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Revolt TV: Jay IDK: The three songs you need to know

via Revolt TV
Words by Danielle Cheesman

To help viewers and concertgoers prepare for this weekend’s Rolling Loud music festival in Miami—which REVOLT TV will be livestreaming here—we’ve compiled the top three songs you must know from scheduled performer (Friday, May 5) and rising rapper Jay IDK. Hear them below!

The 24-year-old rapper hails from the DMV—Prince George’s County, Md., to be exact—and began writing music while incarcerated as a teenager. Since being released, the lyricist has dropped three mixtapes, the sophomore effort’s title (SubTrap) most encapsulating IDK’s style: “Suburban trap” or “trap music with substance.” And don’t get it twisted, the “IDK” in his name doesn’t stand for “I don’t know”; in fact, it’s quite the opposite: “Ignorantly Delivering Knowledge.” Get familiar.

“God Said Trap (King Trappy III)”

Over a haunting and slow-moving rumble, punctuated by piercing pings, IDK takes on the character of King Trappy, a drug dealer detailing his self-reflection with candor. A story from start to finish, as Trappy weighs his options and wonders aloud as to whether or not he’ll give up the game, listeners ponder the same: “I keep saying I’ma stop someday / Girlfriend saying I’ma get caught one day / I can stop till I get what I want okay / Only problem is my wants never go away.”There’s an answer at the end, but you’ll almost miss it because of how hypnotizing this track is.

“Somebody”

Boasting a jazzy groove that wouldn’t sound out of place as a Kaytranada-meets-GoldLink collabo, “Somebody” may be IDK’s most radio-ready track. The introductory and enunciated intro draws you in with a welcomed positivity that stands out when placed among the rest of his catalog: _”I knew I’d be somebody even when I didn’t know who I would be / So know you’ll be somebody even when there is a future you can’t see.” Melodic and emphasized by a “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It” sample, it’s fit for finger-snapping.

“I Picture”

Like “God Said Trap,” “I Picture” could just as easily soundtrack a horror film as it could a hazy house party. What starts off a celebration of the usual suspect vices (“Hit the club and shut it down / I picture money money / Big big big money”) ends up with an unfortunate blink-and-you-missed it closer: “Car got hit with 50 rounds / I picture money money / Big big big money.” As is his style, IDK once again presents with honesty the bitter and sweet sides of anything too good to be true.

ALSO HEAR: “OMW”

Jay IDK will be performing at Miami’s Rolling Loud music festival May 5-7 which REVOLT TV will be exclusively live streaming here. Follow at #RollingLoud3 on Twitter.

Mass Appeal: Best New Music Ft. Jimi Tents

The Listening Room (May 4, 2017)
NEW MUSIC FROM JIMI TENTS, SOUDIERE, THE LOX AND MORE

via Mass Appeal
Words by Khari Nixon

Just because you blinked while you were thumbing through your apps doesn’t mean you should miss one of the many musical gems that come out every single day. We’re here to make your life a little easier and to make it sound a whole lot better with The Listening Room, our daily roundup of the new songs you need to hear.

Jimi Tents “Rick Rubin”

As Jimi Tents continues to develop as a total artist, his ability to satisfy multiple songwriting lanes will undoubtedly expand. On “Rick Rubin,” Tents dives into the world of celebrity metaphor chorus, but executes it concisely, never getting too lost in the similes or caught up in trying to force a club mood. His subdued personality helps the flow stay right in pocket, and the new project is on the way. Nice.

Highsnobiety: Anne Dereaux’s “Rock Away” Is a Defiant Affirmation of Self-Love

via Highsnobiety
Words by Stephanie Smith-Strickland

Los Angeles-based singer Anne Dereaux cemented her presence with the release of “Mo(u)rning,” an ethereal meditation on love and loss backed by avant production and Dereaux’s expert embodiment of heartbreak. Today she’s following up the release with “Rock Away,” the latest single from her forthcoming EP Book of Lolita. 

“‘Rock Away’ is the song following ‘Mo(u)rning,’ and it’s about the feelings one experiences after getting over being wronged in a relationship, realizing how much bigger you are than the situation, and loving yourself enough to walk away when they try to come back…because they always do,” Dereaux shares of the inspiration.

Book of Lolita is set to release later in the summer, but in the meantime stream “Rock Away” below.


Coveteur: How André 3000 Inspired Anne Dereaux To Go Solo

via Coveteur
Words by Jodi Taylor
Photos by Tristan Kallas

Anne Dereaux opens up about leaving her duo, the inspiration behind her single “Mo(u)rning,” and the details behind her new EP.

 “I’m not one of those stories where people kind of come out of the womb with a microphone in their hand,” says Anne Dereaux of her start in music. “I was studying abroad, at Glasgow School of Arts, and there was an artist there, Van Hunt. After the show, I met his manager and I sang for them—that’s how the journey started.” Dereaux just recently broke out on her own, and decided to make the kind of music she would actually buy (the aha moment was inspired by Andre 3000), and is now being compared to the likes of Banks, Kelela, and FKA Twigs.

We caught up with the Nashville-born, but L.A. based singer to talk about her solo career, and her new single “Mo(u)rning.”

P.S. Take a listen and watch the video here!

On her songwriting process:

“Some songs I will write completely a cappella, without any instrumentation. I have a recording studio setup at home so I can record a song without any backing and send it to a producer that I’m working with, and they build around that. Or the other way is to create a musical idea and I write to it. A lot of the songs that I’ve done, most of them actually, have been recorded at home, and I work over email with a producer. I would say four of the six songs have been done that way.”

On the double meaning behind her single, “Mo(u)rning”:

“‘Mo(u)rning’ is really a song about coming to terms with painful end of something that meant a lot to you, whether it was a person or a thing. With the rising of the sun, you are a renewed person and you lose that sense of loss. That is why it is the double meaning of ‘morning’ and ‘mourning.’”

On her decision to leave her band and go solo:

“It was a duo, and I think it is very hard to get two people on the same page. Music was really my priority, and being an artist was my priority. The type of music we were making was almost like Daft Punk meets Beyoncé type of thing. Which, you know, commercially, was a viable concept, and people really liked it, but I was very unhappy because it felt like it wasn’t authentic to who I was. There was an interview that I read on Pigeons and Planes, and it was with André 3000—he was basically giving his advice to new artists. He said, ‘My one piece of advice is to make music you want to hear.’ I was like, ‘Wow. I would never buy this band’s project, I would never buy their music.’ It was like, what am I doing this for? It just wasn’t who I was and wasn’t what I wanted to make. I had to walk away and take the lessons that were learned and move forward. That is how I landed here and I am really happy I did.”

The details behind her new EP:

“[It’s] going to be called The Book of Lolita. I know that it gives people pause given the literary reference for that, but when I was eight, I had this alter ego. My mom’s a psychiatrist, so she freaked out when [I] would become this little girl named Lolita. I wouldn’t break character. To me, it was me quitting my job, leaving the band, and making the music I wanted to make—it was this moment where I could finally become who I wanted to be. That is why I called it The Book of Lolita.”

