Hello friends! How are things with you? Hey so I would like to talk to you about rap music that I like now. I used to exclusively like Bay Area Gangster rap, but those days have passed. All of the rap I listen to now is kind of in the same subgenre of some type of emo rap/cloud rap. Idk. I don't think there is a great term for what is going on here. Lil Peep is probably the central figure to this scene, but a lot of this precedes him and doesn't have much to do with him. There is definitely a distinctive scene for this music that has emerged in recent years and it has REALLY connected with me lately. Ok no more genre analysis, I just want to talk about songs that I like a lot that I know Jesse will feel indifferent towards lol.
Ok let's start with the biggest name first. Very sad that he has died and it's been crazy to see how much his music has grown in popularity since his death this past November. I remember one of the top comments for one of his songs being something like 'thumbs up if you were one of the TRUE fans and knew his music before he died' one month after he died! So yeah his popularity has significantly increased in 2018. I do believe he could have been a legit popular artist if he hadn't died because A.) girls thought he was cute B.) he made really good melodies/hooks and had a good ear for beats. The truly crazy thing was how much music he released before dying at 21. I have been continuously discovering more songs of his that are genuinely great.
Ok first of all, the producer MysticPhonk's tag at the beginning of songs always scares the shit out of me. This is some unreleased verse that surfaced after his death, so I guess it is not meant to be a standalone song? Idk, it really works for me. It also serves as further proof that Lil Peep was really reaching the end in terms of his drug use. Very dark vibes: "Crack a smile while I cut myself" 😬😬😬
This is my favorite Lil Peep song and probably one of my favorite songs in the last year or two. I've gotten very emotional listening to this song several times, because I am soft as fuck on the inside. I love when Wicca Phase just howls at 2:00 before Lil Peep comes in and Lil Peep's melody towards the end, starting with "Lay me down, it's not that easy" gets me every time.
Who is this Wicca dude at the beginning of the song, you ask? Ok let's talk about him next:
Wicca Phase Springs Eternal
Ok so that name is a lot to take in, I understand. Wicca Phase used to be in a really popular band called Tiger's Jaw (this is song is a str8 classic) and then left the band to become a rapper. I remember people thinking he lost his mind when they first heard his rap music, which was totally justified, because it was fucking weird. Look see here is one of his earlier songs:
People thought he was fucking joking and the first time I heard this song my brain instinctively told me "BAD." But guess what? I really like this song now! If you listen to it without the visuals you can start to understand how it is just a continuation of his emo/indie music. Ok anyways, I REALLY want to talk about this:
This song is from a duo EP Wicca Phase did with a guy named Døves and boy is it something. Probably one of the messiest and emotionally draining albums I've heard in a while. For example, Døves sounds like he is on his death bed on the second verse here and most songs sound like what you would hear in your head moments before a heroin overdose. I highly recommend checking it out.
This is another Døves-produced track, I think his dense beats fit Wicca's style really well. At 3:10 when the synth wave and drums come back in it feels like I am being swept away with a wave of emotions. This is totally a weird song though, the chorus is a voice chopped and screwed beyond recognition over melodramatic anime dialogue. I just reread the previous sentence and my head is still spinning. Anyways, Wicca Phase is dope. His voice is not for everyone and his lyrics are mostly just abstract expressions of unrequited love, but he's got a really unique style that clicks with me.
Oh man Horse Head is a very mixed bag, but let's just focus on these two quality songs:
I strongly recommend not watching this music video, because it is just grainy footage of Horse Head walking around his apartment complex looking sad and something about it acutely bums me out :(((((((
Oh but I REALLY like the acoustic guitar melody, it sounds very crisp and clean. I wonder if it is a sample or original? Either way it is very dope. Oh and the hook for this song is so catchy! This song feels way ahead of its time, being released over 3 years ago now.
IMO music historians will look back at this song and write 5,000 word essays about its importance. This song came out in 2014 and really feels like the template for so much of the alternative rap that has emerged and caught fire in the last year or two.
The formula for this beat is something that I hear a lot of within this music scene: a simple melancholy guitar loop over a drum beat, plus a song length under 2:30. Seems super simple, but this formula works very well. Props to the producer Nedarb's dance moves in the background that do not fit the vibe of the song at all lol.
Ok dang this is long already. Let's stop now. Part 2 coming soon. Thank you for reading this, I love you all.