Post-punk and hip hop aren’t common genres to hear mixed together but on his new release Danny Brown manages to mix the two in a genre bending album that is a ground breaking change from traditional hip hop music. The title Atrocity Exhibition is a reference to the song of the same name by the iconic post-punk band Joy Division. Brown says that he was deeply inspired by Joy Division’s dark sound and wanted to bring that post-punk attitude to a hip hop album. Danny Brown’s past albums have common themes of overt drug use, but if his early work was the party, this album is the hangover. Brown’s lyrics paint a very dark picture of the effects of drug use and of his home, Detroit, Michigan. The beats are dark and disjointed, never settling into a predictable groove. This unique sound is apparent from the first track “Downward Spiral” where Danny Brown raps over an uncomfortable disjointed beat that could be a track pulled straight from a sonic youth album. The album is also very multi-dimensional. The track “Really Doe” is a throwback to old-school hip hop that feature a simple boom bap drum beat with haunting bells hanging in the background that provides the atmosphere for Brown and fellow rappers Kendrick Lamer, Ab-Soul, and Earl Sweatshirt to trade flows over. The track is the most traditional song on the album and is a phenomenal ode to old posse cuts like A Tribe Called Quest’s “Scenario”. Another standout track, “Ain’t it Funny”, is a wild song that features loud brash synths and Brown’s trademark high pitched yelp rap style. Like post-punk Brown in exploring wild sounds very rarely heard in hip hop which is likely to turn a lot of people off from this project but if you are interested in left-field hip hop trying to think outside the box, this album is one to check out. -Kyle
Quick question, what hit Broadway musical stars one of America’s most prestigious and pompous politicians? If you guessed Alexander Hamilton, you are correct! A biography not only told on stage, but rapped as well. In other words, move over Eminem, make room for another brilliant storyteller, known as Lin-Manuel Miranda. This wordsmith wrote, composed and stars in his award winning creation, playing no one other than Alexander Hamilton himself. The play and the album is two and half hours of tongue twisters, anecdotes and plenty of wit. Hamilton serves as a high quality gateway to newcomers of rap music or musical theater. -Jon
Thank you for everyone who came out and celebrated our 50th Birthday here! Stay tuned as we celebrate all year long!
Jack White has been one of those names that seems to pop up everywhere. He has been a part of The Dead Weather, The White Stripes, and the Raconteurs. The also is known as the proprietor of Third Man Records as well. His latest album was a look at his songwriting from his first album in 1998 to current day, which spans his entire career. There is a strong sense of lightheartedness and improvisation styles throughout many of the tracks, showing his most creative side. There is a sense of difference when it comes to changing vibes between styles of music giving the listener a surprise at every turn. While many of the tracks will give you a classic Jack White feel, there is another in its place that will give you a new perspective into the real Jack White. As always this album is a masterpiece in itself and is worth a listen if you want to try and understand him just a little more.