Juicy J

“Low” (Feat. Nicki Minaj, Lil Bibby & Young Thug)

The picnic table in a white room (w/ concrete walls, or maybe outside) is a greatly appreciated gallery showcase of Core™ water + Wise™ chips & snacks @ the backyard party. SOMEHOW these snacks and refreshments transfer aqua-marine visual environments right into you. How could such a crisp 3D underwater screensaver somehow be summoned by (1) vending machine goodies and (2) some new brand of bottled water? Well, Benny Boom understands the art of branding; after listening to “Low” my whole house is filled with these special varieties of chips and water.

“Low” is a triumph. The word “tour de force” get’s thrown around all the time – it’s French (?) and powerful sounding. When I hear that aphoristic, critics-only phrase I visualize Nolan’s entire Inception experience distilled down to an electric-blue fog whipping around inside a hurricane. Oddly enough, this exact fog is pouring out the exhaust pipes of ATVs spinning all around that SAME backyard party mentioned above ^^^. Coincidences everywhere. Here’s another one – I first heard this track while driving across North Carolina, specifically on the Greensboro radio station 102 Jamz. I immediately pulled over and bought TWO ginseng-honey Arizona™ teas, drank them both, and prayed to a religious God (authentically) for the first time ever. Hence, tour de force.

Young Thug’s presence is essential – he transforms the whole thing into a sweet hymn. Dude’s got a golden, angelic, bat shit crazy voice. The first time I heard “Stoner” I knew he had it in him to completely break everything. His verse in Rich Gang’s “Lifestyle” was vomit-y – truly unbelievable shit, I mean the kind of thing that makes grown ass women and men have breakdowns (existential, political, midlife, etc.) in vehicles all across America. The slinky, dunked-in-three-types-of-syrup hook on “Danny Glover” was the nail in the coffin for me. Young Thug, and the entire “Low” track, really make an effort to explain to you (listener, reader, etc.) that you shouldn’t ever be a hater unless you absolutely have to, unless you have no other choice. Considering the entire universe I think we have some choices here, although some people try to argue otherwise. Choose “Low.”

• Juicy J: http://low.thejuicyj.com
• Nicki Minaj: http://mypinkfriday.com
• Lil Bibby: http://lilbibby.com
• Young Thug: http://youngstonerlife.com


“Live from SPL” & “Live from BRKSND”

I haven’t listened to a record in about five years. So you better believe when Neil Young & Crazy Horse’s “T-Bone” hit my ears by way of a warbling and spinning slab of vinyl, I was blown away. Ever since that moment, I can’t get enough of that song. In fact, I can’t snap out of being in a headspace of “rocking out” 24/7. Call it a constant craving, a hungry heart, a free fallin’.

ICH BIN N!NTENDO must have similar obsessions: a fuzz in the head, a growth on a state of mind, a compulsion to drop dead and be reborn in overdriven ecstasy.

They satisfy, if satisfaction is in fact to scratch an itch to form a chronic rash, wandering into unforgiving red and bliss. Judging from these fresh live recordings, they must be a pressure wash to watch. That such a high push of energy can be communicated through field recordings demonstrates their spot-on sonic strength. A smile and tongue as the evangelist blinds my gleeful eye with a flash from a sleight-of-hand.

• ICH BIN N!NTENDO: http://ichbinnintendo.com

Mike WiLL Made-It

Est. In 1989 (Part 2.5)

Fall is coming everyone! And Ima get ready for high school football season. So turn’t up Mike WiLL Made-It. Systems engines are cranked. I’m wearing a varsity jacket and I’m 29. Est. In 1989 (Part 2.5) maxing out every bit of bass left in my whip. There’s features by EVERYONE on this album. Making out with honeys in the woods behind the playground. Axe spray all up in my nostrils. Hair combed to look like I have slightly a bit more. Halloweening all the kids and watching harshly violent movies during Beggar’s Night. There’s also a washed-up Kelly Rowland track on here. Raking up everyone’s leaves to be the nice guy on the block. You don’t live in this town.

• Mike WiLL Made-It: http://shop.mikewillmade.it/index.html

David Vandervelde

Shadow Sides

David Vandervelde is back under the shade of your ears one more time with “One More Time.” The straightforward slow dance is one of ten off his third full length – and first since 2008 – Shadow Sides. A recording that finds Vandervelde using a Tascam 246 Portastudio four-track cassette recorder for Shadow Sides entirety.

As stated above, Shadow Sides caps a six year hiatus that found Vandervelde losing friend, mentor, and frequent collaborator Jay Bennett (of Wilco), troubled with addiction, and on the wrong end of a five year marriage (foreshadowing of the latter is a major theme throughout the album). Picking up where two well-received records laid, Vandervelde stands longing, selfish, stuck with his back to any darkness – a willfully bright ignorance complement to the bright reverb brought on by his use of analog edit-free mixes.

Simple vocal repetition is heavily used in some of Shadow Sides best moments. “More Than God” and “One More Time” find Vandervelde chanting “I love you more than God” and “let me make love to you one more time,” respectively, right out of the gate. But while “More Than God” seems to boast a smile, if not tongue-in-check, “One More Time” isn’t so much asking, but digging up one last plea. Putting it briefly, the dude knows how to make a stomach sink.

Shadow Sides is out September 9 via Park the Van (Vinyl), Secretly Canadian (Digital), and Burger Records (Cassette). Vandervelde doesn’t have any plans to take his house band on tour yet, but you can find him playing guitar, keys, and singing with Father John Misty in 2015.

• David Vandervelde: https://twitter.com/dvandervelde
• Park the Van: http://www.parkthevan.com
• Secretly Canadian: http://www.secretlycanadian.com
• Burger Records: http://www.burgerrecords.org

Dean Blunt

SKIN FADE [Deluxe Edition]

Way back in January, Dean Blunt dropped an all-originals mixtape called SKIN FADE, and though it came with no info or cover art (or artist name, come to think of it), the mix landed on our First Quarter Favorites list, largely because it was amazing and again unexpected from just about every angle. Unfortunately, the mix was removed almost immediately, where it’s stayed away, spoken of in hushed tones, for over six months.

But now it’s back. Blunt has just uploaded a [Deluxe Edition] of SKIN FADE for streaming/downloading via his new @jesuschrist3000ADHD SoundCloud feed. Interestingly, some portions are removed, some unheard, others renamed, and material previously labeled “Hype Williams” is now revealed to be an integral part of “the real SKIN FADE.” Go ahead and press play, sit on your hands, and listen to the whole thing:

Black Metal coming soon on Rough Trade Records.

• Dean Blunt: https://soundcloud.com/urbansocialmedialounge
• Rough Trade: http://www.roughtraderecords.com


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.