The idea of this episode occurred to me after listening to Mac Miller’s latest project,GO: OD AM. After being really impressed with Mac’s journey in music and the introspectiveness of his last record – I was let down. Mac Miller has always had a druggy sound, even back on KIDS but back then he was just a teenage
dirtbag stoner. Mac Miller has been very public about his drug use. When he talked about it on Movies with the Sound Off, it sounded like he matured and actually gave a shit about the damage done to him for years of hard drug use. Then he came out with his current album and it seemed liked he made a complete u-turn; coming out with a record that was celebrating excess consumption and materialism that just came off as vacuous.
And then it happened; as I was streaming an album on Spotify, I was struck by an ad for Canadian rapper K-OS’ new album, featuring a single with a video where he is rapping on a slow distorted beat, holding a styrofoam cup in hand amidst scantily clad women during a carnival.
I have my own thoughts on the video itself but the video struck a chord with me; because it like the album; once again highlighted how druggy and spaced out modern rap music has become. Not the rappers in particular but a lot of the production at least, I feel. I get that a lot of this emanates from the success of trap music – which originated in the American south. And this to me ties in with popularization of lean.
While the American south may not have the same stature that it once did in hiphop in the early 2000s, it’s influence is certainly still there. Even west-coast artist Kendrick Lamar, uses these spacey sounds in his production despite not being druggy at all. So the question remains, can you be a contemporary rap artist and not talk about doing drugs and still be popular?
Was K-OS’ video a parody? Or was he conceding that this is what hiphop is now? I’ve linked the video below. Tell me your thoughts.
On this episode, we discuss Sizzurp, more commonly known in the world of hiphop as “lean” or purple drank. A mixture of promethazine, codeine, and soft drinks with hard fruit candies added for additional flavor. We talk about lasting influence lean and drug culture has had on the sound of hiphop and how it has potentially helped create the sub-genre of cloud rap.
Our first episode. This episode focuses on an in-depth track by track review by us as we discuss how Dr. Dre’s last album gets to the meaning of Dr.Dre’s place in hiphop. Near the end of the show, we also discuss recent hiphop beefs that have permeated popular culture.
Expect the unexpected. Our first episode was chaotic. First, Tyler nearly canceled on me as he was tired from working his part-time job. Luckily, he offered to host the first episode at his house. I had never been there before.
It was quite the trek. TTC travel is always capricious. When I got there I had no idea what to expect but I’m grateful that Tyler graciously welcomed me into his home. Off to the bedroom we went.
We had to use Tyler’s room where we could isolate most of the noises and hookup the mics. First issue, the mics weren’t picking up sound. Then mics were too loud; finally we got the goldilocks performance and did the show and everything was fine. That is, until my commute home.
We wrapped up at 12:30 and off to the Subway I went, except that the Subway closed at 12:15 that day and I had to take a shuttlebus from Finch to Eglinton station. Then I had to wait a whole hour before the blue night bus finally showed up; from there I was literally going from end of the city to the other. I get off the bus to go north.
Did I mention that I live in a bad neighborhood?! Like scary, bad. Here I am at 2 in the morning with a microphone in my hands; thinking about walking it. I walk up and think this is about to be a reimagining of The Warriors, despite only being a few blocks away at this point. Then the blue night appeared as I was walking toward the next stop and with a mad dash, off I went. I clambered onto the bus and sat down. Almost there.
When I finally arrived at my doorstep – it was 3 am.