Denzel Curry – TA13OO Trilogy Review

Denzel Curry is one of the true originals left in the hip hop game. Where everyone is becoming a mumble rapper, producing merely 2 minute tunes, Denzel is releasing tantalising tracks, with lyricism rich in diversity and intelligence. This sees the dispatching of Curry’s 3rd album, which he has split into three Acts and proceeded to drop on three different days. At first this seems weird, but as a complete project, it makes sense, with the album getting progressively devilish.

Act 1 (light) merges psychedelic rhythms and vibrant production, utilising features from the likes of Goldlink to cement an atmospheric tone at the start of the record. As colourful as the instrumentation may seem, Curry’s intense lyricism focuses on molestation and suicide, creating a hellish and demonic mood. In tracks like ‘BLACK BALLOONS//13LACK 13ALLOONS’, there’s a real OutKast vibe; the catchy chorus could have come straight off ‘Stankonia’, but this doesn’t last for long. ‘Sumo//Zumo’ is a ferocious end to the first act, utilising punchy one-liners and Denzel’s gritty vocals to lure you into the next part of the record.

DENZEL TA13OO

‘SUPER SAIYAN SUPERMAN//ZUPER ZA1YAN ZUPERMAN’ is an incredibly intense start to the second act (grey), manipulating synthesisers and haunting echoed vocals to emphasise this Halloween fixated world Denzel manufactures. ‘SWITCH IT UP//ZWITCH IT UP carries on the chilling atmosphere ‘if life is hanging by a thread, then a n***a might just be dead’ raps Curry in an uncomfortable and psychotic manner. The J.I.D collaboration shows the Florida rapper is an advocate for provocative music, the track expressing a political angst in the lyricism. Comparing Donald Trump and Donald Duck seems fitting and shows an intelligent and poetic mockery of one of the most powerful men in the world.

DENZEL CURRY TA13OO 2

The third Act is definitely the most hard hitting and thought provoking. Taking digs at the music industry and mumble rappers, in one of my favourite songs ‘PERCS//PERCZ’, the 23 year old draws on elements of heavy metal, whilst maintaining his unique ‘Soundcloud rapper’ style. However, the album as a whole, shows Denzel will be here beyond any streaming service; his music is more universal now, and this album will be at the core of any success he gets in the future.

Stream the LP below and go see him on his UK tour this December, definitely not one to miss.

Buddy – Harlan & Alondra review

I only became aware of Buddy a few months back, when he released his highly anticipated collaboration with A$AP Ferg. The hard hitting melodic trap banger ‘black’ was a catchy introduction to his music for me. On this album however, Buddy shows he is much more than your average American rapper, blending a variation of Afro-soul and funk instrumentation into one of the most pleasant albums of the summer. ‘Trouble on Central’ could slip very fittingly onto an album by the likes of Goldlink or even BROCKHAMPTON. ‘The Blue’ transports you to a world full of beaches, sunshine and general happiness. Do I need to sell it to you anymore? It’s a brilliant debut album and one I will have on rotation for a while.

My favourite track has to be ‘Trippin’, his collaboration with popular vocalist ‘Khalid’. As one of the more vivacious songs, touching upon the problem with drugs and mental health, it champions a blissful psychedelic melody, which sits so fittingly on top of a hard beat, that works simultaneously with his natural flow.

I was slightly sceptical when coming into this album, but only for the reason that I thought it would be another rap album full of trap beats, and with no real variety or story behind it. This was not the case. What Buddy has created is very exciting and deserves more praise than it will probably get.

The Internet – Hive Mind review

Syd the Kid has come along way since her more provocative days in Odd Future. Legend has it that Tyler, the Creator, Earl Sweatshirt and the rest of OFWGKTA would go to her house to make their early mixtapes. Now though, Syd, Steve Lacy, Matt Martians, Patrick Paige and Christopher Smith are making music so effortless and funky; blending genres like R&B and Jazz to distinguish themselves from the cult-rap collective they were once associated with.

THE INTERNET

Lead single ‘Roll (Burbank Funk)’ combines tantalising textures of soulful vocals with an incredibly infectious baseline; strong enough to get anybody grooving.  Steve Lacy’s imperative lyrics are luring and invite us, as listeners, to join their party of unravelling rhythms. The album was created “all over the world” said Syd in a Reddit Q&A, this really comes through – especially in the last three tracks. Made in Australia, the tunes have a hazier vibe and show a switch in mood for the LP. Relaxed, soothing and breezy, ‘Beat Goes On’ and ‘Wanna Be’, especially, sound a lot more carefree than the other tracks.

