“The making of a good compilation tape is a very subtle art. Many do’s and don’ts. First of all, you’re using someone else’s poetry to express how you feel. This is a delicate thing.” (High Fidelity)
Over the past few weeks, one of my work projects has me thinking about playlists a lot: about how they can capture a mood perfectly, about how they can change your mood more effectively than almost anything else, and how they indeed are a very subtle art.
As the first of what might become a regular feature of this blog, I’m going to share a playlist. This one seeks to capture the feeling of the song title that wraps it up: one Sunday morning.
Here’s the screen shot of the songs and artists; below is a link that will take you to the music itself (technology willing). Enjoy.
Many of today’s top rappers face a peculiar and quite recent dilemma. When you rocket to fame by way of free mixtapes, how do you top yourself once you start actually trying to charge people for your music?
As the word cloud of this site will attest, there have been few artists of late that I have followed as closely as I have J. Cole. With his mixtape The Warm Up, Cole gave me hope that perhaps writing had finally returned to rap. And I was far from alone. One the merits of one song alone, he was signed to Jay-Z’s label and superstardom seemed not only certain but imminent.
And then, we waited. And waited some more. 18 months of eternity after his breakthrough mixtape, J. Cole finally released his first commercial album and the resulting product was… well, commercial. All of the studio support and star cameos were mustered to chase the obvious archetypes of “successful” songs, and my favorite few songs were those carried over directly from the mixtape. And the new song that I thought held the greatest promise wasn’t even included– but I have it here to share with you in an unfinished form: promise of what can be from this artist.
With his first official album already behind him, the expectations for Drake’s second were Throne-like. And, for different reasons, I was equally disappointed by his album as well. However, this track with Rihanna stands out not only as the best on the album but as one of the best of any album of this past year.
As he presumably prepares for his first commercial album, Frank Ocean will face the same test. With the full support of the music industry machine, will he be able to better the album that he released in defiance of this same industry? I guess we’ll find out soon enough, but in the interim here is yet another captivating new track from him to start off the new year.