Tyler, the Creator has the released the self-directed official video for “PERFECT” from his most album Cherry Bomb. The song features accompanying vocals from Kali Uchis, and Austin Feinstein on the guitar. Watch above.
If you’re interested in seeing Future live in Toronto this Friday night at 8pm (Sound Academy) we’ve decided to hook up one lucky reader with a pair of tickets.
To win two tickets to see future we just need to make a connection, be it by Twitter or FaceBook… or both! Once we’re officially connected, do one of the following:
- If you follow LYFSTYL on Twitter, click the ReTweet button (at the end of the post) and include the name of your favorite Future song.
- If you fan us on Facebook, Like/share this contest (button at the end of the post) and go to our FB Page and comment your favorite Future song.
- Or leave a comment below with your favourite Future song
We’ll pick the winner by Thursday (July 10th) morning.
SOUND ACADEMY: 11 POLSON STREET – TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA
Note: this is a 19+ event.
Music holds an incredible power to move and influence the listener, taking control of the mind and body to initiate a beautiful reaction within us all, but as Die Antwoord taught me recently the input and output aren’t always beautiful. Performers have been pushing the boundaries of social tolerance and acceptability for generations and with every decade the bar is raised. However, lately a number of musicians from Tyler, The Creator to Justin Bieber have explored these boundaries and encountered varying degrees of consequences, but they raise a greater question: where is the line? Or more accurately, is there a line at all?
When Tyler, The Creator was named to the Sasquatch 2014 lineup I knew that his live performance was a must-see, but not necessarily due to the merits of his music. His performances have a reputation for flirting the line between rowdy and violent, and I needed to see the live product for myself. I made sure to re-familiarize myself with his music, and despite the wave of depression that followed every listen I still managed to make it through Bastard, Goblin, and Wolf a few times each.
The South African trio Die Antwoord landed on the bill with a similar reputation: one of shock and awe visuals paired with a sound that brutalizes listeners into submission. I’m game, I figured. Hell, I once listened to a good chunk of Metal Machine Music just to see what it was like. I can handle it. While I had to wait to see the visual extravaganza, the audible explosion I heard on $O$ and Ten$Ion came as advertised. The beats were heavy, the rap was fast and furious, and the lyrical content was abrasive, rife with the braggadocio that has become so commonplace in rap it transcends cliche. It didn’t strike me as something I would enjoy sober, I figured before I switched to something more soothing after only a few painful songs.
On the opening night of Sasquatch, however, I heard something I had missed on Ten$Ion. DJ Hi-Tek opened the set with the heartwarming banger “DJ Hi-Tek Rulez” which is at best an act of sonic instigation/trolling, and at worst a boastful expression of homophobia and misogyny with a pinch of rape culture tossed in for good measure. The crowd buzzed with the usual excitement a final performance of the night is traditionally welcomed by, however as I listened more closely to the (extremely NSFW) lyrics my blood began pumping for a much different reason as I stood still with my arms crossed.
In law, hate speech is any speech, gesture or conduct, writing, or display which is forbidden because it may incite violence or prejudicial action against or by a protected individual or group, or because it disparages or intimidates a protected individual or group.
I couldn’t be the only one in the crowd irked by the man asserting he would rape me until I conceded, I thought to myself, and yet everyone in sight continued to bounce along with the beat as the show stomped through it’s opening track. I knew Die Antwoord were out to offend, so I had my guard up, but the more I thought about it the more I realized the sole purpose of “DJ Hi-Tek Rulez” is to offend and instigate, justified only by a thin element of musicality. Sure, there’s a beat, but we all know what is going on here. A group like Die Antwoord are calculated in what they do, and it is no coincidence that “DJ Hi-Tek Rules” is the opener for their sets.
This struck me as especially strange to hear at Sasquatch of all music festivals, where only a year previous Macklemore had closed out the opening night with a set that featured “Same Love” the pro-LGBT ballad that took over the music world last summer. While standing in front of the Bigfoot stage in 2014 I wondered how Mary Lambert, the (lesbian) vocalist featured on “Same Love” would feel about opening the festival on the same day DJ Hi-Tek was to close with hate speech layered over a beat. I wondered how any of the other LGBT performers would feel sharing a bill with Die Antwoord. But most of all I wondered how the LGBT listeners would feel as DJ Hi-Tek’s voice spat acid-rain over the dark, pulsing throng.
