Tag Archives: Alex Wiley

They call these things mixtapes but we have to pay for them?

They call these things mixtapes but we have to pay for them?

by Dan-O

Whenever people look at me and say the mixtape doesn’t exist anymore; no difference exists between albums and mixtapes…I have to look at them confused. What do you mean? I know it’s an album because I paid for the thing. This all changed a while ago and now Kendrick Lamar calls my favorite album he ever released a mixtape (Section 80) so I’m forced to roll with this (respecting the artists wishes). A lot of these non-mixtape mixtapes have dropped recently and I wanted to give a quick update on two important projects you need to check out. These are on ITunes and the second is on Amazon for digital purchase.

Erykah Badu-But U Caint Use My Phone

I have had my fair share of Badu-ruining-great-rappers conversations and while it is fun to believe in (like magic or the Electoral College) it is also entirely irrelevant. If Common puts out a bad album I’m not going to act like he was under someone’s spell (I wish I could for UMC) but more importantly Badu has an incredible career of her own. She creates deeply lyrical masterpieces like Mama’s Gun or chant heavy hooky albums like New Amerykah Part One and both kinds work for her. But U Caint Use My Phone is her doing it again, and while most will come for the stellar remake of Hotline Bling (called Cel U Lar Device) or the breathtaking collaboration with Andre 3000 (called Hello) this has a lot of top tier Badu. Phone Down might be my favorite song on the project because somehow without declaring itself vividly sexual the song overflows with it. She sounds assured and calm, so confident in who she is she doesn’t need to shout just give a gentle warning and she has your attention. She not only promises that she can make you put your phone down but have you so bamboozled in her you won’t know how to unlock it.

Yes it’s deeply intelligent in its handling of our communication in the modern age; the separation our constant cell phone use creates between lovers, friends and family but more important than that Erykah Badu is still dope in a year where Missy Elliott and Janet Jackson have proved the same.  So it may cost you money to pick this up but you will be supporting one of the really unique voices in the hip hop universe.

 

Alex Wiley-Village Party 2: Heaven’s Gate

I listened to Village Party everywhere. I don’t mind saying it. I spent all of last year listening to it but never reviewed it. The mixtape just seemed too impossibly atmospheric and different to properly describe. Alex Wiley destroys the wall between bars and hooks and just sways from word to word swimming in the beat. Listening to Alex Wiley is being delightfully inebriated and I’m clearly not the only one loving the experience. When Twista spits hot fire on Japanese he’s audibly taken with the vibe. It’s all vibe and it’s all different, how comforting must that be for an artist who suffered long in hip hop’s underappreciated tier because of how different his music was? Chance the Rapper doesn’t stick out at all on Navigator Truck, this is Wiley’s world and all the offbeat vocalists live here in harmony.

I am in no way saying that Wiley gets over on his chant/singing. If you listen to Play you will find yourself in observance of his slinky style reggae flow where he pounds words one after another until he slows down fading into the bass and the playing children just to emerge dropping bars feverishly. As much as I love to hear any gifted lyricist declare themselves by the force of their lyrics songs like Residual Effects (Shout out to Hippie Sabotage who do GREAT work on Village Party 2) are as hypnotic as those old Cypress Hill weed love songs.

Village Party 2 does what the first did, it takes me out of the world for as long as it’s playing and it probably does a better job than its predecessor. I’ll be honest; I had no qualms paying for this one.

 

 

 

Mixtape Review-2K47 by Hurt Everybody

Mixtape Review-2K47 by Hurt Everybody

Hurt Everybody

by Dan-O

The first few songs in I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to like 2K47 or Hurt Everybody because they sounded savagely unhappy and that’s not really how I want to be. By the last few…I was very sure I loved 2K47 and Hurt Everybody. The group consists of three people, the two emcees being Supa Bwe and Carl(Is he really named Carl or did he make up his rap name as Carl? Which is more awesome? Unsure). The producer is Mulatto Beats. You can probably guessed from the group name that this is hostile music and it most definitely is. By the last song (14th) we get the title track and it’s literally the screaming male ego. The brags are chopped up in word chunks and the chorus is a stream of hollered threats and curses. The beat is a robotic squeal that peels away at any level of comfort you’ve gained until by the conclusion you are made so purposefully uncomfortable that its genius (MULATTO BEATS!). It takes real power to create that feeling. Contrast that feeling with track nine (YUNO) where we get the snarling bouncy radio friendly melodic hit they created the repeat option for (produced by FLIGHT!). Yuno is clearly the most fun and awesome thing on 2K47 and that’s saying something.

This project has some of my favorite rappers in the world on it doing great work. Mick Jenkins is fantastic in his two appearances, Social Network (Gang) and Stay Awake, and Alex Wiley is a perfect match for the equal parts angry and odd Computer. As shouting, stomping angry as 2K47 is and as masterful as Hurt Everybody are at using swear words like the Three Musketeers use swords…this isn’t Drill. Stay Awake is way too pimpish (another gold standard guest verse from Twista on this song). The title track and Social Network (Gang) are way too punk rock. Low Light is too wounded and sultry. This doesn’t fit into a genre it feels like a virus released to destroy genres.

Hurt Everybody know what everyone thinks is going to come out of Chicago hip hop. It’s going to be about crime and it’s going to be Chop-like (Chop-esque? Chopish?) production. They are playing Battleship with your expectations, hiding the parts you think you know and hitting you in the face with a bunch of different sounding songs. Some are bass and sample gorgeous (Before The War) with polished soulful chorus but others are angry shouting or monotone chanting (White Owl). They overflow with energy and enthusiasm and it takes you over.

After listening to 2K47 enough you start to wonder if this is the kind of group…if they broke BIG and everyone loved them…would they completely shift into doing something else? The music is rowdy, unsettled and eating everything surrounding it. I have to think that’s why all these artists came to feature and be a part of it. 2K47 isn’t the kind of listen that comes with a set of rules, just a seatbelt.

Stream or Download 2K47 below:

http://www.djbooth.net/index/albums/review/07065-hurt-everybody-2k47