The last time I heard Willow Smith’s name was in 2010 when “Whip my Hair” was at an all-time high. Any chance I got in 6th grade, I would attempt to “whip” my monochromatic, barely past shoulder-length hair in an attempt to mimic her iconic music video. She was the epitome of “cool,” embracing something unique to her. 2010 turned to 2011, and so on, and Smith’s funky, fresh beat turned into nothing but part of a Zumba workout playlist. Last year I started to wondered what ever happened to Willow, as do most millennials with childhood stars. I only just found an answer to this this past October.

Willow Smith in “Whip My Hair” music video 


            On Halloween of this year, Willow Smith dropped her album “The 1st.” It felt like it came out of nowhere with no advertising or before-hand hype. I only discovered it by the recommendation of a friend. Upon adding it to my music library, I was apprehensive. I knew I had grown out of the intense beats and pop-like music that Willow once made. Was it going to be a repeat of 2010 or had she also matured? I did my initial listen as I wasted away in the library, attempting to work on a physics problem set. Within seconds, I was in love.

The album cover of “The 1st” 


            On a whole, “The 1st” combines classic alternative beats, with subtle R&B undertones and acoustic vibes. Some songs even contain violin and piano. I listen to this album when I’m cleaning, when I’m walking to class or even in a “mood.” Her lyrics really analyze the workings of young love, relationships and growing up. Her voice is simply amazing and has a very raw feel to it. One of my favorite songs from the album is “Lonely Road.” The lyrics speak about messing up in life and feeling isolated through those mistakes. I enjoy listening to it when I’m in my “feels.” If Beyoncé and Florence and the Machine had a child, it would be this song. Another valid track is “Warm Honey.” This one has a strong resemblance of the sassiness that a young Willow once portrayed in “Whip my Hair.” The song’s lyrics talk about existence when in love.

Willow Smith at a redcarpet event

            Overall, this album will be a long time favorite of mine. Although I’ll throw down to “Whip my Hair” any day of the week, I am much happier sipping coffee and listening to “The 1st.” I admire Willow’s ability to mature and grow as an artist. I think her transformation can remind us all that we have the ability to change our style and that self-identity is ever evolving. I see big things her future and can’t wait to see what she will accomplish.


Written by Zoey Miller 

10 Rap Songs You Should Hear

10 Rap Songs You Should Hear:

Usually there’s too much music being released that I have a hard time keeping up on everything. Also being born in the generation that we were born in, so much good hip hop is in the past and needs to be brought back to light for those who also may have missed it. Below are 10 songs that I think everybody should hear, in no certain order! Leave a comment and let me know what you think or let me know if you like any of them!




Song: Rain

Artist: Vince Staples, Mac Miller

Quote: “We was raised on that fork in the road, no food on our plate, just meals that we stole.”

This trippy 90’s style beat produced by none other than legend 9th Wonder is the perfect pair for two lyrical beasts like these guys. Instantly you get trapped in their flow and they transition flawlessly between each other. The two have so much meaning in every line that you can’t just listen once. Listen to their joint projects on DatPiff like “Winter in Prague” and “Stolen Youth LP”.



Song: Divine

Artist: Kyle Bent, Mick Jenkins

Quote: “Let ‘em spray, man it’s time to eat. I’m a Jew about my dollar, I’m a Nazi bout the beef.”

The reverb track immediately puts you in a trance where you never want the feeling to stop. Once you’re settled, Kyle Bent’s message comes through and is laced with hidden meanings and crazy rhyme schemes. Almost flawlessly does he fade out of the chorus into Mick Jenkins. The change in rapper from verse to verse becomes almost eerie as the two layer their voices over the chorus and Bent’s voice fades out as they go into Mick Jenkin’s verse. Both sound very similar and have similar message-like verses where the song is almost more than rap. A masterpiece, easy enough to say. Go listen.



Song: Gottaknow

Artist: Royce Da 5’9″

Quote: “If I should get my own guilty verdict, may the next man learn from it then flourish. You could put it on the news, you could put my face on the front of a shirt, then the latest video, then blur it.”

