New horizons

Our Huskii family,

It’s been four months since my last review, and I hope I haven’t left you hanging. Trust I’ve been listening to this year’s releases, searching for the hottest songs and albums.

One of my favorite has been the monster collaborative effort that is Return of the Dreamers III. “Costa Rica”, “Sleep Deprived”, and “Self Love” are my most played tracks. Mustard (formerly DJ Mustard) dropped a short album ft 1TakeJay, Playboi Carti and Young Thug. I’ve also enjoyed singles from Lil Keed and Snubnose Frankenstein. That’s business as usual.

Moving on to new business, the biggest news is I’ve moved from Austin to Seattle. I like the weather, the geography, and the fact it’s in a legal weed state. Now I know my cartridges aren’t poisoned, my flower is legitimately the strain it’s called, and it has a growing infrastructure around it. I’ve been a kid in a candy store, and my fam has adjusted to it well.

Moving forward I’ll continue the music reviews and news, as well as introduce cannabis content. It’s an exciting time for me and mine, and like Mos Def says:
“We are Hip-Hop
Me, you, everybody, we are Hip-Hop
So Hip-Hop is going where we going
So the next time you ask yourself where Hip-Hop is going
Ask yourself: where am I going? How am I doing?”

2/21/19 Review: “Matter of Grind”

Suave the Don released his fourth album in early February 2019. “Matter of Grind” is nine tracks long, and clocks in at 28 minutes. One play through is a small investment in a talented artist, and fun album.

The first thing you notice about the album is its energy. It starts with “Simulation”, and Suave goes in with a fast and clopping triplet flow over a beat that is chasing you down an alley. Suave spits some of the illest bars on the album here:

“Go to your house take out everybody
And i set up shop im like a pilgrim
The formula different for everybody
Ain’t no easy way to make a million
Some of us trap
Some of us scam it
Throw me a pack
Watch it start dancing
Only speak facts
Niggas be rambling
Living my everyday life is like gambling”

He is hinting at a story of a fast life, a dangerous one with consequences, but one in which he can move in. On “Simulation”, Suave the Don accomplishes making a banger, and telling you some of his life’s story at the same time.

“Exotic” is a couple of tracks later, and it’s the first relief we get from the grind of trapping. A harp is playing in the background, and they chose a scale that feels cheerful. Here Suave deals with a lavish sex life- drug fueled sex with exotic women- and this makes him cheery.

The body of the album is what you play when you’re in traffic- stressed, focused, and in a sort of rhythm. Suave showcases his time in the rap game by bodying the next three tracks. He matches his flow perfectly to the beats, and chooses memorable melodies. I also think he shows he’s a student of the game- “Big Flex” reminds me of the story in Lil Wayne’s “Mona Lisa.” “Cali” describes how he makes a pack dance, and “Pay Her Rent” is a struggle story about the various debts one has to pay.

Somehow after trapping and rapping all day, Suave the Don gets inspired. The last three tracks stand out, and close the album with gusto.

“Remember” has an attention grabbing intro. It begins with chimes, and then Suave kicks your teeth in with his verse, and the accompanying hi-hats. It’s a great beat, has tight verses, and is absolute fire. Suave hits this tempo perfectly, being laid back but hard hitting; rapping fast but clear and dexterous.

After finishing that song, Suave shifts the coupe into fifth gear. “Get Away from Me” brings back the hard hitting beats, and stories from a pressed lifestyle. The title also plays perfectly into the songs’ theme. Here he says he needs time to breathe as much as to filter his crew, and he dashes away from us until the songs’ end.

Wow…”Outro” is what Suave the Don found in his solitude. After everything he’s gone through on “Matter of Grind”, this feels like breaking the speed of light, and being the first in the Fourth dimension. After all this trap, Suave raps over a Jazz loop??? And uses a sing-song type melody?? I did not see this coming. Who knew what it was like to jump out of a plane until the first person did it? Who knows what else Suave the Don has in the bag? This is a genius switch up.

Who is Suave the Don? On “Outro” he reminds us he’s been working, and pledges to work until “he doesn’t have to introduce himself.” Keeping in mind the album’s title, “Matter of Grind”, we prove Suave the Don’s success on his mission so far.

Boogie

Boogie shines a light on the various pieces that make up his life.

On Time, he sings about the way his love looks like. He’s not perfect, you can probably pinpoint what to change, but that’s not the point, this is what this piece of his life sounds like. It’s a laid back, playful vibe, and Boogie flows quickly over the beat. As of now, Boogie wants his cake and to eat it too, and we can all be guilty of that.

On Skydive, the tone switches to a pensive, almost brooding one. It’s a simple loop, plucked on a Spanish guitar, but it’s haunting. Your mind fills the vacuous spaces between notes with every scenario that would make you feel this way. You come to learn that it’s not a scenario the song captures, but the feeling of commitment. Boogie feels it’s the same as jumping out of a plane, it’s too late to do anything else but build your wings on the way down.

