Childish Gambino released his latest mixtape – Royalty – on the 4th of July. Considering it was announced in January, it’s been a long wait for fans, but I’m pretty sure most will agree that it was well worth it.
With features from Beck, Schoolboy Q, RZA, Ghostface Killah, Josh Osho, and Tina Fey (it’s as good as it sounds), Royalty wouldn’t have been easy to pull together, but he got there, and now you can get it for free. And yes, that’s a Britney Spears sample with Danny Brown.
Download the mixtape over here, or if for some reason that link is down, here’s a mirror. You can find the tracklist below.
It’s been a while between posts. I have a mixtape or two in the pipes, and a big project that I’ll be starting work on soon. But I’ll still be taking time out to tell you all about my favourite new stuff. The best of the best. The music that really deserve your attention. (I completely forgot, but you should watch this later too).
If you’ve read On The Tune before, you should be no stranger to Chance Waters (formerly known as Phatchance). “Maybe Tomorrow” has been getting some regular plays on triple j, as well as some serious exposure through a National Geographic ad campaign, so it’s great that the summery, apocalyptic tune has a creative video to top it all off. Keep in mind, Chance is unsigned too. Shows just what you can do without a label’s backing.
Check it out below. The confused Dalai Lama and unicorn are the best.
Donald Glover is a busy man. Following on from last week’s new track, he’s updated his website with another. This week’s untitled song features Nipsey Hussle, and is produced by Boi-1da. It’s official that this is the second track from his new mixtape, making last weeks’ the first.
Blogs last week reported his first mixtape track as “We Ain’t Them”, and a few have already dubbed this one “Black Faces”. Being one of those people who likes his tracks tagged properly, I asked artist Sam Spratt (the man responsible for the excellent artwork for these tracks!) who said that “The tracks are all Untitled“.
Judging by the download URL <http://childishgambino.com/iamronald/week2/untitled%20(prod.%20Boi-1da).mp3.zip>, we can also assume that we’ll be hearing new tracks on a weekly basis for what could be a while too. And that Donald is changing his name to Ronald. ;)
Read the second note from “Big Ghost”, and download the new track over here – before it gets taken down in place of the next one!
Artwork above by Sam Spratt.
Rap and Radiohead are not a new combination. The Jaydiohead mash-up hit the internet at the turn of 2008, and by all accounts it was pretty well received – if you haven’t heard anything from it yet, I felt “Reckoner’s Encore” was the clear standout of the project.
Quakers are a 35-piece (yes, thirty-five) hip-hop collective, and they’ve flipped one of Radiohead’s most memorable riffs on its head to rap some original verses over it. Quakers’ core is made up of producers Fuzzface (Portishead’s Geoff Barrow), 7-Stu-7 (Portishead’s engineer Stuart Matthews), and Katalyst (Australia’s very own Ashley Anderson). They’ve referenced the title of the bridging track of Radiohead’s OK Computer, and borrowed the main brass riff from Kid A‘s “The National Anthem” (and a bit of the riff from “Optimistic” too!). The track doesn’t reach for the messy, climactic heights of the latter, but that’s probably a good thing. It features rappers Guilty Simpson and MED, who both have a verse each.
Take a listen below.
The past six or so months have seen me develop a strong liking for Childish Gambino. He crafts these great, often quite poppy, hooks before throwing his clever wordplay over the top of it all. A lot of it tends to focus on pop culture, meaning the impact of some lines can be considered quite ephemeral, but it’s so much fun digging through his lyrics and understanding the puns and references. Unfortunately, Glover seems to cop a lot of flack that stems from the fact that he’s also a successful actor – as if that should change anything? It adds small amounts of context to his work, but doesn’t detract from his talent.
At any rate, he dropped a new song last night. If you’re one of Gambino’s many devoted fans, it won’t be entirely new to you, but it’s a welcome studio recording. It’s also my favourite of the tracks he’s recently released, the others of which (“Eat Your Vegetables”, “Fuck Your Blog”, etc) didn’t quite click with me.
Download the new song and read the accompanying story from “Big Ghost” over here. It’s worth it. The page, artwork, and story are no longer available. The link to download the track is also now invalid. Stream it below and read on to hear my ramblings and potential theories about Gambino’s latest output.
So, what do we know about this new song and his current work?
- Gambino performed it for La Blogotheque (alongside YouTube and 5Gum) at a secret show in Los Angeles late April. Check it out. La Blogotheque dubbed it “We Ain’t Them”, and many sites reported it as such. However, here it’s released as “Untitled”. Artist Sam Spratt has also confirmed that the tracks are all Untitled.
- According to the zip file, it’s produced by Gambino and Ludwig (Ludwig Göransson, the man responsible for music on the TV show Community, and production on Gambino’s debut studio album Camp).
- The URL of the above artwork is <http://childishgambino.com/iamdonald/week1/untitled.jpg>. Does this indicate some kind of weekly installment?
- Gambino has stated that anything we’ve heard lately, including stuff performed for La Blogotheque live at The Switch, isn’t on the mixtape he has coming up. UPDATE: Seems like he changed his mind though, implying that this track was the first from the mixtape.
“Maybe Tomorrow ft. Lilian Blue” is the second single from Chance Waters’ soon-to-be-released sophomore album Infinity. The Australian hip-hop artist – previously known as Phatchance – has been working hard on drumming up support for the impending release, and if this is anything to go by, the album is going to be a strong one. Filled with bright keys and Blue’s excellent chorus vocals, Chance takes small cracks at hippies, vampire dramas, and technology. The resulting juxtaposition only adds to the song’s charm.
Take a listen to it below, and if you click through to YouTube, you can check out the lyrics in the description.
Aesop Rock’s lyrics on “Zero Dark Thirty” are less of a story, and more a roll of imagery. The result is that his words paint a picture. They create a feeling, and a tone – one that I’d argue can’t be conveyed through the melody or beat. It might divide potential fans, but it really creates an atmosphere. While many of us may not exactly understand what he’s trying to communicate, there are a few lyrical anchors that hold it in place and give it a focus. And that flow! He runs through each line effortlessly. All in all – a damn fine hip-hop track.
The Rhymesayers rapper is gearing up to release his latest LP, “Skelethon”, on the 10th of July. Take a listen and see if it’s your thing.
Photo via the above video.