Five things she can’t live without:

“My family, my dog Lumi, my imagination. I feel like I can’t live without my phone, and then I would say just God and the Universe. I feel like having a connection to something bigger than yourself and remaining humble is really important. I haven’t always had a lot of money, but consistently magical things happen, and I am always thankful for what I have.”

Complex: “Best Of” SoundCloud Playlist Feat. Jay IDK

via Complex
Words by Edwin Ortiz

Let’s be honest: no one expected Frank Ocean to hit us consistently with new music eight months after the release of Blonde, but we’re not going to complain either. In April, the normally reclusive artist shared “Biking,” a star-studded collaboration with Jay Z and Tyler, the Creator, and followed that up with “Lens” featuring Travis Scott.

Ocean wasn’t the only one dropping playlist keepers this month. Playboy Carti came through with the undeniable bounce of “Magnolia,” SZA turned up the heat with “Love Galore,” and worlds collided with an unexpected collaboration between Nas and DJ Shadow.

Check out our full April playlist below which also features Young M.A, Majid Jordan, D.R.A.M., and more. If you’re digging it, make sure to follow us on SoundCloud for all the latest tracks from your favorite artists.

Forbes: How Jay IDK Is Working To Build His Empire

via Forbes
Words by Ogden Payne

Before he premiered his album Empty Bank with FORBES, landed an opening slot on Isaiah Rashad’s Lil Sunny tour, and announced a partnership with Adult Swim, Jay IDK was a one-man business.

Born Jason Mills, in Maryland, Jay IDK had no choice but to wear every hat in the early stages of his career. He moonlighted as his own manager, relying on self-taught grammar and punctuation lessons (an issue he says was the result of his hometown’s subpar school systems) to craft emails to send to anybody who would listen. He introduced himself as “Jason Mills, Jay IDK’s manager.”

Jay IDK

Filthy McDave

Though he still without a major label deal, he now delegates such tasks to a four-man team while he ponders out-of-the-box promotion strategies, like securing a partnership with Adult Swim. Though specifics of the deal cannot be disclosed, the partnership will consist of Jay rolling out new 10 songs in conjunction with Adult Swim’s programming.

But it was just a few years ago that his freedom was in jeopardy. In 2016, Jay published an article titled “The System” in the Huffington Post. The piece reflects on the juxtaposition between his secure home life (both of his parents are college graduates) and falling to deviant peer pressures and media influences. Nonetheless, Jay credits his career achievements to the mental fortitude necessary to survive in jail.

It’s the same mentality he needed when his Mercedes Sprinter van was raided while on tour with Rashad. Jay and his team totaled the amount of equipment and revenue lost at around $14,000. Ever the entrepreneur, Jay wasn’t phased. He’s confident that he’ll make that money back, and more.

“At this point in my career I’m working very hard to build an empire,” he says. “In due time, I’ll be ballin’.”

Follow @OgdenPayne (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook)

Pigeons and Planes: Best Songs of the Month (April 2017)

With so much good music steadily coming through, it’s easy to miss some of the best. To help prevent this, we’ve rounded up the best songs from the past month. Here are the songs you can’t afford to skip, in no particular order.

via Pigeons & Planes

Joji – “I Don’t Wanna Waste My Time”

When he’s not running around in a pink body suit, yelling guttural noises at strangers and destroying his apartment as Pink Guy on one of the wildest shows on the internet, George Miller makes gorgeous music as Joji.

His new single “I Don’t Wanna Waste My Time” highlights Joji’s soothing vocals over understated piano and percussion that feels like a warm, revitalizing shower after the obscene (but similarly genius) chaos that is much of the content on Filthy Frank TV. It isn’t a stretch to say this is one of the most fascinating—and surprising—music projects we’ve come across in recent years. We can’t wait to see what this guy does next.—Eric Skelton

  • Frank Ocean – “Lens”

    Image via Publicist

    The fact that Frank Ocean is dropping loosies in 2017 took some getting used to, but Frank’s new release strategy hasn’t hurt the quality of his music. “Lens” is another win—he’s still exploring new sonic territory, still weaving personal and historical anxieties behind mysterious couplets.

    On “Lens,” Frank’s vocals are masked behind some heavy Auto-Tune, and it’s a dance between voice and electric keys for the song’s first half. But the second half features a classic Oceanic evolution—drums start to kick, synths start to stack, bass rumbles. Then there are the lyrics, incisive as always. The internet made fame whack, Frank once said, but the lenses in his crosshairs this time around don’t belong to paparazzi.—Graham Corrigan

  • Shabazz Palaces – “Shine a Light”

    Photo by Victoria Kovios

    There was a lot of new music this month, but Seattle’s Shabazz Palacesstay operating in their own unique lane. On “Shine A Light,” they merge soulful, vintage R&B (with some help from a Dee Dee Sharp sample) and smooth raps with a subtle psychedelic twist. The group is always experimenting with sounds, and on this one they pull off something that feels cutting-edge and classic at the same time.—Jacob Moore

  • SZA ft. Travis Scott – “Love Galore”

    Image via YouTube

    We’ve been waiting a very long time for SZA to share another single from her forthcoming CTRL album. Actually, we’ve been waiting for the album as a whole for quite some time too. Thankfully, SZA finally returned with her brand new single “Love Galore” featuring Travis Scott this week, and it’s addictive.

    SZA has always had a habit of writing songs that are very personal to her, in turn telling stories that many of her listeners can really relate to. “Love Galore” is a perfect example of this. On the record SZA sounds tired of people wasting her time and toying with her emotions but, like her album title would suggest, SZA is finally at the point where she’s figuring out how to take control of her life once again.—Adrienne Black

  • Kendrick Lamar – “Pride”

    Image via YouTube

    There are a lot of intense moments on DAMN., but right in the middle of it all is the gorgeous, introspective “PRIDE.” Steve Lacy’s contributions bring a lazy, dreamy vibe that provide a little moment of peace in an otherwise urgent album. Read more about Steve Lacy and Kendrick’s collaboration here.—Jacob Moore

  • Joji – “I Don’t Wanna Waste My Time”

    Image via Facebook

    When he’s not running around in a pink body suit, yelling guttural noises at strangers and destroying his apartment as Pink Guy on one of the wildest shows on the internet, George Miller makes gorgeous music as Joji.

    His new single “I Don’t Wanna Waste My Time” highlights Joji’s soothing vocals over understated piano and percussion that feels like a warm, revitalizing shower after the obscene (but similarly genius) chaos that is much of the content on Filthy Frank TV. It isn’t a stretch to say this is one of the most fascinating—and surprising—music projects we’ve come across in recent years. We can’t wait to see what this guy does next.—Eric Skelton

  • Gorillaz ft. Kelela & Danny Brown – “Submission”

    The wait is over, and HUMANZ is here. Seven years after Plastic Beach, Gorillaz have delivered another insanely ambitious effort—the new album spans 26 tracks, features nearly that many guests, and comes with a litany of futuristic accompanying promo material. We’re still wrapping our brains around the thing, but “Submission” kills. Kelela takes over lead vocals from Damon Albarn, and delivers an airy, effortless performance that gives new life to an otherwise classic uptempo Gorillaz groove.

