Interview: Menace

 

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Photo: Courtesy of Menace

What do you use to produce?

FL Studio.

How long will you work on a production?

It depends. It might take an hour. Sometimes five to six hours.

When’s the last time you visited the US to work?

Last year — LA.

How did you link up with Blac Youngsta and produce track #14 “Forever” on his new album 223?

Through Epic. Zoey is his A&R.

Why did you want to work with Blac Youngsta?

Blac Youngsta is more… he brings a new flow. He’s the Martin Lawrence of this industry. He combines comedy and music.

What do you listen to outside of rap?

Latin artists.

What are you working on lately?

Drake’s new project, it’s coming out very soon. Travis Scott’s new album. Some Kevin Gates music.

How did the game change for you after the success of Panda?

It’s kind of like… I’m in the big house. But all the doors are locked for the rooms in the big house.

What’s your favorite thing about the music industry today?

I like that every ethnic group can get together and talk about the same thing — the music.

More Info:

Menace on Twitter

Daywlk – “Zoo” (prod. The Beat Plug)

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Photo: Joshua Sowemimo

Out of all my observations of Daywlk’s latest offering, “Zoo”, the most endearing quality is the artist’s patience in his delivery. He’s found new flows and it shows. The flow itself doesn’t let itself stagnate in the 3:06 it takes for Daywlk to conceptualize his thoughts, breaking itself up and putting itself back together over and over again. “Zoo” is produced by The Beat Plug and was mixed by Zach Alum.

More Info:

Daywlk on Twitter

Daywlk on Instagram

RobOlu – Excellence EP

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Photo: Nathaniel Johnson IV

RobOlu returns with 4 new songs, fashioned as the Excellence EP. The songs are dark and dynamic. As a result, Rob’s vocals boom like thunder. Be sure to check out his recent video for “Moonwalk”, his most pop-friendly record to date.

More Info:

RobOlu on Twitter

Elijah Watkins Presents “Finesse Worldwide”

Story connoisseur Elijah Watkins brought the city of Atlanta out to his event by the name of “The Year of Finesse”. I, along with many others, was in attendance to witness Elijah’s careful curation of fashion and music, accented by live recordings of interviews with Childish Major, OG Parker, and St. Beauty. It was a memorable event that included a DJ set, ability to browse and purchase from the season’s collection, as well as connect with like-minded individuals on the Westside of Atlanta’s midtown district.

Inspired by the cultural renaissance currently taking place in Atlanta, Finesse Worldwide curates exclusive apparel designed for contemporary tastemakers and innovative minds.

Originally coined to describe refinement or delicacy of workmanship, structure, or texture, “finesse” is a term used colloquially to represent the skillful maneuvering of a situation, circumstance, or obstacle. “Finesse” is a quality that many self-reliant individuals must possess in order to flourish in today’s creative climate; this season’s apparel highlights the dual-meaning behind the word, as well as the nuanced nature of those wearing it.

The simplistic “currency” stylization of the logo t-shirt is synonymous to those with affluent aspirations, while the “construction” hoody is the perfect garment for cultural innovators who frequently find themselves braving the elements as they work to build a brighter tomorrow.

Pieces of the season’s collection was available for purchase in limited quantity exclusively at the ‘The Year of Finesse’ pop-up gallery, on February 2, 2018 from 5:00pm-10:00pm a A Ma Maniére in Atlanta, GA, a location some might recognize as the store where Joe La Puma joined 2 Chainz for an episode of Sneaker Shopping.

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More Info:

Finesse Worldwide homepage

Elijah Watkins homepage

Interview: Frank Ocean

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Photo: Getty Images

In 2011, shortly after Frank dropped NOSTALGIA,ultra on the Odd Future blog, I downloaded it just before going to sleep. I got on the bus to Woodward and watched my life slow down as I hit play, listened to his music for the first time. I found myself completely and utterly enthralled with this artist’s ability to engage listeners with vivid storytelling, painting whole worlds with aural brushstrokes.

Naturally, I was keen on interviewing the artist. I could only listen to Swim Good for so long. I could only romanticize a living human for so long. At the time, my blog The Right Kind Of Brownies was doing very well. The story goes like this: I hit up Kelly Clancy on Twitter for an interview and then Frank himself. Frank had me circle back around to Kelly and 4 Strikes. When that didn’t work, I found myself pressed for time, suffering that syndrome of becoming successful when I’m young that’s so common amongst my now fellow 24 year old peers. So, I slid in Frank’s DMs and asked him for an interview. I can quote his response to the tee.

Good timing. I’m on a plane from ny to la. Send the questions to *EMAIL ADDRESS OMITTED*

Below, I’ve shared the interview from that time in both of our lives. Please enjoy and leave a comment telling us your favorite Frank song.

