This week, TechCrunch reported that the streaming music mainstay SoundCloud only has enough money to last for a few more months. RIP SoundCloud. This kind of came out of nowhere for me. SoundCloud is a mainstay — a no-frills, YouTube-esque service that anybody can post their music on. As someone who writes about music, SoundCloud had essentially become a public utility in my mind, so the idea that they might one day disappear seemed as impossible as waking up one day and finding out the city had shut down its water services.
If the service dies, it could legitimately be a bad thing for music. Unlike streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music, there are no barriers to getting your music up and out to people, and unlike its more album-oriented rival BandCamp, SoundCloud worked great for electronic and hip-hop artists who often release their music one song at a time. It’s not like DIY streaming will die if SoundCloud goes under –– there’s always YouTube (or even MixCloud), if nothing else –– but it’s a harrowing reminder that when tech companies run the world, we might rely on them, but they rely on their investors, not us. Anywhere, here are some new songs that came out this week — just don’t expect to find them on SoundCloud in the very-near future.
Kid Rock - “Po-Dunk”
Look, we don’t need Kid Rock running for Senate to tell us that American democracy is in crisis, and if Kid Rock actually becomes a senator, it will be a symptom of the disease, not the cause. Besides, have you thought about how fucking fun it would be to have Kid Rock as a senator? He’s the most unpretentious, willfully trashy and tasteless dude of all time. Take the video for “Po-Dunk,” his newest track that’s essentially an ode to rural poverty. Its music video features a mud fight, Kid Rock shooting a gun while he’s got his hair done up in cornrows, people of all different races and ethnicities hanging out doing redneck stuff, poor people partying on a private jet, and ends with a shot of the American flag.
Nine Inch Nails - “Less Than”
Honestly, I’d never actually listened to a Nine Inch Nails song all the way through (even “Hurt”) before I saw them play “She’s Gone Away” on Twin Peaks, and oh man who knew it turns out Nine Inch Nails kind of rule? Apparently, Pat Lyons — another sonic gatekeeper here at MERRY JANE — knows what's up.
Anyway, I usually try to use this column to tell you about music you probably haven’t listened to yet, but here I go telling you about Kid Rock and Nine Inch Nails. But listen man, I wanted to make a point with the Kid Rock song and while Nine Inch Nails are definitely not new to you, they’re new to me, so sorry. Don’t worry, the next song I’m gonna tell you about is a dude named All Star Lee rapping over the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song.
All Star Lee - “Fresh Prince of Brick Mile”
Remember how I literally just told you I’d be showing you a video of a dude rapping over the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song? Well, here it is. All Star Lee is from Detroit, a town that in the past few years has emerged as one of the hottest cities for forward-thinking underground street-rap. A lot of Detroit guys right now have perfected this flow that’s ever-so-slightly off-beat, and they pull it off with panache and pizzazz and a bunch of other nouns that start with the letter P.
Are you over 18?
Nef the Pharaoh f. 24hrs - “Create a Wave”
One of the most fun things about Vallejo, CA’s Nef the Pharaoh is he manages to wear his influences –– specifically, Mac Dre and Juvenile –– on his sleeve, yet he’s so clever and charming that it never feels like rote homage. I can imagine, in extreme detail, this song bleeding out of car stereos across the nation in no time at all.
Dracyo McCoy - “Sky Rocket”
This is some great and startlingly aggressive snarl-rap, which is a term I think I might have just invented. Drayco is from Indiana, which is also where Axl Rose is from, and something tells me that if Axl were to listen to this he’d get really excited and start a mosh pit.
Mount Kimbie and King Krule - “Blue Train Lines”
As a person who loves Krautrock and also weird semi-hip-hop, I can definitely get behind this. “Blue Train Lines” — which we featured on the site earlier this week — is the perfect track for the sense of late capitalist malaise that sinks in as you’re alone on the subway platform, late at night, waiting for a train that seems it’s never going to come.
Mobsquad Nard f. Boosie Badazz - “Itz Dat”
I fell in love with this song as soon as I heard the beat, and then double fell in love with it when I saw that Mobsquad Nard was wearing a snake around his neck in the video. Boosie Badazz continues his post-incarceration pattern of putting underground talent on and lending them hot verses for their songs. If you don’t like this, you don’t have ears.
Are you over 18?
OMB Peezy and SOBXRBE’s Yhung To - "Try Sumthin"
OK, one more rap song and then I’ll tell you about some guitar music. “Try Sumthin” is a perfect mix of OMB Peezy’s Alabama drawl with Yhung To’s neo-hyphy style. Excitingly, Peezy’s signed to E-40’s Sick Wid It Records, which implies there’s a whole lot more slaps in this vein on the way.
Cormorant - “Diaspora”
This track is brutal and disorienting in the fun way that a lot of good extreme music is –– in the course of eight minutes, Cormorant oscillate between three styles of metal (death, black, and prog), changing tempos with no warning, all the while retaining their innate sense of forward chug that inspires headbanging from metalheads of all stripes. I just preordered Cormorant’s new album on BandCamp, and I suggest you do the same.
together PANGEA - “Money on It”
Here’s a nice slab of snotty jangle-rock to listen to on Monday morning right before you have to go to work to inspire a sense of wistful nostalgia for all the fun stuff you did over the weekend. The scragglier and shaggier that singer William Keegan’s voice gets, the most wistful nostalgia you should feel. By the time the guitar solo hits at the very end, you should be crying happy tears.
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