On his major label debut, The Stoned Immaculate, Curren$y reminisces about the days before stardom, when he would be “making Lamborghini engine sounds pedaling [his] bike.” After years of relentless grinding, recording, and touring, the New Orleans rapper has graduated from trikes to tricked-out rides, as we see in his new video for “Showroom.” As the title would suggest, a lot of the focus is on cars — nice cars, mind you — as well as Spitta’s usual companions: weed and attractive ladies. And the secret? “Hustle, dumbass/ It’s not rocket science.” Class dismissed.

• Curren$y:
• Warner Bros:

Dead Dads Club


It may just be the words “Dead Dads Club,” but much about this track has the undercurrent of barely suppressed neurosis. The stuttering beat of “maud’dib,” along with its lyrics, suggest a desperate eagerness to stay optimistic, to please, but the strain shows. The effect is intriguing, infatuating even, though pregnant with just the right dash of sadness. The forced cheer is nicely symbolized in the conspicuous smiley face the band uses to spell its name. The song is sonorous enough, the voices are independently pretty, and the production is very fine, but the slightly unusual rhythms and lingering vocals come together to suggest a history of distress. It has a severely disquieting effect similar to not being able to get comfortable in one’s own bed. Everything becomes alien. Panic, slowly mounting, takes hold. There is a very exact truth to these layers. I like these layers.

Dead Dads Club has an upcoming release on Triple You Tapes.

• Dead Dads Club:
• Triple You Tapes:

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti

“Only In My Dreams”

On August 21, 4AD will be releasing Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti’s “fourth” album Mature Themes on CD, LP and digital formats; pre-order up in here. He’s been king of modern AM-Gold [slash] local commercial jangle-plop since, like, 2002, —err 2000. Somewhere between there and here, he’s caught on to a standard of listeners and has grown since adapting a more accessible sound, etc. etc. And I fear that he’s evening out. Like how Deethunter/Atlas Sound, Dirty Projectors, Walkmen, and Beach House have all reached and remained peaked, but every new album now I’m (slightly) scared they’ll fall off. That’s where I think Pink is at right now. Don’t get me wrong; Ku Klux Glam and its associated releases were boss-indie shit. But where he’s heading with his own works, and this new album… I just want it to be jood. Real jood. Just, I can’t expect too much. Thus, for now, his future greatness rests “Only In My Dreams.”

• Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti:
• 4AD:



The local jazz radio station doesn’t come in very well in my room. At 10 PM on Thursday nights, the college station on the next frequency over on the spectrum plays a jazz show called the Jazz Apothecary, and the signal interferes heavily. The way my radio picks up both signals and flickers between the two often creates a strange effect, smashing together two entirely different songs, tempos, and melodies like the crash and reverberation of hand cymbals.

“Sunglow,” from Raleigh producer Constrobuz’s album Rain and Dust, is what happens on that very rare occurrence when the two different songs from each of those jazz stations seem to sync up through all of the signal fuzz and vinyl hiss. The result is like the soundtrack to all of the panning city shot transitions of some VHS copy of a slow-burning film noir. Makes me want to dress up and chain smoke unfiltered cigarettes.

Check it out below and download all of Rain and Dust for the low (high?) cost of name-your-price over at his Bandcamp page.

• Constrobuz:

Young Smoke


Young Smoke, a barely-legal footwork producer in DJ Diamond’s Flight Muzik crew, was relatively silent in late 2011/early 2012, but he’s back in full force now. In late April, Young Smoke announced a whole slew of new releases (including a 10-minute preview of one of his upcoming summer albums, Astronaut Status 1.0), and just a couple weeks ago, he released a free EP called Smoke Session v.1 for those who were fast enough to pick it up. And just over the weekend, Young Smoke took to Soundcloud to post a bunch of tracks from his upcoming releases, such as “War Flutes” (from Gutta House Muzik v.2), “Floating Star” and “Fly Away” (from Astronaut Status 1.0), “Flight Lyfe In Yo Mouth” (from Flight Society v.1 with DJ Diamond and DJ Metro), a couple tracks that don’t seem to have homes yet (“Dream Land” and “Ocean Waves”), and the track below, “Warning,” which is off his upcoming Planet Mu full-length.

Unsurprisingly, “Warning” is the strongest of the bunch, which perhaps speaks in part to how much care Planet Mu continually exhibits in their curating skills (I’ve heard so many incredibly SHITTY footwork tracks now that I really appreciate Planet Mu’s ear, whether or not the releases “accurately” represent Chicago footwork). Listening to these tracks together, it’s clear that, while Young Smoke is still experimenting to figure out which approaches work and which don’t, he’s put considerable forethought into his weird space aesthetic and easily possesses the most clearly defined methodology of all the up-and-coming footworker producers.

Get your space suit on, and look for his Planet Mu release, called either Space Zone or The Space Cadet, in September.

• Young Smoke:
• Flight Muzik:
• Planet Mu:

Aesop Rock

“ZZZ Top”

Do you like Aesop Rock? Do you like kung fu? Is your idea of fun watching a game of baseball played with throwing knives? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, you owe it to yourself to watch the new video for the rapper’s Skelethon track, “ZZZ Top.” Watch as Patti Li single-handedly delivers the ass-whooping of the century to a band of unlucky thugs, in the type of clip that reminds us of why Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was such a hit in the first place.

Skelethon drops on July 10 via Rhymesayers Entertainment.

• Aesop Rock:
• Rhymesayers:



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CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we'll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.