Thundercat dons some samurai armor in this exquisitely weird clip for the instant classic funk tune Them Changes.
This song is on the brief but brilliant The Beyond / Where The Giants Roam, a mini-album that manages to nearly render the man’s prior music obsolete. In a mere 16 minutes he manages to fuse his latent Isley Brothers and Parliament influences into the sharpest iteration of his unique space funk sound yet. The above song is the most pure pop moment of Thundercat’s career but the remainder of the set veers into more progressive, fluidly jazzy territory.
You can pick up the album Since I like making things convenient, I’ve got the full mini-album streaming below, courtesy of Spotify.
I just shared the Señorita video, but realized that everyone needs a chance to listen to the whole brilliant album. So here’s a Spotify full album stream of Summertime ’06. It’s not just one of the best hip-hop albums of the year; it’s one of the best releases of any genre.
Vince Staples impressed me last year with his brief but fiery Hell Can Wait EP, but in no way prepared me for the brilliance on display with this two-disc (but only 1 hour) debut album. Nothing really can. It’s brazen, intelligent hip-hop with a hard swing and a deep heart. It’s surprising, exciting, dangerous; it’s some of the most fun listening I’ve had all year.
I’ll let it speak for itself. Here’s the full album stream:
Kendrick Lamar‘s new album, To Pimp A Butterfly, is out by surprise a full week ahead of time. It’s for sale digitally and streaming in full on Spotify. Click play below. Right now.
I’m sick. I woke up today too ill to even go to work. But then this happened. I’m feeling a bit elevated right now.
I don’t have anything too meaningful to say yet. Here’s a couple comments I made with friends during my first and only listen:
I don’t care about what anyone else has to say on the first day of an album like this, that’s going to have a lot of discussion flying around. I like to hear it “pure” as can be, I suppose. So uh, after 2 tracks I’ll just say that I’m really enjoying this, and the dark swirl of production tics is reminding me of D’Angelo’s latest (Best of 2014 album by the way), in a really positive way. Old and new sounds mixing for something vintage but not dated sounding, maybe?
Almost at the end. Loving the thick jazz sound. Not quite jazz-hop in that Digable Planets way, it does remind me of their masterpiece Blowout Comb in a very slight way… which is a good thing since that’s a top 10 album of the 90s for me.
There’s no need for a lot of discussion the moment something as important as this hits our collective ears. Just listen and absorb it. We’ll talk later.
Second listen observations: thinking that this evokes the warm but gritty production of D’Angelo’s Black Messiah, the sprawling, psychedelic structure of Shabazz Palaces‘ Les Majesty, and the free jazz embrace of Flying Lotus‘ You’re Dead. It’s no coincidence that all of these featured on my Best of 2014 list. I’m linking it again for emphasis – if you like this, there’s a lot of fun music streaming on that page. This album is hitting me with a deep and immediate connection.
I’m not a paid user, for several reasons. First and foremost is that I spend enough money on music as it is. Vinyl is expensive. Second is the fact that albums can arbitrarily disappear; I won’t pay hard earned cash for something I can’t guarantee I can use in the way I intend to. Finally, I use it as a glorified mp3 player half the time anyway. I bring a handful of my personal music to work on a thumb drive and load it into the desktop client. It’s way easier than booting up iTunes, and I can stream a lot of the new releases that I haven’t purchased yet. Also it scrobbles to last.fm flawlessly, which is important to me.
I have to deal with ads, but it’s a small price to pay for having a vast collection of decent-quality streaming music for free.
I’m interested in the conversation around the morality of Spotify as it pertains to compensating artists. I know it’s not the best solution for lesser known artists, yet at the same time can expose them to a much wider audience than anything short of paid advertising could achieve. What do you think? I’d love to hear what my thoughtful and intelligent readers think!
What are your thoughts and experiences with Spotify? If you’re a subscriber, does the arbitrarily shifting library bother you at all? Do you use the program socially or simply as an internet radio? The app is truly robust and offers a wealth of tools beyond mere listening, and I’m curious about how everyone uses it.
I love talking and sharing about music, obviously. I use the built-in messenger every day, trading and recommending tracks with several friends. I try to maximize my experience, using everything the service offers, including collaborative playlists. If you’re interested in talking, trading tunes, or making a playlist with me, please follow and say hello!
I wanted a decent image on this post, so here’s my Spotify avatar, my reflection in the window of Vertigo Music: