AudioFrost’s Staff Picks: July 2015

Audio Frost Staff Pick - July 2015


Listening to Vic Mensa progressively change within his music is nothing short of amazing. Going from a band, Kids These Days, to a solo artist now, he’s getting his taste in most genres. But, within hip-hop, he went from laid-back, to borderline pop, to pretty much bangers now. Vic Mensa links up with none other than Skrillex to create “No Chill,” which the track name speaks for itself. Skrillex does his job making a heater of an instrumental, while Vic himself brags over it. “On the phone with Ye, he on the plane/ He say,’What’s up, nigga?’/ I don’t know, not these fuck-niggas/ Oh yeah, we was up, nigga”


It was just the other day while listening to “Hotline Bling” and “Back to Back,” and scrolling through Drake’s ‘octobersveryown’ SoundCloud channel that I came across a track titled “Get You Good” by Roy Wood$, since Drake had reposted/shared the track. Being the huge Weeknd fan that I am, I was immediately captured by the feel of the song. Roy Wood$ has got an unbelievable voice, just not quite as high as The Weeknd’s and he incorporates a little more Michael Jackson-esque aggression into his tone. Between The Weeknd, PartyNextDoor and Tory Lanez, we’ve come to learn that “Toronto sound;” that “cruising my city alone at 2am” sound. It comes as no surprise that Drake has scooped up Roy Wood$ with an OVO co-sign but there’s a question of whether Wood$ will be able to differentiate himself enough from his OVO/XO affiliates. The one thing that I think could put this most recent Toronto product on a different platform is if he’s able to step out from his dark style and into the spotlight with interviews and television appearances, something that The Weeknd and PND have done little to none of. Be sure to check out Roy Wood$ full EP, “Exis” which just released July 31st and includes a feature from Drake himself on the project’s fifth track, “Drama.”


Despite all of the problems that we create for ourselves and others, I believe that humans are actually quite simple creatures. There are only a handful of core themes that dictate how we interact with the world around us: life, love and death. Everything else is colour. These three pillars make up the commonness of human experience. Nayvadius Wilburn, better known by his stage name Future, or perhaps by one of his many aliases (Future Hendrix, Super Future, Fire Marshal, or simply the Astronaut) released an album in July that is the direct result of his personal struggle with the three aforementioned themes. Fueled by his life experience in the ‘trap’, the album is desolate: ruthless, vulgar and unrestrained. The soundscapes of this 57 minute and 24 second record evoke his bitterness and unwilling acceptance of his recently failed love affair. The melodies are filled with sorrow, paying homage to his reckless lifestyle and to those who have lost their lives to it (Long live A$AP Yams). Choosing a track out of the world that Future masterfully wove together (along with his fellow Atlanta producers) on Dirty Sprite 2 is not an easy task. Since I have to choose: ‘Kno the Meaning’ is a standout song on the CD. Future recounts his upbringing, explaining how he cannot escape his past. He emphasizes how his uncles have formed his outlook on the world, for better or worse. Half harmonizing and crooning and half rapping, Future proclaims matter of factly that “the best thing [he] ever did was fall out of love”. The Atlanta rapper pauses between verses to explain the backstory of his 2015 mixtapes 56 Nights and Beast Mode, adding to the lore of his incredible run in 2015. All of this is rapped and sung over somber piano keys and hard hitting drums – production which embodies the blunt and twisted reality that has been created under the influence of crisp ice and dirty sprite inside of tall white double cups. There is something cinematic about the record – a fitting outro for not only the album, but for the MC’s career up to this point.


Before July, I’d never even heard a Tory Lanez song. I’d seen his name here and there but never took the time out to listen to him. It wasn’t until I heard his song, “Say It,” that I not only gave him a shot but also became a fan. Lanez released the song in two parts, with each release being a week apart from each other. While listening to both the song and Lanez for the first time, I didn’t even get through the first minute and a half snippet before I not only wanted to hear the rest of the song but also more from the singer’s catalogue. Sampling The Brownstone‘s 1994 hit, “If You Love Me,” Lanez puts a refreshing spin on the original by turning it into a feel-good, R&B slow jam about fully committing to a relationship. It wasn’t necessarily the lyrical content that caught me, which is surprising for me since I usually, for better or worse, pay attention to that the most. It was Lanez’s ability to revamp the 1994 single for a 2015 audience without compromising the original’s powerful vocals or quality. Oh, he also has a pretty dope voice too.

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