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.

 

Rejjie Snow releases his highly anticipated debut album ‘Dear Annie’

Back in late 2017, Rejjie Snow promised us all that 2018 would be his year. With several mixtape and single releases, fans were getting anxious that the Irish rapper would never announce a debut album but luckily, as of yesterday, we have one; its definitely been worth the wait.

rejjie on a sofa

‘Dear Annie’ is an album diagnosed with love, Rejjie’s fresh and vibrant tones are certain to interpellate the hip hop music scene and hopefully put him up there with the likes of break out artists Goldlink and Mick Jenkins. It would be easy to compare Snow’s aesthetic as one similar to Loyle Carner’s but actually, due to working out in LA with producers as famous as Kaytranada, it seems this LP has sucker punched the artist’s visions in a more funky and soulful direction.

Has there been a more successful Irish rapper than Rejjie Snow? The quite simple answer is… No. Rejjie is a one man army here to revolutionise hip hop and once again he has out done himself, cutting his chest wide open and exploring ideas and concepts that, maybe 4 years ago, we didn’t think he ever would. With this album, has come a sense of maturity in the artist and his work, the album features the forever evolving ‘Jesse James Solomon’, on ‘The Ends’, and breakthrough American rapper Aminé on ‘Egyptian Luvr’. However, after giving the album its first full listen, the tracks that stood out to me were ‘Spaceships’ and the intro track ‘Hello’. Focusing on ‘Hello’, the beat is scatty and beautiful, implementing the happiness and cohesiveness of a gospel choir over a punchy trap beat. It is concepts like this that has made me so infatuated with Snow’s music and I can only hope that what we hear in the future is an evolution of this quite phenomenal body of work.

Be sure to go and check this album out, it is setting a high standard for hip hop in 2018. He is also going on tour very soon, previous shows have been unmissable.

rejjie tour

Rejjie Snow releases his best track yet with ‘Egyptian Luvr’

The undisputed king of Irish hip hop last night released 4 new songs when speaking to Annie Mac for Radio 1. Featuring a single from upcoming album ‘Dear Annie’, the mini EP  is titled ‘Dear Annie: Vol 1’ and if the album sounds as beautifully blissful as this then it will certainly be worth the long wait fans have had to endure.

Produced by Kaytranada and featuring Aminé, as well as some soothing female vocals, the track is both rich in vintage Kaytranada soundscapes and Rejjie Snow’s goofy, sinister eloquence. His tone matches Amine’s perfectly and they create an undeniably sunny and springful world that should help us survive this horrid, typical, British weather. I have been saying for a long time that Snow is the most underrated rapper of recent years, he excels on any tune he makes. Whether it is the trappy ‘Flexin’ or the stoner banger ‘Loveleen’, he is one of the most versatile rappers out there. If you disagree, listen to his brilliant feature on Yellow Day’s track ‘Lately I’.

There is an overlying theme of love running throughout this mini EP, which may disappoint those who say they want Rejjie’s bangers back. ‘Snow (my rap song)’ is still one of my favourites of his and I would love him to make more tunes like this but you have to respect the creative direction he is taking and the maturity he is adopting. Also when I saw him at Secret Garden Party he played a few unreleased trappy stinkers so I wouldn’t be surprised if these feature on the album, ‘Milk and Honey’ certainly shows promise in this sense.

For now though, go and check out the Dublin Lad’s latest synthy hit and indulge in the whole EP, ‘The Rain’ is also especially great.

Top 10 albums of the year

10. Red Hot Chili Peppers – The Getaway

Kiedis and Co are certified rock legends and 2016 saw the release of their 11th studio album, which was a huge step up from their disappointing 2011 release ‘I’m with you’. In tracks like ‘Goodbye Angels’ and ‘Dark Necessities’ we get the funk aesthetic that we crave from such a prestigious band, if you haven’t already go check out the album, especially those tunes.

9. The Wytches – All Your Happy Life

Back with their second full length LP, the Wytches have diversified their sound and created a ghostly new record full of shrieking melodies and fascinating instrumentation. Tracks like ‘C-Side’ and ‘Ghost House’ are my personal favourites; seeing the new material live was a madness too.

8. Eagulls – Ullages

An anagram of the band’s name, ‘Ullages’ is an album that would be sinful to not listen to all the way through, it is a modern take on some 90s classic indie and truly develops their own sound, if it wasn’t unique enough already. Go listen to ‘Lemontrees’ and ‘Skipping’.

7. Kaytanada – 99.9%

This is one of the best albums I have ever heard from the mind of a self-confessed ‘Producer’. On the strongest debut LP of the year, Celestin shows he is much more than what he is labelled as, he is a true artist and one of the most important figures currently in world hip hop. Listen to ‘Drive Me Crazy’ and ‘Got It Good’.

6. Glass Animals – How to be a human being

Bringing even more tropical vibes to the world, Glass Animals second LP was highly anticipated and it didn’t fail to impress. Based around true stories that Dave Bayley heard from strangers he got talking to last year, the album exposes the realities of life in a way only Glass Animals could. Listen to ‘Pork Soda’ and ‘Youth’.

5. Flume – Skin

Harley Streten’s second album has proved he is one of the most gifted and intriguing electronic artists to have emerged from the broad landscape of electronic music. Collaborations with Vince Staples, Vic Mensa and even Beck shows just how versatile he can be in his production, check out ‘Helix’ and ‘Smoke and Retribution’.

4. Jamie T – Trick

An alternative idol, Jamie Treays released his latest LP back in September. Full of future classics, ‘Trick’ is a grittier album than the cleanliness of ‘Carry On The Grudge’, it truly establishes the rapper-songwriter-producer as a one man genre and thankfully he still hasn’t left the talent he possesses with his sampling. Go check out ‘Tinfoil Boy’ and ‘Solomon Eagle’.

3. Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition

The Detroit born mentalist that is Danny Brown dropped the most ambitious and experimental album I believe he ever has this year. Inspired by everything from Joy Division to Rage Against The Machine, this LP isn’t for the faint hearted but is one of the most important releases in modern rap, listen to ‘When It Rain’ and ‘Pneumonia’.

2. Skepta – Konnichiwa

2016 saw many album releases from the grime greats, whether it was Giggs or Kano but since its discharge, there hasn’t been a day gone by where I haven’t listened or heard a song from ‘Konnichiwa’. It was definitely one of the most anticipated British albums of the year and Skepta did not disappoint, as he rarely does. Just listen to the whole thing.

1. Slaves – Take Control

If you know me well then you are probably thinking this is the most cliché number 1 I could have chosen but the roar punk energy of Slaves is something that no one can get near to at the moment. Produced by Mike D and perfected by Isaac and Laurie, it is an album of nothing but straight up punk bangers. Features from the likes of Baxter Dury just tops the record for me and makes ‘Take Control’ slightly more versatile than what ‘Are You Satisfied?’ was, you have to check out this album, buy it for yourself and everyone this christmas.