Tag Archives: Black Milk

This Week’s Essential Releases: Psych-Pop, Indie-Pop, and Hip-Hop

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Welcome to Seven Essential Releases, our weekly roundup of the best music on Bandcamp. Each week, we’ll recommend six new albums, plus pick an older LP from the stacks that you may have missed.

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Vibesounds Wants To Be Detroit’s Next Great Hip-Hop Producer

Vibesounds

Detroit is the historical and present home to some of hip-hop’s greatest producers: J Dilla, WaajeedKarriem Riggins, Black Milk, 14KT, and Apollo Brown. While he’s just starting to come into his own as a producer, Vibesounds is looking to make his own mark in the city’s scene.

Born Yohancé Carter, Vibesounds has been writing music for quite some time, methodically working on his craft. Practice is a driving force behind his debut instrumental album, H.E.R., which reflects on the past few years of Carter’s life after a failed relationship and subsequent alcohol abuse. But like the work of the aforementioned Detroit luminaries, H.E.R. is full of methodical beats that’ll keep your head moving, complete with sharp snare hits and deep kick drums. We spoke to Vibesounds about his path to H.E.R., his process, love, and recognition.

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The Best New Hip-Hop on Bandcamp

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This month’s crucial hip-hop picks include indie rap veterans who are embracing their years in the game, video game fiends paying tribute to the late, great Frank White, and a rapper who at one time had the whole Internet convinced he was actually an alias of Nas. In a break from the normal U.S.-based selection, we also take a detour to Auckland, New Zealand where a whole bunch of rap cats are mustering up their own brand of creative hip-hop.
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The Merch Table: January 2017

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Illustration by Paul Grelet.

Every month, The Merch Table brings you the best and most bonkers merchandise you can find on Bandcamp. We commend bands and labels that get a little creative and think outside the tote bag. Whether it’s a fashion accessory, a piece of art, or something entirely unique, The Merch Table showcases inventive, original—and, occasionally, downright strange—stuff that you might want to get your hands on. But, sorry: the Atari 2600 is sold out.

1. Optigram’s “After Us” Magazine via Hyperdub

After Us Magazine

Kode9’s London-based label Hyperdub has been quietly releasing some of the most intelligent electronic music of the last few years. Apparently, there’s also a lot of philosophizing going on at the label, since they’ve recently launched a magazine by their design partner Optigram whose mission statement reads: “Through essays, pictorials and fiction, After Us aims to look beyond the horizon, exploring developments in science and technology, new forms and expressions in art, and alternative political thinking.” Issue 3 is expected in the spring of 2017.

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Mic Write on Police Brutality, Gentrification, and Misconceptions of Detroit

Mic Write

In December 2014, following the deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and countless other unarmed black men at the hands of police, Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson called for a new wave of protest music. “I think [the lack of protest music] is just due to fear of being blackballed and not making a living,” The Roots’ bandleader said at the time. Over the last two years, a host of indie and mainstream artists heeded the call; Detroit rapper Mic Write stepped up to the plate long ago. As a soloist and member of the rap group Cold Men Young, he’s won poetry slam awards and literary fellowships for his rhymes, which capture the humanity of Detroit, one of the country’s most misunderstood—and rapidly changing—cities.

His latest album, O.N.U.S. Chain, is his best work yet, a stirring EP that tackles police brutality, racial injustice, and the transformation of his hometown. Sad, desperate, joyful and proud, the record and its accompanying short film cycle through a wide range of emotions, from elation to frustration to anger. We talked with him about public misconceptions about Detroit, how his students taught him a lesson about police brutality, and how a teacher falsely accused him of committing a writer’s worst offense.

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