During the long walk back to the campsite I contemplated the ramifications of playing such vile music to thousands of people. I wasn’t personally offended, so I tried to move past it, but I found the performance had burrowed a hole into my brain (as was surely intended) and I couldn’t let go. It didn’t help that Yolandi Visser was more obnoxious in person than she manages to be on Die Antwoord’s recordings, but I digress.
So where is the line between artistic expression and hate speech? What differentiates Donad Sterling’s hateful and moronic rant from one pumped through speakers to a crowd of eager (and often impressionable) listeners? Creative works are given certain freedom of interpretation and can’t be accepted as literal testimony (despite this insanity) however the boundaries are vague and often completely ambiguous, relative only to society’s level of tolerance at the time. I for one appreciate the testing of these boundaries of tolerance when it comes to harmless things like profanity, however homophobic and racist musical content can have serious implications down the line.
Just as musicians move the crowd at their performances the content of their songs can influence minds and shape the worldviews of listeners. It’s no surprise there are still ignorant assholes wearing headdresses around at festivals like it’s a fucking fashion statement while we have musicians like Lana Del Rey and Pharrell Williams appropriating culture in the spotlight. Both artists received some well-deserved criticism for their transgressions, however the greater issue is that with every step an artist takes in the wrong direction another wave of impressionable consumers are marching along behind them.
Luckily for listeners we can pick and choose the art we consume, and needless to say Die Antwoord is no longer a part of my playlist, but should musical curators and taste-makers like radio DJs, editors, and festival organizers hold art to a higher standard while selecting content for the masses? As with the music itself this choice ultimately comes down to the individual curators behind each endeavor, but I can’t help but wonder if it is time we all start holding musicians and other artists responsible for their content as if it was encountered in everyday life.
Is this music hateful towards a certain race, gender, or sexual orientation? Would I still be listening to this song if those slurs were about me? Do I want this musician influencing my life? These are the questions to think about the next time you catch yourself doing a Mike Tyson impersonation along to DJ Hi-Tek or any other musician inciting hate with their music.
A household name with a Grammy to call her own, Kimbra established herself in the world of music with the vocals on Gotye’s smash-hit ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ in 2011. On her second album The Golden Echo, Kimbra Lee Johnson (who co-produced the album with Rich Costey among others) steps out on her own with a bombastic effort that occasionally demonstrates her vocal talent while ultimately echoing the sonic properties of her pop competitors.
The Golden Echo opens with the soft and tender ‘Teen Heat’ which strikes as an odd choice to lead the overwhelming ’90’s Music’, a track that demonstrates the album’s best and worst qualities all in one single.
’90s Music’ is catchy-as-could-be with production likely to create a head-bob in most listeners, but ultimately the repetitive and familiar track has little resonance beyond Kimbra’s whiny interludes. We already know the Kiwi vocalist can sing, however tracks like ’90s Music’ and the bubble-gum burst ‘Miracle’ fail to play to her strength, instead forcing her voice to take a backseat to a sonic clashing of production.
It’s no surprise the song’s theme revolves around listening to music on the radio, just as Russell Simmons understood back in the 90s when advising LL Cool J Kimbra’s crew has also recognized the importance of playing to their audience. It’s simple: if you sing about the radio they will play you on it. And in this case Kimbra seems very aware of all the elements that went into making The Golden Echo such a bold miss-step into over-produced pop mediocrity.
“There wasn’t one moment on this record that wasn’t important.”
Kimbra’s bold statement to The Guardian regarding The Golden Echo make the album’s demise quite predictable: by attempting to give importance to every moment on the album she has created an effort that is entirely devoid of important moments, constantly bogged down by a crowd of musical elements shouting over each other. Take into account a lack of lyrical substance Kimbra’s lengthy second effort gets old fast, leaving listeners to only hope the echo won’t come back quite as clear.
Speaking of lengthy, The Golden Echo’s list of collaborators (Thundercat, Dirty Projectors’ Dave Longstreth, Mars Voltra’s Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, Bilal, John Legend, Foster The People’s Mark Foster, and many more) offers another hint as to how the album became such a clash of sounds without the necessary room to breathe. Whereas ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ and other Kimbra singles like ‘Settle Down’ (especially this live version) left space for the singer to showcase her beautiful voice, she has clearly failed to provide herself the proper space to demonstrate her talent on The Golden Echo.
Create & Explore unveil their 10th video, made in collaboration with San Diego-based videographer Matthew Lawless and NY-based electronic artist Com Truise.
From the Director, Matthew Lawless
I’ve been a fan of Com Truise since I discovered his music through the ISO50 blog years ago. I’ve always really enjoyed his music because it has a retro-spacey vibe to it. While making this video I kept that vibe and the words “Create and Explore” in mind and for that reason most of the filming took place in the desert two hours from San Diego. Some of the locations were not only out of GPS range but were also inaccessible without a four-wheel drive vehicle. The combination of the terrain and the location’s seclusion made it felt as if I was exploring another planet.
“Drive” is Pretty Sister’s new release that embodies everything there is to love about Los Angeles and those sunny days driving up and down the Pacific Coast Highway with the top down blasting Tupac.
“I wrote this song from the perspective of someone who just moved here. Although i’m from LA, i did spend a two-year stint from age 13-15 in Toronto. I’ll never forget coming back here, smelling the smog and seeing the hazy sunsets over the 405. So when writing the song i thought about what must it be like to have just moved here from michigan or new york or detroit? Driving through laurel canyon with the palm trees and then sun and the warmth…the feeling of endless possibility and beautiful people all around you…it must be pretty exciting. I grew up in it and shit, it still excites me every day!”
Ty Dolla $ign and Australian electronic duo HWLS (Ta-ku & Kit Pop) collaborate for the first time on “Plays” for #songsfromscratch, a series from Yours Truly & adidas originals.
“What I’m used to is making music at the back of my Grandmothers house, that’s how it started with me, and just the homies, so that’s how it has to be. — Ty Dolla $ign
Witness the making of this, and other #songsfromscratch by Fetty Wap, Chance the Rapper, Jeremih, Shlohmo, Chet Faker, Danny Brown, and many more at http://songsfromscrat.ch
HWLS Kit Pop Ta-Ku Ty Dolla $ign
A.K. Paul the brother and longtime collaborator of mysterious U.K. songwriter Jai Paul has emerged from the shadows with his own debut song featuring London-based singer Nao. Check it out below. Enjoy!
Flume is back with the third single from his upcoming sophomore album Skin. The new song is amply titled “Smoke & Retribution,” and is a collaboration with Vince Staples and Kučka. It follows “Some Minds” and “Never Be Like You.”
Flume’s new album Skin is due out later this year on Mom + Pop.
Listen to “Smoke & Retribution,” below.
Yesterday J. Cole celebrated his 31st birthday by releasing Forest Hills Drive: Live from Fayetteville, NC. The album was recorded live from Cole’s sold-out show in his hometown of Fayetteville, N.C. last fall. Today Cole is back with a music video for the powerful single “Love Yourz” which was filmed during the same show at Crown Coliseum. Watch the music video above then stream the entire album below via Spotify or purchase it on iTunes.
To celebrate the launch of Monocle’s travel series the publication has produced a cinematic portrait of this exciting metropolis of London. From great examples of urban design and lofty gardens to culinary discoveries and the best music venues, this film journeys to Monocle’s favorite places in the city they call home.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park presents the first UK museum exhibition by KAWS, the renowned American artist whose work has sparked global attention. The expansive Longside Gallery features commanding sculptures in bronze, fibreglass, aluminium and wood alongside large, bright canvases immaculately rendered in acrylic paint. The Park’s landscape becomes home to six imposing sculptures, including a new six-metre-tall work, which carry KAWS’ idiosyncratic skull and crossbones features upon almost-recognizable character.
This behind-the-scenes preview shows the installation of KAWS’ ten-metre-tall sculpture SMALL LIE (2013) ahead of the opening of new Yorkshire Sculpture Park exhibition (6 February 2016–12 June 2016).
A$AP Rocky has been busy this Wednesday night. After dropping three brand new tracks, Rocky is back with the moody visuals for “JD” taken from his excellent sophomore album At.Long.Last.A$AP. Watch the visuals above which showcase the New York native explore the streets of London before transitioning between live action and animation.
Inspired by true events, THE REVENANT is an immersive and visceral cinematic experience capturing one man’s epic adventure of survival and the extraordinary power of the human spirit. In an expedition of the uncharted American wilderness, legendary explorer Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) is brutally attacked by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team. In a quest to survive, Glass endures unimaginable grief as well as the betrayal of his confidant John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy). Guided by sheer will and the love of his family, Glass must navigate a vicious winter in a relentless pursuit to live and find redemption.