Thursday, August 11, 2016

Loosies Of The Week, August 5-11

Welcome to yet another Loosies Of The Week, a wrap-up of this weeks singles, throwaways, leaks, and any other loose tracks I find. An incredibly slow week for releases, was only able to scrounge up three loosies for y'all. But, a big announcement from an under-spoken TDE member is one of them. 

Isaiah Rashad - Free Lunch

It's been quite a while since Isaiah Rashad's debut, Cilvia Demo. Two and a half years to be exact. Put in a curious position of being signed to a major Hip-Hop label before releasing, well, anything concrete, Rashad was Desiigner before the Brooklyn emcee was even around. He had a few Youtube hits here or there, including 'Shot You Down' which would later be remixed with the help of Jay Rock and Schoolboy Q, but other than that Rashad was an untested prodigy that TDE took a risk on. With Cilvia Demo it seemed to almost immediately pay off, as many enjoyed his unique blend of West Coast sounds with Southern drawl. Ever since, at least from what little we've heard, Rashad seems to continue to go down that path, including his latest single 'Free Lunch.'

Unquestionably his best asset, Rashad's vocals are smooth like butter when rounding out words or phrases but hardened like wood when he needs to adorn a different mood. Not as complex or overly talented, the Tennessee native bears resemblance to Andre 3000 in this regard, just with a stronger focus on that bump in the whip mentality. 'Free Lunch,' like its predecessors, sees Rashad jump through hoops to accomplish what he needs in terms of the lyrics, sporting some fun to follow flows in the process. The production finds worth out of a simple acoustic guitar loop, along with his damn near-trademarked synths. The drums, surprisingly, are quite minimal here, only used as small changes in the tone. All this aims to bring more of a Southern touch to his soundscape, even if the song itself isn't all that daunting or inventive for the emcee.

De La Soul - Drawn

Everything that has dropped thus far from the forthcoming ...And The Anonymous Nobody has been strange. Not in an unusual, experimental type way, but that the album, like some of De La Soul's old material, seems to ignore structures and just go with the flow. However, a handful of these recent singles have also been quite flaccid, without anything unifying them together. While 'Drawn' certainly doesn't change any of those sentiments, it does provide that spark of ingenuity De La was always known for, ever since putting  Scha Dara Parr and Takagi Kan, two Japanese rappers, on the entirety of Buhloone Mindstate's 'Long Island Wildin.'

Why mention that? Well, this five and a half minute track is almost single-handedly dominated by Little Dragon and some swelling orchestration behind her. It takes a solid four minutes for a beat to build, before Posdnous comes in for a quick verse acting as summarizing refrain. Being that this track comes towards the end of the LP, we'll have to see how it fits into the mold, because it sure as hell matches the unorthodox creativity ...And The Anonymous Nobody has brandished thus far. Critically, the LP could flop, even in my eyes, but I'd still respect it because damned if anyone's making music like this in 2016. Through thick and thin, props to De La Soul for remaining concentrated in the weirdness.

Spark Master Tape - Allalone

I'll be honest. I think I fudged my review of Spark Master Tape's Silhouettes Of A Sunkken City. The intrigue of him vanishing for years, after having never known who he was to begin with, swept me up in the fascination. Now, I didn't give the mixtape a great score, a 6.8 in fact, but, after having months go by without ever returning to it, that score was too generous. The album is a mess, and one look at a single detached from it, his latest, 'Allalone,' shows the obvious flaws. There's just no point. I applaud him for being an experimentalist when it comes to leniency on song structure's, but when each and every song of yours executes this scatter-brained monotony, the whole point becomes mute. It acts as a crudely drawn painting by a child, tossing colors where they don't contextually fit, causing a cluttered image that makes no sense at all.

'Allalone,' like many of the songs on Silhouette, abides by this lack of rhythm. Now, it's no coincidence, that when Spark adheres to a theme, like on 'All About The Money,' he succeeds. I know what that song's about, and the fact that he does too helps to broaden its appeal. But with cuts like 'Allalone,' the lack of a clear-cut center point means the whole piece comes crashing down. From the hook to the languishing vocal chopping midway through, the lonely verse and the random finishing sample, 'Allalone' never sticks to one idea. And the idea's in which Spark does utilize are so unfounded that, within thirty seconds of the song starting, I'm bored to tears feeling as if I've heard it a dozen times before from him. 

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