    Danny Brown joins the proceedings to deliver a surprisingly intimate verse about internal struggles. Just as good is the transition into the next song, the Grace Jones-featuring “Charger.” Another reminder that when it comes to this album shit, Gorillaz are still paying attention to detail.—Graham Corrigan

  • HAIM – “Right Now”

    Image via YouTube

    HAIM are back! It’s been nearly four years since they dropped their debut album Days Are Gone, which took the sisters from blog sweethearts to global superstars. Good on them for not rushing the follow-up though, because the pressure must have been there.

    Now, we have some firm information about HAIM’s second album—Something To Tell You will be out July 7, and they worked with Ariel Rechtshaid and Rostam Batamanglij from Vampire Weekend. A single has yet to be officially released, but in it’s place HAIM shared a single-shot video of them performing “Right Now” in the studio, directed Paul Thomas Anderson.—Alex Gardner

  • Kweku Collins ft. Allan Kingdom – “Aya”

    Image via YouTube

    Two of our favorite young artists, Kweku Collins and Allan Kingdom, have carved out successful lanes for themselves with unique approaches to genre-defying hip-hop. So, it was hard to guess what would happen when their distinct voices came together on the same song for Collins’ new grey EP. A few hours after its release, I’m sitting here midway through my eighth  listen (I can’t stop) and can confirm that what happened was, well, magic. Instead of clashing, these guys managed to mix their respective styles into a sound unlike anything I’ve ever heard before. What a song.—Eric Skelton

  • DEDE ft. Ed Droste of Grizzly Bear – “Faultline”

    Photo by Simon Renggli

    L.A.-based singer DEDE announced her debut solo album Panoply with a beautiful song this week, teaming up with Grizzly Bear’s Ed Droste and Fade To Mind boss Kingdom for “Faultline.” You might recognize DEDE as the singer from Tiny Hearts, and fellow band member Tim K also contributes production here, but DEDE and Droste’s mournful twin vocals.

    “We both couldn’t shake the feeling of impending doom in the aftermath of the election,” DEDE explains. “The song is a reflection of how we were feeling at that time.” The album Panoply will be out this summer via Fresh Selects.—Alex Gardner

  • Frank Ocean ft. Young Thug – “Slide On Me”

    Image via Jonathan F

    Frank Ocean’s Blonded show on Beats 1 has quickly become essential listening. Even if we tuned in just for the genre-spanning selections of classics, current hits, and gems from rising artists, the show would be great, but there’s more. On Blonded 005, which aired only one day after “Lens” was premiered on Blonded 004, Frank Ocean shared a new version of Endless track “Slide On Me,” now featuring Young Thug.

    Young Thug opens the track on his Thugger Jackson wave, on his Easy Breezy Beautiful Thugger Girl wave, on his singing wave…and it’s glorious. Young Thug is truly one of the most exciting and creative artists making music today and, in retrospect, teaming up with the similarly unique Frank Ocean makes so much sense. Let’s just hope this isn’t the last of their collaborations.

    The new version of “Slide On Me” hasn’t been officially released but you can listen back to Blonded 005 in full on Beats 1. The song is played around 1 hour and 45 minutes in.

    Listen here.—Alex Gardner

  • Cashmere Cat ft. Jhene Aiko – “Plz Don’t Go”

    Norwegian producer Cashmere Cat’s highly anticipated debut solo album 9 has finally arrived. The album features collaborations with multiple unlikely characters, and none of the guest artists shine against Cashy’s whimsical sonic backdrops quite as brightly as Jhene Aiko, who lends her vocals to the album’s closing track “Plz Don’t Go.”

    While “Plz Don’t Go” includes many of Cashmere Cat’s trademark production elements such as lilting flutes and pitched-up vocals, it also showcases his ability to play with the listener’s expectations. The song begins with a slow build, erupts into soaring pyrotechnics driven by strings and swirling synths, and then collapses back down into minimalism. “Plz Don’t Go” marries EDM and R&B in unexpected ways, attesting to Cashmere Cat’s innate ability to blend disparate influences together flawlessly.—Charlotte Freitag

  • Miles from Kinshasa – “Fireworks”

    Image via Facebook

    It’s been over a year since we last heard new Miles from Kinshasa music, but he’s definitely back with a bang. “Fireworks” is just as punchy and infectious as his previous singles, making brilliant use of his vocals. Just like “Kaya” and “IVRY” before it, “Fireworks” keeps the production relatively simple without compromising. The lively production provides a perfect backing for Miles’ vocals, even offering a little moment for him to show off his rapping skills in the second half. If “Fireworks” is any indication of what his debut project will sound like, it’s likely to arrive with big impact.—Joe Price

  • NUE – “Alaska”

    Image via NUE

    NUE is a 23-year-old artist from Toronto, and he’s two for two. His debut track “Obvious” was smooth, and “Alaska” is just as catchy and has the same kind of sleek, euphoric feel to it. NUE has an ear for melody, and unlike a lot of rappers experimenting with melodies, he’s got a natural songwriting ability that gives these songs enough structure to stick. For now, “Alaska” and “Obvious” are all we’ve got, but look out for a project on the way.—Jacob Moore

  • Allan Kingdom ft. Kevin Abstract – “Fuck My Enemies”

    Image via YouTube

    Throughout their respective rises, Allan Kingdom and Kevin Abstracthave made for a compelling duo. When they come together they always come up with something memorable, and Lines highlight “Fuck My Enemies” continues this trend. It’s a little bit of a different collaboration than we’ve come to expect from the pair, focusing more on rapping than singing, but that’s what makes it stand out against their previous collabs. It’s great to hear Kevin rapping like this again, too.—Joe Price

  • Michael Christmas – “Not The Only One”

    Image via Charlie Peacher

    There comes a time within every 20-something’s life where everything just feels like it’s falling apart, no matter how hard you try. Whether you’re struggling with the post-grad job hunt, moving on to Plan C, or just completely lost in the world, Michael Christmas’ latest single feels like a much-needed anthem.

    Sometimes knowing that people around you are struggling just as much as you can feel strangely comforting. Michael Christmas’ “Not The Only One” was made to pick you up out of that discouraged mood. Singing along with Tobi Lou’s chorus as he says: “I’m still fucking up all the time / I know I’m not the only one,” is enough to let listeners know they’re not alone out here and serves as motivation to keep pushing.—Adrienne Black

    Michael Christmas is on the No Ceilings tour with Boogie, Kaiydo, and Kemba. More info and tickets here.

    no-ceilings-tour

  • Offset – “Monday”

    Image via Instagram

    As a group, Migos have found an undeniable formula for catchy singles and they continue to prove it with each new release. However, within the last year the members have begun to branch out to showcase what they each bring to group by delivering more solo features.

