Saturday, June 13, 2020

8 Minutes and 46 Seconds by Dave Chappelle

The Sound Behind Drake

Rolling Stone – "Noah ’40’ Shebib Is Racing to Fix the Damage"

"40 loves being near the water, and much of his music sounds like it was recorded from the bottom of the ocean. If he has a calling card, it’s his muted sonics and rippling bass, occasionally punctuated by vocals that sound like someone breaking to the surface for air. He introduced the world to this particular vision on February 13, 2009, when he, Drake, and Oliver El-Khatib, another childhood friend and Drake’s manager, released a 18-song mixtape called So Far Gone. Uploaded to now-defunct blogs like NahRight, it quickly ate the internet alive, and remains one of the most impactful statement pieces in hip-hop history. On songs like “Successful” and “Lust For Life,” critics struggled to contextualize 40’s mixture of murky drums, reappropriated indie rock beats, and cleanly mixed rapping and singing paired with heartbreakingly sharp vocal samples. It didn’t sound like much else.

“What they’re talking about is a plug-in that I use called lo-fi, low-fidelity,” 40 explains of the engineering style he used on So Far Gone. “It’s reducing the sample rate, therefore the quality of the recording. Equivalent to rolling off the top end or making it muddier or sound like you’re listening to the speakers of a club from behind the wall. [I wanted] a sound around Drake so that his vocal could cut, so you could understand every fucking word perfectly, because I thought his words were so important and this was a space now that he could exist completely in the front, and everything else would be in the back supporting it.”"

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Black Lives Matter Plaza

New York Times – "D.C.’s Mayor Fights for Control of Her City at Trump’s Front Door" 

"Ms. Bowser, a Washington native long steeped in city politics, again called on Mr. Trump on Friday to pull back all federal law enforcement officers and National Guard troops patrolling the city, including unidentified agents in riot gear, and said she would stop paying for the hotels for the Utah National Guard that she does not want in the city to begin with. 

She renamed as Black Lives Matter Plaza the area in front of Lafayette Square where federal officials used chemical spray and smoke grenades on Monday to clear protesters ahead of Mr. Trump’s photo op at a historic church that faces the road that Ms. Bowser had painted. (The money for the paint job came out of the city’s mural program, city officials said.)"

Rest in Peace Christo

New York Times – "Christo, Artist Who Wrapped and Festooned on an Epic Scale, Dies at 84"

'Over the River' (November 2011)

Edward Hopper

New Yorker - "Edward Hopper and American Solitude"

Reading During a Pandemic

Quartz - "Why it’s so hard to read in times of distress"