Fuck groupies, am I right? Black narcissus aka Nacho Picasso hits out at Rio on “Fuck Rio” (who would have thunk it?), who may or may not be real. And by hit out, I mean spit some of the most quotable diss diss parables we’ve heard in quite some time. These lines wouldn’t sound quite right if they weren’t spit via Nacho’s lethargic, badman flow.
Hallucinating at Narcissus’ pool
I’m lead to believe that Nacho Picasso celebrates black friday differently than the rest of us regular folk. Yesterday, the Moor Gang rep let loose the 9-track Black Narcissus, featuring production from associates Raised Byy Wolves and Eric G. Nacho is at his best non-sequiter game on Black Narcissus, serenading bitches in Compton and Finland and getting blown like old Nintendo cartridges. The more you know. The chemistry between Nacho and the two production outfits isn’t quite as impressive as his work with Blue Sky Black Death, but his hallucinogen-inspured paranoiac raps still sound as good as ever. The tape is presented by Seattle’s own Alive & Well and is available for free download.
I’m going to avoid using the obvious meteorological indicator here, because 1) it’s overused, and 2) it limits imaginative criticism. Seattle maestros Blue Sky Black Death recently took a stab at pimp impresario 100s and Mondre Man’s “Closer” and brought the possibly sleep walking Nacho Picasso along for the ride. The West Coast connection works seamlessly and proves once again that Oakland and Seattle (no Macklemore) are stylistically closer than ever in 2012. Of course the Pacific Northwest will always be a step behind the Yay, but guys and gals like Nacho, Kingdom Crumbs, THEESatisfaction and Key Neyata are closing the gap. Anyways, “Closer” is pretty much what you would expect so lay back and indulge in your favorite strain.
Hello loyal readers. We regret the lack of action over the past week, but two thirds of the team has been at George, WA at Sasquatch. We learned a few things over the weekend; slow and steady wins the race; Jack Black shouldn’t be allowed near children; and most importantly, you should all learn to do the Larry David. In all seriousness, Sasquatch is an incredible festival in one of the most breathtaking natural settings one could imagine. Before we get to our coverage of the festival though, we have to catch up. It was an incredible weekend for bass/beat music so I’ll just get right into it.
Everyone and I mean everyone has eagerly been anticipating the release of the TNGHT (Hudson Mohawke x Lunice) EP on July 23, but before we bestow the duo with the crown, another Lunice side project needs to be fairly recognized. Nouveau Palais, made up of three Montreal-born beatsmiths, Lunice, Ango and Prison Garde, entered our airspace yesterday with the Avant Gang EP. Despite being named after a Montreal comfort food eatery, the trio’s music is far from cozy as it coyly bounces from futuristic takes on garage to hip hop to house. As an added bonus the EP features remixes from Canblaster & Sinjin Hawke, Salva, Monolithium and more. Oh yeah, it’s free courtesy of Red Bull Music Academy. Don’t sleep, pick the EP up right here.
Jonwayne has made quite the name for himself as an outspoken internet critic, sparring with fans on his various social networking profiles. He has also made a name for himself by unexpectedly releasing quality material via those same social networking profiles. The verbal diarrhea can get tiring at times, but then he’ll release something like Jonwayne Fucks Disney. Crafting using only an “SP-404 SX, an iPad used to access Youtube videos, and a Zoom H2 to bounce sounds to”, the 8 track beat tape is a testament to the La Habra producer’s dexterity behind the boards. Straying from his usual palette of 8-bit samples, the tape gets weird with a number of Disney samples from Dumbo, Alice In Wonderland and more. This one is not for the faint of heart. Also, a free download. Get it here.
Everyone and their mommas (us included) have had their panties in a bunch over a new school of MC’s made up of the likes of Danny Brown, the Black Hippy crew and A$AP Rocky. Nacho Picasso is another member of what SPIN called the “New Underground”, but has inexplicably received less praise than his compatriots. Exalted is Nacho’s third album of this year in collaboration with Blue Sky Black Death and it might just be their best output yet. It’s blunt music for the party. A hip hop take on The Weeknd in some sense, investigating the emotional gaps between the party and the after party, the dose and the overdose. Nacho’s lyrical output has improved with every album and Exalted is no different. Production-wise, BSBD has never been better, outgrowing their roots in instrumental hip hop long ago and growing into one of the premier forces in hip hop. This one isn’t free, but I can’t imagine you’ll find a better way to spend five dollars. Cop it here.