    This week we received a really special treat as we heard Offset’s first solo single “Monday.” To no one’s surprise, “Monday” is incredibly catchy—good luck trying to fight the urge to repeat “Drop my top, let the roof loose / Look at these diamonds, Fruit Loops.” Whether or not this will be featured on an upcoming solo project from Offset feels irrelevant right now because this song will be on repeat this summer regardless.—Adrienne Black

  • Sevdaliza – “Bluecid”

    Iranian-born, Holland-based Sevdaliza has been consistently delivering some of the most creative and engaging songs, videos, and live performances out over the past few years. Her hard work has culminated in her debut album Ison, a stunning collection of songs that are part pop, part experimental electronic music, and part R&B.

    Listening to this album gives me the same shiver down my spine as Portishead’s classic Dummy. Sevdaliza is pushing boundaries, and you owe it to yourself to listen to this album in full.—Alex Gardner

  • Kendrick Lamar – “Element”

    Image via YouTube

    After the density of To Pimp A Butterfly, it’s refreshing to hear Kendrickdeliver something comparatively straight-forward. “Element” isn’t a simple song by any means, but it’s not the incredibly lyrical, rapping-over-multiple-musical-movements-Kendrick that many expected. That works in the track’s favor, with Kendrick providing memorable verses and a sticky hook over some sparse but gorgeous production.

    It’s unfiltered and direct in the way his 2015 work wasn’t. “Element” is a prime example of what makes Damn an immediately appealing body of work that is just as rewarding as his more challenging output.—Joe Price

  • Beyoncé – “Die With You”

    Image via Tidal

    Earlier this month, Beyoncé and Jay Z celebrated their ninth wedding anniversary. While many couples might take this time to share their special moment privately, Beyoncé generously shared a piece of her gift to Jay Z with the rest of the world. “Die With You” features the kind of tender lyrics that feel as if they were solely created for hundreds of couples to recite as their wedding vows.

    The pairing video montage shares home video of various intimate moments between Beyoncé and her family—only making an already beautiful piano ballad into a true tear-jerker. Without being able to completely relate, “Die With You” has the power to make listeners long for a soulmate they haven’t even met yet. Preview the song below and listen in full on Tidal.—Adrienne Black

  • Busu – “25 to Lyfe”

    Image via Busu

    Ever since Stockholm’s Busu released “116 RIP,” it was clear that he was onto something. Coming up with a distinct sound, Busu’s music shouldn’t work anywhere near as well as it does. Somewhere between pop rock and euphoric rap in the vein of Travis Scott and Yung Lean, his debut album is concise and easy to get into. “25 to Lyfe” might be the best of the new songs on the album, offering a chorus that will surely go off at live shows despite being so stripped back. Whether he becomes a global cult star or not remains to be seen, but tracks like “25 to Lyfe” make it obvious he deserves to be one.—Joe Price

  • D.R.A.M., A$AP Rocky & Juicy J – “Gilligan”

    Image via Atlantic Records

    When I think of D.R.A.M., I think of a big smile, bright catchy sounds, and carefree “trappy go lucky” energy. But on his new single “Gilligan,” the Virginia native shows us another side. Alongside ASAP Rocky and Juicy J, D.R.A.M. rides over a dark bass-heavy beat and boasts that he’s “gone off the shit again.” Then Rocky and Juicy J come through with strip club-ready verses.

    Wait. Hold on. Did D.R.A.M. just make banger?—Eric Skelton

  • MØ – “Nights With You”

    Photo by Max Knight

    It’s not easy to make a huge pop song interesting, but  is a master. On “Nights With You,” the Danish singer combines great songwriting with massive production from Cashmere Cat, Benny Blanco, and Sophie, but there’s enough space for the song to breathe, making it stand out from your typically overproduced radio hit. MO’s 2014 debut album No Mythologies To Follow was excellent, and it sounds like her follow-up could be even bigger.—Jacob Moore

  • Anik Khan – “Kites”

    Photo by Alyzeh Ashraff

    If there’s one word to describe Anik Khan’s music, it’s versatile. He’s proven that his voice and melodic delivery can fit on just about any rhythm. Recent releases have featured the Queens rapper going in over bass-heavy rhythms, Bollywood-inspired production, and everything in between.

    For his new single “Kites,” Anik yet again floats over another kind of beat, one that incorporates an array of live instrumentation. The production provided by Jarreau Vandal, Raj Makhija, and Anik himself creates an atmosphere that’s both soothing and thoughtful.

    “Kites just don’t fall, they fall to grace,” Anik told Zane Lowe on Beats 1. “What’s important is the people steering. It’s basically about who’s important to me and that’s my loved ones. And those are the ones steering and keeping me up.” Anik Khan’s Kites drops April 28.—Adrienne Black

  • Playboi Carti – “Magnolia”

    “Magnolia” is one of those songs that probably shouldn’t be a hit, but it’s undeniable. It feels like a care-free, one-take freestyle, plus a hook, over an unmastered beat, but that’s all part of the charm of Playboi Carti and it’s executed perfectly here. Plus, this might just be the catchiest hook of the year so far.—Jacob Moore

  • Khalid ft. GoldLink – “Let’s Go (Remix)”

    Image via SoundCloud

    GoldLink has been on his remix game recently—one of the standouts off last month’s At What Cost is his flip of Hare Squead’s “Herside Story,” and the DMV rapper is back this week to add a verse on Khalid’s “Let’s Go.” Positive vibes abound, as GoldLink spins a story of elevation and empowerment over bright piano chords, giving new life to a summer playlist mainstay.—Graham Corrigan

  • Little Dragon – “Celebrate”

    Image via Little Dragon on Facebook

    Before releasing their brand new album Season HighLittle Dragonshared three singles to showcase the variety of sounds they would be offering. Though each of the tracks seemed to differ in style, there was one very important detail that tied everything together—every single is without a doubt a feel-good song.

    One of the stand outs, “Celebrate,” is a mid-tempo track that is just upbeat enough for listeners to work their way up from a steady two-step to a full dance break. As Yukimi Nagano sings, “Don’t let little worries make you blue,” before the chorus, this comes off as a sign that it’s alright to let loose for the moment. At just under four minutes long, “Celebrate” feels like a track that needs to be on a weekend playlist to help melt the stress away.—Adrienne Black

  • Sigrid – “Plot Twist”

    Norwegian singer Sigrid’s “Don’t Kill My Vibe” is one of our favorite debuts of the year so far, and her follow-up “Plot Twist” is proof that it wasn’t just a stroke of luck. Most artists work their way up to anthemic, radio-friendly music of this magnitude, but Sigrid is diving right into it, and 2017 is already shaping up to be a breakthrough year for the talented 20-year-old. Her Don’t Kill My Vibe EP is out on Island Records on May 5.—Jacob Moore

  • Frank Ocean ft. Jay Z & Tyler, the Creator – “Biking”

    Image via YouTube

    On his latest surprise release, Frank Ocean teams up with Jay Z and Tyler, the Creator for an enthralling collaboration called “Biking.” The new track debuted on the third episode of Frank’s Beats 1 show “blonded RADIO” and has since been released as an Apple Music exclusive.

