Skalloween 2018

Neighbors have decorated their houses and lawns with skeletons and ghosts. Stores have candy stocked constantly. Horror movies are being released in theaters left and right. The Tower is playing Rocky Horror Picture Show! All of this means Halloween season is upon us, and in full swing! But you’re a music fan at heart. Where’s your Halloween hallmark? Don’t fear the reaper, because Skalloween has you covered!

Skalloween

…is an annual concert featuring four local Ska Punk bands — The Gringos, Scheming Thieves, The Anchorage, and Show Me Island. Each captures the sounds of ska, from jazz to reggae to rock, in their own way. The Gringos vocals evoke the scratchy sounds of jazz lounge singers. Scheming Thieves embody Ska music’s early 2000s pop-punk influences. The Anchorage brings the moody sounds of hard rock and emo to their wonderful brass. Last but certainly not least, Show Me Island is for the classic Ska fans. Their walking bass lines, composition, and lyrics will remind you of your first time listening to Madness or The Specials, but with a female vocalist!

The bands dress up too!

At Skalloween, everyone dresses in costume, dance and mosh together for a night of trumpet and bass-fueled fun. If you love Ska music, this is absolutely your place to be. You’ll be right at home in Skalloween’s pits that are full of moshing and skanking. Almost everyone there is dressed in costume, so if you’re looking to display yours before halloween, you’ll fit right in. Even if you’ve never heard of Ska, you’ll probably still love it because everyone else is having so much fun. Ever since I was introduced to this show, it’s been my favorite concert every year. I think every music fan should make it a tradition to go to this concert.

Skalloween takes place this year on Oct. 20 at the Beehive (666 S. State Street) @ 7:00 p.m, $7 at the door. I’ll be there, and I hope to see you too! Dress up and bring all your friends!

The month in hip hop: October

This may be obvious to many hip hop fans, but 2018 has been a year for the books. We’ve received so many projects from a huge number of artists, ranging from the superstars to those that are still working their way up to that position. But even with the crazy amount of albums, mixtapes, and EPs that have released this year, we still have two and a half months left. And naturally, those last few months will be chock-full of even more music.

We’re about halfway through October and there are plenty of projects coming soon from a variety of artists. I’ve compiled the hip hop and R&B projects that have been released this month that I believe are noteworthy and that you should check out.

October 5th

  • Sheck Wes – Mudboy
    • Cactus Jack Records signee Sheck Wes finally released his highly anticipated debut album after the great success that was “Mo Bamba”. This is a project with a lot of different sounds, great production, and interesting lyrics. Check this one out if you’re a fan of the more aggressive side of hip hop, because this will undoubtedly fill your appetite.
  • Gunna & Lil Baby – Drip Harder
    • A few weeks ago, Atlanta trapstars Lil Baby and Gunna unleashed their collab album after months of teasing it. The project contains 14 tracks, with features from the likes of Lil Durk, Nav, Young Thug, and Drake. If you’re a fan of trap, check out this project. It is one of the best collab tapes of the year.
  • Mozzy – Gangland Landlord
    • West Coast mainstay Mozzy has released his new studio album titled Gangland Landlord after first teasing it in 2017. The project contains features from YG, Ty Dolla Sign, Dej Loaf, and many more. It has so many dope vibes that’ll instantly make you feel like you’re in the middle of Sacramento, California. If you’ve never checked Mozzy’s music out before, this is a great project to start on.  
  • T.I. – Dime Trap
    • Atlanta legend T.I. has finally dropped his latest album Dime Trap after originally announcing it in 2014. It is a sequel to his previous album Paperwork. T.I. is a certified legend and one of the creators of the current trap sound, and it is always a good thing to receive new music from him. Since the project got a 7.4 rating from Pitchfork, I’d suggest checking it out if you’re a fan of that original trap sound.

October 12th

  • Quavo (of Migos) – Quavo Huncho
    • Recently, the three Migos members announced that they would all be releasing solo albums while still remaining a group. The first of these solo projects to drop is Quavo’s Quavo Huncho. The project is preceded in release by three singles; “Workin Me”, “Lamb Talk”, and “Bubble Gum”. Featured artists on the album include the likes of Travis Scott, Drake, Kid Cudi, and Normani. With 19 tracks in total, this is certainly one that’ll keep you busy for a while.   
  • Belly IMMIGRANT
    • If you don’t know who Belly is, it’s time to become aware. He’s been around for more than 10 years, steadily releasing projects since 2005. In 2015, he signed with The Weeknd’s label XO as well as Jay-Z’s Roc Nation. He then went on to feature on numerous tracks with The Weeknd and many other artists. His new project IMMIGRANT shines a light on his status as an immigrant and why he wants to support his fellow immigrants. The project is stacked with features from well-known artists including Meek Mill, The Weeknd, Yo Gotti, French Montana, and more.   
  • Usher A
    • It seems like quite a long time since we have got a new project from Usher, even though it’s only been a couple years. He’s back with his ninth studio album titled A, which is a collaboration with talented producer Zaytoven. The project’s title is inspired by both Usher and Zaytoven’s hometown of Atlanta. The project features 11 tracks with guest appearances from Future and Gunna. This is a return to form for Usher and definitely deserves a listen. 

