Portuguese beat maker Mz Boom Bap links up with 17-year-old rapper Curtis Roach to produce an early 90s retro hip-hop track entitled ‘Heard Em Say.’ Anything that sounds remotely like Pete Rock, DJ Premier, or Illmatic in general, is music to my ears.
“everything from the drum programming to the sample selection to the subtle ringing distortion of the Akai s950 delivers a seldom seen old-school authenticity.”
Like is part of hip-hop trio Pac Div but is also a solo producer and rapper. Songs Made While High is his first album, continuing his exploration of beats from his instrumental EP Emeralds. He explains his creative process for the album on his Bandcamp page:
“…The reason I titled this album ‘Songs Made While High’ wasn’t because I’m a pseudo-druggy (I only smoke weed and occasionally take shrooms). As cliche as it may sound, music gets me high. I’m addicted to sounds and melodies, Chords and samples- colors and soundscapes my brother and I heard growing up in church…”
His collaboration with fellow LA-native Anderson. Paak (stream above) is one of the stellar tracks on the album. ‘Lamped’ is a dope chop too; peep it after the jump. He also premiered a music video for the album’s final track ‘Miss Me With That.’
Quartz published an interesting piece on the neuroscience and origins of “cool.”
Today, we define cool through the lens of fashion and consumption. Instagram is the fashion runway for generation thumbs. Social media influencers signal the new trends. Studies show that our medial prefrontal cortex lights up when we see something desirable in our feed.
But I found the history of the word cool most interesting.
“It was black Americans at the turn of the 20th century who first used “cool” as an expression of approval.
From blues to rock, from hip hop to Eminem, black culture is American culture.
Given the heightened racism in American politics today, it is worth examining why American culture became the cultural hegemony of the world in the first place. We are the hodgepodge of experiments.
And it is our duty to ensure American culture — one of openness and plurality — appears cool.