    “Biking” finds Frank and his old friends ruminating on freedom, fame, and the cyclical nature of life. The track explores several sonic landscapes, moving from distorted, swirling synths to dusty pianos to acoustic guitars and back again. Frank alternates between singing and rapping, sounding equally at home in both mediums. Jay Z’s laid-back verse is offset by Tyler’s sharp, animated one, creating a fascinating juxtaposition that complements the various sonic textures of the song nicely. As “Biking” draws to a close, Frank screams about riding a million dollar bike as understated guitars swirl around him, abandoning his inhibitions once and for all.—Charlotte Freitag

  • LEYYA – “Zoo”

    LEYYA are an Austrian duo with a malleable sound. Their 2016 debut album, Spanish Disco, featured spare electronic production and atmospheric vocals, but their latest single is a little different. “Zoo” is bright and bubbly, led off by sitar and soft singing, and anchored by a brilliant chorus.

    As I said on Twitter yesterday, I wouldn’t be surprised if this ends up in one of those inescapable commercials sometime in the future. Whatever happens, LEYYA are making moves, and “Zoo” is their best song yet.—Alex Gardner

    Subscribe to Pigeons & Planes on YouTube for more song premieres, performances, interviews, documentaries.

  • Knox Fortune – “Help Myself”

    Image via @knoxfortune on Instagram / Photo by Sammy Peralta

    Chicago polymath Knox Fortune stewards his collaborators (Joey Purp and Cam O’bi among them) in search of something fresh. The resultant success, “Help Myself,” pivots between emotions and eras in sweeping fashion. Fortune first defines the Americana of the digital age with swift poetics, recalling a stunted romance cut short by ideological division. His play-by-play lyrics ride syncopated bass bursts, vivid back-and-forth observations between Boy and Girl that follow a tambourine’s tempo. The song could soundtrack a 2017 film featuring prep for a ‘50s diner date until gentle guitar melodies transition the first verse into a lovestruck hook with one line, repeated seven times: “I can’t help from going back.”

    Maybe it’s nostalgia, not love. Or maybe it’s loneliness in the absence of late-night conversations about life’s little things. No matter Knox’s exact motivation, the chorus hits home because it likely rings a bell for many—retreading the same relationships whether right or wrong. To the point and boyishly innocent, Fortune and co. flex their muscles during a restructured bridge that would make Paul McCartney proud, introducing a gorgeous mesh of violins and vocal chord changes reminiscent of vintage Beatles tunes. The song walks a rare line between youthful excitement and experienced gloom, as if Knox walks by flowers that wilt on a sunny day. It’s a perfect conception for spring days and mixed feelings.—Alex Siber

  • Jay Prince ft. Avelino – “Peace of Mind”

    Image via Jay Prince

    Jay Prince is back with new music just a few months after his Smile Good release, and he’s tagged a P&P favorite for the assist. Avelino floats over Prince’s joyful, chipmunkish production, nimbly finding a pocket between the feverish percussion. It’s the first time Prince has worked with another rapper from London, he tells Zane Lowe, and the two have something good going on.—Graham Corrigan

  • Eli Sostre – “Let You Go”

    Image via Eli Sostre

    Eli Sostre has been working with some of the biggest producers in the game (Allen Ritter, Boi-1da, Frank Dukes), but on his latest single he connects with his longtime collaborator Soriano and it sounds incredible. Eli cruised over this one with catchy melodies and he seems to have a chip on his shoulder as he addresses naysayers and old flings alike. With an album set to release this summer, “Let You Go” will be sure to keep Eli Sostre in the ears of listeners as we wait for what the NYC spitter calls his most personal project yet.—Eric Isom

  • HONNE ft. Aminé – “Warm On A Cold Night”

    As buzzing Portland rapper Aminé puts the finishing touches on his debut album, he’s stuck to himself and avoided guest features and collaborations—so we didn’t expect a random collaboration with British duo HONNE. But, somehow, the unexpected pairing works. Adding his unique, elastic vocals to HONNE’s velvety synths, Aminé’s playful appearance is a welcome addition to the excellent 2014 single. Most importantly, the mystery is solved: We finally know what that weird Fruity Pebbles clip was all about.Eric Skelton

  • Lil Yachty ft. Migos – “Peek A Boo”

    Photo by Neil Favila

    Out of nowhere, Lil Yachty dropped two new songs last night, offering fans a preview of his upcoming project Teenage Emotions. One of the tracks, “Harley,” offers up Yachty at his whimsical best, but the Migos-featuring “Peek A Boo” goes for a different approach. The haunting production, which fits Migos perfectly, demands something a little more charged-up from Yachty, and he delivers with a manic verse and one hell of a minimal hook.—Joe Price

  • Cousin Stizz ft. Offset – “Headlock”

    Image via Cousin Stizz

    Cousin Stizz’s rise has been steady, and his success is based on hard work and consistent output. “Headlock” might be his biggest moment yet, with a tough Vinylz beat, an Offset verse, and an exuberant Zane Lowe premiere on Beats 1 bringing more well-deserved attention to the Boston rapper. As he has done on so many tracks, Stizz delivers a low-key but catchy hook that will be stuck in your head for days. Boston keeps rising, and Cousin Stizz is at the forefront.—Alex Gardner

  • Mal & Squid – “Chelsea”

    Mal and Squid might be my favorite tag team in the game right now. These two have been making music nonstop since they’ve linked up and they haven’t missed once. SquidNice has a knack for making addictive melodies with his signature drowsy flow while Mal brings grit and charisma and together they make music you’ll catch yourself humming along to almost instinctively. “Chelsea” puts all of these characteristics on full display and is easily an early favorite of 2017.—Eric Isom

  • JMSN – “Where Do U Go”

    Photo by Chad Crews

    In 2017 everyone is connected and everything is a group effort, but on JMSN’s upcoming album Whatever Makes U Happy, he handles things on his own. He wrote, produced, engineered, and mixed the project himself, and his most recent single, the soulful “Where Do U Go,” proves that his approach paid off. Whatever Makes U Happy drops April 28.—Jacob Moore

  • Just Mills – “Cradle 2 The Grave”

    Image via @dcoles3

    There isn’t much information online about Just Mills, but if the last two tracks he released are any sign, this guy is one to look out for. “Cradle 2 The Grave” is only a few seconds over two minutes, but in the short amount of time he delivers bar after bar with a smooth, yet intense flow. His debut album Dark Sober Mind is set to release June 15 and it will be interesting to see what he comes with next.—Eric Isom

Pigeons and Planes: Who Is Jay IDK?

Texas, tattoos, and rising tides for the young Maryland rappers.

, , Kajal Patel
via Pigeons and Planes

Ignorantly delivering knowledge. The paradox at the back end of Jay IDK’s stage name is a reflection of the artist himself—the Maryland rapper was raised in a middle-class household with a loving family, but went to one of his county’s most dangerous schools.

His lyrics and production can swing from incisive and political to reckless, almost savage hedonism. It’s a combination that resulted in 2016’s Empty Bank, an album defined by punishing production and the rapper’s stormy past. “The money take the boy’s innocence/the money tell the boy load the clip,” Jay raps on album standout “Boy’s Innocence.”