Haleek Maul, learn the name Internalize it and wait for his rise. The 15 year old Barbados via Brooklyn MC has been making some waves on the internet recently and “88″, produced by Chicago duo The-Drum, further solidifies himself as one of the most exciting MC’s to come out of the woodwork in a long, long time. My words aren’t a proper testament to this track so just give it a spin.
Only because of lack of time, I’ll speed through these last few. New Daedelus Fact Mag mix. Dark Ages EP on Salva’s Frite Nite. Jacques Greene did a mix for oki-ni. Hopefully this makes up for our lack of activity. Check back in a few hours for the first few installments of our Sasquatch coverage.
We’ve been fairly absent from the blog this week, because of various nature excursions and other computer time limitations. Luckily, we’re back now and ready to continue bringing you the phonk. Amid a hectic SXSW filled week, a large amount of new music was actually released, much of it from the hip hop world. As a result, we bring you this special edition Sounds From The Astral Plane as a summary of the week’s happenings.
Stream: Nas – “The Don” (Prod. Salaam Remi, Da Internz and Heavy D)
Nas never ceases to amaze me with his tenacity on the mix. Dude has been in the game for over 20 years, and while there will never be another Illmatic, Nasir will go down as one of, if not the greatest, rappers of all time. Following last year’s “Nasty,” a sickening tear over minimalist percussion, Nas brings us “The Don,” produced by Salaam Remi with a helping hand from Da Internz and the late Heavy D. I can imagine Nas turning on the radio, hearing “Work Out” for the millionth time, calling up Salaam and hitting the studio. This shit is gully.
Stream/Download: Sene – “Backboards” feat. Blu
Sene is one of those MC’s who everyone has heard of, but no one really thinks twice about. He’s worked extensively with Blu, but none if it has made waves like the latter’s collaborations with Exile, Fashawn and Mainframe. It might be time to give Sene a little respect. “Backboards,” conveniently featuring Blu, is downright beautiful, eliciting comparisons to The Visionaries. Also, Blu on a mastered track? Pretty unheard of over the past couple years. “Backboards” is off of Sene’s upcoming Brooklyknight album, dropping April 24 on Plug Research.
Download: Danny Brown – “Baseline”
There isn’t much to say about Danny Brown that hasn’t been said. Read this Passion of the Weiss post for details. “Baseline” is as minimalist as Brown gets, allowing the MC to get ugly with the rhymes. If glorified drug usage, misogyny, and one of the most unique flows in contemporary hip hop interests you, then download “Baseline” above.
Stream/Download: Tokimonsta – “Fame Boozer’s Lullaby” feat. Rucyl
Squeaky production from Toki and majestic vocals from Rucyl = chilled out bliss. Hopefully this is a sign that the wait for a followup to 2010′s Midnight Menu will soon be over.
Chicago DJ/producer Brenmar has publicly stated that one of his main goals is to get ”people to hook up at the club.” This track will certainly do that. Brenmar ramps up the sex appeal for his take on Texas crooner Kirko Bangz’s “Drank In My Cup,” turning the syruppy original into a dance floor anthem. This is club music at its best.
Stream/Download: Pale – “Worst Job Of Good Luck”
“Worst Job Of Good luck” is off of London label Bullet Train Records’ Bullet Train Allstars compilation. It’s the best track off the comp and features incredibly clean production from Pale mixed with some pitched down vocals. Nice minimalist cut right hurr.
Stream/Download: Dam-Funk – “Serious”
There is never a shortage of new material on Dam Funk’s Soundcloud page. It fells like every week or two, he throws a superb new cut on their as a free download. Dam plays all the instruments on “Serious,” a jazzy track with that trademark Dam Funk sound. It’s no surprise that Dam can meld his sound into a jazz aesthetic, but it is still damn impressive.
Stream: Nocando – “Miyamoto Musashi” (Produced by DNAEBeats)
Low End Theory is in Japan right now. Nocando released a song about legendart samurai Miyamoto Musashi. Sounds about right.
