Tag Archives: Playlist

Rap is the new rock and roll, get used to it

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Like it or not, rap is the new rock and roll and it continues to usurp aspects of the genre as it evolves. From tour merch to style to onstage antics, rock and hip hop have more similarities than is first apparent.

As Kanye West stated emphatically in his 2013 BBC Radio 1 interview, “rap is the new rock and roll, we the rock stars.” At the time that seemed like a lofty proclamation, as it is with most of Mr. West’s statements. However, as things have progressed West seems to have had the definitive word.

Rock, the culture of hip hop, and the roots of raps lie in the African American community. Rock and roll came about in the 1940s as a mixture of blues and jazz and other music. However, it was adopted commercially as an overwhelmingly white genre, thanks in part to the popularity of artists like Elvis. Hip hop and rap began in the Bronx a few decades later, adopted from Jamaican and Caribbean music styles as well as funk and jazz. Unlike rock, the genre’s roots and commercial success are wholly attributed to African Americans.

With similar roots comes a similar a draw to the genre. In the 1950s it was the rebellious, non-conformists who were attracted to rock and roll. Similarly, rap is enticing because of its lack of boundaries and its accessibility. Anyone can rhyme, and with a few catchy beats and a little swagger, become a rapper, just like the possibility of becoming a rock star if you played an instrument or sang.

A lot of the content in rap is very similar to that of rock and roll. Aside from attracting the rebellious, both genres are very centered around social justice, sex, drugs and love. Where rap tends to stray away from rock is how misogynistic and violent it is in comparison.

The other, more materialistic magnetism is that rappers are living a lavish lifestyle while doing and saying outlandish things. Anyone who is anti-establishment is immediately attracted to this. Fifties and sixties parents hated rock and roll just as parents hate rap today.

The grungy and rebellious leather and denim clad teens of the 1960s, 70s and 80s have been replaced with an equally rebellious group of teens donning Air Force 1s and jogger pants. Everything moves in circles and currently rap reigns.

Instead of electric and often times obscene performances from Jim Morrison you have Travi$ Scott hanging from ceiling rafters and inciting riots at Lollapalooza. Mega stars like Bruce Springsteen and the band, Queen, who sold out shows all across the world, have been replaced by the likes of Kanye West and Drake. The experimental, in both music and drugs, Jimi Hendrix who turned feedback and distortion into something beautiful has been replaced with the squawks and yelps of Young Thug and the codeine induced slur of Future. Hendrix played a large role in shaping the innovative style of Kid Cudi, who, in turn, has helped shape contemporary rap. The youthful, fashion-rule bending duo of Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi who make up the duo Rae Sremmurd have replaced KISS’s stage makeup and boisterous outfits with their loud patterns and ski goggles.

Sonically, rap is not too reminiscent of rock. However, rap style and tour merchandise have been greatly influenced by the fashion and commercialization of rock and roll. Kanye West’s ‘Yeezus’ tour merch used arguably the most recognizable font associated with a band. The official name, Pastor of Muppets, designed by Ray Larbie, is more commonly known as ‘Metallica font’ after the band used it for their album covers.

Tour shirts and vintage rock posters from bands like KISS, ACDC and Iron Maiden have also been emulated by the likes of Travi$ Scott on tour merch. The look has also become a popular trend donned by everyone from Big Sean to Lil Yachty. Aside from similar logos and fonts, rappers have recently been infatuated with denim and a grungy aesthetic, a staple for many rock stars.

Rappers truly are this generations rock stars. Rap is not for everyone, but neither was rock. Mr. West opens up his mouth a lot. He says a lot of things that are easy to shrug off. Sometimes it takes a few years for us to realize that he was right.

Written by Jesse Wiles

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[Playlist] 4CLR WK4 ft. albert gordon, Alina Baraz & Galimatias, Moxie Raia and more

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Week 4 of the 4CLR series is super low-key. Filled with mellow beats and some singing here and there, courtesy of Moxie Raia and Alina Baraz (Ohio stand up). Albert Gordon of Brock Hampton gets things started off with his track “The Mourning” and the rest of the songs don’t differ much in speed or tone. Give this a listen while you’re studying this week or just hanging out alone.

Written by Jesse Wiles

Listen: Michael Angelakos, of Passion Pit, has been releasing demos to his Soundcloud for the past week

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Michael Angelakos, Passion Pit frontman, has been releasing a slew of demos to his own personal Soundcloud this past week. I’ve compiled a nice little playlist for your listening pleasure below. For the most part, the tracks are very laid back and vibe-y, perfect to listen to late at night. Listen to all twelve of them below and enjoy.

Update: Soundcloud is currently having problems with their site so the playlist will be updated when they get things under control.

Written by Jesse Wiles

Smooth Waves Music Presents: Our Favorite Songs Of 2014

To close out 2014, here is a playlist of all our favorites tracks from this year. It has been an up and down year overall but here are the standouts. Make sure to play this at all your New Years Eve Festivities tonight!

Compiled by Jesse Wiles & Erik Lindberg

Playlist: We’ve got you covered for your Thanksgiving nap

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There are few things better than stuffing your face with turkey and taking a nap. However, when you add music to that combo, it gets a little better. Here’s a playlist that’s perfect for your post Thanksgiving nap. From Minnesota’s Spooky Black, to Carlos Serranos’s mix of Sam Smith and Kanye West, here are 11 tracks that will help you nod off into your turkey-induced coma.

Written by Jesse Wiles

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