Behold, a sneak preview of the young, emotional, and-okay-with-talking-about-it rappers Yung Lean and the Sad Boys in their official tour gear created as part of a special collaboration with Spanish underground label Shallowww. The unlikely group of rappers (re: white, Swedish, openly depressed) are about to embark on their White Marble Tour, which begins next week. Slated to bring their special brand of sad rap to 24 European cities in just 26 days, Yung Lean and his Sad Boys crew—made up of Yung Sherman, White Armor, ECCO2K, and Bladee—will all be wearing these custom head-to-toe marble printed jump suits, bucket hats, and kimonos that were “inspired by the Internet generation.”
Given the two groups have a pronounced mutual interest in hyper-referencing the dystopian effects of internet culture (and are both, you know, pretty into white marble textures…), it not only makes sense that they would join forces on a capsule collection for the tour, it actually kind of feels like kismet. Shallowww describes this collection as an extension of an earlier project called “Internet Souvenirs” which already featured all white marble printed garments beginning in 2012 (this is also when Yung Lean himself first became a fan of the label). What exactly is the significance of white marble? Shallowww explains that it fits in with the project’s larger ethos, “Internet Souvenirs starts from patterns that have become popular online for their merely visual value and reflect on their gradual loss of substances and relation with Real Life.”
Beginning March 12, the White Marble Tour will be the Stockholm-based collective’s first time performing across Europe since skyrocketing out of the dark depths of DIY-digital obscurity and into the realm of #internetfamous over the course of 2013. With multiple videos now in excess of 1million views on YouTube, Yung Lean and his Sad Boys have proven that there is space for a new kind of melancholic rap. A rap that accepts morosely-delivered rhymes about rap-game-standard subjects like females, fellatio, and Ferragamo can actually be interspersed with genuine expressions of loneliness, vulnerability, and addiction to Arizona Iced Tea. That realizes the potential of maximally auto-tuned verses flowing over faded beats lingering somewhere between Lil’ B and James Ferraro.
Between their trademark bevy of scattered shout-outs to bitcoins, Space Jam, blu-ray discs, Pokemon, and eBay, their songs contain unhesitating admissions of the so-called “weak” class of emotions that historically have been avoided (or even derided) by rap music. In other words, these guys show that as of 2014, not only is it acceptable for rappers to have “the feels,” it’s an indication of a new way rap music can continue to evolve alongside the Internet generation, while avoiding becoming yet another souvenir.
Photos by Märta Thisner.
While it sounds like a disastrously stupid idea when you first hear about it, the Game of Thrones hip hop mixtape sort of makes sense. Both worlds are violent, always arguing over who is king, treat women horribly, and are obsessed over on the internet constantly by huge dorks. Some marketing genius at HBO saw that synergy potential and ran with it, and so here we are with Catch The Throne, for which acts like Wale, Daddy Yankee, Big Boi, and Common have written original tracks based on the fantastical realm of dragons and tits and dragon tits.
The first of the songs, available on Soundcloud, was “King Slayer” from Wale, and I was just as surprised that you were that it turned out to be pretty good. Cutting up and looping the show’s theme song and throwing a skittering beat under it is inspired, if obvious, but it really sells the drama. Big Boi’s “Mother of Dragons” has all the imposing size of an approaching horde.
Here’s the full tracklist below. Check out the rest here.
1. Big Boi – “Mother of Dragons”
2. Magazeen – “Iron Throne”
3. Bodega Bamz – “Win or Die”
4. Kilo Kish – “Magical Reality”
5. Daddy Yankee – “Born to Rule”
6. Dominik Omega – “Arya’s Prayer”
7. Snow – “Fire”
8. Dee Goodz – “The Parallel”
9. Common – “Interlude/The Ladder”
10. Wale – “King Slayer”
Karlie Kloss and Taylor Swift, two young, famous, attractive people whose lives are better than yours, took pictures of their BESTIES 4 EVA road trip along the California coast yesterday, then they posted them on Instagram to make you feel bad about yourself. Did it work? (h/t The Cut)
I call this one “the Shocker”
Is anyone else seeing that creepy statue in the back or have my meds not kicked in here yet?
K: “Just breathtaking. I can’t believe it’s real.”
T: “Thanks I think you’re pretty too.”
Although none of their members originally hail from the city, SKATERS are fast becoming a New York institution. Comprising singer Michael Ian Cummings, drummer Noah Rubin, guitarist Josh Hubbard and bassist Dan Burke, the four-piece rock band makes music to soundtrack late-night pizza runs and illicit rooftop kisses– sometimes bratty, sometimes anthemic, always catchy. After releasing an EP and a series of killer singles, the group spent much of the past year recording their debut album Manhattan, which was released at the end of February. We chatted with Cummings about his relationship with New York, the band’s extracurricular activities, and recording in the same building as Yoko Ono.
How did SKATERS form?
Josh and I met at a party in Los Angeles. We stayed up all night listening to records. Then I didn’t see Josh for a while. He shows up in New York City then we started the band. The band’s not really about skate culture but one thing that’s very interesting about that culture is that it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what kind of music you listen to. One thing that unites all those different kinds of people is the counterculture. We wanted to speak to those people with this project.
New York is definitely a center of counterculture, and that spirit seems to be a major force behind the album.
It has everything to do with this band and how we all started. We met up over a drink at a bar where I was bartending. We realized we all lived in New York and wrote songs about New York by then it was pretty obvious that we should release a record and record all of that for posterity. Everybody knows each other here. There’s a thing about New York unlike any other place where everyone has to live with the city, like a roommate you can’t avoid. Everyone has the same problems that bring people together. The fans are our friends. We see them at bars. We like to keep in touch with people and not put up barriers between us and our friends.