TRKOB: So many questions, I don’t know where to start. What’s going on with you currently?

Frank Ocean: i’m on a plane back from new york. met with the folks from my label for the first time and the new chairman of umg mr. barry weiss. omw back to los angeles, preparing for the next art show.

TRKOB: How did you come up with the name Frank Ocean?

Frank Ocean: in a dream.

TRKOB: What caused the drift from Island Def Jam to Odd Future? Was your first work with them on BLACKENDWHITE?

Frank Ocean: i dunno if there was a drift. i just met some new friends, that eventually became much like family. first appearance of mine on an OF release was this song steamroller on rolling papers.

TRKOB: What was it like working on a darker record than your solo project?

Frank Ocean: i hope by darker you don’t mean evil or anything. hahaha. but uhh. it was easy. and fun.

TRKOB: For Nostalgia, ULTRA there was seemingly no hype, no promotion leading up to the release. Why is that, was it a conscious decision?

Frank Ocean: nobody likes hype. well, i don’t like hype. yes, it was a conscious decision. couple of my close friends actually thought i was out of my mind. thought i was “throwing it away.”

TRKOB: You worked with Happy Perez for the album. How did you guys link up and work? Will you work with any OF production in the future?

Frank Ocean: i met happy at some studio in LA some time ago. he was working with my friend stacy barthe. i asked him for beats one day. he sent a folder to my email. we never worked in person. as for your second question. i have and i will continue to.

TRKOB: With all the co signs coming in (Diddy, Lupe Fiasco, John Legend, etc) how do you stay grounded? Especially after just being in the studio with Beyonce?

Frank Ocean: i’m not grounded bro. i’m bouncing all around this ****. hahaha.

TRKOB: What can you tell us about that session in the studio?

Frank Ocean: nothing.

TRKOB: What is your creative writing process like?

Frank Ocean: part rubix-cube/ part roller-coaster/ part watching paint dry.

TRKOB: Many are saying you could very well end up being the most commercially successful member of the group. What do you think your purpose in Odd Future is?

Frank Ocean: OF is comprised of gifted and talented american kids. we challenge each other. they challenge me for sure. whenever you’re in a circle that’s talented throughout, it makes less room for complacency. my purpose is to contribute to that productive environment as much as i can.

TRKOB: Who would you like to work with in the industry outside of Odd Future?

Frank Ocean: warren buffet. on my portfolio or some ****.

TRKOB: What can you tell us about SHE on GOBLIN?

Frank Ocean: that the sound is incred & the video will be nuts.

TRKOB: Main inspiration?

Frank Ocean: my unborn children.

TRKOB: If you couldn’t sing, what would you be doing?

Frank Ocean: probably building buildings and ****.

TRKOB: Favorite albums, movies, books?

Frank Ocean: ahh. i don’t play favorites. but i’ve seen that chris robinson movie atl over 50x’s though. and i’m a big harry potter fan. o & my favorite song in the world is prince “when you were mine”. i guess i do play favorites.

TRKOB: Megan Fox or Minka Kelly?

Frank Ocean: megan is that female from transformers right? yea, she got nice eyes.

TRKOB: If someone who had never heard anything by you asked what your music is like, what would your answer be?

Frank Ocean: i’d tell them goto my tumblr. ayo. **** genres.

TRKOB: Why did Pyrite & Acura Integurl not make the album?

Frank Ocean: they were never intended for it.

TRKOB: Where do you see yourself in a year?

Frank Ocean: better at piano. and more peaceful in general. i liked the questions.

Interview by Mustafa Abubaker

Many thanks to Escaped Goat for archiving the interview

Alexis Roberts – “God’s Plan (Cover)”

 

Photo: Emily Wang

Alexis, freed from the trenches of a near focus-tested flow Drake employs in the first verse, changes the groove of “God’s Plan” into something her’s, as per usual. I’m really into the rendition of the song’s sing-a-long bait as well as her inflection, chewing through the song-writing to articulate marbled-mouthed vocals. Her erudite strumming, quite consequently, finds itself best suited for little else. The three – counting the artist’s aesthetic in curls, matching graphic and jacket, nail polish to match her collar – are in the business of originating content that’s largely and literally derivative.

@champagnepapi x gods plan

A post shared by Alexis Roberts (@alexisrobertsxx) on

 

More Info:

Alexis Roberts on Twitter

 

BNT: KYLORAF – “Bad Dreams” (prod. Weird Fears)

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BEST NEW TRACK

KYLORAF links Weird Fears for this impressive debut single. Picking Toronto-based graphic designer Kristjan Evans to bring the cover art to life, KYLORAF is off to a hot start and isn’t afraid to collaborate. Not much else is known about the new artist to date but we look forward to hearing more from him.

More Info:

KYLORAF on Twitter