YC the Cynic – “Pretty Bodies” TRACK REVIEW

Pretty Bodies Track Card

When it comes to fringe hip-hop, it doesn’t really get any more definitive than with YC the Cynic. 2013’s GNK was a perplexing delivery of genre-bending nostalgia trips warped by an anachronistic sound whose instrumentals would have fit snugly during a neo-Harlem Renaissance and whose lyrical content ranged from African royalty and heritage to modern American political turmoil. It was a deft display of musicianship, furthered by the fact that few discussed or considered it. And it’s fitting that YC’s sound can be classified as “Renaissance”-esque, especially now that we’re witnessing the death of YC the Cynic and the rebirth of his new identity, Kemba. Continue reading “YC the Cynic – “Pretty Bodies” TRACK REVIEW”

Asphalt for Eden ALBUM REVIEW

Asphalt for Eden Score

Ever since their debut in 1999, Dälek has been making some of the rawest, noisiest hip-hop released to date. Loud, textural beats by producer Oktopus; politically charged, clever lyrics; aggressive, compelling delivery by MC Dälek. From the extremely noisy and vitriolic early records to the more depressive shoegaze influenced album Abandoned Language, Dälek has been making forward-thinking and engaging hip-hop for over a decade. Now, here we are: almost seven years after the release of 2009’s Gutter tactics. Oktopus has stepped back with DJ rEk and Mike Swarmbots taking his place. That would lead us to expect a change of pace, some refreshment in terms of sound maybe. Sadly, this album is painfully similar to everything Dälek has put out in the past seventeen years. They seem to have found the middle ground between the noisy early 2000’s and the more ambient sounds of their discography’s back-half. The question for Asphalt for Eden remains, “will those polar opposites heighten each other, or just turn into a foggy, muddled mess?” Continue reading “Asphalt for Eden ALBUM REVIEW”

Nat Love ALBUM REVIEW

Nat Love Score

When I listen to an album, I have a tendency to get enamored with it, glorifying all of its positives while dismissing the majority of its negatives. It’s because of this that I usually have to sit on an album for a lot longer than normal to let the honeymoon phase fade. And Nat Love is probably the best example I can give of why it’s so important to let an album breathe; slowly understanding the subtle nuances and cracks in what initially appeared to be impenetrable armor. Had I reviewed Kweku Collin’s latest release the first week I heard it, I’d have pushed for a score much higher than the one above. But after many, many days of listening to Nat Love, it’s become apparent that this is an album that wears its homages on its sleeve in lieu of originality, one whose literary approach grows more insipid with each repeated listen. Continue reading “Nat Love ALBUM REVIEW”

Play.List – Living That College Life

Real College Student

I finally made it to college. It took a lot, but I did it. After taking those pointless classes in high school, I can focus on the classes that matter. I know distractions won’t be an issue now that I’ve moved far away from everyone I know. Family? Gone. Friends? Oh you better believe they’re gone. But I don’t need any of that. Because I’ve got my eyes on the prize: the degree. Continue reading “Play.List – Living That College Life”

PJ Harvey – “The Orange Monkey” TRACK REVIEW

The Orange Monkey Track Card PJ Harvey

Following the release of “The Community of Hope”, PJ Harvey dropped “The Orange Monkey”, the third and final preview of what’s in store on her latest The Hope Six Demolition Project, which is officially released tomorrow. Harvey’s latest album is said to be her most politically-charged yet, having visited destinations that were foreign to her and jotting down anything she noticed, focusing on historical and modern disorder and the errors of societies, barring cultural divisions while still accenting their differences. “The Community of Hope”, an obvious jab at Washington, D.C., is much more clearly “political” than “The Orange Monkey”, whose lyricism feels comparatively self-aware in regards to being a piece of music on a world-tour album. Continue reading “PJ Harvey – “The Orange Monkey” TRACK REVIEW”