Today, we have the pleasure of premiering one of the standout cuts from Ghetts’ forthcoming Rebel With A Cause album, entitled “Man Like Me.” Lyrically based on his long-gone ruffian days and current state of bossness, J. Clarke’s three-minute rhyme workout also features a verse, hook, and production work from fellow east Londoner, Prince Rapid. And, as you’d expect with most of Rapid’s grime beats, it has the winning Ruff Sqwad formula; heavy on the drum machine, synths, and bass-stabs, the famous “hey!” sample also makes a recurring appearance. (The twenty-second jazzy surprise near the end of the track is pretty fly, too). Listen to “Man Like Me” below, as Ghetts brings his fuck-the-world style and tongue-twisting flow back out to play one more time.
Ghetts’ debut LP, Rebel With A Cause, is out on March 9.
After about a decade-and-a-half playing in Brazilian outfits Los Hermanos and Orquesta Imperial, contributing to Devendra Banhart’s Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon and co-founding Little Joy with The Strokes drummer Fabrizio Moretti, Rodrigo Amarante is releasing something all his own: Cavalo, out May 6 on Easy Sound. The Rio de Janeiro native named it after his newfound alter ego of sorts, a slice of his identity discovered after much solitary contemplation and reflection about his perpetually nomadic history and the resulting lack of feeling grounded in any particular place.
“Hourglass” is our first taste of the prolific artist’s collection, and it’s a jittery folk-pop cut centered on ponderings about time—it’s “never up nor straight/It turns around and bites its tail in the end”—that are bewildering enough to spark a panic attack, but Amarante’s languid vocals calm like sonic Xanax.
The tables have apparently turned; Moretti guests on that track and a few others, and a handful of other collaborators partake throughout the rest of the LP. Throughout, Amarante hops around from French to Portuguese to English—as a wayfarer who’s learned to accept the ephemeral nature of his life and existence in general, it’s a supremely fitting choice. —Words by Jhoni Jackson
This is one well-rounded Artist of the Week poll, featuring artists from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to small town New England! Cast your vote by next Friday at 11am EST and choose from the list below:
They don’t call Jupiter Bokondji the “Rebel General” for nothing. Since his group’s inception in the early ’90s, he and Okwess International have called for a new kind of Congolese music—deviating from mainstays like Congolese rumba and soukous, in part because of their strong ties to the Mobutu era. “Bofenia rock,” as Jupiter calls it, draws upon the DRC’s own pre-colonial cultural riches but dresses them up in urban rock, funk and Afrobeat.
True to their name, the Malportados (or, poorly-behaved kids) are comprised of a rabble-rousing pair of labor organizers, Victoria Ruiz and Joey L DeFrancesco, who also rage in bilingual punk outfit Downtown Boys. Amidst the wave of tropical bass and nu-cumbia acts, they stand out for their high-energy, take-no-shit attitude. Their music like the adrenaline rush you’d get after downing ten cafecitosand reading about some terrible injustice.
Hundreds’ music can best be described as pretty. From singer Eva Milner’s creamy soprano to her sibling/bandmate Philipp Milner’s melodic keys and intricate string arrangements, theirs is a world of pop perfection. In other words: super pretty. Underneath the perfectly polished exterior of the German duo’s work lies a melancholy undercurrent, hinting that life might not be as full of butterflies and rainbows as we’d all like to believe.
Ratking are one of the most talked-about rap acts in New York right now. Ever since core member of the group Patrick “Wiki” Morales released his underground mixtape 1993EP, there have been whispers of the group being the gritty fourth coming of New York rap (first: the birth, second: Biggie/Wu-Tang era, third: Dipset). Wiki’s rough-and-tumble cadences, street legend-spinning, and raised-in-the-gutter swag convince that they are more than just a nostalgia act.
