[Electronic/Chill] Soma – Uncertain

soma
Soma
Uncertain

With the crazy amount of music submissions that come across every facet of our Ninja collective’s  e-mail and social media accounts, it can unfortunately become quite easier to stop searching and just let it come to us. So, on those rare occasions from which we manage to hunt down and fall in love with a completely new tune from an artist or band shrouded in mystery, well… it always holds a special place for us.  The latest entity to preoccupy this place in our heart is brand new project Soma, and their lush, breezy, two-step led single “Uncertain”. “Uncertain” walks an envious line between fragments of pop, chillwave, trap, R&B, house and even soul for a debut single rich in both its concept, sound and potential.

While not much has been uncovered in regards to Soma -whose only webpage is a secret portal that requires a password and their lone social account being a Soundcloud which lists Soma’s location as Los Angeles, San Francisco and Philadelphia- we’re slobbering like a Pavlovian Pitbull for more from the brand new project. You can be sure we’ll stay on top of Soma as everything develops, but in the mean time, we’ll be grooving to “Uncertain”.

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Traversing the Ego and Talking Musicianship with The Internet [TMN Exclusive Interview]

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On ‘Ego Death,’ The Internet have truly caught up to their initial vision just around the same time the rest of the music scene is striving to do the same.

The Internet
Special Affair

When The Internet, spearheaded by Syd the Kyd and Matt Martians, put out their first album Purple Naked Ladiesin 2011, they were already ahead of the curve. That debut, which was a collection of the first material the two had ever made together–with Syd on the mic and Matt on the boards–favored jazz, neo-soul, N.E.R.D.-esque vibes tied together with silky R&B vocals and unique hip-hop-tinted lyricism. Their predilection for live instrumentation and extended jams, the type that could be heard on Matt Martian’s Jet Age of Tomorrow projects, led the duo, who first met on MySpace, to put together a 6-piece band that would help them catch up to the ambitions expressed on their debut. The resulting project was their sophomore record, Feel Good, which progressed their sound with the help of that ensemble who brought a marked musicianship to match Matt and Syd’s executive direction.

With deeply collaborative albums like Kendrick Lamar‘s To Pimp a Butterfly and The Social Experiment‘s Surf both solidifying the reincarnation of funk, soul and live instrumentation in hip-hop and R&B, it’s clearer than ever just how innovative The Internet were with their undertakings. Their latest album, Ego Death, which is out now, continues that progression building off the rawness of their debut all the while incorporating the complexity of its predecessor. More than ever, it feels like The Internet, who describe the project as their most collaborative yet, have congealed into sonic bliss.

Musically, Ego Death finds itself in a place minimalism, which is not to be confused with simplicity. There’s gorgeous jams through out on tracks like the Janelle Monae-featuring “Gabby,” moments of bounce on cuts like the Kaytranada-assisted “Girl” and bedroom anthems like “Special Affair.”  What ends up really bringing cohesion to the project are Syd’s captivating voice and the common theme encapsulated by the album’s title–an inner-conflict between a heightened ego and a broken one. On Ego Death, The Internet have truly caught up to their initial vision just around the same time the rest of the music scene is striving to do the same.

We were lucky enough to chat with Syd and Matt about the MySpace days, Odd Future and the making of Ego Death. Pick up your copy and read the full Q&A below. 

Ego Death

 iTunes || Spotify 

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TMN: What were your earliest musical memories, as far as what was playing around the house or anything that you were listening to growing up that you felt like has influenced your sound?

Matt: I think my very first memory was hearing my dad play stuff in the car all the time. My very first memory musically was The Commodores song called “Machine Gun.” It’s a song that has no lyrics or anything, it’s just a fucking jam–a jam-out Commodores song. And I remember I would always ask my dad to play it on repeat, and as a kid I didn’t know this wasn’t normal, but now that I’m older I realize that type of music is not something a normal five year old really grabs onto. Because I’ve never been a trained musician, but I’ve always known what sounded good and what not to do, which is kind of a gift in itself.

Syd: Me, I grew up listening to a lot of like Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, India Arie, Musiq Soulchild and a lot of reggae like a lot of Maxi Priest, Steel Pulse, and Third World. Yeah, my dad is part of kind of a musical family, his brother is very involved in the music industry in Jamaica, and my mom is just like a huge fan of music. She still wants to be an engineer, like me.

TMN: So, building off of that, when did you guys first start making music?

Matt: I would say I started late; I was a late bloomer. I was 17 and it was like my first year of college. It got to the point where I got sick of waiting on my favorite bands to put music out. And I always felt like the good bands took forever to put music out and the trash bands would put music out every three years. So, it was like, you know, N.E.R.D. would come out with an album then you wouldn’t hear shit like, “Nigga I been waiting four years! I’m not gonna wait four years for twelve songs!” So, for me it was more like teach me how to fish, eat forever type of situation.

Syd: I took piano lessons as a kid and all that, but I didn’t start making music on my own until I was like 14 when my dad got me a laptop for school and it had Garage Band. I just started and I knew at that point that I wanted to do something involved in music, I just didn’t know what. Then I realized “oh a producer,” and then I realized “oh I’m not that good at this…” (Laughs). So I just started engineering instead just to stay involved one way or another and to make money.

TMN: So, I know Matt you had done some production work with Odd Future in general. Syd were you the first person to get in touch with Matt or was it through being a member of Odd Future yourself?

