After a groundbreaking 2013 that saw the release of the critically acclaimed and wildly popular Kilt 2 and Million Dollar Afro (in conjunction with Problem) tapes, Iamsu! is primed to take his place on the Bay Area rap mantle. Spitting in a quiet, slinky flow over YG & Drake’s (DJ Mustard-produced) “Who Do You Love”, Su sounds as confident as ever, bragging about a label contract and exorbitantly priced footwear. He sounds as confident as ever and if a major label album is in the cards, then he might just bring the whole gang to the party.
The teenage American producer remixing Drake story isn’t exactly new these days as widely available production software and Soundcloud have democratized the bedroom production world, but every once in a while, you come across a remix that puts you on your ass (or your feels on blast). Eric Dingus is 18-years-old and resides in Austin, Texas. His remix of Drake’s “Worst Behavior” emphasizes the most poignant lines in the original, throwing them over a stargazing melody and hi hat triplets that trend more Shlohmo than Sonny Digital. The remix is immensely pretty in a hermetic fashion. It’s expansive in its means, but snug and sealed in its ends. No word on a download, but with a number of outlets and the October’s Very Own blog taking notice, I’d expect this remix to put a lot of people onto Mr. Dingus.
There are a lot of producers (from the Northeast and elsewhere) that are making incredible Jersey club right now, but few manage to transcend the sub-genre, twist it around their finger and subject it to their will quite like Newark’s own Nadus. Whether’s he’s trending more towards the aggressive, breakbeat-led end of the club spectrum or whipping out a more subdued, feels imbuing sound, Nadus is straight quality, turning out a steady stream of new music and rarely faltering. His remix of Drake’s “Furthest Thing” certainly falls into the latter camp with a dream-like atmosphere, subdued kicks and drug-haze inducing synth-work. With all these varied remixes, we just have one question: where’s that Pelican Fly EP yung Nadus? We’re all waiting.
Like the remix itself, the accompanying video for D33J’s take on Drake’s “Started From The Bottom” is beautifully obfuscated behind some tropical plants (sounds), a technicolor filter and plenty of melting reverb. It’s like watching the remix forumulate within the recent Anticon-signee’s own mind through some sort of drug-induced creative process. The storyboard of the mind is really something. Stream/watch below and download here.
Photo by Barney Patterson
Back in high school, I was a pretty big Drake fan. I spent many a bus ride home bumping So Far Gone. To me, the mixtape was a better executed 808’s and Heartbreak with an indie sensibility and better beat selection. Some of the softer songs occasionally got on my nerves, but the truth is that it was a damn good and by far my favorite Drake release to this day. “Uptown” banged no matter how trite its Billy Joel sample was. “Houstatlantavegas” was House of Balloons before House of Balloons. Inexplicably though, this was at the height of my hip hop head elitism, my favorite track on the tape though was “Succesful.” I absolutely despised Trey Songz at the time and my 05′-’07 Wayne obsession had long been over, but the track had some unknown appeal to me. Maybe it was the haunting beat? Yeah that was probably it. So Far Gone era Drake was an interesting animal. There were hints of the obnoxiously whisper-in-your-ear open-heart style that he champions today, but most of Drake’s versus centered around youthful braggadocio that would fit in better on a Rick Ross tape than on Take Care. Anyways, I couldn’t explain my love for the tape then and I can’t now.
This roundabout story brings us to the actual point of this post. You probably know that we love the Wedidit Collective. Shlohmo and Jonwayne are basically Astral Plane VIP’s at this point and RL Grime, eLan and Earnest Blount are supremely talented artists. One Wedidit member we’ve somehow ignored to this point is Groundislava. Our ignorance/negligence basically borders on criminality at this point. Well the buck stops here. Groundislava aka Jasper Peterson, you’re our man. We’ll start off with your latest feat, a re-imagining of “Successful” (see how I brought it all together, eh?).
Stripping the original of its dark, steady beat, Peterson adds in a stumbling drum machine, soft synth pads, and a shit ton of reverb. It sounds Trey Songz is singing through a sock in his mouth. I enjoy that image. Drake sounds muffled as well, but his vocals sound more like he’s down and around the corner of a hallway. The remix maintains the original’s pop-sensibility, but only barely. The track excels where the original failed. Instead of focusing on Drake’s sometimes childish verses, Wayne’s infantile verse, or Songz’s obnoxious vocals, the track puts the focus on the arrangement of the vocals and hands the reigns over to Groundislava to do his magic. If you managed to read through this entire overwrought post, then congratulations. Hopefully, you just listened to the track and got the gist of what I was saying in 1/100 of the time. Stream the remix below.