While it’d be easy for London-born Kaleem Taylor to turn his back on his musical roots following the success of Summer 2013 hit “Promesses,” jumping on bandwagons has never been his steeze. The 22-year-old may be fairly new to the game, but he knows the rules. “My main focus will always be R&B music,” he says, earnestly. “I do like experimenting with other genres, but R&B’s in my heart and that’s where it’s gonna stay…”
Congratulations to Miami’s Supermeng, Otto von Schirach for winning our latest Artist of the Week poll! His space jams have captured the hearts of many citizens of Earth, including ours. If you’re new to his extraterrestrial excellence, check out his “Starman” mix below:
Carnival celebrations showcase some of the world’s most lavish warm-weather style. And like any fashionable event, trends are a big part of the tradition. As Trinidad correspondent Aba Luke explained in her primer on Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago, fetters at the annual Army Fete wear “sneakers, shorts, t-shirts or similar garments—making it easy for them to jump up, wave flags and gyrate their bodies to the music till dawn,” while ladies who attend private, all-inclusive events wear “high-heel shoes and the most fashionable looks, their faces enhanced with makeup and their outfits accessorized with beautiful jewelry.”
In 2012 and 2013, the must-have accessory for any outfit was either a decorated bucket or a cooler. That might sound strange to an outsider, but many parties/fetes in TnT and all over the Caribbean diaspora charge an entrance fee, but allow you to tote your own alcohol. The traditional container has long been a ice-filled cooler, but in 2012, soca artist Marvin “Swappi” Davis dropped the hit “Bucket,” which touted the economic advantages of buying a cheaper bucket as an alternative. Also, while coolers are ideal for hard liquors and mixers, buckets are great for cold brews for beer lovers. Bucket vs. Cooler-themed fetes popped upall over that year. In the photo above, Swappi donned Swarovski-crystal decorated buckets looking like a glorious extra from The Hunger Games. Or should we say The Thirst Games?
This year, rocking a hot, curvaceous bod is trending. Grenadian soca artist Mr. Killa has released the song and video for “Rolly Polly,” which is kind of like a soca version of “Flawless” for thick and lovely ladies. In a recent interview, Mr. Killa made the empowering comment, “Everybody thinks that the fat girls don’t have a sexy space in the party; I am telling them differently.” “Rolly Polly” has #IWokeUpLikeThis lyrics like:
God dat make you, so tell dem doh touch yuh size When you dress yup sexy, tell dem doh criticize Tell dem yuh welded, yuh smellin nice Tell dem yuh healthy, das why yuh round and nice
Readers, what other trends have you spotted at Carnival 2014? Let us know in the comments or tweet @mtviggy!
Three years since their last release, Belong, Brooklyn noise-pop outfit (and MTV Iggy Artist to Watch) The Pains of Being Pure at Heart return with their upcoming LP, Days of Abandon. It was almost a year ago that we filmed our exclusive, and explosive music video for “Until The Sun Explodes,” an as yet unreleased song off the new album. Although the LP won’t be released in its entirety until April 22nd, in the meantime you can check out their apocalyptic video below, followed by our interview with the band.
Avant hip-hop crew Acmatic becomes mesmerized by Jamaica’s backdrop during J’ouvert in their latest track. Though the song is steeped in the vibes of the annual event—the beat, the steel pan and descriptive lyrics—one soon realizes that the Jamaican group is talking about a backdrop of a different kind in this soca inspired cut.
Lead vocalist Phillip “King Lopo” Lopez told us how enticing Carnival can be for the band, ”Its always amazing because it feels like a distant takeover of culture on the island in ways that no other style of non-traditional Jamaican music and culture has really permeated our hearts and market.”
Denmark-dwelling Kill J first dipped their toes in the digital music pool last year June with the release of their enchanting, trip-hoppy number, “Phoenix.” Eight months on, and the Danish duo have returned with a track just as bewitching. “Bullet,” which is out on April 7 via London’s Chess Club Records, they say, is “dedicated to the victims of other people’s bullshit convictions; people who act sinful, hateful and ungodly in the name of their God.” And so, with her pixie-like vocals, J spine-chillingly ministers said righteous message, using Kill’s bed of electropop blips and beeps to get us in the spirit. This one deserves a few hallelu’s! Listen: