rolling hip hop albums for people clearly doing it wrong

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a bit of a 'thing' to start this thread on the site that taught me how wack so much backpacker/conscious rap of the late 90s/early 00s was, but this thread is the opposite of 'hip hop taken to new levels' and is for posting about the avant-garde in hip-hop, people working within the genre out of love and pushing it forward on its own terms rather than importing 'experimental' or 'serious' genres into it

i feel there has been a coalescing group of artists who straddle a sort of throwback-lofi approach but ... uh, take it to new levels. perhaps roc marciano has some influence and then of course earl, but for me the touchstone is the dr yen lo album. in terms of what is speaking to me now that i haven't seen a lot of on ILM is pink siifu - 'ensley', mach hommy - whatever you can a hold of really, but what i really am just looking for an excuse to post is this - hard as nails music sure to soundtrack my strolling through deserted covid-winter NYC

https://purpletapepedigree.bandcamp.com/album/an-unknown-infinite

Vapor waif (uptown churl), Tuesday, 15 September 2020 14:31 (one week ago) link

Solid thread premise.

It's instrumental, but Material Girl's Tangram deserves a mention.

pomenitul, Tuesday, 15 September 2020 14:41 (one week ago) link

This Amani sounding p cool

imago, Tuesday, 15 September 2020 16:15 (one week ago) link

I post the Griselda, Roc, etc stuff on the rolling thread, I've always tried to post backpacker stuff too, the new Blu & Exile is great

I guess my only thing is it seems hard to define

is Ka not experimental? where does say Armand Hammer type stuff fit?

that said I will probably like everything in this thread

though I worry there's not enough hip hop discussion these days to balkanize it

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 15 September 2020 16:31 (one week ago) link

very pleased with the new Conway, feel like it reaches out of his zone in largely natural sounding ways

wish WSG would stop trying to make Armani Caesar a thing

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 15 September 2020 16:32 (one week ago) link

Ka/Yen Lo is not very experimental I'd say - he has a clear method, albeit one that's his own. The idiosyncrasy is in the flow and delivery rather than the production with him

imago, Tuesday, 15 September 2020 16:40 (one week ago) link

Amani album v cool, coming to the end of it, ty

imago, Tuesday, 15 September 2020 16:41 (one week ago) link

https://www.complex.com/music/art-rap-2020

adam, Tuesday, 15 September 2020 16:50 (one week ago) link

rather than importing 'experimental' or 'serious' genres into it

This is an interesting way of thinking about it -- it reminds me of "Third Stream" jazz whereby "serious" musicians tried to make a more "serious" jazz by bringing classical and european compositional approaches (which is sort of silly anyway because many jazz musicians had already formally or informally studied classical music and were already influenced by it, Charlie Parker loved Stravinsky, etc.). The result was sometimes interesting music but a bit of a dead end and generally not the most vibrant jazz. I don't think there is anything wrong with "importing" other genres and I don't accept the idea of a genre "on its own terms," but I agree the idea of importing other genres to make a music more "serious" is a dud.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Tuesday, 15 September 2020 17:28 (one week ago) link

I listen to Ka *a lot*.

unpaid intern at the darvo institute (Simon H.), Tuesday, 15 September 2020 17:32 (one week ago) link

Ka/Yen Lo is not very experimental I'd say - he has a clear method, albeit one that's his own. The idiosyncrasy is in the flow and delivery rather than the production with him

― imago, Tuesday, September 15, 2020 11:40 AM (six hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

Yeah but LJ your "experimental" has to have a beanie propeller hat and a t-shirt with a finger pointing up that says "I'm with an experimental artist"

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 15 September 2020 23:13 (one week ago) link

ha well i think there is a paradox here (not just due to my poor prose) - since original hip hop was so experimental for its time, this sort of distilled-meta-throwback approach could be seen as trad, but then the blurry sonics and hyper-intimate lyrical approach takes on a novel quality that reminds me of when i first heard w-tang back in 93 and had my mind blown, in a way that a lot of 'boom bap' traditionalism doesnt. maybe this is a cringe comparison but it's sorta how 90s indie was both throwback to classic rock but new

glad you liked the amani, imago - short but bitter!

anyways pink siifu is the truth

https://ronee.bandcamp.com/album/ensley-2

Vapor waif (uptown churl), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 14:29 (six days ago) link

not quite sure what the parameters of this thread are, but i think it does make sense to have a dedicated place to discuss things like mavi/milo/mavi/keiyaa/pink siifu/navy blue, and those guys.

i will say that i enjoyed ensley but siifu's negro album was nigh unlistenable

i got a homogenic björk wine farmer permabanned (voodoo chili), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 14:33 (six days ago) link

i hated this at first but then loved it, part of why i realized maybe there is something going on under the surface of what could be dismissed as "briefly trendy lo fi rap"

https://mikelikesrap.bandcamp.com/album/weight-of-the-world

xpost agreed on 'negro'! and part of the thread is, i think, working out the parameters ....

Vapor waif (uptown churl), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 14:40 (six days ago) link

where does say Armand Hammer type stuff fit?

Wondering the same thing. Either way, Shrines is a 2020 highlight regardless of genre.

hey, trust the fungus! (pomenitul), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 15:17 (six days ago) link

I love all the billy woods shit I've heard

unpaid intern at the darvo institute (Simon H.), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 15:18 (six days ago) link

Same, the man can do no wrong.

hey, trust the fungus! (pomenitul), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 15:20 (six days ago) link

I reviewed that Amani album, while acknowledging my near total ignorance of contemporary hip-hop:

For a while, the last rapper I was still listening to seriously was Rick Ross, but eventually I lost interest in his music, too, and then I stopped paying attention to hip-hop almost entirely. So these days, it takes a lot for a hip-hop album to make it through to me. And my knowledge of the genre’s present-day landscape is basically nil. So when I praise a hip-hop album, it’s fair for the reader to assume that it’s because it speaks to me based on my particular tastes — that it’s old-school or out-of-time enough to reach a guy whose aesthetic is based on metal, industrial, and decades-old rap.

but also fuck you (unperson), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 15:24 (six days ago) link

Maybe I should try to title the goon thread "Boring Street Rap" again and see what happens

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 15:39 (six days ago) link

back to the original post - i agree about the scene you're trying to articulate

i feel there has been a coalescing group of artists who straddle a sort of throwback-lofi approach but ... uh, take it to new levels. perhaps roc marciano has some influence and then of course earl, but for me the touchstone is the dr yen lo album.

however I think Roc Marciano's Marcburg is absolutely the ur-text of this whole scene and possibly the most influential underground rap album of the last 15 years...Griselda dudes, Mach Hommy, Anhkle John, all them are explicitly in his shadow

Ka is a great, and a peer of Roc, but Roc put him on in the spotlight as well and think he's one step too removed from convention to be as influential as Roc.

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 15:42 (six days ago) link

yeah that sounds right. not just the music but the independent spirit of Roc. which, again, is why i think it's a bit paradoxical to think of this as 'novel' when there is this throwback vibe, but again, with indie, perhaps a similar historical process of rock as youth culture commodified into big budget entertainment but then reacting against that with punk and post-punk, perhaps a similar ... uh, dialectic is taking place here, post trap and hip-hop taking rock's place. (i want to be careful and not imply that these artists somehow 'owe' anything to indie rock, just putting that there as a comparison)

Vapor waif (uptown churl), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 15:54 (six days ago) link

registering my badge for the thread

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 15:55 (six days ago) link

xpost - honestly I think the parallel to indie rock is there, but I think Roc and then Westside took more inspiration from sneakers and streetwear, making their albums these limited release luxury albums (also nipsy hussle fits in charging $1000 for cds back in the day), like we aren't going to move units so lets make merch lifestyle stuff and charge 80-100 per record

i think the big differentiator between this and the wu-tang, mobb deep, cnn era it calls back to is that -- until recently with griselda -- it felt like this stuff had no ambitions that it would ever even get close to mainstream

though in fairness a lot has changed in the music biz since the 90s and that's probably a smarter business approach, building a "brand" not selling records

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 16:30 (six days ago) link

ctrl+f "art rap" and none found; am i drastically misunderstanding the thread concept?

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 16:36 (six days ago) link

"but this thread is the opposite of 'hip hop taken to new levels' and is for posting about the avant-garde in hip-hop, people working within the genre out of love and pushing it forward on its own terms rather than importing 'experimental' or 'serious' genres into it"

i think this explains it well

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 16:37 (six days ago) link

adam also posted that complex article about "art rap" upthread

i got a homogenic björk wine farmer permabanned (voodoo chili), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 16:44 (six days ago) link

hoist by my own boolean search habits

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 16:45 (six days ago) link

I’d say the mike is art rap but I think rap is always already complex multifaceted art, the sampling/composition poetry/music blurry antinomies have been there since day 1

Vapor waif (uptown churl), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 16:51 (six days ago) link


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