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.

You can download the track for free on iTunes now (plus, it’s also on Spotify and SoundCloud).

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MUSIC, PEOPLE

NEW MUSIC: JONO DAS – ILLUSTRATIONS EP

The latest effort from Auckland-based producer, Jono Das seems to borrow from a vast and deep arsenal of musical influences – Jazz, Latin, Soul, Blues, Psychedelia, and Hip Hop.

His project, aptly titled ‘Illustrations’ combines all of these elements without fault, creating something as visually enriching as it is sonically forthright. Das, who also happens to be an artist, illustrator, graphic designer, and videographer, is no stranger to bringing ideas to life visually, however as of late, prefers to paint songs rather than pictures.

Illustrations is the perfect marriage between earth and space; a fusion of nature and the cosmos.

Listen above and download the project free here.

Jono Das is on SoundCloud, BandCamp, Facebook, & Instagram

 

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MUSIC

LISTEN: ARCSTRUMENTALS VOL 1

erick

[Photo by Ellington]

“This was originally created to replicate the feeling ‘we used to feel’ growing up as kids making our own mixtapes from songs that played on the radio. You would never get the full song from beginning to end, you would sometimes get some radio interference, commercials, etc. So of course you will hear some skips, pops, abrupt cuts and radio noise. That’s what made it beautiful.” – Erick

Erick: Website, SoundCloud, Twitter, & Instagram

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MUSIC

LISTEN: KING KRULE FOR RINSE FM

Just over 2 years ago, Archy Marshall (DJ JD Sports, Edgar The Beatmaker, King Krule) stopped in at Rinse FM and curated a 2 hour slot for The Big Brunch – Archy cites all of this eclectic music as playing an important role in his life, and having a huge impact on his own unique sound.

In my opinion, this mix is perhaps the most enriching and diverse collection of sounds you will find anywhere on the internet.

You’re welcome.

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MUSIC, PEOPLE

RIP DILLA: A PLAYLIST

I know I’m nearly 2 weeks late for Dilla Day, but honestly every day is Dilla day to me. In honour of the man and the legacy, I’ve put together a list of some of my favourite Jay Dee produced/assisted tracks.

I think it’s important not only to acknowledge humans who have become iconic, but also to constantly question what it is about them or their body of work that resonates so deeply with us to the point we would openly give them the title of ‘legendary’.

For me with J Dilla, it’s a lot of things – Firstly, the diversity of his sound, his undeniable technical skill, his ear for samples and talent for picking out microscopic portions of a song and cutting/restructuring them into a completely contrasting creation, and his vast knowledge and respect for what seemed like every genre of music.

Furthermore, I love how on the surface his music can seem so uncomplicated and simple, but on closer investigation we begin to understand his genius through the complex and intricate layers which have been mixed and fused seamlessly to make the beat sound modest – They say less is more, but Dilla did more and made it appear as less.

Lastly, and most pertinently, it is his uncanny ability to project emotion through music like no one else. It is almost disarming the way a Dilla track can make you feel within seconds of pressing play. Although it’s hard to articulate this quality, anyone who is a fan will know exactly what I mean, and this is the mystery and magic of Jay Dee.

Enjoy.

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