Key themes addressed in their lyrics, like homosexual love, are uniquely interweaved into scintillating synths, which sit fittingly throughout the whole record. This project is the strongest sign of all of the member’s solo projects coming together to produce an exclusive sound that their family like following craves. The lack of features on this LP is probably the only initial downfall I can think of. Previously, we have been treated with features from the likes of KAYTRANADA and Tyler, the Creator. Often, this takes their music to the next level, adding an element to their music that makes it more out of the ordinary. You could therefore, maybe, say that this new album feels slightly safe; Syd and Co don’t heavily experiment with the sound they are known for. However, considering how good their previous album ‘Ego Death’ is, this doesn’t necessarily matter, and can consequently be an aspect we hope to see in their future LPs.

 

Lovebox festival review 2018

London’s most popular weekend of musical festivities returned this year with arguably it’s strongest line up ever, and their new Gunnersbury Park location. After cancelled and delayed trains, as well as a lunatic trespassing on the tracks of Holborn’s undergroud station, it was fair to say that my mates and I could have had a better start to our journey. However, this soon became highly irrelevant when we felt the thumping bass of various djs pumping through our drunken veins.

Lovebox champions a carnival atmosphere and this is what makes it like no other weekend festival. You can guarantee a euphoric crowd of 50,000 people looking to party; as soon as we stepped into our first arena this was instantly apparent. The Kopperburg Outsider was curated by none other than certified legend Mike Skinner; we were lucky enough to catch Sian Anderson, a 1 Extra DJ, getting the party started with her set of ferocious grime bangers and hard trap – setting the scene nicely for Skepta’s inevitable headline slot. Star.One were equally as enticing and mixed a host of underground sounds; from Bassline to grime  and American rap. £6 for a Kopperbug though? Seems a bit steep to me Lovebox.

As the day progressed, the standard of Acts got better and better. Dave’s set felt like a landmark in his undeniably impressive career. At the age of 20, it bewilders me how much he has achieved and he whipped up a frenzy with his blend of hardcore grime beats and mellow afro trap. Crowd favourites were ‘100 Ms’, one of his most enthralling singles, but I loved the response he got for ‘Calling Me Out’, a chilled out choice on his perfect setlist. Failing to see Mike Skinner, because of a cue that stretched the equivalent length of the great wall of China, filled us with momentary annoyance, until we remembered it was only half an hour until Diplo was to grace the main stage. The multi-talented  American artist, best known for being part of Major Lazer and Silk City, caused chaos with his intense blend of Trap and pop bangers. He was the perfect warm up for Skepta, getting the audience more gassed than an exploding petrol station and even causing a girl to dislocate her knee.

As the rain smashed down on 50,000 eagerly waiting Skepta fans, you could feel the anticipation forming in the air. Being one of the most unpredictable artists in the UK, I was interested to see what world Skepta would create for his performance. The set design of giant fans and steel pipes created a scene as if he was about to escape from prison. The weather suited this setting hugely and all hell broke loose once he dropped one of his latest singles ‘Pure Water’, once again fitting the weather perfectly. He stormed through his hour set, playing Konnichiwa classics like ‘Crime Riddim’ and ‘It Ain’t Safe’ whilst bringing out acts like Suspect and Jesse James Solomon for Suspect’s hit single ‘One Way’. The show was a true celebration of the UKs biggest export of music, grime is here to stay and finishing with his recent A$AP Rocky collaboration proved this. ‘Praise The Lord’ has barely been out a month and has clocked up around 80 million Spotify streams; not bad if you ask me.Screen Shot 2018-07-14 at 21.30.51

I need to give a special shout out to the fits Skepta was wearing too, there is not a better dressed man in the UK. Apparently Vince Staples and Wu Tang Clan equally stole the show; the American’s helping to ease the pain of us English getting knocked out of the World Cup and seeing Donald Trump over in our Isles.

Overall Lovebox was a huge success, when really It’s change of location could have made it a disaster waiting to happen. I am thoroughly jealous of anyone returning today.

Brockhampton release single ‘1999 Wildfire’ in lead up to new album

3 albums in 7 months? Brockhampton are a rap collective who have made the seemingly impossible very much possible. The recent departure of Ameer Vann could have created a chaotic atmosphere in the boy’s camp but the first single off  their fourth coming record shows the boundaries they are willing to push.

Kevin Abstract and co invent a soundscape of safaris and exotic wildlife whilst harmonising in a way very similar André 3000 and Big Boi in Outkast classics like ‘Miss Jackson’. The squelchy beat perfectly complements the hypnotic flutes and dreamy guitar rhythms and expresses just how versatile of a group the Texas based group can be.

This is a tune made for the summer. The chorus’ psychedelic guitar breaks emphasises the idyllic tone to the track and makes it one of the most catchy rap songs of the year. Dom McLennon absolutely kills it on this one, his vocals seem best suited to the beat, but you’d be lying if you didn’t say that they all smashed this one.