Providence, Rhode Island’s Zumo Kollie is officially on the radar. He popped off last May thanks to his excellent You’re a Good Sport Zumo Kollie EP, but made waves for me after I caught his opening set in support of The Movielife’s reunion show in Philly last month.
Kollie took the stage in front of a pop-punk friendly crowd and completely tore it down. His anthems of angst and frustration won over the fickle crowd one person at a time without compromising a second of creativity. The EP is drenched in undeniable cool, but is back lit by a political and social consciousness that’s hard to ignore. Check out his work here and keep up social media style @zumokollie on both IG and twitter. Happy Tuesday kids.
Courtney Barnett’s debut, Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit, was recorded over eight days. Urgency takes a backseat to casual observation from the jump. “Elevator Operator” broadcasts Barnett’s stream of conscious rambling paired with snotty instrumentation begging for repeat listens. You won’t glean new sentiments from a second or third spin, but it doesn’t matter. You’re left with the pleasantly bitter taste of a brand new songwriter who understands less is more.
Barnett’s talent is her ability to create dialogue through melody. Many before have tried and failed to wow us with nonchalance and apathy. She’s mastered the slacker vibe by channeling a bored tranny Stephen Malkmus blended with the tongue in cheek grin of Sheryl Crow.
Full of minor hits and few misses, Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit is a record that will hold up as one of the better debuts of 2015.
Earl Sweatshirt and Action Bronson are fresh off monster releases this week. Bronson’s Mr. Wonderful is the project fans have been waiting for; larger than life, full of hilarious twists, and enough NY shit talking to remind us exactly where all this started. Earl dropped the tremendously dense I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside, cementing himself as the reason anyone gave a greasy fuck about Odd Future in the first place. Today, the Alchemist digs through his lost gems to give us “Warlord Leather”, a three minute verbal slap box. Bars galore, enjoy.
Action Bronson’s incredible rise has been marked by his balanced ability to rap and to memorize with a massive personality. It’s impossible to ignore his magnetism. He’s funny, full of shit, and spits head scratching bars that are equal parts clever and insane. He seems to exist on an entirely unique plane, where “sometimes his only friends are drugs and the cannoli”.
Mr. Wonderful is Action’s major label debut full of self righteous gems. You’re front and center in Bam Bam’s world, whether you like it or not; riding shotgun and wading through heavyweight banter from his cousin/hype man Big Body Bes, fellow Queens MC Mayhem Lauren, and a show stealing verse from Chance the Rapper.
Action’s legacy is yet to be determined, but with efforts like Mr. Wonderful it’s plain to see he’s right where he belongs. He’s making music on his own terms; dodging and countering real life issues that might break a lesser man. But this isn’t any mere mortal we’re talking about, it’s Bronsolino. Love it or leave it, Mr. Wonderful is another monumental early release of 2015. Pick up your copy today.
Das Racist either made sense or you missed it by a mile. Regardless of their fast food name dropping semi-hit, joke rappers they were not. Himanshu Suri (Heems) went the way of the mixtape following the fizzling out of Das Racist, dropping two great projects while remaining largely under appreciated outside the blogs. What’s surfacing now is the true mind of the son of Indian immigrants who studied at Wesleyan after witnessing the Twin Towers drop from his posh Manhattan private school. The jokes are nearly stripped away and the imbalance of adult life bubbles to a head on his first proper solo release, Eat Pray Thug.
Heems turn the dial inward on Eat Pray Thug to reveal the pressures of being a young brown American in a post-9/11 world. The results are haunting on tracks like “Flag Shopping”, “Al Q8a”, and the poignant “Patriot Act”; a song that comes off as a spoken word confessional detailing 15 years of paranoia and fear. Mix in heartbreak and irresistible humor and it’s obvious that Heems is capable of channeling a Springsteen-like capacity to translate life to music. Trade a guitar and the swamps of Jersey for a microphone and the ethnic melting pot of Queens and suddenly the blurred picture of Himanshu Suri’s life begins to focus.
2015 has already seen some massive hip hop records. Eat Pray Thug should not be overlooked.
April 21st marks the release of Yelawolf’s highly anticipated sophomore record, Love Story. Since his Shady debut he’s put out a handful of worthy singles and tapes, toured on the strength of his cult fan base, and dropped a few guest verses here and there, yet no proper follow up.
Tonight, I’m stuck on the visuals for “Whiskey In A Bottle”, which sound and look like a call to arms for this Alabama loner. He knows that first record tanked, and he’s here to make things right. He’s joined by Slumerican pals DJ Klever and Bones Owens while they ride through town, down drinks, and get ink. Time well spent is never time wasted…