Tag Archives: track review

Track review: JAHKOY – “Odd Future”

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Sometimes, listening to contemporary R&B can be an exhaustive series of tracing the influence of one artist’s sound back to the work of another artist. In a world of standouts like FKA twigs, The Weeknd, Miguel, Jeremih, Drake, and more, it can be easy to forget few artists start out with a definable sound that sets them apart from comparable artists. Predictably enough, this is the case with Toronto upstart JAHKOY, whose new track, “Odd Future,” debuted over the weekend over at Apple Music on OVOSOUND Radio. 

This 5-minute ballad is a two-parter, beginning as a solemn, depressed R&B cut and nicely transitioning into an impassioned hip-hop verse. I really enjoy the production on this track. It’s got an atmospheric vibe that takes me back to some of Clams Casino’s early music, and it nicely fits to JAHKOY’s clean vocals as well as his rapped verse.

People who are familiar with Drake won’t be surprised or necessarily enthused by “Odd Future,” a song that is more sonically exciting than lyrically creative. There’s a mention of preferring the turn-up to sobriety, a lamentably short relationship, and the dangers of letting one’s personal struggle impede their success. 

JAHKOY seems intent on turning over a new leaf with this song, but unfortunately it doesn’t sound like it. There’s nothing about this track that really sticks with me, and I find JAHKOY’s vocal performance to be technically adequate but mostly drab. People who get easily caught up in trends may find something about this song worth loving the same way people tend to flock to fellow Canadian copy-Drakes Bryson Tiller and Tory Lanez. JAHKOY is intent on cashing in on this sound. It might work with some, but until he focuses his energy on memorable tunes, a stronger presence on the track, and letting the mainstream world know why we should be embracing him, JAHKOY won’t be ascending to Drake status any time soon.

Check it out right here, on Soundcloud! 

Jakob Ross is Rainy Dawg Radio’s 2015-2016 Music Director.

Check out more music and news from Rainy Dawg Radio @ RainyDawg.org!

New Track: Earl Sweatshirt – Solace

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Earl
Sweatshirt
is one of the most talented rappers out right now. He
produces a lot of his own beats and flows over them like none other.

Earl is plagued by
depression. He talks about a lot of his issues in his music. His latest album was aptly
titled I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go
Outside.

With Solace, he bares himself like never
before. Earl dropped Solace on
YouTube earlier this week, without warning. He raps about
his sadness and pain with brutal honesty. Solace is a ten
minute voyage into Earl’s stormy mind. I’ve never heard anything quite like it,
simultaneously stark and beautiful.

The YouTube
description for Solace is succinct: “music from when i hit the bottom and found something.”
There isn’t a video to accompany the song. There’s just a plain, pink square
for us to stare at.

Solace doesn’t have a hook. It doesn’t
need one. Haunting instrumentals ebb and flow and transform. Earls three verses
are mostly mumbled and slurry, to good effect. His voice conveys his
hopelessness better than any words could.

Which
isn’t to say that the lyrics here aren’t powerful. Bars like “I spent days
faded and anemic/You
could see it in my face, I ain’t been eating, I’m just wasting away” and “My
brain split in two,
it’s raining a bit/I hope
it’s a monsoon, my face in the sink” are visual and cutting.

The
piano-heavy instrumentals create a dark, claustrophobic vibe. Disembodied moans
mingle with eerie chords. Shrill screeches pierce through, at points. Despite
all the melancholy elements, the beats are as smooth as melted butter. Earl’s production never ceases to impress.

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Earl
is mired in regret and it keeps him up at night: “I done stayed up the whole
night…It’s me and my nibbling conscience.” He misses his dead grandma: “I got
my grandmama’s hands, I start to cry
when I see ‘em/Cause they remind me
of seeing her”

Earl’s
honesty pays off, because Solace is real
and relatable. The YouTube comments section is full of praise for Earl. Some
commenters even thank Earl for Solace. It
“strikes a chord” and “speaks volumes.”

Do
yourself a favor and give Solace a
listen. It’s amazing.

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Pranav Shivanna

“Sunday Candy”: something to be thankful for (New Song)

this thanksgiving, i am SO thankful for Chance the Rapper, Donnie Trumpet, Peter Cottontale, and Nate Fox.

the four, commonly known as The Social Experiment, dropped a song on November 25th, with help from Stix on drums, vocals from Jamila Woods, Jabari Rayford, Eryn Allen Kane, and Macie Stewart, J.P. Floyd on trombone, and Patrick Paige on the bass.

the track, named “Sunday Candy,” is a single from Social Experiment’s upcoming album Surf, set to be released before 2015. 

and, as i said earlier, if you were looking for things to be grateful for during this lovely holiday break, search no more. this song is a blessing. the vibrant and upbeat trumpet accompanies a soulful, smooth beat that makes you want to sing at the top of your lungs, probably in the shower, or at all times, whatever works. 

another reason to fall in love with this song is the lyrics. the first verse Chance the Rapper raps about how much his grandmother loves him and Taylor Bennett, his younger brother, because of everything she has done for them. 

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as if i’m not already madly in love with Chance

the second verse, Chance expresses how important his grandmother is to him. he says “I’m pessimistic on Monday if I had tweaked and missed you,” referring to the thought of skipping seeing her at church on Sunday. given how chance is relatively open about his skepticism towards religion/God, this speaks volumes to how much inspiration his grandmother provides. it’s just so cute, okay! Take a listen:

the song is about waiting to see someone that improves your day, your life, any aspect of yourself. its about cherishing the people who are important to you, which is so great to have on a day like today.

anyways, the song is awesomely put together, with so many contributions from so many great artists. Nico Segal (better known as Donnie Trumpet) is noted in The Fader as saying ”this song specifically is a great representation of [The Social Experiment’s] collaborative efforts. It’s my curation, but then bringing it to the table with all these beautiful people and including them in their own way. Jamila sang on that hook, then I brought it to the collective. Peter added some great layers of texture and helped produce, Nate added a bunch of drums, tons of our friends from Chicago played instruments and added their ideas.” 

everything about this song is feel-good, and the people involved are people that you can also feel good supporting. Nico Segal and Chancellor Bennett went to high school together, and have been making music together for years, like Zion released on Donnie Trumpet EP in July 2013 and Wasting Time released from Traphouse Rock EP in 2012. it’s amazing to see the two, and other Chicago natives, succeeding on a larger scale, and releasing an album together years later.

so now, i sit and wait for Surf.

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gnovs