The quest for cash, and not having what felt like enough, haunted Jay early on. The future didn’t always look bright—he was arrested at 17 and charged as an adult, and the resultant stint in prison left Jay with a sleeve of crudely executed tattoos. Though to be fair, they came cheap—”the whole sleeve probably cost about 30 packs of noodles,” he laughed.

When we met up in Austin, Jay was ready to get a real, professional tattoo. The ink was going on his inner wrist and read HXLY—hated by others, loved by you. It has become a mantra for Jay IDK’s fanbase, to the extent that a few fans even got the tattoo before the rapper. It was time to catch up.

After the ink had dried, we followed Jay to his two shows that night. He’s become a practiced performer—Empty Bank landed Jay IDK a spot onIsaiah Rashad’s North American tour, and the support was recently extended into Rashad’s European leg. Jay spends at least part of his set from behind a plastic, ghoulish face of Ronald Reagan, a move that stems from his 2015 Subtrap standout “The Plug.” “The Reagan Era put a motherfucking voice in my head/Saying, ‘Trap, lil n***a, trap’/So I’m on the block with my Glock cocked till heart stop/Fuck blood, rather pump crack​.”

Jay IDK hasn’t stopped wearing the mask, or pushing the message. And it’s reaching more ears than ever—today brings news that Jay’s next release with be a creative partnership with Adult Swim, the Cartoon Network offshoot responsible for some of TV’s most forward-thinking programming. “I’m going to work with their creative team to come up with certain visuals to paint the picture we’re trying to paint for the album,” he toldBillboard. “That’s all I can say for now.”

Get to know Jay IDK above, and listen to Empty Bank here.

WATCH NOW

Complex Premiere: Listen to Jay IDK’s New Banger “OMW”

Jay IDK recently announced an exclusive partnership with Adult Swim which will see the DMV rapper produce visual content through the Cartoon Network programming block for his upcoming album.

It’s a major move that proves Jay is learning how to maneuver​ through the industry, and that shines through as well on his new song “OMW,” which is produced by Mike Hector and Nate Fox, and mixed by Alex Tumay.

“I just recently announced my partnership with Adult Swim for my next album. This is by far the biggest move we’ve made so far, Jay IDK told Complex via email. “‘OMW’ is just me telling the world I’m ‘I’m on my way, the wave is coming.’ So many people let the lack of instant gratification stop them. it almost stopped me, but instead of stopping I used it as fuel to get better.”​

Check out Jay IDK’s “OMW” below and look out for his upcoming album later this year.


Pigeons and Planes: Best New Artists of the Month (April 2017)

, ,
via Pigeons and Planes

Image via Jonathan F

Finding new artists is easier than ever, but this creates a problem: it’s harder than ever to filter through it all and keep tabs on what’s really good.

With so many artists popping up every day, it’s impossible not to miss out on some fresh faces and new sounds. With that in mind, we’ll be highlighting our favorite new acts each month. Here are the best new artists of April.

  • Lou The Human

    Photo by Brandon Delgado

    It’s 2017—where does a rapper like Lou The Human fit in? That’s to be determined. The 21-year-old Staten Island MC is a real spitter, favoring technical skills over melody-laden sing-alongs. That alone sets him apart, but his twisted approach and no-fucks-given attitude also make him a unique character. He told us that Eminem was a big reason he started rapping in the first place, and he’s not afraid to stir the pot: “I just enjoy fucking with people and pushing people’s buttons.”

    So we’ll see. We’re loving what he’s done so far, but he definitely doesn’t fit in with the new wave of hype hip-hop, and that could be a barrier to entry. It could also be exactly what some rap fans want right now.

  • Leyya

    Credit: Gabriel Hyden

    Austrian duo LEYYA (Sophie Lindinger and Marco Kleebauer) make creative modern pop music, drawing on far-ranging influences. We only discovered them when the song “Zoo” landed in our inbox, but last year they released their debut, Spanish Disco, and they’ve toured heavily in Europe. Their track “Superego” has even broken two million of streams on on Spotify.

    “Zoo” starts off with a flourish of sitar and gentle vocals, but when that hook comes in it’s all systems go, with brass and bouncy percussion. “The Idea for ‘Zoo’ came while watching a sitar lesson on the internet,” LEYYA explains. “It set a certain mood we wanted to transfer to our song, as well, so it’s quite meditative, but combined with our way of songwriting.”

  • Squidnice

    Image via YouTube

    Squidnice is fast becoming one of New York City’s most exciting young artists. The success of SoundCloud hits “Everywhere I Go” and “Trap By My Lonely” has the Staten Island rapper carving out his own lane, and his next release—The Craccen—is coming up soon. I​f his latest release (“Nina”) is any indication, Squidnice is leaning into the sound that landed him on Frank Ocean’s Blonded radio show. It’s only a matter of time  before this kid blows up.

  • Amir Obe

    Image via Def Jam

    Def Jam’s latest signee is making a huge first impression. “Wish You Well” is one of those songs that hits the sweet spot between R&B and hip-hop, and Amir Obe is making it sound easy.

    It’s the standout off Obe’s None of the Clocks Work release, but the rest of the tracklist, especially “Cigarettes,” occupies that same sullen, expressive space that feels truer than most. Having Mike Dean master the whole thing certainly didn’t hurt, either.

    But despite the big names and label moves, Obe prefers to record in his hometown of Detroit. “I like changing environments for perspectives,” he told us, “But I like coming back to record. That’s where I can let things marinate and know what to speak on. That’s always my reference point, going right back to Detroit and being around family.”​

  • Bruno Major

    Credt: Lily B Webb

    Bruno Major has been releasing one song per month for about eight months now, and more and more people are starting to pay attention. Working at his piano late at night at his home in Camden, North London, Bruno’s timeless pop songwriting and intimate lyricism provides the backbone for all his releases.

    There are a lot of slow jams and hushed singing, but there are also some bright and bold moments, as in the second half of “Just The Same.” You can listen to all the music in the A Song For Every Moon project so far here.

  • Steve Lacy

    Image via Grandstand Media

    Steve Lacy has been playing with The Internet for years, but his six-track Steve Lacy’s Demo showed us the seemingly limitless bounds of this teenager’s talent.

    The latest evidence is his production on Kendrick Lamar’s “PRIDE,” which originally started as a collab with Anna Wise. The song is instantly recognizable as a Steve Lacy product. Smooth, unhurried guitar chords, a minimalistic bass that fills in all right gaps, and a stripped down drum beat. Simplicity is at the center of Lacy’s style (that helps when you record through an iPhone), but it comes from a deeply musical place. His songs never have more parts than they need. They are balanced, hypnotizing loops that get better and better with repeated listening. “Dark Red” is case in point:

  • Playboi Carti

    Playboi Carti has been building up momentum for a while now, but it all came together on his self-titled mixtape. Songs like “wokeuplikethis*” and “Magnolia” aren’t your typical polished, radio-friendly hits, but they’ve become the soundtracks to the youth movement in rap. Carti’s got a knack for turning seemingly oversimplified repetition into addictive hooks, and phrases like “In New York I Milly Rock” aren’t going to get out of your head anytime soon. Resist all you want, but Carti’s got the juice right now.

