Photo courtesy of GQ
Lakeith Stanfield plays Darius on the FX’s hit show Atlanta that has been renewed for a third season. He’s the weird, idiosyncratic best friend of rapper Paper Boy who always knows more than what he lets on. Viewers fell in love with his demeanor that, according to Stanfield, isn’t that much different from him in real life. In fact, all of us blacks have traces of Stanfield’s Darius inside of us. Society may paint us as one-note stock characters, but, yes, like Darius, we talk about quantum physics and the possibility of simulation universes just as much as we can about smoking marijuana or having sex.
He may be winning over audiences and critiques as an actor, but he also wants to do the same thing as a rapper. When Stanfield was interviewed by The Breakfast Club in November of 2016, he revealed to the trio of Charlamagne Tha God, DJ Envy, and Angela Yee, that he was also a serious rapper. Charlamagne challenged him to rap, and what spit from his lips was some of the most garbage, try-hard lyricism that has been released in the last five-to-ten years. Charlamagne wasn’t impressed; the rest of the room remained equally silent. Instead of taking a hint, he’s kept at it. He recently released a song called “Mango” with Tune-Yards from his recent film Sorry To Bother You. Stanfield’s vocals are horrendous bordering on simulation-like.
There’s nothing particularly wrong with what he’s saying, it’s how he’s saying it. Stanfield’s vocals feel flat, like he’s just doing this to get it off of his chest. Of course, we know that his demeanor is normally like that, but in rap that won’t work out as well as it does in the acting and interviewing world.
Maybe time will tell. If that’s how he truly conducts his artistry, he’ll have a hard time becoming and remaining relevant in the rap game.
Russ Is Right, Exploiting Drug Addiction For Money Is Wack
Russ has made it clear for over a year now that he’s not for the glamorization of drugs for money. He recently got into a Twitter scuffle with Fat Nick, a known user of lean and narcotics, with the two debating about his fascination with drugs and how the latter makes money off of it. Nick frequently posts his drugs and merchandise that contains drugs online and sees nothing wrong with it. Russ however disagrees. And, after seeing both viewpoints, I daresay I agree with Russ. Glamorizing drugs is wack, point blank.
Rap music was founded in tough times. The best hip-hop to come out of the genre’s Golden Era focused on the hardships that people faced during daily life. Coping with these hardships came natural. Drug use isn’t new. However, the way that drug users are fetishizing these drugs is. Lean, Xanax, and Mollies have become as popular as the music itself. With rappers posting their drugs on social media and dedicating so much of their creative energies to showcasing their fascination with drugs, many kids try them out because the artists they look up to love it.
Nothing good comes out of this besides addiction and death. Xanax pills look fun until you’re trying your best to kick the habit while the withdrawal symptoms kick your ass. Let Mac Miller’s story inform you about the dangers of overdosing. Lil Tracy had a heart attack because of his drug usage. There’s nothing good to come out of using these drugs. Yet, new age rap stars align their aesthetics with drugs because its in and it sells.
This exploitation is no joke and needs to be talked about. Starting a conversation about it will enable the proper action to happen and, hopefully, the way that drugs are exploited for money can be addressed.
Why Ella Mai’s “Trip” Is Better Than “Boo’d Up”
Everyone thought that “Boo’d Up” was the one. Ella Mai’s viral summer single became the talk of the season, a meme due to its widespread popularity across many age, racial, and gender groups. Many thought that Mai lucked up into the DJ Mustard-produced single, attributing much of the song’s success to the producer. But little did they know, “Trip” would come behind it and show that Mai is much more than a one hit wonder.
“Trip” released on August 3 and has been somewhat of a slow burn for the public. It’s a lot darker and moodier than “Boo’d Up”‘s ceiling-less mood. There’s a lingering piano that acts as the song’s lifeblood. When Mai comes in with her surprisingly deep voice, she offsets the equilibrium and swings things in her favor. As it goes on it become a catchy earworm that far outpaces the ceiling of “Boo’d Up”
With all of this said, her debut album, expected to arrive this fall, will be interesting to take in. Has she exhausted all creative avenues in her brilliant two first singles? Or will she continue pushing the culture? “Boo’d Up,” was one thing. “Trip” is another altogether, showcasing that she has a lot still left up her sleeve.
Listen to “Trip” below.
Bay Area Music That You May Have Missed This Week
Here’s our weekly collection of music out of the Bay Area that you may have missed this week. This week’s collection is one of our favorites, with a majority of the tunes being bombastic, lively jams to bolster the energy coursing through your veins. Tune in below: