snow.
The verses are thoughtful, boastful and insightful. A narrative that examines the complexity of success. The fickleness of fans. Success somehow simultaneously causing love and hate. Distance and proximity. The old fans that once cherished the music now despise it for the same reason new fans love it. Something remains consistent however, the growing hate is an accomplishment unlike any other.
Artist: Bolo Nef
Album: Sol Invictus
Sol Invictus is a pharmaceutical vortex of beats and feelings. The meditative tones carefully cradle introverted, spiritual and resolutely desolate lyrics. These are the sounds playing as an ancient Samurai bladesmith crafts a flawless and honorable sword. Rhythmically folding and pounding the white hot Tamahagane, shrouded, inhaling and exhaling an undetermined murky haze. Or an astronaut wandering thoughtfully and aimlessly on a sandy dune in a vacant desert planet several galaxies away. An album made for the past, and the future, and no time in particular.
Artist: Nacho Picasso
Album: Trances With Wolves
Song: Nacho Man
Just like Macho Man Randy Savage, Nacho Man is a nervous, spastic and completely unpredictable time bomb. It should score a highlight reel of the beloved wrestler. Fueling the friskiest most hyper violent elbow drops coming from an overly tan veiny hulking monster is where this song belongs.
It could have been the reason he chose black and red over black and white. Those bulging and eager eyes, consuming his face, all but popping out of his over sized sunglasses. The flamboyance, the pageantry that gravely strained voice resurrected once more.
Artist: Pusha T
Album: My Name is My Name
Pusha T contains a maniacal confidence. It is ruthless. Equal parts infectious and poignant. Every word delivered is teeming with excitement, regret…anger and remorse. The who album propels forward with an immense velocity, an enduring climb. Always building. Aforementioned confidence isn’t a generic and unwarranted arrogance either. Sure, there’s expressed certainty in his superiority for both rapping and selling coke but there is also conviction in his weaknesses. A deep and reoccurring repentance.
This contradiction lends itself to an engaging narrative style of rapping, the intimacy of stories told around a camp fire, on a dark and wintry night. Hearing charming, time old tales of coke stashes bigger than mountains and more burner phones than pebbles of sand on a beach. I’ve listened to My Name is My Name 12 times all the way through and feel like I still haven’t come close to scratching the surface, each listen unearths new intricacies. An immediate candidate for album of the year. Favorite two songs below:
Artist: Lil Flip
Song: Apollo Creed
There are certain catalysts unbeknownst to us that ignite incredible gladness. Never anticipated and always welcomed. Only two days removed from vacation I could already sense the inevitable and unsettling return of the usual viscous moss blanketing my brain. Apollo Creed was the elixir needed to remind me of the weekend’s lucrative existence, the fumes fueling our empty tanks.
Apollo Creed is unique in the sense that the sample used should by all means be sad. The words and rhythm layered across however suggest the perfect anthem for an appetizer: slow motion yacht party followed by main course: equally slow motion Jacuzzi after-party. (Two of the most joyous events in all of human existence, regardless of point and place in time, one does not exist without the other) Cherish the feeling of your top lip sliding over the cold metal of your grill. Listen and let the melody be the backdrop to your daydream of uncaring, friends, and the drink.
Artist: G Eazy
Album: Must Be Nice
It’s as though I existed simultaneously in two realms of time. Physically…sitting with numbing limbs allowing the size 11 Times New Roman on the screen to further decay my retinas. Mentally I was elsewhere. In a 1995 suburban with leather seats, I remember this because just as I longed for a few more moments of the best summer up to that point in my life, my aloe drenched skin refused to detach as we pulled into the San Diego Airport.
Letting the puka shells dig into my sunburned neck, and listening to the just released Fly by Sugar Ray through my water logged ears, I became immensely sad at the thought of only living this summer once. Experiences certainly cannot and are not meant to be duplicated. Though we fantasize they can. Each experience living as its own unique organism suggests why they are so celebrated and cherished.
I say organism because as time passes that memory molds, shifts, inflates and inevitably decays. Trying to duplicate only muddles the memory. An incredible/rare grouping of emotions and people that you and anyone else there shares, owns and remembers in entirely different ways. What I didn’t realize at that airport in 1997 was I would have dozens of other summers just as joyous or perhaps more joyous but differently so.
This song for whatever reason makes me feel that way:
Artist: Machine Gun Kelly
Album: Black Flag
Song: Raise the Flag
I should start by saying I should by no means in no plane of existence like this song. The bizarro Mark Wilson likely doesn’t even like this song. Simply put Machine Gun Kelly is a complete and utter dud, loathsome really. I personally witnessed him get booed off stage at WrestleMania. That same crowd met Flo-Rida with a ravenous standing ovation so obviously easily appeased. I find myself somehow enjoying Raise the Flag despite it arguing with the core of my being. Guilty pleasure. Admitting this enjoyment parallels being caught crossing North Avenue Beach, helmet on, walkie talkie in hand on a Segway tour of Chicago or cutting an eye stinger at the urinal the second your CEO walks up thus having to stand there in silence peeing in your stench. This silence comes after he asks if you had an “angry lunch” and the lack of a response confirms this.
Roll the windows up in your car, make sure your headphones are in tight and put this on the same playlist as your Taylor Swift and Carly Rae Jespen. Title the playlist “For Thugs Only” and pray that no one actually clicks on it. Enjoy the sweet guilt: