Our music team-ers are always right. Check out these favorite tracks from Ian and Jane!
Jane Sirigiri’s Pick: BASECAMP – “Emmanuel”
BASECAMP is a trio of three producers, Aaron Miller, Aaron C. Harmon, and Jordan Reyes, who have come together to make music that is a perfect balance of ambience, R&B, and electronica. The song “Emmanuel” was the first single released off of their first EP in the August 2013. Like all of their other songs, “Emmanuel” blends huge washes of synth with an enticing drum and bass beats, and an R&B voice so warm that it will melt the coldest of hearts that all comes together to make a soulful and creative sound.
Ian Wendrow’s Pick: Earl Sweatshirt – “Grief”
It has been a damn good year for hip hop in 2015. Lupe Fiasco, Ghostface Killah, Joey Bada$$, and Kendrick Lamar have all dropped new albums with more or less positive critical acclaim. We’re still being teased about a possible new Kanye West album and there’s plenty of rappers with upcoming releases that I’ve been looking forward to, both underground and not. One that I wasn’t expecting (admittedly, I had stopped following his activities) was Earl Sweatshirt.
In an apparent mishap by Earl’s record label (or possibly intentional,) a song off his upcoming album I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside titled “Grief” was released on Earl’s soundcloud. After protesting his, shall we say disagreement, Earl rolled out a music video to accompany the new song on YouTube to accompany the track.
As for the actual track, it’s woeful Earl Sweatshirt at what sounds to be one of his darker moments. Earl’s no stranger to morose lyricism and droning beats, Doris (2013) had its fair share of dark, downtempo tracks (“Chum,” “Pre,” “Hoarse”) but “Grief seems to go beyond what we’ve heard in the past from Earl.
Unlike his earlier work, “Grief” is dark in the sense that its oozes malice through Earl’s verses without being as brazen as Odd Future cohorts like Tyler, the Creator or Domo Genesis. The production is extremely reminiscent of xxyyxx: very slow drum hits churn the song along as a sustained ambient chord runs throughout. Earl raps about missing his grandmother, reaching for Xanaxes, and seeing “Snakes in the eyes of these niggas.” At times he boasts of his skills “I don’t act hard/I’m a hard act to follow, n***a” but then he turns the song around on us and on the verge of being accusatory raps: “Step into the shadows, we can talk addiction/When it’s harmful where you going and the part of you that know it/Don’t give a fuck, pardon me for going into details/3-7-6 was a brothel/We had females come in every hour on the dot/And the shit sound like a gavel when it knock/Focus on my chatter, ain’t as frantic as my thoughts.”
In follow up tweets, Earl mentioned that “Grief” was to be an epilogue track for the album. It certainly sounds like it and if this track is to be the final capstone to the album, I’m interested to see if the rest of I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside will be as equally nocturnal and plaintive.