All posts by Elisha Chauhan

Logic’s Everybody | Review

After the album’s trailer dropped a month ago, the anticipation settled in for Logic’s forthcoming project called Everybody. If you are unfamiliar with the rapper’s previous albums and mixtapes, then it will come as a shock on how much Logic delves into the issue on being a biracial person of black and white descent. In today’s political climate, many rappers have touched the race issue in relation to oppression in society and police brutality. Although some are successful in painting a picture of this very issue, it may be only a brushstroke compared to Logic’s introspective commentary on the topic. Logic seeks to shed light on struggling between being black and white, his own battles growing up in a fractured household, and uplifting people that don’t have a voice to change society. Logic also provides commentary on issues that people deal with on a day-to-day basis such as anxiety, depression, suicide, and materialism.

Conceptually, skits were placed throughout the album in three separate occasions where we encounter two characters: Atom and God. Although it isn’t known on who Atom is, it is assumed that Atom is a play on words for the first man that God created called Adam. God, voiced by Neil DeGrasse Tyson, provides Atom with an interesting perspective on life in three different perspectives: Atom’s life, everyone’s life, and life after death. Atom’s life was put on the forefront after God revealed his wife was cheating on him. God shifts Atom’s focus from this terrible discovery into the waiting room, which is the next track where this story continues. God reveals that Atom has been reincarnated into different people after he dies. At this point, the dichotomy between science and religion can be made apparent. In chemistry, it is said that an atom cannot be created nor destroyed. Since Atom becomes different people, he knows the experiences, struggles, and life of everybody. The story ends with God telling Atom that money is not the most important thing in life. Since everyone will die someday, people should live their life to the fullest and be happy with what they have.

In relation to the album itself, Logic steers into a different direction that he did not enter in his previous body of work. Logic’s producer 6ix and other producers under the Team Visionary umbrella took a page out of Kanye’s book and created a orchestral and bombastic ambiance. Since Logic’s previous albums focused more on complementing his lyrics onto a beat, having the instrumentals carry entire songs became a breath of fresh air at certain points of the album. Logic’s perspective on the race issue and other subject matter flowed smoothly throughout the entire project. However, the album’s low points is also how Logic approached this commentary. Since Logic touched on this topic on previous albums and mixtapes, some may find the content repetitive and not up to the usual standard that fans and hip hop listeners alike are accustomed to. Logic’s idea of including everyone’s story on one album was a tough task to tackle. It is commendable on how he tried to use his own story to inspire other people that might go through similar situations. However, Logic’s lyricism was taking a backseat at times when tracks were more vocal-driven or had a skit/speech at the end of some songs. The album’s redeeming qualities were including features such as Juicy J, Ansel Elgort, Alessia Cara, Khalid, and a surprise ending with J. Cole. J. Cole was speaking on Logic’s struggle on being black and white, tells him to be himself, and not listen to other people’s criticism.

Logic has grown as an artist and hones his craft with finding his own sound in Everybody. Continuing from the last album, Kai and Thomas returned in an album-ending skit that gave the impression that Logic will not make another album after his next one. Will he make more music after his fourth studio album? Stay tuned and find out what’s next on his incredible true story.

Flume Makes His Return a “Heater”

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Future Classic‘s very own Flume is back with an EP compilation that supplements his highly-anticipated Skin album, which released in May. “Heater” is part of the latest effort by the future bass pioneer in a collection of tracks within Skin Companion EP I. We heard a snippet of this track in Flume’s original preview track that he uploaded before Skin’s release. After indulging our ears in this preview, fans and critics alike were waiting for his latest album and what Flume had to offer with his take on future bass. From the first track to the last track, he did not disappoint and essentially stepped it up a notch on a soundscape level. It was as though Flume infused his signature synth sounds into a brand-new atmospheric drum kit that he was utilizing throughout the album.

Flume’s iconic synth and rhythm pattern is displayed in this title-fitting track. Coupled with a half-time drum-break beat, “Heater” seeks to bring his old style in nostalgic fashion. Reminiscent of Flume’s remix of “You & I”, the tempo and hard-hitting beat gives a lushness yet grittiness to a distinctive track that many fans awaited to hear on Skin. Faint howling ties the song together as a daunting task for listeners to focus on the subtle nuances that Flume is known for. The middle section of the song incorporates a jumpy synth pattern that reflects a chiptune influence. The track ultimately ends with a string section with a combination of faint voices that fades into oblivion. Be sure to check out “Heater” and the rest of Flume’s latest EP on Spotify and iTunes now.

Flume

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JNTHN STEIN Plucks your Heart Strings with a Guitar-Driven “Swimming” Remix

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Candid Music Group‘s co-founder is making rounds with remixes as of late by lacing his signature sound on original tracks. Based out of New York City, JNTHN STEIN has slowly gained traction as one of the upcoming producers in the future bass and experimental trap genres. Someone may certainly notice the grit and passion he puts into his work by the vibe it gives off aesthetically within the tracks. As a person from New York, I can attest to how my city is perfectly captured in specific instances by JNTHN STEIN using his environment as inspiration. His latest effort is a great example of this very notion. Joe Hertz and James Vickery on “Swimming” tells a love story that utilizes the analogy of being under the weight of water while swimming ashore. The weight is too much handle, yet the narrator still wants to make the relationship work. As the chorus states, every time he takes the person back, the relationship still struggles.