Another long time lyricist is the Eminem collaborator and rap super group Slaughterhouse member Royce Da 5’9”. His numerous albums and refusal to adapt to the style of “new wave” rappers has gained him incredible respect over his career. “Gottaknow” off his latest album Layers is a testament to his raw lyrics and the power of his music. The song shows Royce’s poise as one of the best in the game as he spits realness over a hard beat. Get familiar with his discography.



Song: Alive

Artist: Norman Perry

Quote: “As a man I keep it moving, taking risks, getting to it, bein’ broke don’t amuse me.”

Norman Perry was a huge emerging artist for 2016 and has to date only released singles, so we might be expecting something big from him in 2017. As a Rap/RnB artist, he can rhyme whilst also being smooth over the distorted siren-sounding beat. Easy pick – short, catchy song that you can always vibe to. Give it a listen.


Song: Careless

Artist: Freddie Gibbs

Quote: “Freddie Kane, young Corleone. Hoppin’ out the van with the bows of the strong.”

Freddie Gibbs has long since been an OG in the rap scene and the addition of his album Shadow of a Doubt in 2015 confirms it. The song Careless off of it has a slow piano beat with a hard drum track that goes nicely with Freddie’s hard sound. The man does not let up on any track and his speed and rhymes will make you rewind it. Listen to his newest album out last month and others now.


Song: Zipporah (Gravez remix)

Artist: GoldLink

Quote: “What’s a n***a in America? Why the f**k is we here? Why you tell me go back where I’m from when you dragged me here?”

If you don’t know the names of rapper GoldLink or producer Rick Rubin, you have a bit of Googling to do. On GoldLink’s album heavily produced by industry legend Rick Rubin, the two pair up perfectly for the funk that one would expect after GoldLink’s freshman album The God Complex. After releasing his sophomore album, GoldLink released a remix album from mostly electronic producers, some with big names such as CRNKN, Falcons, Mr. Carmack and of course, Gravez. Gravez’ crazy xylophone beat paired with GoldLink’s vocals is a perfect addition to his collection.


Song: All Day

Artist: Jerreau

Quote: “I beat the trap like ya best point guard, I gout up out of the hodd but I didn’t go far.”

Partnered with on the most talented producers in the industry, Mr. Carmack, the new rapper Jerreau emerged with a single and a full album in 2016. The A+ production California breezy drive vibe with a funky distorted bass line is bound to get your head to nod. Jerreau is the young gun you’ve been searching for – give all day and his album “Never How You Plan” a listen.


Song: Webbie Flow (U Like)

Artist: Isaiah Rashad

Quote: “Scribble down, I’m rapping like Kool. Inspire all my local jokers who be quitting that school.”

Zay gets in his head about what he really wants to do when he’s feeling himself and there’s no better way to do it then spitting on this chill, drunk style beat that represents perfectly Isaiah’s style. None other than Mr. Carmack making the list again with his amazing production, go listen to the entire Cilvia Demo if you haven’t already. Webbie Flow isn’t necessarily the first stand out track, but everything that’s behind it makes it too easy to vibe to.


Song: Liberation

Artist: SiR, Anderson. Paak

Quote: “I’m a extraterrestrial, born in a telescope. Dressed like an Eskimo, on point like a decimal.”

The newest Top Dawg Entertainment signee SiR has only released one studio album, but already has support from one of RnB’s hottest hits right now: Anderson. Paak. SiR’s style is similar with a smooth voice and the silky beats that you’ll want to bottle up inside your headphones. “Liberation” is no different consisting of a funky guitar groove, nice bass, and a hard to match verse by Mr. Paak. This song is upbeat, as clean as they come and a definite must listen.


Song: Bout a Dolla

Artist: The O’My’s, Chuck Inglish, Chance the Rapper, Twista, Blended Babies

Quote: “Let me flash the bang, wait and see if they buck, Let me see if they miss, if they hit me it’s luck.”