That’s not all of the projects that are releasing in October, so keep an eye out for part 2 of this post!

Artworks owned by artists and their labels

Hip Hop’s goth cousin: Horrorcore

Horrorcore

It’s the season of ghosts and ghouls. I’ve been getting real spooky at the station putting together a mix of some of my favorite Horrorcore joints for our listeners! Before we get those speakers pumping, it’s important to know about the history of Horrorcore and some of its originators to get a better idea of it as a genre in Hip Hop.

Horrorcore, sometimes called DeathRap, is a subset of Gangsta Rap. Many of the classic themes are present while often taking their gruesomeness and imagery to the next level. Songs can often be recognized by transgressive lyrics and dark themes including death, psychosis, mutilation, suicide, and murder. Coupled with samples from horror films and bone-chilling beats, this is not the kind of music you would want your mother to hear you listening to!

History

The movement started early in the history of Hip Hop where real life stories of horror and street violence were rapped about. With the introduction of dark samples from classic scary movies created what we know today as Horrorcore. The genre gained prominence in 1994 with RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan appearing as the RZArector along with The Undertaker, The Grym Reaper, and The Gatekeeper forming the group The Gravediggaz. Their debut album 6 Feet Deep, originally named Niggamortis, found massive uptake in the underground. From just a single project started a massive movement. Consequently, horrorcore quickly spread across the country. New York saw emcees like Kool Kieth. The Geto Boys and Three 6 Mafia sprang up out of the south. And The Bone Thugs came out of Cleveland. Much of the rap music of the 90’s reflect these influences from horror culture.

During the 2000’s Horrorcore saw a small decline. Some music remained prevalent in the underground with artists such as Tech N9ne and his label Strange Music. Recently, however, we have seen a resurgence of dark music conjured from the underground to receive a fair amount of attention. Benny the Butcher, Conway, and Westside Gunn from Griselda Records in Buffalo, New York are working with Daringer, the grimiest producer in the game. They are releasing hip hop that feels like it was frozen in the golden age, or rather dark age of horrorcore. In addition, the wave coming from South Florida, in particular, the music of the $uicide Boy$, draw on much of classic Horrorcore. Accompanied by Three 6 Mafia samples, they put together some very dark but hype music.

Not for the Rap Novice

As a genre, Horrorcore has always had an uphill battle. It isn’t exactly the easiest of all rap genres to listen to. But for the real Hip Hop head, the lyrics and story telling draw you in. The beats and samples paint a horrific picture for any fan twisted enough. What comes to my mind when I think of Horrorcore is the bone-chilling tale in Immortal Technique’s “Dance with the Devil”. This song is an absolute moniker for the movement of the music you hate to love. Nobody forgets the first time they heard that song, which is exactly the kind of lasting impression these artists want to give with their music.

Horrorcore is not for the rap novice. You have to be a serious fan of old school rap and somewhat of a hip hop junkie to make it through a lot of this stuff. I’ve done the hard part for you and compiled some of my all time favorite Horrorcore and dark hip hop tracks from the late 80’s to today! Hope y’all enjoy my mix but as a word of warning, you may want to hold off on listening to this one alone at night!

October Spooky Tape Mixdown

Local Man Wondering Why His Mom Is So Stingy

Local Man, earning just enough to pay the bills and to put himself through school, finds himself exhausted by the pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps American spirit. “I don’t mind when other people work hard,” he claimed. “It’s just not something I can sustain, you know? I think I deserve some things.”

City on the Hill

After asking for clarification, he shared the story of his great-grandparents; they were English migrants following the church westward to Utah, setting up a farm, and fighting their neighbors for water. They insisted on forming a city on the hill for the world to see and admire, which had to have the nice side effect of making sure that their children would (spiritually and economically) be a step up from everybody else.

Their crumbling headstones read, “Prepare yourselves to follow me.” Local Man saves a photo of those headstones on his phone.

Image result for city on the hill

(Digital Drawing by hawk862, found on DeviantArt)

Great Depressive Episode

Local Man’s grandfather was a bad-ass businessman. He earned his fortune by tooth and nail and grandpapi’s small loan, leaving it to most of his children. He (metaphorically) cut throats and withheld affection from the kiddos, and would scold them for throwing anything away. Local Man never saw the man cry, and he knows his mom probably didn’t either.