Syd: No, Matt was in Odd Future way before me, like years before me. Matt is an original member, he’s like one of the first members. I was a fan of his, because he had the Super 3. I was a fan of the Super 3 so I used to just message him like “Hey, give me advice on beats” and he used to give me advice.

Matt: Right. It’s kind of weird when I think about it now, like we’re best friends and we’re in a band together, because it really was like fate. So, me and Tyler (The Creator) linked up like a few years before I met Syd, this was on MySpace as well. The Internet is just the embodiment of both, and how a lot of our lives have changed because of it. We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the Internet. So, we basically connected through MySpace, bouncing ideas, then she got into Odd Future. I was already in Odd Future so we got even closer. It kind of happened organically, how it was supposed to happen. It was nothing forced, it was more so like we both had very similar interests, and we grew up from very similar backgrounds so it just makes a lot of sense.
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[NEW] Tory Lanez x WeDidIt – Cruel Intentions EP

Cruel Intentions EP

After weeks of eager anticipation, we finally have our hands on the latest project from Tory Lanez, as he teams up with the WeDidIt Collective for this brand new 5 track EP. As expected, most of the production is handled by heavyweights from the WeDidIt roster, including Shlohmo, RL Grime and D33J along with additional production from Baauer and frequent collaborator Play Picasso, who Tory once told us was his 40. At this point, we feel like we’ve said just about everything we can about Tory’s tremendous talent, but it still amazes us to see how much growth he’s shown in just the past couple of years. Cruel Intentions serves as an incredibly polished follow-up to last year’s Lost Cause mixtape, building on the same moody aesthetic that the Toronto native has established in much of his previous work. Tory’s ability to alternate seamlessly between rapping and singing has almost become second nature at this point, so it should be no surprise that he’s basically got the formula down to a science on Cruel Intentions.

Stream the full project below, and simply enter your email address at the following link to snag a FREE copy for yourself.

Tory Lanez
Acting Like (Prod. by Shlohmo)
Tory Lanez
In For It (Prod. by RL Grime)
Tory Lanez
N.I.N.A (Prod. by Baauer)
Tory Lanez
Fallback (Prod. by Play Picasso)
Tory Lanez
Honda Civic (Prod. by D33J)
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[Hip-Hop] The Game – 100 (Feat. Drake)

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THE GAME Feat. DRAKE
100

As he gears up for the long awaited sequel to his classic debut album The Documentary, The Game attempts to take things 0 to “100” real quick on this brand new cut featuring Drake. All jokes aside, this soulful Cardo and Johnny Juliano produced joint actually has a chance to be a hit single for the West Coast emcee, whose star hasn’t really shined as bright as it once did when he first hit the scene ten years ago back in 2005. Let’s just hope he’s able to rekindle some of that magic on the album’s remaining tracks as well, because it will definitely take some work on his part to craft a worthy follow-up in The Documentary 2. There’s no set release date yet, but The Game definitely has us intrigued about what he has in store for the upcoming project.

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[R&B] Blackbear – 〴⋋_⋌〵

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bIackbear
〴⋋_⋌〵

Looking up at the title of this new track by Blackbear, you might find yourself wondering, “How exactly do I pronounce that?” Well, the beauty of it is you don’t need to; all that’s required of you is your full, undivided attention. “〴⋋_⋌〵” is the singer’s first original material since the release of Deadroses back in February. We still bump that album from time to time, but it’s definitely refreshing to hear some new music from the L.A. native.
“〴⋋_⋌〵” features the pained crooner in prime form, experiencing a wave of emotions as he migrates through a vivid soundscape designed by Basecamp and GXNXVS.

As Shakespeare would ask, what’s in a name anyway? This latest effort by Blackbear proves that the only thing that matters about a song is how it makes you feel.

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[R&B] Tory Lanez – Karrueche (Prod. Noah Breakfast)

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Karrueche (Prod. Noah Breakfast)

A week ahead of the release of his upcoming Cruel Intentions EP, Tory Lanez brings back his Fargo Fridays series with a brand new track named after Chris Brown‘s ex, “Karrueche”. The Toronto native is no stranger to dedicating his ballads to famous females, previously releasing an homage to Teyana Taylor that prompted a playful response from the GOOD Music songstress herself. Lanez makes reference to that previous tune as he goes into full R&B mode on this one, crooning over a breezy, carefree instrumental provided by Noah Breakfast, who previously worked on a handful of songs from last year’s excellent Lost Cause mixtape. We didn’t think it was possible, but after hearing this single, we’re even more stoked for his upcoming collaborative EP with WEDIDIT, set to drop next Friday. Stream the track above here, and make sure to check back here once the EP is available.

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[R&B] TOTEM – Countdown (Remix) (Feat. Rome Fortune)

Countdown Remix
(TOTEM)
countdown feat. Rome Fortune (Remix)

Released earlier this year, TOTEM‘s “Countdown” is easily one of my personal favorites from his debut EP pride, an absolutely amazing project that flew under far too many people’s radars during a packed 2015. Nevertheless, the Atlanta native has given us a chance at redemption with this new remix of the standout track, featuring fellow hometown hero Rome Fortune. The pensive number has an irresistible charm about it that ensures you have no choice but to sing along by the second or third listen through–and trust us, there’s no way you’ll stop after just one play. With that being said, stream the track above and make sure to grab yourself a copy of the EP on iTunes if you haven’t already.

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