So much talent on one track. Chance’s guest verse is a nice surprise and is paired perfectly with a twangy guitar melody that gives the song a similar feel to Chance’s song “Family” which has a Blended Babies remix. Twista’s speed, Chance’s rhymes and The O’My’s on the hook is all you need to fall in love with this song.


-Written by Myles Parker (’19)

Look out for my show Double Decker on the WDCV schedule directly across from the DDen by the mailboxes for next semester!

New Artist Spotlight: The Polychromatics

This week, the WDCV music directors added a few featured artists, and we’ve decided to shine a light on one of the newest bands.

The Polychromatics are an indie rock band based in Philadelphia, and their EP is a perfect depiction of the versatility of their talents. They’re refreshingly open to experimenting with their sound. John McKenna, the guitarist of the band and featured vocalist on two songs off the EP, describes each song on the EP as an island, but I disagree. While the songs sound sonically different – in four songs they manage to play everything from folk, to garage jam band, to psychedelic – the lyrics convey a claustrophobia and existential anxiety that feels genuine and relatable to anyone in transition.  

According to the guitarist, the band’s influences go hand in hand with their favorite music, such as Pink Floyd, Ty Segall, King Crimson, Gandalf, and The Doors (some of my favorites as well). McKenna specifically said that the song that is most prominent from his youth is The End by the Doors, which led him to pursue music. He says, “When I first heard Robby Krieger’s skill on that song, I made the decision to become a guitarist.” (He also recommends we listen to the psychedelic band Wand.)

If you’re interested in listening to them, they’ll be circulating through our automation, and they’re also on Soundcloud. When I asked how they felt about how the internet affects the music business, a controversial issue, they said, “It’s giving our band the ability to reach an audience quickly [which] we might not have had the chance to do if we took the old school method…I can’t help but see the benefits of instantaneous communication on a free platform for unknown bands like ourselves.” 

If you have any questions for the band about their work, or event opportunities, you can contact them at their email,, on twitter or on facebook.

If you have questions for the author of this article, please email or post on her facebook page

Rap Songs of the Month

Rap songs of the month:

With new albums in the past month from A Tribe Called Quest, Childish Gambino, Smoke Dza, Post Malone, J. Cole, Meek Mill, Ab-Soul, and Anderson.Paak (NxWorries), there is a whole lot of good music floating around that you can find easily through iTunes, Soundcloud, or Spotify. The songs below aren’t necessarily all from the last month, but all the new music made it easy to pick favorites. Below are my top 10 picks for songs that I’ve been jamming to for the past month or so.



Song: Suede

Artist: NxWorries

Album: Yes Lawd!

Off of NxWorries first full LP, singer Anderson.Paak and producer Knxwledge come together to put out a funky 19 song album including this jazzy gem. Coupled with a live studio session video, Suede has a simple but perfect beat for Paak to go off on talking about all the girls that are after him since his success from his second album, Malibu. Paak never really has a problem getting funky and this song definitely brings it along with the heat of his funny and slick-like-suede lyrics.



Song: Monday

Artist: EARTHGANG feat. Mac Miller

Album: Torba

Another banging piano-derived beat comes through to give us such a chill cruising song for those driving far away for break. EARTHGANG brings conscious rap to another level rapping about revolutions of the Earth, world hunger, and getting kicked out of Canada. Matched with a good feature from the new side of Mac Miller, we hear about his come up into the game. The song will have you nodding your head by the end, believe it.



Song: Deja vu

Artist: J. Cole

Album: 4 Your Eyez Only

Despite the controversy about whether or not this was originally Cole’s beat or Bryson Tiller’s on his song Exchange, the beat is that rainy day fire that we’ve all wanted, despite having already heard it. Cole raps about a girl who seems to have her head on wrong and talks about wanting her to give guys with real dreams a chance. Cole’s lyricism is on point and gets very into his feelings. Might not be the song you want to play at a party, but definitely get some good headphones and let it bang.



Song: Redbone

Artist: Childish Gambino

Album: “Awaken, My Love!”

