It’s the long weekend. You’re going to need tunes and you’re going to need plenty of them. Lucky we’ve got you covered. Here is a very beat-driven Top 10 Songs of the Week:
1. Caribou- Can’t Do Without You
This one’s off Caribou sixth studio album, Our Love and it’s full of those warm undertones we’ve come to expect. The “Can’t Do Without” is a deep, all-encompassing treat on the ears and teases until the song’s climax. It doesn’t come until a minute towards the end, but when it does a rush of synths hit like a gustful wind, most likely bowling you over.
2. Thomston- Anaesthetic
This New-Zealand whizz-kid will surely makes waves with his immaculately produced brand of dark-pop. His voice is crystalline and runs alongside a slowly bubbling beat. There’s a certain fluidity to the song that’s hard to resist.
3. Montaigne- I Am Not An End
This song’s been added to high rotation on Triple J this week and there’s a good reason for it. I Am Not An End is a self-assured effort driven by a confident and pertinent voice. Its melodic strengths are too memorable for this song to just be a fleeting love.
4. How To Dress Well- Face Again
Tom Krell is certainly not churning out sunshine at the moment, but he’s so good at melancholy it’s hard to care. Following the fluffy Repeat Pleasure, Face Again is a much darker expedition not too dissimilar to the Weeknd’s early mixtapes. It’s not traditional in any way. It twists and turns in odd directions but it’s confusing and thrilling at the same time.
5. DJ Dodger Stadium- Never Win
DJ Dodger Stadium are selecting some choose stadiums. The “Never Win” vocal sample speeds proceedings along nicely before it escalates into high pitched squeal. Meanwhile, the drum pads are packed on and the deep bass gets more and more pertinent. Promising stuff from Jerome LOL and Sammo Soundboy.
6. A G Cook- Beautiful
This is Nintendo music. That’s what it is. And it never sounded so good. It’s bubblegum pop, that seems to take cues from K-Pop. Amongst all the oddity, there’s a beautiful vocal melody running alongside.
7. Foster The People- Best Friend (Wave Racer Remix)
You can tell Wave Racer has had a hand over this from the get-go. There’s trap-inspired drops, Atari synths and high-pitched vocals. It’s either annoying or highly danceable. Take your pick.
8. Lily Allen- Bass Like Home
This is apparently the ‘unofficial’ anthem of the World Cup. We’ll take this any day over Pitbull. It’s an extremely British, deep-house number that ratites some incredibly literal lyrics. It’s a little bit kitsch but that’s half the fun of it.
9. Jack Garratt- Worry
The Chet Faker brand of electronic music has grown in popularity of late and this is another one that adds to it nicely. It’s full of sparse beats, delicate keys and falsetto, capping it off with an instantly recognisable chorus.
10. Polica- You Don’t Own Me
Polica stick very close to the original but it doesn’t matter because Channy Leneagh’s voice is so perfect. It’s the first time we’ve really got to hear it away from a coating of auto-tune. It’s heighty and allows the chorus to soar.
Its time to talk business. Last Thursday, Dr Dre officially became is the first billionaire in hip hop, acquiring a cool $3 billion ($2.6 in cash, $400 million in stock .but whos counting) in one of the most mouthwatering deals of the decade. While the rumours mounted that Apple Inc. were going to pull the plug on this trademark deal with Beats Electronics after that Facebook video announcement (Money + Rapper ? Intelligence), things seem to be all rich and rosy between the two megabrands.
The first billionaire in hip-hop, right here from the motherf**king West Coast.
But wait- the music. Where is the music in all of this? While many musicians are happy to settle with their music, their fans, their millions and their countless rehab stints, others have taken it upon themselves to trade their musical notes, for well, just notes, making their money elsewhere. Damn talented people, I probably should have really listened more in my Business 1001 classes.
Riding the wave of their multi-million dollar endorsement deals, clothing lines, book deals, restaurants, movies, and even perfumes (I mean who can resist the scent of Eau de Katy Perry) – the new millennium has seen an influx of talented musicians, or notably hip-hop moguls, trading their brand on the stock market in places you wouldnt even imagine.
Here are a cashed up hip-hop artists who have acquired all them dollar bills in the most unlikely of places.
Consumerist Teenager: Dr Dr, I am having a problem hearing my music!
Dr Dre: An Apple (Inc.) a day keeps the doctor away!
How about $3 billion of dem Apples! Thats right, Dr Dre and his business partner Jimmy Iovine have finally done it they are hip-hops first billionaires, signing a deal even grand in Apples standards. Described as a no brainer by Apple Chief Exec Timothy Cook, the acquisition of Beats Electronics is in fact Apples largest purchase to date, with the Beats subscription-based music streaming service as its main selling point.