Mom, on the other hand, struggles to adhere to her papi’s econo-bad-assery. She only gave love to Local Man, and the city on the hill seemed to deflate when she decided to be an artist. “She’s pretty selfish, when I think about it,” Local Man says.

When I asked Local Man’s Mom, she told me, “That type of optimism ain’t in my wheelhouse. I love Local Man. He’s a good son. But I just can’t sink my life into him, you know? He’s gotta make his own way.”

Time for a Little Feud

“Y’know, some parents try to make their children’s lives better,” Local Man countered. “Tell her that. When I’m a parent, it’s what I’ll do. I’ll understand that my kids deserve my money. That’s the American Dream, you know.”

Your journalist nodded and stammered something about forwarding on an email, or something.

 

Salt Lake Hip Hop: Agustist King

On September 13th, Hip Hop Drip DJs StavoSteelo and KyleInPlay had the pleasure of interviewing the up-and-coming SLC rapper Agustist King. King is a Salt Lake City native, hailing from the Central City neighborhood. He reps his own label called Independent Money Gang.

King has been seriously rapping for the last two years. He has recorded over 200 songs and released more than 50 of those. He works on numerous projects and releases them on all streaming services. Some of his projects include West Coke, Valentine’s Day Massacre, and Nirvana.

The Interview

Agustist King had much to say about his life, music, and reasons why he raps. However, those are only a few of the topics discussed in this 30 minute interview. It’s chock full of interesting content from a rapper that’s as real as he says he is.

Click the link below to listen to our interview with Agustist King. Be sure to follow him on his social media accounts @agustistking (instagram) and @agustistk (twitter). If you like what you hear, check out his website agustistking.com and Soundcloud. His Spotify and Apple Music profiles can be found searching his name, Agustist King.

Listen to the Hip Hop Drip radio show every weekday from 4-7pm to get your daily fix of quality hip hop from local Utah artists and the biggest stars in the game right now.

Songs from interview:

“Park Place Carter (Fiyah)” – Agustist King

“Off The Scale” – Agustist King

“Down” – Agustist King

Judiciary Candidate Cries Over Pen

After pulling out his calendar from high school, tearfully mentioning how his dad taught him how to keep his schedule in order, everyone knew the candidate stood a chance against the composed, chilling account of his accuser.

Image result for kavanaugh calendar

(1982 Calendar Entries, CNN*)

The prosecutor remained silent and silenced.

The session ended, and certain senators held back tears over his incredible performance. “Should we send him flowers? As a boost? He certainly was…pleasing,” murmured the senator from Utah to his compatriot from South Carolina.

Emotions Run High After Hearing

“This is the pen that”–the candidate stopped, a lump in his throat, “I will use to sign my contract when this left-wing conspiracy is inevitably swept under the rug.” The left-wing conspiracy, as it turns out, goes by the virulent name of feminism.

It’s a word that must be growled, spat, and mumbled. A more reserved phrase, perhaps, is “decency”. Or simply the understanding that women deserve to have control over their own bodies in multiple settings, whether it be a medical clinic or, even, as the candidate pushed out through sobs, “P–PJ’s parties.” It’s truly a horrific scheme, propagated by women for millennia who can’t seem to understand their bodies are not their own.

“This pen,” the candidate repeated, his voice wavering, “is not only emblematic of the official codification of a figure who’s shown demonstrable hatred toward women ascending to the highest levels of government”–again–“but of my family. And me.

Image result for leaky ballpoint pen

The Pen

This pen, your journalist noted, was leaking ink all over his hand, and had left an unsightly purple stain in his breast pocket that he had failed to notice. It was a disposable ballpoint. This tiny tool of violence against women, like the candidate himself, can be found anywhere and be replaced easily. The only difference is one, however, seems to have a penchant for weeping.

So your journalist, unable to contain herself, snatched the pen from his hand. With security on her tail and her briefcase abandoned, she sprinted away into the sunset, and was promptly fired.

After hearing about this incident, the president seemed unconcerned. “We’ll just find another one.”

*https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/26/politics/brett-kavanaugh-1982-calendar/index.html

EP Review – On The Rvn

If you know anything about Young Thug, you’re probably aware that the rollouts leading up to his projects are not exactly regarded as good. He sometimes has bold tactics for the press, including things such as sending live snakes before the release of Slime Language. But in general, his label isn’t the best at promoting his upcoming projects. This is evident by the fact that we didn’t see any promotion for On The Rvn besides a couple social media posts prior to the release.