Gambino’s new album was expected to be funky every single we heard what the first single sounded like and this song is no exception. Regardless of what you expected, Childish Gambino uses incredible vocals over funky guitar and bass lines to create such a catchy vibe. In the song he reminds this girl to “stay woke” for all of the guys who are creeping around. Gambino never ceases to impress and has unleashed a whole new side of his incredible talent on Redbone.



Song: 100

Artist: The Game feat. Drake

Album: The Documentary 2

One of the only songs that I’ve heard recently where the artist hasn’t used Drake during the intro to get people hyped, The Game puts in work lyrically before putting Drake on the catchy chorus. The two keep it 100 throughout this banger talking about all of the fakes in LA and how their lives would be different if they weren’t famous. Take a listen or two because either way this will be on repeat in your house or party.



Song: Dis Generation

Artist: A Tribe Called Quest

Album: We got it from Here…Thank You 4 Your service

With their first album since I was two years old, ATCQ comes hard filling in each other’s rhymes, keeping the vibe light and not letting up over an addicting guitar riff of a beat. The crew uses lyrics from the deceased member Phife Dawg (R.I.P.) and talks about the new generation of hip-hop. Not unlike any other song on the album, the song brings complex lyrics over chill beats for an overall must hear.



Song: 4r Da Squaw

Artist: Isaiah Rashad

Album: The Sun’s Tirade

On the first full song on the album, the young T.D.E. star goes off on a funky, sleepy beat full of chimes and synth claps. Talking about his new rise to fame, Rashad talks about how he goes with the flow with just a dollar and a tour stop on his mind. The swagger in his flow and his lyricism both shine, leading to a great opening for a pretty great album.



Song: 1000 Xans (ft. theMIND)

Artist: Mick Jenkins

Album: The Healing Component

Right off the bat this heavy glitch/screech beat takes you in as you feel drowned by vibe. “I mean a buzz can last a light-year” is the kind of vibe Mick is on with his album The Healing Component (THC) and goes from the mention of anxiety to social commentary about Reagan and his interference in the market for crack cocaine. Super deep and super soulful, Mick’s entire album will hit you hard and make you take a second listen.



Song: Nights

Artist: Frank Ocean

Album: blond

Again, the slow paced sleepy beat actually goes in and brought together with a twangy distorted guitar, Frank Ocean has the perfect base for his sing-song voice. Although not rap, Frank Ocean goes from RnB to some spoken word and really brings out good vibes in both totally different section of his one track. “Every night f****s every day up, every day patches the night up” sings Frank Ocean on his stand out track for his 2016 album. Even without the Grammy nomination, Frank Ocean has one of the tracks of the year on his hands.



Song: Wanna Know Remix (ft. Drake)

Artist: Dave

Album: (single)

To be released on Drake’s album ‘More Life’ in early 2017, Wanna Know is pretty much his song about his new success and those who didn’t predict it like he did. Paired with the chorus from English rapper Dave, Drake has this international vibe he’s been trying to get with for a while now. The beat, made by one of Dave’s producer’s, completely stands out to the point where you would have thought a famous, rich rapper like Drake would come up with something similar. A great single already that is supposed to be on the album, Wanna Know should be on your playlist until the album comes out.



Motorama Puts Us In A Lo-Fi Future Fantasy

Hailing from the motherland of Rustov-on-Don, Russia, the five member group Motorama delivers a more polished product with their latest installment, Dialogues. When you listen to this it doesn’t immediately scream “a bunch of Eastern Europeans making indie-post-punk” that’s probably because they choose to sing in English. Their Discography extends back to 2008 with their first release Horse, and their sounds has really matured since then. Where their earlier sound was more reminiscent of post punk groups like Joy Division, this current iteration features a much welcome introduction of synth heavy tracks infusing the album with a pervasive indie-pop vibe


