A Hot Summer
Frank Ocean didn’t back out of his most recent festival slot at FYF Fest (Update: and Panorama!), so it’s been a good week. We’re over here counting our rap blessings this summer, trying to pencil out time slots to digest this new Tyler, Stizz, Savage, even Meek while giving adequate spins to the prime cuts of hip-hop we’ve been given this year so far.
It’s been a hot summer — let’s keep it going.
LIST OF LISTS
The hip-hop internetz are always teeming with beautiful, hand-crafted playlists from some of our favorite artists, DJs, brands, and tastemakers. Peep some selections of selections below:
- Always here for new Brockhampton radio, this issue featuring Nirvana, Outkast, Stevie Wonder and Amy Winehouse
- An hourlong FACT mix by Nidia, the Portugese producer we’ve come to love with “fractured rhythms and booming basslines.”
- The four-hour trap mix you didn’t know you needed from Hashish B on favorite Parisian online station, Hotel Radio
Country Music and Hip-Hop Are Awkward Cousins
An excellent New Yorker profile on the “Sinatra of Country,” George Strait, prompted a dive into his and other country musicians’ relationship with hip-hop.
If you’re like me (as in, if you share my love of hip-hop, not if you share my uncanny ability to catch m&m’s in my mouth) then you probably had to take a Google / Genius break when you heard Drake & Lil Wayne’s H.Y.F.R. back in 2012. Young Canadian heartthrob Drizzy opened with a verse that went ‘All my exes live in Texas like I’m George Strait.’
‘Wow,’ I thought, ‘Who is this guy George and why do all his exes live in one state?’
I discovered he was a country singer with a song by, uh, that exact name (clever, Aubrey), then I forgot about him until this pretty interesting profile dropped. A Strait line piqued my interest, though — ‘I’ve got oceanfront property in Arizona / If you buy that, I’ll throw the golden gate in for free’ — sounding extremely similar to a Frank Ocean line — ‘Got a beach house I could sell you in Idaho / Got a fighter jet.’
You don’t think about country music’s influence in hip-hop too much; they’re sort of an awkward pairing, some racial, cultural, urban vs rural issues causing the genres to be unable to see eye to eye even in an increasingly genreless creative environment. It’s a far cry from the way that rock and electronic music have found some pockets of overlap with rap. Every attempt by country feels… awk. Real awk.
Here are a few that haven’t been nearly as seamless as Drake and Frank’s nods:
- Taylor Swift — between the cringe-worthy Apple Music ad where she rapped along to ‘Jumpman,’ her too-long, EXPOSE HER feud with Kanye, and a head-scratching Kendrickverse on ‘Bad Blood,’ T Swift should probably just keep her distance.
- Miley Cyrus — the daughter of honky-tonk legend Billy Ray got her start as a Disney country star, but took a Mike WiLL-produced, Robin Thicke pelvic-thrusted foray into something resembling hip-hop before swearing it off like a born-again evangelist. Catch her being ‘wholesome’ now.
- Lil’ Wayne and Kid Rock hit award season in ’08 — pairing up for the VMAs, they collab’d. At the CMAs, Lil Wayne just ‘played the guitar’ in a matching football jersey. Kid Rock for Senate ’18. Just kidding. Weezy for President.
- Kid Rock’s Whole Career
- Nelly — The former legend seems to be needing cash; he is currently touring with Florida Georgia Line, whose ‘Cruise’ he remixed a few years ago. He also did a HUGE track with TimMcGraw back in the mid ‘00s.
- Young Thug yelling yee-haw at the beginning of his last album. Wait, actually, that was pretty dope. There is yet hope.
Despite both southern hip-hop and country music being quite proud of their non-coastalness and heritage (see Smino’s “All my n — — s country like Demi Lovato”), they just haven’t been able to click.
I won’t hold my breath. But I might start listening to some George Strait, to be honest.
five tracks from new names
[and taste triangulations]
- hurley mower x ric wilson // “[j] roll”
rjd2 x lupe fiasco x ocean’s eleven
- lucki // “4get”
mellow playboi carti x the weeknd x haze
- little simz x bibi bourelly // “customz”
rihanna x shlohmo x jazz licks
- nanna b x hodgy // “golden”
saba x ravyn lenae x funky production
- phoelix // “red beans & rice”
kendrick x chicago x anderson.paak
Our favorite recent KanyeToThe subject thread titles:
five dope videos
- Caleborate films his new vid in real time as he walks through Berkeley to deposit a check
- Ohio high schooler jxsh takes mac’s photo booth to a new level
- Nardwuar x Rich Chigga
- Conway and Meyhem Lauren exact revenge and celebrate with octopus
- Jimi Tents feels like Rick Rubin in Los Angeles