Alternate title possibilities for this post are:
Is Depression The New Black?
Everybody’s A Hipster… So Fxck Hipsters.
So I’m not really a fan of the R&B genre. Despite a good throwback to the 90s ala Aaliyah, TLC or the occasional lol tune from Trigga there’s some genres that were played on even though they were already burnt out. With 90% of the R&B market now entrenched in pop mechanisms it’s probably safe to say that it is a dead-genre save a few crossover artists paying homage i.e. Aubrey or Mr. West.
So R.I.P. to R&B. And welcome to R&D. More specifically to the artist hailing from Toronto, a mysterious one man (or is there a production team involved?) ensemble known as simply “The Weeknd”. Not much is known about him save for a few throwaway facts: his real name is Abel Tesfaye, he seems to have missed a vowel from his stage name, he’s only 20 years old and he only started recording music towards late-2010. Oh and he already has a co-sign from TO’s own Drizzy Drake.
But what does any of this matter if you don’t like his music. Well I was prompted to listen to his music by TwentyEighth head honcho Mr. October and hoping for not a cliché sounding R&B package I was pleasantly surprised and more so overwhelmed. This project has garnered much attention from the blogosphere and underground community and rightfully so. On a personal level I fiend for the drawn out synths blended with something filthy (elements of electro and dubstep) to make these pussy anthems… well, not pussy. A top that Tesfaye can really hit those notes where they count unlike his counterparts West and Grahame. But all this has been done so what makes it different?
Almost a year back Sean Carter, music mogul, spoke on how hip hop as a genre no longer interested him as it lacked the rebellious edge that indie music had seemingly stolen. Apply that to a genre as pigeon-holed as R&B and the result is not just something fresh but a complete re-interpretation of what they think (that’s the crazy voice inside everyone’s head). Yeah depression and emo are the most played out topics of the last year. But what if that same thought provocation is taken to its seediest low, exploited and then produced to make us believe that it’s what makes life enjoyable, worthwhile and liveable. We all got fxcked by Rhythm & Depression.
It’s artists like this and Frank Ocean that are gonna either make us wish for what could’ve been, or substitute drugs with the audio crack that they are supplying in spades. Lets hope for the latter.
House Of Balloons is the debut project/free mixtape. Click the image below to check out the stream of the entire body of work.
Non-official but recognized MV for “Wicked Games”. Dope.
I noticed all things been music lately but none of deez donuts have stopped eating so something fresh coming out the shitter coming soon!