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Tom Breihan
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The first words Future says on Honest are a half-conscious mutter, but that doesn’t make them any less heartfelt: “Be bold. Smell me?” As if to show and prove on those four words, the music underneath him is not what you might expect from the intro track to the new Future album. It’s a warm, reverby, full-bodied guitar loop, and the first time I heard it, I assumed it was a Fleetwood Mac sample or something — mostly, I suppose, because it reminded me of the circular grace of the Fleetwood Mac sample on Bone Thugs-N-Harmony’s “Wind Blow.” But no, Future’s sample comes from Amadou And Mariam, the blind Malian guitar virtuosos. And when he’s rapping on it — feverishly, frantically — Future sounds like he’s declaring intentions of epicness. He’s earned the right. Future has spent the past few years dragging the entire rap mainstream into his zonked-out headspace, to the point where his voice, at its most strained, is about the most exciting sound you can possibly hear in a nightclub right now. (If you haven’t seen a big crowd lose its mind to “Sh!t” or “Bugatti,” I would argue that you are not experiencing rap music in the right ways. Adjust.) Honest is Future’s first album since becoming a straight-up star, a known quantity, which means that it can’t conjure the same weird magic as its predecessor, 2012′s incredible Pluto. Because of the baroque intricacies of the present-day rap industry, established rap stars have more trouble getting their albums released than unproven upstarts do, and we’ve already experienced many of the songs on Honest over the past year or so, so the new album ends up feeling half like a new album and half like a greatest-hits collection that only covers the past year or so. And yet the Future of Honest still does what he advises you to do on the intro. He is bold.

Refractory Obdurate, the new album from former 16 Horsepower frontman David Eugene Edwards’s Wovenhand project, somehow walks the line between blackened, apocalyptic roots music and scorched-earth postpunk. Converge frontman Jacob Bannon’s Deathwish Inc. label — a label that generally focuses on way-out hardcore and metal — is releasing the album, and it’s somehow heavier than most of the stuff that comes out on that label. It is a monster of an album. We previously posted the early track “Hiss,” and that was awesome. But now you can stream the whole album at Pitchfork. You should do that.

Refractory Obdurate is out 4/29 on Deathwish Inc.

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On Schoolboy Q’s jagged and fired-up new album Oxymoron, “Studio,” a collaboration with the promising R&B singer BJ The Chicago Kid, stands out as a rare languid moment. It’s a song about being at work but wishing you were having sex instead, and, I mean, we’ve all been there. The black-and-white video takes just about the most literal approach you could imagine, with Q finishing up a verse in a booth somewhere while some girl crawls around on a bedspread and gets tastefully naked. Watch it below.

Comments

 +2Posted on Apr 22nd | re: The Rise And Fall Of The Britpop Dance Night (11 comments)

Because fuck white people.

We’re deleting that comment. I wasn’t joking or anything. It was more like “fuck, this poor kid, I can’t pay attention to this song.” If it came across as sarcasm or anything like that, I’m sorry.

 +6Posted on Mar 27th | re: EMA - "3Jane" (9 comments)

Dude there’s a song on the album called “Chthulu.” She is not messing around.

 +8Posted on Mar 25th | re: Album Of The Week: Future Islands Singles (54 comments)

In the great art-pop vs. art-rock battle, I will always side with art-pop. Also don’t get me started on art-rap.

 +3Posted on Mar 19th | re: Wu-Tang Clan - "Keep Watch" (11 comments)

If someone wants to write an argument for why this is a classic Wu-banger, I will listen. I wrote like 2000 words articulating my position on that YG album. As it stands, I like every song on 8 Diagrams better than this. (8 Diagrams is deeply, deeply underrated.)

 +2Posted on Mar 18th | re: Neneh Cherry (Feat. Robyn) - "Out Of The Black" Video (7 comments)

From hearing “Bufflao Stance” in 1989?

 +1Posted on Mar 13th | re: Future Islands Owned Last Night At SXSW (12 comments)

Weird, maybe my show memories are just wrong. But now they’re playing bigger stages, and he has more room to move around.

 +1Posted on Mar 12th | re: Album Of The Week: Le1f Hey (15 comments)

Figured I’d wait for the American release, but you’re probably right.

 0Posted on Mar 12th | re: Premature Evaluation: The War On Drugs Lost In The Dream (69 comments)

Close! Charlottesville.

 -7Posted on Mar 4th | re: Watch Wild Beasts Cover Miley Cyrus's "Wrecking Ball" (10 comments)

It would be less annoying if Wild Beasts had ever written a song anywhere near as good as “Wrecking Ball.”