Musically, the guitar-driven sample adds an emotional element that is bluesy and provides an internal hope that the relationship may work out. At the same time, there is anxiety and distrust underlying when the guitar riffs become distorted and changes tempo. The lush vocals by James Vickery lends itself as a cross between Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith, both successful in the singer-songwriter genre in their own right. As for the drums, it complements the guitar-sample in a cohesive manner. These drums will reappear in the chorus section with added synths to bring out the vocals. The second and third sections of the chorus features different variations of the synths to give a variety of sound. The track culminates with chords that are played on a piano synthesizer and wave sounds that are reminiscent when near an ocean. Be sure to check out JNTHN STEIN’s remix of “Swimming” and his other work on Soundcloud below.

JNTHN STEIN

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Prepare to Watch the Hudson from Shanghai with HudMo’s “Shanghaied”

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GOOD Music‘s very own and one-half of TNGHT is back with another bombastic track that is found on the Watch Dogs 2 soundtrack. Hudson Mohawke was recently recruited to provide the soundtrack for the video game franchise, which is solely produced by the beatsmith. The track itself contains a very heavy-laden combination of drum line rhythm and piano melody that is interwoven between violin and simple use of synths. The track starts out with an intro that is reminiscent of a beginning of a movie soundtrack with a reversal effect that leads into a reverb infused chorus that shines and goes into the Rustie-inspired drum line rhythm that Hudson Mohawke is known to utilize in many of his tracks. Possibly one of the pioneers to infuse electronic music into trap elements, Hudson Mohawke never disappoints nor strays away from his signature sound. However, he specifically states that this track and others on the soundtrack will be different than his usual offerings. Creatively speaking, this holds true in the subtle nuances yet cohesive nature of the song. Be sure to check out Ded Sec – Watch Dogs 2 (Original Game Soundtrack) on iTunes releasing November 11 and stream “Shanghaied” on Apple Music and Spotify now.

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Hudson Mohawke

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Orchestral-Assisted “Lake” Draws Emotions From Newcomer JANEE

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Not much is known about a relatively new artist, JANEE, that surfaced on Soundcloud about a month ago. As you sift through tracks, however, the producer’s tracks are hashtagged as Orchestrap. After hearing this track on the first listen, this blend between orchestral elements and trap is fitting for such a song as “Lake”. The song starts out with a string section with string-plucking on a violin or pizzicato, cello, and bass cello. If you listen closely in the background, there is also a piano melody that is layered throughout the song until it becomes the lead of the song.

When the song reaches the beat portion, you can’t help but be in awe on how smooth of a transition from authentic orchestral instruments to a synth-infused trap beat. A synth section within this beat may remind you of “Stay Crunchy” by Ronald Jenkees. JANEE might have drawn influence from Ronald Jenkees, an innovator of incorporating acoustic instruments and electronic elements together into a marriage of blissful sounds. Although the song itself may seem simple from a melodic and song structure standpoint, its subtle intricacies and soundscape drives this track home. Check out JANEE’s “Lake” and his other work on Soundcloud below.

JANEE

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Ramzoid Hits Hard on Carmack-esque “Maze”

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Soda Island‘s co-founder and Canada-native, Ramzoid is back with another strong showcasing of his hybrid mix of electronic and hip hop music. Future-bass with a Carmack twist, “Maze” seeks to bend the boundaries of a soothing soundscape that builds up to a jaw-dropping 808 barrage of bass-infused and multi-key snare drum kit that is coupled with atmospheric samples that are reminiscent to howling, faint voices disguised as enhanced white noise. The song then fades into an epileptic breakdown section that seeks to evoke the remnants of effects that are shown in glimpses. The intricate effects of panning on each ear gives it an aura that is hard to escape within the track.

This eventually leads in a change-up in time signature when the drum kit drops back into play. The half-time hard-hitting beat picks back up from the previous drop and adds a new flavor to the ending of the track. The outro fades out into an oblivion of white noise and silky smooth notes played on a piano synthesizer, forcing you to replay this magnificently produced piece by Ramzoid.

As stated previously, this track seems to be an ode to the great Mr. Carmack, a beatsmith legend that always pushes the soundscape by adding many layers of sound into one compact song. In his case, his signature sound features a heavy-driven drum kit that creates its own atmosphere in the way it is mastered through reverb and other effects. Ramzoid’s “Maze” is a perfect example of how someone gains inspiration from other people’s work and tries to emulate it with their own twist. Be sure to check out this first track from Ramzoid’s Universe EP and the rest of the album on iTunes and Apple Music.

Ramzoid

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