Weve known these guys forever, Cook added, Weve dated, weve gone steady and now were getting married. Sorry Kanye and Kimmy, this may actually be the biggest wedding in hip-hop history. Dr Dre and Iovine have not only made headphones cool again since they started the company in 2008, but they entered into an overpriced market that only the big boys at Apple can afford. Well played, very well played.
Its hard to think that a hip-hip, dirty lyric, rapper named Curtis 50 Cent Jackson, would go from selling 15 million records and being shot 9 times, to being one of the richest big boys in the music beverage industry. Huh? Thats right. Jacksons beverage company Glaceau was the creator and marketer for Formula 50, a brand of Vitamin Water which Coca-Cola purchased in 2007 for a tidy $100million. How refreshing!
Half a decade later, 50 has launched his Street King Energy shot, and its already moved to number two slot in its ($2 billion) market. Just to add to his G-unit clothing company, not to mention the deal made with Reebok in 2003, his own record label, G-Unit Records and monies earned from his dabbles in acting and authoring. Hand this guy an Oscar already!
Sadly, money does not buy coordination .
Jay-z sings it perfectly in Kanye Wests song Diamonds From Sierra Leone: Im not a businessman, I am a business, man!
With an estimated net worth of $475million in 2013, Brooklyn born Jigga is not only a master of music, but a myriad of businesses as well. He is a hip-hop god, a fashion exec to his own Rocawear clothing label as well as an entertainment mogul, earning double digit millions from his concerts and Roc a Fella label, and new sports news agency launched just last year. Although this hustler doesnt fully own any alcohol brand, he is associated with a number of top alcohol brands in the market, including Ace of Spades and DUssé cognac,
If that isnt success, then hes always got Beyoncés measly $300 million empire to fall back on (sigh).
Up until May this year, Sean Diddy Combs held the crown as the richest rapper in the world. Although he may have lost the illustrious title to Dr Dre, Im sure he wont be going hungry tonight with a staggering net worth of $700 million. A cool $120 million more than 2013, thanks to his deal with beverage giant Diageo and his burgeoning Revolt TV music channel.
While on stage we have seen him change his name from Puff Daddy, to P.Diddy to just Diddy, lately, this entrepreneur has adopted the moniker Ciroc Obama (his words, not mine). As Ciroc Vodkas value soars toward $1 billion, this entitles him to an eight-figure annual payout and a nine-figure windfall if the brand is ever sold, cementing himself on the cover of Forbes 400 lists alongside Warren Buffet as one of hip-hops next billionaires.
This guy has so much (non-music) money he really doesnt give any fucks if he loses a mil or two!
I OWE YOU: Diddy scrawled out an IOU for $1 million dollars after losing a shooting dice bet with Rick Ross. He aptly captioned the video I just lost a million dollars. It aint nothing #SuckMyD**kB***h
For everyone who is thinking, who the [email protected]#k is this guy? You are not alone. This New Orleans-born rapper/producer-turned-entrepreneur was the co-founder of musical powerhouse Cash Money Records, with his brother Ronald Slim Williams over two decades ago. Starting to ring a bell? Cash Money Records inked a $30 million distribution deal with Universal in 1998, catapulting it to success, signing rappers such a Drake, Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne. With a net worth of $160 million ($300 together with his brother), Birdman placed himself securely in the Top 5 of this years Forbes Hip-Hop Cash Kings. Now, Birdman and Slim seem intent on taking over the world building a new branch of their business Cash Money Sports in May 2014, signing Texan American Footballer Mike Evans to the agency.
Congratulations, you’ve nearly made it to the long weekend! Since you made it this far, we thought we’d give you a li’l somethin’ somethin’ (ie: free stuff) to celebrate.
How To Dress Well, aka. Tom Krell, is a sensitive man, as he’s proved on his latest tracks Repeat Pleasure and Words I Don’t Remember. This mix is made up of songs that inspired his forthcoming album, What Is This Heart? and it’s just a tad melancholic. All you probably need to know to get you interested is that it starts with Tracey Chapman. If that’s not enough, it also features unreleased sneak previews of his new album.
Do release dates not mean anything anymore? New albums from Jack White, First Aid Kit and Glass Animals have all been made available to stream ahead of their release. Naturally, they’re all very different. Swedish duo First Aid Kit offer up a nuanced, Americana sound on their third release, Stay Gold, while Jack White does, well, what he always does on his second solo LP Lazaretto. British band Glass Animals are the newest of the bunch. ZABA is their RnB-inspired debut and features Triple J favourite, Goeey.
Dave Bayley’s lyrics are often hard to work-out in Glass Animals tracks. So, if you’re listening along to the stream and need someone to gently guide you through it track-by-track, Bayley is at your call. He’s spoken to The Quietus a little bit about the meaning and process of each of ZABA’s tracks. And yes, he says things like “I recorded the vocal while holding a pineapple called Sasha Fierce”.