You recorded the album at Electric Lady Studios. Did it feel like tapping into a New York tradition?
Electric Lady was unique because there aren’t a lot of studios that operate with old school recording equipment. It’s one of the last really good studios in Manhattan. It’s really interesting to be working there because you know that so many great records have been made in that building. I feel like I have a good work ethic in the building because everyone’s making something important. You go down the hall and you bump into artists like the National and Yoko Ono. It’s a bizarre place to work because you put pressure on yourself to produce something worthwhile. Making the record, the Clash were a huge influence. The Ramones, Television, Talking Heads, Devo. The list can go on and on.
While you were working on the record you also released a webseries about the band. Do you have a background in film?
Not at all. I just liked Spike Lee’s stuff. I wanted to make a short black and white, Woody Allen-style series that showed the band not being a band. We were down to do something light-hearted, a “Do The Right Thing” or “Manhattan” type thing.
You also released an art zine. Do you feel like SKATERS is an interdisciplinary band?
One of the things we were always into from the get-go was branching out to make a product that Besides that it was a good way to showcase our friends’ work. When so many people are contributing to the project you want to show off their work and credit them. We also like bringing together other artists who may or may not know each other. Most of the time they collaborate well.
It seems like you guys are at the center of a new New York scene.
It’s funny that you put it that way because my buddy Matt from the Drowners has always referred to what’s going on with our bands as New New York. I do think there is something really good going on among our friends, like the Drowners, Dev Hynes/Blood Orange… There’s a good thing going on in New York right now.
It’s the rare music video whose story you’re immediately invested in ten seconds into its start, but “Fifteen Minutes” from London’s Breton is compelling from the opening frame to the last? What’s going on here, a murder? A zombie scenario of some sort? All of this pulling and pushing away.
Director Niall O’Brien’s conceit is sold by a riveting performance from actors Francis Magee (Game of Thrones), and Charlene McKenna
“It’s a video about dragging yourself through relationships,” singer Roman Rappak tells us. “It’s about how everyone’s struggle is different, but just as hard, and just as rewarding.”
The darkly brooding synth-rock track appears on the band’s second album War Room Stories, out now Cut Tooth/Believe Recordings.
“Woah Tiger”, from New York’s Walking Shapes is as taught, wiry, and filled with meandering, unexplored detours as the city its video pays homage to. The clip, shot on Super 8mm film by Adam Erick Wallace, darts from Kingsland Ave, to Hope St., South 5th and Hooper, the BQE and Williamsburg bridges, the Bowery, Broadway, the LES, the East Village, the Greenpoint waterfront, their recent residency at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn, and everywhere in between all in the course of 3:31 minutes.
This video is part of a short film that stretches out over the course of their entire album Taka Come On, which the band recorded with Gus Oberg (The Strokes, Har Mar Superstar, The Virgins). The album, out on No Shame on April 8, as the band explained, “captures the gritty and frenetic energies of our New York City; Brick buildings; stoned streets; cold winters; BK to Manhattan and back in moving subways; rooftops; and sweaty stage performances.”
As a wise woman once said, ”Sometimes you have to show a little skin. This reminds boys of being naked, and then they think of sex.”
Case in point, the video for “Fancy” from Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX, in which the Australia beauty makes like the rap game Cher Horowitz. The video, shot at the same high school where Clueless was filmed, finds the duo recreating some of the film’s iconic scenes and, regrettably or not, bringing back its questionable fashion choices. Eh, it was the 90s, we didn’t know any better.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I can’t find my Cranberries CD anywhere. I’ve got to go to the quad before anyone snags it.
It’s been three years since the release of Lykke Li’s last album, which, in internet years, is practically an eternity. What’s she been doing in the meantime? Getting her shit shook up, it seems. At least based on the new video and song “Love Me Like I’m Not Made of Stone”, the first from her upcoming I Never Learn. None of us ever do, do we?
The song is a brittle, fracture plea to a lover that should instantly resonate with anyone who’s ever, you know, cared about someone. So, everyone in other words, except me and you. (h/t)
This… I did not know what to expect from this. But it’s really pretty effective. It’s a great song, of course, but hearing it transposed from the perspective from a teenage New Zealander to a wizened icon of Americana you might expect some temporal and cultural lag. There is some of that, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get chills for a second there. The performance comes from a show Springsteen performed in Aukland earlier today, or yesterday, or however it is that time zone of the future thing works.
Remember that map from earlier in the week that was definitely not a break down of every state’s favorite band, but was shared relentlessly and without question as if it were on every single website in existence except for this one? You know, the one that content aggregators either didn’t bother reading before they pushed it along the mealy bowels of the internet poop-chute, or, even worse, did read, and decided to lie to you about anyway in their headlines. Wait, which is worse, that the people making our internet are stupid or that they think you’re stupid? Going to have to think about that for a bit.
The creator of the map, Paul Lamere, never intended his data to be interpreted the way it was, he has said, but there’s no turning off a viral flood. What it actually was was a representation of each state’s most distinctive musical act. In other words, the ones that are listened to, as he explains it, ”proportionally more frequently in a particular state than they are in all of the United States.” You can’t stick that in a headline though can you?
As a response to all the attention, Lamere has gone and given the people what they actually wanted, and created the damn map everyone thought they were looking at in the first place. Almost. It’s still not representative of the actual favorite, or even most listened to band in your state, because that would be impossible to tally. Rather it’s merely the most frequently streamed on a series of music services that Lamere looked at based on the listening habits of 250,000 people. Closer to the mark, sure, but still doesn’t do what it will say in the headlines.