The first track “Hard Times” is one such of these electro lo-fi tracks. The intro features not only synthesized drums but also a smooth synthy texture that paints a sublayer that hangs below the melody and bassline. The hihat from the drums comes in to drive the sound forward making this track incredibly danceable. The upper line features the smooth synth sound again as the departure from their earlier works becomes more evident. “Loneliness” is another one of those songs that depart from their original sound as they trade out a drum set for 808s around the board. The electronic drums mixed with the organic-ness of the guitar riffs create a neat mash up of sounds that layer very nicely with the droning atmospheric vocals. The culminating track “By Your Side” sounds like it’s straight from a lo-fi future fantasy. The affected guitars, dry drums and funky bass line are aided by electronic textures that plink and float unperturbed by their analog counterparts.


Credit: Glide Magazine

Motorama has certainly evolved with the addition of this album into their discography. It really seems as if they have found a new voice that’s significantly less post-punk inspired and seeks to channel more progressive indie-pop dance fusion vibes. Be it smattering of friends bopping along at a house party or a lithe gathering of artsy kids lounging outside Dialogues would provide a soundtrack sure to please. They are currently one of our featured artists so be sure to tune in to WDCV to hear more of them.


Grouplove’s New Big Mess Album


Big Mess


September 9th, 2016


Grouplove’s third studio album, Big Mess, brings this exciting band back to the front stage of indie rock. It is unlike any of their albums in the past because Big Mess is much more eclectic in sound. It plays more into the realm of pop than it does to the realm of alternative music, a change that was happily accepted by the band’s huge fan base. The songs are much more excited and upbeat, expanding upon the group’s extraordinary colorfulness. This album is inspired partly by two new additions to the Grouplove family: a new bassist, and the two lead singers’ newborn daughter. Their music has developed to reflect this new monumental change in their lives. Songs like “Goodmorning” and “Standing in the Sun” highlight their upbeat rhythms and catchy, repetitive lyrics, which in a way differs from their traditional individualism represented in their earlier songs. While tracks like “Traumatized” stay true to their initial sound, this new album marks a new direction for Grouplove. Although this album has redefined their sound, their old and new music alike still has a place in all of our hearts.

Album Review-The 1975’s “I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it”


I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it
The 1975
released February 26, 2016

The reintroduces the England-based group’s eclectic sound, which ranges from gospel to late 80s synth-pop. Their self titled first track is a re-imagination of a song off their previous album. Rather than the angst they expressed in their first album, the band now introduces a more clear yet complex sound through this revitalized first track. The following songs, “Love Me” and “UGH!”, are fast tempo and upbeat, setting the stage for that late 80s early 90s synth-pop sound. Elaborate guitar riffs mixed with unique synth rhythms induce a care-free, wholesome feeling. Add in Matty Healy’s enthusiastic, sometimes sarcastic, vocals and the album appears to be a windows-rolled-down-roadtrip compilation. But as the the album progresses, the band introduces more unique pieces like “If I Believe You” which, with its added vocals, induces an evangelical gospel feeling. “Please Be Naked”, a non-lyrical piece that combines a simple piano melody and intense synth, acts as a transition piece to the group’s more emotional music. As the music becomes more intense, so do the lyrics. The 1975 deepen their characters with lines that question love, death, and the uncertainties of life. The song “Somebody Else” represents a deep emotional release, still reliant on simple piano chords and complex synth beats, creating a distinct and new sound that The 1975 beautifully utilizes. The album ends with “She Lays Down”, a track that is very intimate for the listener because it is solely Matty Healy, his guitar, and you. This song contemplates suicide but ultimately resolves with the wonder of life, reflecting the beauty of the melody and harmonizing guitar, ending the album on a dark but hopeful note, leaving the listener in a harmonic melancholy as the last notes ring.