Everyone loves to hate Degrassi Drake but when the man gets it right, he gets it soooo right. This new one, dropped for no rhyme or reason, splits itself into two. O to 100 is brash and confident while The Catch Up lends itself more to the melancholic production of a cut like Furthest Thing. It’s rumoured to feature James Blake at the end and it sure does sound like it. There’s also an album meant to be due in 2015 but until then grab this freebie.
Now, usually he don’t do this but San Francisco producer Giraffage has just been signed to Fool’s Gold records. To celebrate, he’s fulfilled every kid born in the 90s dream and dropped a remix of R.Kelly’s, Ignition. And presumably in some tip of the hat to 1999 Napster, he’s made it completely free. The producer finds himself in good company at Fool’s Gold. The label is home to names like Chromeo, Run The Jewels and RL Grime.
Until next week.
Kanye’s Bound 2 turned into a crystalline slice of pop-heaven is probably the most unexpected discovery of the day. Mausi, who we featured a few weeks back, have taken the hook of West’s closing number from Yeezus and added fluid synths and delicate vocals atop a pulsating dance beat. Unfortunately that don’t take on the rap, nor the Kim-featuring video, but they score points for complete originality. If the Kanye original was too aggressive and egotistical for you, then you’ll fall in love with this version.
Welcome to the third instalment of our new artists feature. This week we’re dishing up an eclectic bunch that range from industrial hip-hop, to pop perfection, to a youngster tipped to take on Lorde.
There’s no easier thing in the world to sink your teeth into than a perfect pop song. Hot Lights by Nashville group LANY is that. It would be my pleasure to tell you more about LANY but at this stage there is very little to tell. They have two songs to their name (Hot Lights and Walk Away) which are both a month old and built upon a base of simmering beats with an occasional burst of brass. They are expected to release an EP in June and it will probably be delicious like their previous electro-tinged gems. That is all.
British-duo Childhood have been around the traps for a while now, but they’re too good to let slip by if you haven’t heard of them already. Childhood is Leo Dobson and Ben Romans-Hopcraft and together they will release their debut album Lacuna in August. There’s a healthy buzz surrounding them due to their effortlessly washed-out yet melodic sound. This sound so often has the ability to sound tiresome but Childhood induce plenty of fun. NME recently caught up with them in the studio where at 10am they had the room filled with smoke and lasers to make it seem like they were “playing a gig”. The album has been produced by Dan Carey who’s worked with Hot Chip and Bat for Lashes and will feature the tracks Solemn Skies and Falls Away.
It’s a less travelled trajectory the road from drummer to lead-singer but it’s worked for Dave Grohl and now London-based percussionist Georgia Barnes is trying her luck. She’s drummed for artists like Kwes, Juce and Kate Tempest, however, on her own she’s unleashed a totally different sound. Her debut track, Be Ache, is forwardly-driven by artillery-like percussion. It’s aggressive, bold and highly-unlikely to send you to sleep. Be Ache is taking off her forthcoming EP Come In which will be released by label Kaya Kaya (co-founded by Cherish of Juce).
18 year-old Thomas Stoneman is about to put New Zealand on the map once more. The young singer is garnering some serious attention with his dark, minimalist pop tunes. He’s drawing some comparisons to Lorde, however, he’s not too happy about that. He told Daily Discovery “I haven’t got Grammys so I’m like the lame, non-famous, less cool, and not critically acclaimed version of her.” His latest track, Anaesthetic, will no doubt prove his worth away from Lorde comparisons. It’s a sparse track with deep, haunting undertones that proves he is far beyond his years. It follows his School Night EP and already you can tell he’s grown a lot.
clipping. is a Los Angeles rap-trio making fierce, industrial hip-hop music. Their debut album, CLPPNG, is currently streaming on NPR and it’s part Yeezus, part early-Outkast and a whole lot of clipping. experimentalism. MC Daveed Diggs handles the raps while the soundscapes are laid down by Jonathan Snipes and William Hutson. Beginning with an acapella rap intro, the album continues with sporadic and minimalist beats leaving it up to Diggs to bring a spitting ferocity to the music. It’s certainly not an easy listen, but it’s most definitely a rewarding one.
Sometimes there’s only so much words can express. With the help of everyone’s favourite app (sorry Android users), I’ve used Apple Emojis to tell the story of Sheezus and her monthly periods.
Also, listen to Lily Allen‘s self-proclaimed “unofficial worldcup song” Bass Like Home.
the interns are thrilled to announce that we are now officially part of the VICE Blogging Network.
It’s a collection of independent Australasian websites which are, in VICE’s opinion, ‘the most interesting, relevant and popular ones going’ and we’re so excited to be included in such a well-respected realm of music, art and culture.