It’d be easy to dismiss The Underachievers as just another group of 90s hip-hop revivalists. It’d also be incredibly stupid and short-sighted. At 21 and 22, AK and Issa Dash are clearly mature beyond their years, and while they have no reservations about acknowledging the influence of those who came before them, their psychedelic-fueled spiritualism and overall eclecticism places them pretty far outside the realm of their forebearers, as well as that of their Pro-Era peers.
Still, what’s most appealing about this duo is not their weirdness or intelligence; it’s their natural chemistry. The two MCs trade bars with such grace that it’s easy to stop paying attention to who’s saying what and when. Their complementary flows are the mark of seasoned vets and could very well signal great things to come.
New Jet City [mixtape]
Last year, Curren$y released eight records. Lil Wayne only released one. Ipso facto, Spitta is probably the hardest-working heavy-hitter New Orleans got. Not one to balk at surpassing his precedent of proliferation, the king of chill-rap has just released New Jet City, his first release of 2013. It may have taken him over a month to get back to the grind, but Curren$y makes up for the wait with an impressive roster of guest stars (Rick Ross, Juicy J, Trinidad James), as well as production from Harry Fraud and Lex Luger, among others. This being Curren$y, there’s no shortage of hazy smoking jams (“Purple Haze,” “Mary”), but there are some unexpected twists; if you’re looking for a new song to set as your phone alarm, look no further than the Juvenile-assisted track “Bitch Get Up,” which will prove vital in preventing me from sleeping through my Dostoevsky lecture ever again.
New Jet City is, as usual, available for free over at Datpiff. We can probably expect another Spitta suite in the coming weeks/months.
• Curren$y: http://www.currensyspitta.com
“We prepare for the oncoming shift… we are ready to lose… the final grip”
The unceremonious introduction of a monster, a door slides away and the beatings begin savagely with as little fanfare as they always have, always will. The rattling of metal tools used for parting flesh from bone. The slow grating sound of rusted steel on steel. Flickering overhead hanging lamps swaying in the dark. The smell of blood and vomit-inducing rot. The promise of death delivered upon. Five years after the last “incident.” Because that’s how the truly dangerous operate. They need no impetus to suddenly re-emerge.
Hair Police’s Mercurial Rites is out now on Type. Surprise.
“Kingpinning,” from Mykki Blanco’s 2012 mixtape gem, Cosmic Angel: The Illuminati Prince/ss, has received a visual treatment from director Clarence Fuller, appropriately dark and dotted with bizarre images of some strange orgy to heighten the already-eerie beat produced by Brenmar. It’s a perfect representation of Blanco’s something’s-not-quite-right style, as the video plays out almost exactly like any other hip-hop video created in the last 20 years, filled with images of well-decorated people riding in nice cars through the city and hanging out at clubs. But it’s Blanco’s and, in the case of this video, Fuller’s ability to make something so strange out of something so familiar that really gives “Kingpinning” its standout quality above the thousands of other mixtapes caught in the interweb last year.
Watch the video and download Cosmic Angel: The Illuminati Prince/ss over here, if you haven’t already.
• Mykki Blanco: http://mykkiblancoworld.com/#/music
Progressionals like Harlem-based Gobby really got my heart. Like, what’s interesting to me about footwork/juke shit is stuff outside the TEKLIFE and Planet Mu radar. Like Satanicpronocultshop get in there so hard and drive it until the squeeze. Or my dude LiL ♎ JaBBA, prior to TEK’ing away, was really raw, maybe even unintentionally. But Gobby got it rolling, starting his new Lantern EP off with “Trans.09,” which is a straight track, but the EP gets harder and funnier and better. If you’ve yet to bare witness to “Riot,” Gobby proves he’s got connections (Myyyykki, OMG) and a musical sense of humor. Also, the cover art calls forth that old Xerox’d-to-shit zine/snot-tape artistic quality that’s usually impossible to pull off without seeming too MS Paint about it. Mostly, Gobby’s music reminds of Harlem, only the trees with trash in ‘em are in this warehouse club and the only lights are coming from Gobby’s eyes; people are bumping and grinding, and I saw Keith there too. He never told me he’d be in town, but we bumped denims and left as fried as Gobby melts tracks.
Find Gobby’s new Lantern EP now on UNO NYC. Ima buy the shit outta this actually, so snag it before I buy em all!
Lynn Fister’s young Watery Starve Press has already made a big splash on the cassette market, following an incredible debut compilation with releases from the likes of Stephen Molyneux and Sparkling Wide Pressure. Each tape she’s put together has arrived with individually collaged artwork, impressive and beautiful stuff all around to be certain. But this latest release is taking the imprint to a new level, so we here at the Chocolate Grinder are proud to present this quadruple premiere of videos from Taxidermy of Unicorns, a four-way split highlighting the work of female experimental artists from around the globe, including New Zealand’s Birds of Passage, Belgium’s Je Suis le Petit Chevalier, Georgia’s Motion Sickness of Time Travel, and Fister herself under her musical guise, Aloonaluna. Although each performer has a singular and unique vision here, the four sides of music are bound by some intangible common thread, giving the project a feeling that is cohesive in its blurry beauty — a phenomenon Fister discusses in a personal essay found in the companion booklet that comes with the tape. Check out the videos created by Rachel Evans, Fister, and Brian Ratigan below.
Birds of Passage, “Dead Flowers” (excerpt):
Je Suis le Petit Chevalier, “Documents” (excerpt):
Motion Sickness of Time Travel, “Mutable Mode”:
• Birds of Passage: http://birdsofpassagemusic.com
• Je Suis le Petit Chevalier: http://www.facebook.com/jesuislepetitchevalier
• Motion Sickness of Time Travel: http://motionsicknessoftimetravel.blogspot.com
• Aloonaluna: http://aloonaluna.com
• Watery Starve Press: http://waterystarve.blogspot.com