On Everything’s For Sale, Boogie paints scenes and tells stories. He says what a gritty mentality thinks, and tells us how a gritty mind searches for peace. In this album, Boogie shows us pieces of his life, and in doing so, helps us balance ours.

Spirits

An astute reader gets the sense that Huskii Boi is always measuring experiences against an ideal. I suppose it’s enough to say Huskii Boi is idealistic.

“What’s the best way this could be? This should be? This project- what’s perfect look like for it? Myself- what’s the best life I can live?”

I, however, live in a world of history, pragmatism, and chaos. What I want is almost always never attainable, but I am at least ensured to look up while others are looking around.

This cosmic loneliness is not true, as real as it may seem, and music is the reason why. These songs that I’ve gathered say what I say to express feelings I feel. They make the music I would make right now if I could make music.

To see myself in others this way shows me that I am not alone. More practically, this is music that I can keep around me all the time.

Chronixx is my empathy

Koffee is my ambition

The Dream is my id

All of these songs together help me balance the outside with the inside. While I somehow manage to keep the plates spinning in the background, gon head and press play.

Thoughts on the go

Quick fact: in 2018 I listened to 100 albums. All of them were released that year. Now, I wanted to release a “Best of…” list, but decided against it.

The point of me, Huskii Boi, is to bring you music 1) that you haven’t heard before, and 2) that is made for the people by the people, and not radio friendly, industry songs.

I felt releasing a “Best of…” list becomes another meaningless article in the sea of “twitter blogs” which release a new post every hour. How would my humble list ever attract attention? Especially since 99% of the albums I listened to were from established artists. Unfortunately, most of us who source music look a lot like.

That’s where, what I call “the second best music blog in the world” comes in, (huskiiboi.com is the best music blog in the world, btw). PassionWeiss created a list of the best songs or albums of 2018, and purposely only listed small acts.

Not only did it introduce me to new artists, it inspired me to follow their lead, and leave the security of promised clicks brought by writing about established artists, and to create a culture by writing about grassroots phenomena. “Homegrown from the greatest grain, full flavor in the native strain,” is the vibe.

Since then I’ve been scrounging Twitter for anyone talking about a new project they’re dropping: from DIY to those with studio time, I’m listening to everything from those still working to earn fans, and bringing it home, to huskiiboi.com.

***

The dedicated readers of this blog have endured some trials. I haven’t posted since after my summer trip to Switzerland. I apologize for your dry feed. Chin up, however- though I wasn’t posting, I never stopped the music.

I’m continuing my trend of giving priority to albums from the current year, and have already stumbled upon impressive work from Boogie. I’m also spending more time sourcing international sounds, and finding fresh artists like Zlatan and Koffee. Lovers of nostalgia can still find their place here, too. As I blast off into the future, I sometimes find myself dwelling on records from the past. These meditations, on artists like Hak Baker, provide a look at projects that have aged well, and are probably personally important to me (if you’re into that stuff.)

All in all, Huskii Boi spent the winter getting fat on rhythms, and I’ve tasted a lot of flavors I want to share.

Grab a plate, and find a seat.

Switzerland

Will this playlist change your life? Well, it’s music, and music holds strange powers over us. So..it might.

Some of these songs were simply the soundtrack to this life changing trip I had to Switzerland over the summer; some of these songs rang so true to me they gave me the push I needed to change my life.

That’s one reason asking if this playlist will change your life isn’t as silly it appears- these songs changed mine. I’d love to tell you about it sometime. In the meanwhile, hit Play.

Kamasi Washington – Street Fighter Mas

I’ve never been more excited for an album than I am for Kamasi’s upcoming release. Today he shared the newest single from the project, and it’s so, so good.

The bass guitar sound has been modified to create a funk vibe. One thing to remember is Kamasi is a jazz artist, and while the two genres are similar, they are different in some aspects. Street Fighter Mas combines two of the music genres most likely to make you feel like an old school, cool-type brotha.

Strings and vocals are used in conjunction with each other, rising and descending in scales together, creating a haunting scene. It’s reminiscent of being on the last lap of a race, and all your energy is spent. Victory is possible, but you’re going to have to bleed to do it; this song sounds like what the rest of that closing lap feels like.

Not only does the music inspire you to sport your swagger, it touches your heart and soul. There’s an area, deep within my heart that contains my hope, my authenticity, and my kernel of spirit that separates me from you. Street Fighter Mas hits me right there.

We all learn the basics of how our world works, and we differ in how we express our knowledge. That knowledge can be expressed in music, in poetry, in literature, in dance and many other countless ways. Something genuine is at the heart of this song, and truly, in all of Kamasi’s songs. Street Fighter Mas is a testament that knowledge, explicit or implicit, can be shared through music.