When you live, work and play around opinionated, music-minded people, there are conversations that will eventually come out at the bar table around 12:30 every friday night. There’s the classic arguments, The Beatles vs The Stones, The best Zeppelin album, The Do We Hate Kanye or Do We Worship Kanye talk, and the inevitable Biggie vs Tupac debate. Twice over the past weekend I found myself in the middle of old Eminem vs new Eminem debates, and it reminded me that it’s been a really long time since I’ve shared any new hip-hop with you guys. It’s not my strongest suit, I can wax poetic all day about memphis rock and motown soul and write sonnets about songwriters, but I find it harder to get my hands on good quality hip-hop these days.
My boyfriend is a huge hip-hop kid, on any given day he can be found bopping around his kitchen to some obscure beat I’ve never heard of, and I rely on him heavily to introduce me to new music in that vein that I wouldn’t otherwise come across. It’s not that I don’t love and appreciate it, it’s just more difficult for me to access without effort; I don’t usually go to/work hip hop shows or festivals and most of the people around me are pure rock and roll. Coupled with the fact that a large portion of popular hip hop centers around topics I don’t care for, like jacuzzis and portraying women in unflattering ways, my music collection sadly contains very little good-quality hip hop outside of the aforementioned artists.
Every once in a while though, a few songs will come along from lesser-known artists that jump right into my collection and settle into a permanent place and today you’re getting to hear two of them. The first is ‘Alan’s Alright’ by Terence Ryan. This song has been on my playlists since I found it 2 years ago after falling down a YouTube rabbit hole one night. It opens with a snippet of one of the best Alan Watts speeches out there. He could have easily won my heart just by including something from one of my favorite philosophers, but then he blows it out of the park even further by layering his thoughtful words over a hypnotic beat that’s so multi-purpose; I bring this song on the road with me, as background music when I write and even work out to it. His whole EP is self written, produced and performed and certainly worth checking out.
The second is ‘Till we fall’ by Doley Bernays, a young new talent from the Bronx. A tale of being robbed and seeking advice, his story flows with such lyrical promise over a gorgeous piano piece and simple drums. His ‘Just in Case’ mixtape has been released and I’m really excited to see what he comes up with in the future. So hit play, add these songs to your collection and as always, feel free to send your favorite new songs my way.