Lollapalooza 2015: Our Top Takeaways [Event Review]


As with any music festival, after Lollapalooza is over, it always takes us a few days to digest everything and snap back to reality. For locals, the festival serves as a three day escape within our own city. For outsiders, it provides them with a completely unique way to experience Chicago. The magic of Lollapalooza is simply unmatched, and despite a weather scare on the final day, Lollapalooza 2015 turned out to be just as memorable as years past. On the next few pages we’ve broken down some of our lasting impressions from Lolla.

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[Event Preview] Red Bull Sound Select – Denver – 8/22


At this point, there shouldn’t be any doubt in anyone’s mind that Denver’s music scene is alive, bustling, and showing the rest of the country that it can go toe to toe with any other major musical city. Obvious identifiers aside (Red Rocks, Beta Nightclub, The UMS), smaller showcases like this help shine the spotlight on this ever-growing scene.

If you’re not familiar with Red Bull Sound Select just yet, now is your time to brush up. It’s a concert series that is curated across multiple major cities (Nashville, Portland, Philly, etc), and it focuses on bringing in local promoters to help craft shows that highlight national and local talent alike.

Denver’s own DJ Low key of The Meadowlark’s weekly parties, The Solution and Goodness, has his hands on this show in particular, and has brought in Chicago sensation Towkio, as well as Houston-based Fat Tony, and local acts F.L. and CRL CRRLL (who happens to be one of our fav Denver musicians.)

It’s being held at The Moon Room at Summit Hall, on August 22, which will provide an intimate, yet rowdy setting. You can RSVP here, but make sure to show up early. RSVP’ing is not a guarantee for entry, but it does promise $3 entry, if you’re there in time.

As an added bonus to getting there early, the first 100 people will be getting free drinks. If that doesn’t motivate you, we don’t know what will.

Heaven Only Knows (Ft. Chance The Rapper, Lido & Eryn Allen Kane)
Involved Ft. Vic Mensa (Prod. Kaytranada)
Summer Feat. Fat Tony
Let You Know (Ft. AP)
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[NEW] Lil B & Chance the Rapper – Free (Based Freestyle Mixtape)


Love him, hate him or just don’t understand him, Lil B is without a doubt one of the most interesting personalities rap culture has ever seen. Coining the term “based” to describe his stream-of-conscious, at times incoherent, style, the Based God’s touched hip-hop in a way that’s freed up hip-hop artists to be as weird as they please. This influence is evident today, more than ever, with a new wave of quirky, creative emcees popping up constantly and the term “based” becoming a staple of everyday vocabulary in describing a state of flow or inner-peace. Over the last few years B’s remained relatively quiet, and in that same time Chance the Rapper who is an oddball in his own right, albeit a more coherent and widely accessible one, has risen to popularity.

A few weeks back, the two posted a picture together on social media announcing that they had recorded a full album of based freestyles from a single studio session sending the blogosphere into a craze. They’ve finally unleashed the project and it’s as off the wall as you’d expect. Fans of Lil B will notice him back in his comfortable form, just flowing off the top, while people who are just fans of Chance might find the project a bit confusing as the production is certainly a departure from what you might be used to. If you’re fans of both, like I am, you’ll just be happy to see Lil B return working with such a creative mind. Give it a listen below.

Lil B & Chance the Rapper
Lil B & Chance the Rapper
Lil B & Chance the Rapper
Lil B & Chance the Rapper
Lil B & Chance the Rapper
Lil B & Chance the Rapper
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Outside Lands 2015: 40+ Songs to Prepare [Festival Preview]

OL15_Website_AdMat_SeeYouInAugust (1)It’s that time of the year in San Francisco when everyone’s either scrambling to find a ticket or stressing schedule overlaps for Outside Lands Music Festival. Hosted in the heart of Golden Gate Park’s picturesque forest, OSL has quickly become the Bay Area’s most sought-after festival ticket since its inception 7 years ago. In the last couple years particularly, though, the demand has exploded with tickets selling out faster than ever and a ravenous (and frankly obnoxious) secondhand ticket market. That’s all with good reason, though, considering Another Planet Entertainment raises the stakes every year and 2015 is looking to be no different with one of the strongest lineups in the festival’s history.