David Bowie Retrospective/Blackstar Album Review

I think it would be self-indulgent to spend more than a paragraph or two writing about what David Bowie meant to me. I was just at a bar the other night talking about how he’s my all-time favorite artist, and how I was disappointed that I’d probably never get to see him perform live, although I always held out hope that he’d return to headline a big festival like Coachella. Bowie was the first queer icon I latched onto, before I even really knew what queer was, and definitely before I felt comfortable with my own relationship to the term. There was something, at once both sexy and a little scary, about the worlds his music inhabited. I was the kind of kid who got lost in those worlds, the polished landscape covered in grime covered in a second layer of polish, to the point where I wrote a musical (in the vein of Jersey Boys or Mamma Mia!) about them when I was about 14. My short-lived junior high band (consisting of me on guitar and my friend on vocals) debuted by playing a cover of “Space Oddity”.

I don’t think I’m alone in having these kinds of stories, because I think you could ask all manner of artists, musicians, and general creative-types about David Bowie and get similar memories shared. He had that kind of broad influence, as a musician and actor, as a fashion icon and a queer one, as an artist who never felt dated or aged, even as he approached 70 years old. When he performed with Arcade Fire in 2005, he stood alongside the band not as a desperate hanger-on clinging to relevance, but as a kind, paternal figure using his own status to help lift others up. Even in his musical prime, the breakneck pace with which he shifted genres never felt disingenuous. Whether he was tackling soul music, German-inspired avant-garde, glam, folk, new wave, or pop, Bowie came across as someone with such limitless passion for so many things that it was a struggle to pick just one.

It’s also easy to forget how prolific he was. From the release of his self-titled album in 1969 (not to be confused with his debut album, also self-titled, in 1967) to Scary Monsters in 1980, Bowie released 12 studio albums of original material, as well as an album of covers. Moreover, there’s not a bad album in that stretch. Lodger might compare unfavorably to Low and “Heroes”, as Diamond Dogs might to Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane, but effectively all of Bowie’s material during that period is great. He also released a handful of non-album singles, wrote songs for other artists, and performed on and produced albums by the likes of Iggy Pop and Lou Reed during the same period.

Furthermore, he was no passive frontman, contributing heavily to the writing and arranging of his music and playing over a dozen instruments including most notably guitar, piano, harmonica, and saxophone. Even his covers feel uniquely his, whether he was covering old 50’s and 60’s standards, or his rock contemporaries. Compare the Johnny Mathis original cut of “Wild is the Wind” (itself, a great track), with Bowie’s sprawling, 6-minute epic, or compare Bruce Springsteen’s “It’s Hard to Be a Saint in the City”, a working class anthem (like all great Springsteen songs), with Bowie’s glitzy, campy, danceable version. He even had the bold audacity to cover “Across the Universe” only five years after the breakup of the Beatles, and with John Lennon himself in the studio.

Bowie’s passing has shifted the nature of this article from a review of his newest album, Blackstar, to sort of a retrospective, but it should be noted that once he found his stride again in the mid 90’s, Bowie never slowed down. Blackstar is just the final chapter in the modern Bowie canon, and it’s every bit as exceptional as Reality or Heathen before it. Conventional wisdom holds that Bowie’s greatest strength has always been his ability to reinvent himself, but I think to boil his quality down to that is disingenuous. Yes, there are great differences between glam Bowie and soul Bowie, between folk Bowie and late 90’s drum-n-bass Bowie, but there are similarities as well. There are subtle homages to older work, but never to the point where one gets the sense that Bowie’s moved backwards.

There are brief, fleeting instants during the title track, “Blackstar”, where the instrumentation sounds like it could be from Earthling. The harmonica that echoes in the background of “I Can’t Give Everything Away” is extremely reminiscent of “A New Career In A New Town” off of Low. The 12-string guitar on “Dollar Days” recalls a lot of tracks Bowie put out in the early 70’s. Yet, Blackstar never rests on these brief moments of homage. The moments of comfortable familiarity are just the opening act for what Blackstar has to offer. Jazz dances throughout Blackstar, paired with Bowie’s avant-garde leanings and rock sensibilities into a dense, artsy declaration of purpose.