  • Ninajirachi

    Image via Ninajirachi

    Full disclosure, we’re a little late on Ninajirachi. Her pop-perfect debut “Pure Luck” came out three months ago, but it wasn’t until we heard some of the music she has coming up next month that we woke up.

    The giddy electronic production makes “Pure Luck” more electrifying with each passing listen, and Freya Staer’s vocals are suited perfectly to the vibe. It should, for as long as these two have known each other. “[Freya] and I have been friends since we were 10 years old,” Ninajirachi said, “So to be able to work with her vocals on this song has been really special.”

  • NUE

    Image via NUE

    NUE is a 23-year-old artist from Toronto, and he’s two for two. His debut track “Obvious” was smooth, and “Alaska” is just as catchy and has the same kind of sleek, euphoric feel to it. NUE has an ear for melody, and unlike a lot of rappers experimenting with melodies, he’s got a natural songwriting ability that gives these songs enough structure to stick. For now, “Alaska” and “Obvious” are all we’ve got, but look out for a project on the way.

  • Nombe

    Image via NomBe

    NomBe returned from a year’s hiatus with the smooth “Wait” at the beginning of 2017. “Young Hearts” came a month later, another example of his genre defying sound that mixes electronic, pop, and indie rock, and a huge cosign was soon to follow.

    Pharrell chose “Can’t Catch Me,” featuring New Mystics, as the official theme song for his HBO documentary series OUTPOST. When asked about NoMBE, the legendary artist had this to say: “He makes music for the subconscious with colorful layers and unexpected water slides. He writes and produces dream sequences.”

    High praise from a legend. Look out for more music from NomBe’s album They Might’ve Even Loved Me ​to drop soon—he’s releasing one song a month from the project.

  • Charlotte Dos Santos

    Image via Nathan Bajar

    Brooklyn-based Norwegian artist Charlotte Dos Santos has an EP on the way, and if “Red Clay” is any indication, it’s going to be special. The Cleo EP is out soon via Fresh Selects, but as of right now we have “Red Clay” and its mesmerizing video on repeat.

    Of the video, which visually references the metamorphosis from larva to butterfly, Dos Santos explains, “By using the body as a canvas we are with this video reclaiming female bodies from a sexual gaze and looking at the transformation into womanhood and the emergence of a new awakening through a repeated cycle.”

  • Anne Dereaux

    Image via Shawna Peezy

    Anne Dereaux only has one song out, but what a song. Channeling multi-sensory groundbreakers like FKA Twigs, Dereaux’s “Mo(u)rning” is a lovelorn look at a lost relationship. Her tormented lyrics and emotive delivery fit perfectly over sparse electronic production, and the video serves as a vivid, kaleidoscopic mirror to the song.

    The former architect has already racked up one major co-sign, too. After “Mo(u)rning” dropped, Rick Rubin summoned the artist to his legendary Shangri-La studios. “He had the most radiant spirit,” Dereaux told us, “and in all of his legendary greatness, was happy and excited to hear my story and listen to the songs I created over the past year in my closet… For the first time I’m excited to have homework. We also talked about how amazing his door jambs were; nerdy architecture vibes to top it off.”

Billboard: Rapper Jay IDK Announces Adult Swim Partnership

via Billboard
Words by Ashley Lyle

Maryland rapper Jay IDK has partnered with Adult Swim to produce visual content in conjunction with the release of his upcoming album, he tells Billboardexclusively.

Adult Swim has been delving heavily into the hip-hop space. Last year, the late-night Cartoon Network programming block rolled out its sixth annual installment of the Singles program — which releases a series of singles from underground artists — featuring music from Mike Will Made-It, Vince Staples, Earl Sweatshirt, and Run the Jewels.

Jay IDK emerged on the scene with his 2015 debut album Subtrap — home to the gritty standout “God Said Trap” — and followed up the conceptual album with the full-length project Empty Bank, released last September independently via his own HXLY label. Fast forward a year later, and the MC’s buzz earned him a spot on tour with rapper Isaiah Rashad for his Lil Sunny tour in the U.S. Jay’s aggressive yet conscious style of rapping has put him on the map as a lyricist to watch coming out of the DMV.

Billboard recently spoke to Jay on his Adult Swim partnership, working with Mike Dean, and what he hopes listeners take away from his music.

Did you watch Adult Swim growing up? What were your favorite shows?

Yeah, I did. Robot Chicken was one of my favorite shows. Wonder Showzen too.

How did the partnership with Adult Swim come about?

It was an idea I had in terms of finding a new way to drop my album. I did a conceptual album previously [with Subtrap] where it’s important to understand the story, and I just thought it would be great to paint a picture visually and then have a TV component. And even before that, I was getting my project together and taking beats that sounded like it could be on Adult Swim. Actually, I had the Adult Swim logo as my screensaver. I was seeing it everyday, putting it in my mind. Law of attraction. So then, that’s how I came up with the idea.

Why Adult Swim?

I just like their music a lot — their music on their commercials. There’s something to it that no other channel has. It feels like late-night TV.

How did you get in touch with them?

I reached out, but what’s crazy is Jason DeMarco, SVP/Creative Director of Adult Swim, saw my album Empty Bank when it dropped and tweeted about it. So then I reached out to him. I didn’t know him at first but knew he worked at Adult Swim. I was like ‘Yo, I really like Adult Swim’. He said thank you, and we just kept in touch. So when the idea came about, I was making my album sounding like Adult Swim, not thinking about him or thinking about trying to hit him up. I was just thinking about the project. But I remember he said if you ever want to drop a visual with us, let me know so I always kept that in the back of my mind. So when I came up with the idea, I hit him up.

When you say sound like Adult Swim, what is that sound?

It’s hard to explain it. It’s nothing you really can explain. Everyone who watches Adult Swim knows there’s a sound to it, a feeling that’s nostalgic sometimes but then it’s also different and outside the box. They play a lot of J Dilla and stuff like that.

What are the terms of this deal? Is Adult Swim apart of the creative process or just funding the project?

It’s definitely for my next album, but it’s multiple components. I’m going to work with their creative team to come up with certain visuals to paint the picture we’re trying to paint for the album. That’s all I can say for now.

Where are you in the process of recording the album?

We’ve recorded about 40 songs so far to date, and I’m doing two to three [songs] a day. I’m looking for records to help tell the story I want to tell then I’ll start planning out days.

I saw a picture of you working with Mike Dean in the studio. How did you link up with him?

Someone wanted to do an interview with me from a publication that didn’t really listen to rap that much. But he really liked my music, and I didn’t know, but he happened to be friends with Mike Dean. So he was playing my music one day and Mike asked who was it, and he said it was me. From there, Mike was like, “I want to meet him. I like his music.” Literally after that, we met up at his pop-up show. I performed there and he liked the performance. And then we just built a relationship from there.

What story do you want to share in your music?

It’s the story of my life as a kid and growing up. Coming from a middle class home, parents going to college and having education but then me going to a school where if you don’t go to a private school, you’re going to go to a bad school even if you live in a decent neighborhood. I just went to a bad school and went a different path than my parents so I’m going to talk about that.