Young Thug released On The Rvn on Monday at midnight. This is a bit odd considering that most projects are released on Fridays to maximize streaming numbers. This is his third project of 2018, following the 3 track Hear No Evil EP and full-length album Slime Language. The project was supposed to drop on the 11th, but didn’t end up getting released until the 24th. Because this is only an EP, it’ll only give us a small taste, nevertheless, let’s dig in.

First Impression

On my first listen through this EP, I’m impressed with what Thug has for us. He goes back to his roots a bit on this project and I absolutely love it. We finally got some more glorious London On Da Track beats on a Thug project. The only negative I see so far is that we saw nothing new on this project. He went back to his old flow, which isn’t exactly the worst thing for a shorter project like this.

Lyrics/Flow

After taking a slight break from his usual flow on Slime Language, Thug is back on what made him stand out in the first place. The lyrics are typical subjects that he has rapped about before, so nothing really special in that regard. One thing that really stands out thus far are the beautiful melodies on some tracks. I’m glad that he’s started to incorporate them in his music during recent years.   

Score: 7.2/10

Beats 

As I mentioned above, we finally got some new Young Thug and London On Da Track. This combination is responsible for some of his best music, simply because of the production quality that London brings. We also get contributions from other frequent Thug producers Wheezy and Supah Mario. A downside of having these producers back is that they don’t bring many new sounds, even though Thug has made a name off of being experimental. Overall, the beats are good but nothing we haven’t heard Young Thug over in the past. The one beat that is completely different is for the song “High”, which samples the legendary Elton John

Score: 8/10

Replayability/Standouts

The best thing about EPs is their length. This project comes in at 6 tracks that span 21 minutes. There are different sounds, flows, and stellar features, making this project one that you can listen through multiple times. While I wish that we got more Young Thug, it is honestly a perfect length EP.  

I truly like every single track on this EP, but the songs you definitely need to hear are “On The Run”, “Sin”, and “High”.

Score: 8.4/10

Final thoughts

Young Thug’s music output in 2018 hasn’t impressed me much up to this point. I say that as someone who thinks that Beautiful Thugger Girls is one of the best albums of 2017. I liked Hear No Evil and Slime Language was alright, but neither of them did what I was hoping Thug would do: build on the new sound he brought out on BTG.

On The Rvn does exactly that. We get street Thug, melodic Thug, and even a bit of singing all in a short-but-sweet package. It isn’t perfect by any means, but I think this is the direction that Young Thug should continue to explore. It results in some amazing music that will be replayed countless times by his fans.

I’d recommend taking a listen to On The Rvn if you’re already a Young Thug fan or if you’re trying to get into his music. It’s only 21 minutes and it allows you to hear some of the things he does best. This is a solid EP and it deserves to be heard by the hip hop community.  

Final Score: 7.8/10

Image property of 300 Entertainment/Atlantic Records  

“Speak English!” Demands Barely Literate Student

As a white person who wants to “do something” but is also too lazy to critique myself too heavily, I’m curious about the U of U’s implicit xenophobia. However, when I researched further, the xenophobia I found was unfortunately…what’s the word? Explicit.

I caught up with Elías two weeks ago at the freshly sterilized Big Ed’s/Publik on Second South and University Street. The space smelled like artisan coffee and veggie burgers. The perfect place for liberal youths to gather.

Image result for publik eds

(Photo by Francisco Kjolseth, Salt Lake Tribune)

Meeting Elías

When Elías arrived, I pointed out which beers were best. We then sat down, and he told me about himself.

Elías speaks Spanish at home and English at school. Elías’ accent is negligible. He’s an S.I. for Calculus 3 this term, and explains to me that teaching math is nearly identical to teaching a new language. “When you get a question incorrect or look at a string of variables and not understand at all what’s going on, this was exactly what I felt when I started learning English,” he told me. “Teachers would look at sentences I’d write, would say I did something wrong, and I’d feel so frustrated.” He laughed. “It makes me sympathetic, I guess.”

Good Journalism

Because I don’t care about math, or, really, about Elías as a person, it was time to get to the hard-hitting questions. “Do you think your students respect you?”

His brow furrowed. “What?”

Suddenly, Elías’ phone rang. It was his wife. He spoke for a few minutes with her, and I would have eavesdropped, if I knew Spanish.

“Speak English,” barked a student as he walked past our table and out the door. I recognized him! I copy-edit his papers. They’re incomprehensible. It’s like the man vomits disconnected words onto paper.

“What a jerk,” I said, heroically. “I’m glad not all white people are like that.” I was, of course, talking about myself.

He looked away and swigged his beer.

“What the hell? Is this beer…vanilla flavored?”

Unfortunately, it was.