As always, the Outside Lands bill combines local acts, up ‘n coming bands from around the world and established contemporary stars with a few legends sprinkled on top. There’s a marked depth to the lineup this year including the Heineken House, which will serve as the designated non-stop dance tent for the weekend. As Ninjas, and senseis in the art of festival-ing, we’ll always vouch for at least one stop a day at these stages. We’ve crafted a playlist, including our favorites from the Heineken House, in chronological order of performance that we hope helps get you prepared for OSL 2015. For all of you who won’t be able to make it, you can live stream performances from the Outside Lands website. Continue reading

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[Hip-Hop] Danny Brown & Clams Casino – Worth It

Danny Brown & Clams Casino
Worth It

Outlandish Detroit emcee, Danny Brown, and pioneering producer Clams Casino are two artists who we’re always on the lookout for new music from. As of late, though, they’ve both been relatively quiet–Brown only appearing occasionally since the release of his phenomenal 2013 album Old and Clams popping up sparsely, but memorably, over the last two years. Thanks to the always-dope Adult Swim Singles series, though, we’ve got a brand new collab between the two living legends that perhaps also provides some insight into what’s been on their minds.

On “Worth It,” both artists prove that they haven’t lost a step as Clams Casino crafts eerie sonics built around bewildering percussion. Brown at first seems to be spitting typical, yet still impressive, boastful raps about the celebrity lifestyle but when the chorus hits he asks the question of whether the material rewards of fame are a gift or a curse. On social media and in interviews, Brown has alluded to his struggles with addiction as it relates to fame, which may partially be his reason for laying low, and this song definitely echoes some of those sentiments without losing site of his signature, bombastic delivery.

Listen to this powerful, thought-provoking cut and grab a free download above. Danny Brown is right in questioning America’s celebrity culture, but what is “Worth It” is touching the world with your music and that’s undeniably something both of these artists have succeeded in doing thus far.

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[NEW] Kid Cudi – Confused

Kid Cudi

After a few weeks of teasing on social media, Kid Cudi‘s returns late at night with the first single from his forthcoming album, Speedin Bullet to Heaven. As promised, “Confused” features all live instrumentation carrying a distinct grunge vibe bringing to mind his cover of Nirvana‘s “Where Did You Sleep Last Night,” one of the strongest tracks from his WZRD album. However, it feels like Cudi’s improved in adopting the style with more polished instrumentation than ever (he plays all the guitar and bass himself) resulting in an interesting combination that falls somewhere between 90s rock, psychedelia and Cudi’s one-of-a-kind vocals. As its name suggest, the release is a song about inner turmoil, conflict and torment. It’s Cudi at his most vulnerable, which for loyal fans at least, always feels like his best. It’ll be interesting to see how the general public responds but we’re definitely digging this.

Although there’s no set release date for the album, it seems highly likely that it’s just around the corner. While you wait, give this a late night or early morning listen and let us know what you think.

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[R&B] Tory Lanez – Say It (Prod. Pop Wansel)

say it
Tory Lanez
Say It

After teasing us with a snippet of “Say It” late last week, Tory Lanez has come through with the unabridged version of his latest single as promised. It’s barely been a month since the release of Cruel Intentions, Tory’s collaborative EP with the WEDIDIT collective, but the Toronto native is already gearing up for another full length release set to drop through Benny Blanco‘s Mad Love imprint. The fresh new tune is rooted in old school R&B, as Tory once again shows off his singing chops over an instrumental that utilizes a sample of Brownstone‘s “If You Love Me”  to perfection. The song is a bit more mellow and relaxed than Tory’s typical output, but we’re not complaining. We trust that you’ll find this one in your rotation way past the end of summer.

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