It’s haunting, too. Bowie hid his illness well, but after passing away only two days after Blackstar’s release, it’s hard not to feel like he was just holding on until the album came out. Knowing this, lyrics like the opener from “Lazarus”, which goes, “Look up here, I’m in heaven / I’ve got scars that can’t be seen / I’ve got drama, can’t be stolen / Everybody knows me now” or the first lines of “I Can’t Give Everything Away”, “I know something’s very wrong / The pulse returns for prodigal sons / The blackout’s heart with flowering news / With skull designs upon my shoes” take on a new meaning. Whether intentional or not, Blackstar seems supernaturally imbued with a sense of finality, as if it were silly to ever think there could be anything else after it.

There won’t be anything after it. Depending on Bowie’s last wishes and back catalogue, there might be some loose tracks that might come out, or perhaps archival footage or demos, obscure b-sides that were only released in Japan and then fell to obscurity, but in terms of a complete, fully-realized work, Blackstar is the endpoint. If there had to be one, then at least it was something as sweepingly beautiful as Blackstar.

Embedded below is the music video for “Lazarus”, the second single from Blackstar. In addition, I’ve taken the liberty of compiling a playlist of Bowie tracks spanning from his 1969 album to 2013’s The Next Day, in chronological order, that can be viewed here. It’s funny to call anything Bowie released a “deep cut” given his legendary status, but these tracks were generally not singles, and are probably less popular than Bowie’s most famous songs. If you’ve never really listened to Bowie’s work, or haven’t in a while, this playlist might  give you an idea of the scope and diversity of his music.

[youtube_sc url=”″]

Inspirational Electronica to Wake You Up

Fatima Al Qadiri’s recent EP Genre-Specific Xperience, released originally under a pseudonym, brings an eclectic taste the table. Mixing cultural sounds as broad as Islamic chants, Catholic hymns, and steelpans, this relatively short album leaves you both entranced and frightened. The eerie mix of the ever-present electric steel drums and elevated chants imagines a horror film set at a tropical resort. The head track “Hip Hop Spa” especially recalls some sort of religious evocation that the next track answers with a high-tempo percussion hurricane. Don’t miss out on “Vatican Vibes” or “Corpcore,” the former bringing Baroque-style firmly into Al Qadiri’s art while the latter’s pulsing march of beats invokes industrial beats. For those new to Fatima Al Qadiri, she’s an electronic musician (read: DJ) currently living in Brooklyn, originally born in Senegal, and grew up in Kuwait during the Gulf War. Her work across constantly recognizes her trans-cultural history, as her album last year Asiatisch worked off themes of “the China” viewed from a Western lens through pop culture and the ways these cultural forms are exploited until they lose all meaning. Her political meaning behinds Xperience seems less obvious, but listeners won’t be disappointed if they pick either album up.

You’re Dead! Flying Lotus Killed You; an Album Review

by Aurora Wetherill of LightsOn w/ Aurora, Thursdays@1opm.

Flying Lotus new album Youre Dead is at once more raw and more refined than any of his previous albums. Each note is poignant, deliberate, and clear as glass. His track with Snoop Dogg is a little grating, but it seems intentional; Snoops lyrics discuss possibilities for why your body crapped out on you to an 8-bit beat. Youre Dead also has a good deal more instrumental variation than its precursors, such as the distorted guitar and jingle bells featured in “Turkey Dog Coma”. The Japanese psychedelic artist, Shintaro Kago, created a unique set of works to accompany You’re Dead, and each songs artwork lends contextual insight and a note of black humor. The artwork for Siren Song consists of a shapely woman opening her mouth and tying up her hair, while her bottom half unravels; Turtles’ artwork features a dying woman taking a selfie. Flying Lotus says something new in each of his albums, and each album features a different theme. Cosmogramma (2010) was a cosmic dance adventure, Until The Quiet Comes (2012) was a celestial emotional voyage, and Youre Dead feels like an embrace of and meditation on the void that his previous albums only sometimes acknowledge. There is life in death and there is death in life. Youre Dead is dark, irregular, and probably perfect. Flying Lotus will be performing at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby, Pensylvania, on October 14th.

Follow @rortortle