The other day I had a scary thought – What if Frank Ocean has completely quit music? His excellent debut album Channel Orange was released in July 2012, nearly 3 years and 4 months ago. In the current musical climate, that’s a long time to wait before releasing a new project. While the media and sources close to Ocean claim that his new album (reportedly called Boys Don’t Cry) is finished and will be out “soon”, November 1st is here and it’s still quiet.
Before completely giving over to this depressing possibility, let’s shift the focus to his incredible style.
While mixing high end fashion with streetwear is certainly nothing new (in fact now days it’s ubiquitous), seeing it executed well is still a rarity. Enter Frank; who in my opinion, wholeheartedly personifies this trend.
As a decidedly enigmatic figure in music and beyond, Ocean hints to aspects of his personality through his style choices. Continue reading
Last week, Chicago’s Chance The Rapper, Saba, and The Social Experiment, debuted a new track called Angels on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
The performance was riveting and refreshing for many reasons, but what really stood out to me was the way Chance put on for his city.
From the footwork (juke dancing), to the local radio shout out and hoodies both he and Saba were wearing (WGCI 107.5 and Power 92 are the main stations in Chicago that play hip hop), the slang (“woo woo this woo wap da bam”), the many references to Chicago culture in the song itself (including a recycled Kanye line and a nod to Chief Keef), and the way Chance speaks on his life as a new father, and the fact that he will never stray far from his roots (“clean up the parks so my daughter will have somewhere to play”, “I’m still at my old church”).
After a deeper listen to the lyrics, I found that at it’s core, the track subtly touches on the very real issue of violence in Chicago, and a widely felt sentiment by many in the city that they have been abandoned by those in power. However, in true Chance style, he chooses to turn this bleak idea on it’s head and has put forth an upbeat song which, despite all its hardship, celebrates and strengthens Chicago.
My friend, Auckland-based rapper Todd Williams (aka Louie Knuxx) is looking to release his new album Tiny Hearts within the next month. And now for the really exciting bit – YOU can be a part of ensuring that this project sees the light of day by contributing to his Boosted album campaign.
Here are a few words from Todd:
My third full length project Tiny Warm Hearts will be my best yet, my magnum opus as they say (do they say that?).
Ten tracks of progressive romance rap brought to life with the assistance of Mzwetwo, Haz Beats, Fortunes and many others oh and YOU!
You can be a part of NZ rap history, by contributing to my boosted campaign you can ensure this project actually see’s the light of day and attention it deserves.
I always put my music up for free and I would like to keep it that way but it does make it difficult financially when it comes to winding up the process and getting the music mastered, getting the art work done and all those other costs that come into play. Labels and funding bodies don’t get me but my listeners do, this is why I am appealing to you the audience to be apart of this.
What I plan to do to make this interesting for all is document as much of this process as possible. We are looking at releasing the album in mid November and up until that point (and after) I want to document as much of the journey as I can and share it with you. This is exciting for me because I love when artists do that shit.
In addition to this when we hit certain goals I will release things like songs, videos, artwork and a tracklisting,
Anyhow it does feel a little odd to call on the generosity of your listenership but I guess this is for the lovely souls who insist on paying for my music even when I tell them to get it for free (which you can do on my Louie Knuxx bandcamp btw).
Thanks so much!
Because the campaign has now reached (and surpassed!) 50%, Louie Knuxx has released a heartfelt and stirring new single, Mercury Plaza.
Check out the single below and if you like what you hear, head over to Boosted to support the cause.
I am an excitable person who only understands life lyrically, musically, in whom feelings are much stronger than reason. I am so thirsty for the marvellous that only the marvellous has power over me. Anything I cannot transform into something marvellous, I let go. Reality doesn’t impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.
– Anaïs Nin
Recently the good folks at ACCLAIM magazine featured a collection of 35mm photos I took while driving across the U.S in June as part of their ‘Postcards’ series. Check out the full post here which includes captions for each picture, written by me.