David Bowie released the title track off of his forthcoming album, a 10-minute behemoth complete with a disturbingly surreal music video, about two weeks ago now. And despite almost obsessive listening over the past two weeks, I’m not sure I know any more what “Blackstar” is than I did when I first heard it. All I know is that I can’t stop listening.
Listen to “Peepin,” Atlanta icon Gucci Mane’s commemorative track for THEBURRPRINT.COM, and you’ll hear two of the city’s youngest and brightest rising talents. Playboi Carti and 21 Savage represent some of the best of the “New Atlanta” wave, a sorta shaky label that seems to get more and more nebulous. A better descriptor would probably just be “underground rap” but even this conjures up images of dusty cyphers and grimy dudes with backpacks and NYC golden-age obsessions. It’s best to just say that this versatile group is solely doing their own thing on their own time, which is fine because they’ve kept the city laced with talent for a while now. I’m gonna name names now: Key!, Rich The Kid, Two-9, Peewee Longway, Tk N Cash, K Camp, Bankroll Fresh, and Hoodrich Pablo Juan have been making hits for a minute now and frankly, it’s glorious. Add them to Father and the rest of Awful Records and you start to realize how bountiful good rap is in the city (same city that has Young Thug btw). These artists may not be running the radio game as well as the gawds Future, Migos and Rae Sremmurd (yet) but their presences are definitely felt.
As a way of celebrating the fact that Japanese post-rock band, Mono, have recently signed to Pelagic Records, the record label owned by The Ocean brainchild Robin Staps, the two groups released a split EP. The EP, entitled Transcendental, was released on October 23rd, and it features one extended track from each band.
Winners of WRVU’s 2014 Album of the Year Contest, rap duo Run the Jewels has been no stranger to critical acclaim since the release of Run the Jewels 2 last year. Killer Mike and El-P have not dropped any new material since then, but are set to release a remix album sometime in September. Meow the Jewels, the idiosyncratic remix of Run the Jewels 2 fans have been waiting months to listen to, will feature the duo rapping their lyrics over cat noises. Just this week, Run the Jewels gave a little sneak-peak into the album with “Oh My Darling Don’t Meow”, a play on “Oh My Darling Don’t Cry”.