Heralded as Earl’s first ‘official’ release since his return to the Odd Future fold (there were of course, a couple of features and solo leaks before it), I gave this one a bit of a neutral response on its release a month ago but have since come to really appreciate it.
The introspection in the lyrics is quite heavily downplayed by the jaunty production and monotonous flow style, and hence it’s easy to underappreciate it. None of us will make that mistake after giving this video a look. From the monochrome filter to the subdued, near-depressed nature Earl shows throughout the video, there’s a seriousness and submissiveness here that fills in the emotional gaps the audio alone created. The stream of consciousness style of the raps is visualised well as Earl appears to be in a dream or sleep state, floating along and seemingly oblivious to the goings-on around him, instead just reciting his lyrics or thoughts. A rather reflective piece that clearly shows Earl’s capabilities lie beyond the lighthearted Odd Future style.
Always nice to get something new from the very talented Earl of Odd Future, and whilst his releases since his return have been minimal in quantity, he’s clearly demonstrated that he’s got magnificent potential.
Due to release his major label debut next year, it’s a good time to get his solo bandwagon properly rolling, and this is a nice jump off point. The production is fairly laidback, with slow rolling percussion met by rather reflective work on the keys, and that’s pretty much all there is as far as the beat goes. That minimalistic approach turns all of the spotlight on his raps, with the content being mostly autobiographical and hence making for a rare and engaging look into the reclusive rapper, whilst his laidback flow takes the sting out of what are often quite bitter and downbeat raps.
This is likely to be a real breakthrough project for Domo, as whilst his rapping skills are commended by many, his weed raps and heavy OFWGKTA association always put up a slight barrier to wider acclaim. Working with Alchemist and the slew of hip-hop heavies on this tape will undoubtedly do wonders for his image in the rap scene, and I’m hopeful his raps are up to scratch to complement what are likely to be consistently-excellent Alchemist beats. 11 tracks make up this one, giving Domo plenty of opportunity to put out some strong music, and you can download this for free below.
Two of Odd Future’s best MCs hook up with Bronson and Staples over an Alchemist beat, and the result is a solid track from Domo and Alchemist’s upcoming No Idols EP that’ll make it onto many hip-hop heads’ playlists.
Alchemist serves up a very stripped back beat, relying on minimal percussion, bass plucks that sound fresh out of the 1920′s, and a consistent, high-pitched melody that has an almost horror-esque influence. Each rapper certainly gives a good account of themselves, with Domo adding some energy to his ‘high raps’, Earl oozing quality with his laidback delivery, Vince making a good impression with what’s probably his biggest feature, and Bronson closing the track out with another brash, punchy verse. Four straight verses, no frills hip-hop.
Anticipated doesn’t even begin to describe it. Frank’s album has long been the talk of the industry, and with it being officially released next Tuesday, he took to his Tumblr to let loose of an official stream of the album.
I’ve always viewed artists making full LP streams available as a confident move, and for the relatively humble Frank Ocean to drop this off early suggests he’s got full belief in his body of work here. Not only that, but it’s generally clever: many people that illegally download albums do so as a ‘sampler’, so they know whether to go out and buy the CD, and this almost removes that first step.
I’ll drop off a full album review in the coming days, but one very quick playthrough suggests none of us will be disappointed with this, and the classic (too early?) Frank Ocean formula is in full effect. I’d like to avoid any more premature hype and such so I’ll not comment too much on the individual quality of the tracks, and frankly you can do it yourself with the stream available in this very post, and a comments section below should you be so inclined.
One of the most anticipated projects of the year, and the artwork and tracklist for Frank Ocean’s debut album were revealed late last night.
The artwork is pretty minimal, in keeping with Frank’s generally unfussy nature, and whilst it probably won’t inspire any artistic visions, it will certainly catch the attention of shoppers when sitting on the shelves.
The tracklist contains a few tracks Frank fans will recognise, including the much-loved Thinkin Bout You, the recently-released Pyramids, and a new version of White, his solo effort on the recent Odd Future Tape Vol. 2, that features John Mayer. The other features on the album are both noteworthy, as Odd Future’s Earl Sweatshirt and the legendary Andre 3000 join up with Frank to offer a helping hand. One notable is how many of the track titles seem to be related to those around them (5, 6 and 7 for example), and I hope that leads to some storytelling theme across the album. Click below to see the full 17-track list. → Continue Reading Frank Ocean-Channel Orange Artwork and Tracklist