Tag Archives: chairlift

Jam of the Day – Fort Lean “All The Lights”

If the promo material is to be believed, Fort Lean is a place you can go. But it’s also a place that isn’t quite sure about its audience yet, a place that is really shaping up and starting to look and feel pretty solid after two EPs but also belies an underlying uncertainty about opening day. The group’s most recent effort, Change Your Name, was produced by Patrick Wemberly from Chairlift, who lends a steady hand throughout. “All the Lights” is a highlight for the band and especially singer Keenan Mitchell, and we can’t wait for the full length.

Change Your Name EP Tracklisting –
Do You Remember
Envious
The Mall
All the Lights

Fort Lean – All the Lights:

-Drew

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Jams of the Weekend – Das Racist Mixtape: It’s the Future, Get Down

Das Racist dropped their first mixtape about two weeks ago via Mishka and Nah Right, and also in association with their self-owned label/management group Greedhead Entertainment. You can download it for free from either site, or here if you’re lazy. Here’s the cover art, designed by Aakash Nihalani:

The Shut Up, Dude mixtape has already been getting some great reviews, like this one in The Village Voice.

Basically, Das Racist is so contemporary that without a close read/listen some of it can just sound like a bunch of advertising copy and sloppily-delivered lyrics about fast food. But maybe that’s because you only heard “Combination Pizza Hut/Taco Bell?” As Heems raps on “You Oughta Know,” (which samples the Cam’ron track of the same name), Das Racist is “sick of arguing with white dudes on the internet.” But then again, are they really sick of arguing with white dudes on the internet? Either way, basically I don’t think that anyone can step to them after this release: “A rich interior world is a joy to own.” Word.

So many tracks that make me think Das Racist has the pulse on contemporary culture (self-described “culture vultures”), in a really tangible and influential way. Apart from being so publicity-savvy, part of the appeal of Das Racist has to do with a real rap talent, playing with words in an interesting, intriguing, integral way that begs comparison to a lot of great rappers and rap groups – Eric B. & Rahim, Slick Rick, Ghostface Killah (peep Victor as Kool A.D. in “Nutmeg” dropping that Raekwon/Tony Starks ish), too many to list.

There are also moments that seem kind of played out, like the fake gun sounds in “Hugo Chavez,” which is already well-worn territory for anyone who enjoys Flight of the Concords. But at other times the dudes can be reflective (“I Don’t Want to Deal With Those Monsters”), provocative and maybe a little pissed about being misunderstood (“I Don’t Owe Nobody Shit”), and softer even, seeming about to leave the irony behind for some possible self-reflection in “Ek Shaneesh:”

“My pops drove a cab holmes,
Now I drop guac
just to bop in the cab home.”

But more often than not they’re dropping some hilarious lines and talking about “beers for years,” Rumi, taking pills of “various hues dude,” free associating and morphing the phrase “Nancy Drew” to “Nancy Who” to “Nancy Reagan in a fancy pants-suit.” Or, one of my favorites, from “Rainbow in the Dark” with Heems transiting to Victor:

“We could eat the flyest cave-aged cheese fo sheez, ma.
Yeah we could eat gruyere,
As if we care; we could eat roquefort.”

All I’m saying is that you need to download this mixtape and listen to it yourself, and then if you still think these guys suck then you’re just never going to get what Das Racist is about. Check out this dope video for “Rainbow in the Dark,” directed by Jordan Fish.

Das Racist – Rainbow in the Dark:

And just because I want to underscore the diversity of what they have to offer, here’s a bonus jam of Chairlift featuring Das Racist, called “Fashion Party,” which I think was part of an Urban Outfitters compilation or something like that.

Chairlift ft. Das Racist – Fashion Party:

-Drew

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