What do you want people to take away from your music?

I want people to understand balance. I might make a banger and that’s the way that I feel and then I may want to make a song that’s really deep. It’s a representation of my name, Ignorantly delivering knowledge. If you also see on my social media, my name is Baby Scale. That scale represents balance.

Billboard Exclusive: Rapper Jay IDK Announces Adult Swim Partnership

Maryland rapper Jay IDK has partnered with Adult Swim to produce visual content in conjunction with the release of his upcoming album, he tells Billboardexclusively.

Adult Swim has been delving heavily into the hip-hop space. Last year, the late-night Cartoon Network programming block rolled out its sixth annual installment of the Singles program — which releases a series of singles from underground artists — featuring music from Mike Will Made-It, Vince Staples, Earl Sweatshirt, and Run the Jewels.

Jay IDK emerged on the scene with his 2015 debut album Subtrap — home to the gritty standout “God Said Trap” — and followed up the conceptual album with the full-length project Empty Bank, released last September independently via his own HXLY label. Fast forward a year later, and the MC’s buzz earned him a spot on tour with rapper Isaiah Rashad for his Lil Sunny tour in the U.S. Jay’s aggressive yet conscious style of rapping has put him on the map as a lyricist to watch coming out of the DMV.

Billboard recently spoke to Jay on his Adult Swim partnership, working with Mike Dean, and what he hopes listeners take away from his music.

Did you watch Adult Swim growing up? What were your favorite shows?

Yeah, I did. Robot Chicken was one of my favorite shows. Wonder Showzen too.

How did the partnership with Adult Swim come about?

It was an idea I had in terms of finding a new way to drop my album. I did a conceptual album previously [with Subtrap] where it’s important to understand the story, and I just thought it would be great to paint a picture visually and then have a TV component. And even before that, I was getting my project together and taking beats that sounded like it could be on Adult Swim. Actually, I had the Adult Swim logo as my screensaver. I was seeing it everyday, putting it in my mind. Law of attraction. So then, that’s how I came up with the idea.

Why Adult Swim?

I just like their music a lot — their music on their commercials. There’s something to it that no other channel has. It feels like late-night TV.

How did you get in touch with them?

I reached out, but what’s crazy is Jason DeMarco, SVP/Creative Director of Adult Swim, saw my album Empty Bank when it dropped and tweeted about it. So then I reached out to him. I didn’t know him at first but knew he worked at Adult Swim. I was like ‘Yo, I really like Adult Swim’. He said thank you, and we just kept in touch. So when the idea came about, I was making my album sounding like Adult Swim, not thinking about him or thinking about trying to hit him up. I was just thinking about the project. But I remember he said if you ever want to drop a visual with us, let me know so I always kept that in the back of my mind. So when I came up with the idea, I hit him up.

When you say sound like Adult Swim, what is that sound?

It’s hard to explain it. It’s nothing you really can explain. Everyone who watches Adult Swim knows there’s a sound to it, a feeling that’s nostalgic sometimes but then it’s also different and outside the box. They play a lot of J Dilla and stuff like that.

What are the terms of this deal? Is Adult Swim apart of the creative process or just funding the project?

It’s definitely for my next album, but it’s multiple components. I’m going to work with their creative team to come up with certain visuals to paint the picture we’re trying to paint for the album. That’s all I can say for now.

Where are you in the process of recording the album?

We’ve recorded about 40 songs so far to date, and I’m doing two to three [songs] a day. I’m looking for records to help tell the story I want to tell then I’ll start planning out days.

I saw a picture of you working with Mike Dean in the studio. How did you link up with him?

Someone wanted to do an interview with me from a publication that didn’t really listen to rap that much. But he really liked my music, and I didn’t know, but he happened to be friends with Mike Dean. So he was playing my music one day and Mike asked who was it, and he said it was me. From there, Mike was like, “I want to meet him. I like his music.” Literally after that, we met up at his pop-up show. I performed there and he liked the performance. And then we just built a relationship from there.

What story do you want to share in your music?

It’s the story of my life as a kid and growing up. Coming from a middle class home, parents going to college and having education but then me going to a school where if you don’t go to a private school, you’re going to go to a bad school even if you live in a decent neighborhood. I just went to a bad school and went a different path than my parents so I’m going to talk about that.

What do you want people to take away from your music?

I want people to understand balance. I might make a banger and that’s the way that I feel and then I may want to make a song that’s really deep. It’s a representation of my name, Ignorantly delivering knowledge. If you also see on my social media, my name is Baby Scale. That scale represents balance.

Pigeons and Planes Premiere: Joji Returns With Stunning New Song “I Don’t Wanna Waste My Time”

PREMIERE: The mind behind Pink Guy and Filthy Frank is back with a new single from his serious music project, Joji.

via Pigeons and Planes

Three months ago, I spoke with the mysterious man behind popular web series Filthy Frank TV and his wild music alter-ego Pink Guy. During the conversation, George Miller mentioned his serious music project under the name Joji and I was blown away by the gorgeous music that filled his SoundCloud page.

At the time, he mentioned that his “main goal is to be able to make music seriously one day.” So, I’ve been obsessively refreshing his SoundCloud for the last twelve weeks hoping for more of the magic I found on songs like “You Suck Charlie” and “Thom.” Finally, this morning, Joji returns with a gorgeous new song called “I Don’t Wanna Waste My Time.”

​”A lot of the time a track just comes together really quickly,” he tells me. “I personally love the texture of the track and I really try to make my instrumentals and vocals sound as organic as possible.”

When I ask what he’s been up to for last few months, Joji says, “I’ve just been making beats and working on a few big projects. I’ve been incredibly busy working.​” Addressing the rumors of a long-awaited full-length Joji project, he adds, “Theres definitely some shit goin on.”

Finally, I ask him if there’s anything else he’d like to add and he responds, “If you’re buying spam, get the light spam because it tastes the same. Less calories.” Of course.

Listen to “I Don’t Wanna Waste My Time” above and learn more about Pink Guy, Filthy Frank, and George ‘Joji’ Miller below.

The FADER: Unwind To Wifisfuneral’s Glittering New Track “2MG” Featuring Levi Carter

It’s the lead single off the upcoming Audiomack EP.

Digital music streaming platform Audiomack is set to release a debut EP featuring the likes of Slim Thug, Curren$y, Rich The Kid, and more.

Its lead single “2MG” is a starry and hypnotic rap anthem brought to life by South Florida rapper Wifisfuneral, premiering on The FADER today. Sprinkled with the indisputable flow of Virginia native Levi Carter, it’s the perfect background track for a backyard chill sesh or for smoking that much needed, post-sex cigarette.

“I originally made this beat in a hotel in Denver, on an off day during touring,” producer TGUT told The FADER via email. “When I linked up with Wifi later at Audiomack Studios in New York and he asked for a left-field beat, this one came to mind. I wasn’t producing the track for anyone specifically, but Wifi’s flow and delivery was exactly how I pictured the record sounding.”

Listen to “2MG” below.