Oh hi! How are things? I have a bunch of music to share with you, so let's get to it:
93 Feet of Smoke
Oh man, I am VERY excited to talk about this guy! Easily one of my top 5 favorite artists out right now.
This is the first song I ever heard by him and also a good jumping off point to see how much his music has evolved. The beat features a simple guitar loop over percussion that sounds like it's collapsing in on itself, but the real winner is the vocal effects, which sound completely bonkers. It sounds like he is buried in a coffin and yelling from a megaphone while also being waterboarded.
My first impression of this song was "wow, bad mixing and mastering", but something about this one really gets under my skin, especially the bass guitar plucking @ around the 1:30 mark. What gets me is how the song builds from a simple guitar melody to a wall of noise and I LOVE how expressive his voice is, going from melancholy crooning to distorted screams. 93 has a level of musicality that is 10 steps above your average SoundCloud rapper with crushing drug problems.
Wow I just realized there are like 6 more songs by this guy that I want to share, but let me just end it with this one for now. This is from his latest EP and the atmosphere of this beat is INSANE. If feels like you are bearing witness to the world ending in a very dramatic fashion. I also now know how to properly pronounce "Foyer", which is a big plus. All of his songs are about being a miserable piece of shit drug addict, so I really hope he is doing OK IRL.
Lil Narnia is the answer to the question "how emo can emo rap go?" Turns out, very emo!
Oh man this song is an odd one and took me a long time to wrap my head around. The beat sounds like a downed power line; all jagged hi-hats with almost no low end. Listen for the bass in the beat, it's barely there! The guitars are dope, it sounds like a Deftones B-side that early 2000s teens would cry to. The fact that Lil Narnia looks like a craft beer and weed aficionado but has a high pitched emo voice will probably be the thing that sticks with most people and I too was definitely like 😮 when I first saw this. Major props to you if you can understand more than 20% of the lyrics. Embrace the unintelligibility as part of the aesthetic.
The beat feels like an angel is playing a harp with a drum machine in the clouds for you (I am trying to avoid using the word "ethereal" lol). The chorus of this song is great: "thought we were humans/ but I was wrong/ things in pain is all we are" 😢
A COUPLE LOOSIES
I get a strong New Wave/Post-punk vibe from this song and love how the drums don't come in until the 1:58 mark. Am I veering too far away from rap music at this point? As a former big time metalhead it was always a constant point of contention on the internet about what subgenre a particular artist fell under. Like there would be real human beings who liked death metal, but not black metal and vice versa and they would get in long-winded internet arguments about how their favorite bands should be classified. It feels like this is something people are taking less and less seriously these days and the idea of aligning your personal brand with one particular subgenre of music seems preposterous in 2019. Artists freely meld together whatever music they want nowadays and we are better off because of it. I feel kind of sorry for all the Punk Dads out there still stuck listening to the same 3 albums by the Vandals or whatever 😕
Let's finish with your regular reminder that Bladee is still the greatest rapper out of this niche of music. Again, the atmosphere is key; the downtrodden beat matches Bladee's emotionless autotuned voice perfectly. An essential track for all of the Doomers out there.
OK I have many more songs to share with you, but I will save it for next time! Thank you for reading, friends. Have a nice time out there and stay safe 😊
Thomas is a blogger, birder and sad music enthusiast living in Oakland, CA.