Download: Action Bronson – Blue Chips (Mixtape)
Action Bronson supplies the raps. Party Supplies supplies the beats. It’s fantastic. Oddly enough, the first track, “Pouches of Tuna” uses the same beat as the Sene’s track above. Not sure if Party Supplies made it, or what, but I have to say that the Sene version is better. Beyond that confusion, “Thug Love Story 2012″ sounds like classic Ghostface-ish. That comparison is getting a little old at this point, but it’s just too hard to ignore on tracks like this. Download Blue Chips from DJ Booth above.
Watch: Nacho Picasso and Blue Sky Black Death – “Rammin”
More visuals from Lord of the Fly, this time for the grimy “Rammin.” If you can get over the overdone effects, this is a pretty enjoyable vid. This is what The Weeknd sees when he hits the club. Some real XO shit.
Photo from nachopicasso.com
Nacho Picasso: the degenerate, the fiend, the bad guy is back with another new track. Last week, he released his sophomore album with Blue Sky Black Death on the boards. Now we have a new Nacho track alongside fellow Moor Gang rep Chief. SAT Beats brings the heat on this nice production with the nice Rosay sample.
Photo from facebook
One of the artists we’re most excited about in 2012, Nacho Picasso, dropped his sophomore effort at midnight last night, titled Lord Of The Fly. Like his first full-length, the Nacho collaborated with Blue Sky Black Death, and so far the results are impeccable. Favorite line so far: “In my secret garden waiting for the buds to bloom, drunk as jack sparrow trynna find orlando shrooms.” I’ll have a longer review of the album when I get some time. Check the psychedelic-induced video for the track “Naked Lunch” below and download Lord Of The Fly here.
Photo from facebook
It would be easy to dump Nacho Picasso on the ever-growing heap of nerd rappers with feelings, championed by Donald Glover, but whereas Glover’s music comes off as contrived, Nacho’s is effortless. It would also be easy to define him as an ignorant swag rapper in the vein of Lil B, but Nacho’s music is clever and relies less on gimmicks. The truth is that Nacho’s music is a synthesis of numerous internet rap personas. For The Glory embraces elements of Glover’s nerdy persona (“Marvel”), Lil B’s braggadocio (“100 G’s”), Drake’s introspection (“Bad Guy”), and Odd Future and ASAP MOB’s crew mentality (“Moor Gang”).
Part of what makes Nacho so likeable is how antithetical he is to the scene around him. Seattle is known for overbearing “conscious” hip hop from the likes of Macklemore, Blue Scholars, or The Physics. Artists who don’t fit the conscious persona generally lack the lyrical chops, or don’t get adequate exposure (with the exception of Shabazz Palaces). Nacho excels because he is unlikable. While Macklemore is preaching about the ills of consumerism, Nacho is fucking your girlfriend in your bed, drinking your hennessy, and laughing about it afterwards with his Moor Gang homies. Attributes despised by some, but lauded in the modern hip hop landscape.
For The Glory was released in September and flew relatively under the radar outside of the Northwest, but by the time “Best Of” lists were being released, the album was extolled as one of the year’s best hip hop releases. Nacho’s transformation from relative unknown to blogger favorite can be attributed to two factors. The first came in the form of a November Pitchfork review by Jeff Weiss of Passion Of The Weiss and LA Weekly fame. The second is the incredible production, handled by Blue Sky Black Death and Raised By Wolves.
There is a reason why I have not mentioned the production on For The Glory yet. I cannot say enough about how well Nacho and his producers work together, and how much the production influences the overall success of the album. In an era when every producer attempts to sound like Clams Casino (few even come close), Nacho managed to find several Seattle producers who incorporate Clams trademark ethereal style, but also bring enough punch to satiate his punch line lyricism. As an ode to the excellence of BSBD and RBW, the free download of the album includes instrumentals of every track.
Luckily, Nacho and Blue Sky Black Death are teaming up for another LP, Lord Of The Fly, set to be released on January 13. If Nacho can continue to improve and flesh out his persona, he has the ability to surpass the popularity of any Northwest rapper (including Sir Mix-A-Lot!!!) and achieve unmatched mainstream success.
Download: Nacho Picasso – For The Glory (Bandcamp)
Download: Nacho Picasso – Blunt Raps (Bandcamp)