I don’t like hyping things up anymore. I don’t like speaking about things my heart doesn’t beat in double time for. I don’t like spending time with people I wouldn’t want to also know when I’m 60. In the same regard, I A&R my own ears. I don’t let myself listen to things too often that won’t make me feel something. At best, I’d like to feel something I don’t understand, so my mind can contort and stretch and cringe and eventually, learn. At worst, I just want to feel some shit, to be pulled and tugged recklessly. To have my emotions exploited and torn apart and re-conditioned the way nearly frozen water creeps down your throat and sends an uncomfortable electric pulse that momentarily freezes your psyche. A pulse that makes you quiver at the magnitude of the unknown and natural. And only when we’re being led by invisible strings and illogical but carnal desires may we ever attain any sort of illumination.
And I’m not going to say that most of the popular music being promoted doesn’t make you feel anything, because you already know that it doesn’t. Admit it; you don’t want TPAB Kendrick as much as you want GKMC Kendrick. You prefer backpack and dark fantasy Kanye instead of 808s or Yeezus ‘Ye. The masses yearn for the image of passion but not passion itself, not anything genuinely raw. Because raw things are bloody and smelly and grotesque and human. And so mega-stars dole out emotions to their audiences in safe, distant, meager portions. Protecting humans from the one thing that connects us all: vulnerability. And when you look at those really leaving it all on the line, backs against the wall, head pressured up against a glass ceiling, they’re vilified. They’re spiritually deported. They’re demonized and meme’d and #hashtagged until even their raw messages themselves are repackaged into digestible content. The genuine aren’t recognized or accepted because they aren’t categorizable. And that’s scary as fuck. The thought that some things shouldn’t ever be explained but should just be. Because we all have this mindset like we have to know everything. But as soon as you can categorize something, it’s ruined.
To me, the best music replicates nature. And though nature itself may be flawless, it’s comprised of an abundance of imperfections that combine to make something cosmic. It’s the same science that governs why humans invented terms like ‘magic,’ or ‘intuition’ or ‘de-ja-vu.’ it relieves us of the responsibility of having to admit there are things we can’t and won’t ever even slightly comprehend, but only feel, see, taste, and remember, even things that haven’t happened yet. And that’s too frightening for most to bear.
Yesterday, Brockhampton’s most underrated, JOBA, paired with one of their biggest talents, Romil, to not only just trust something unknown, but let it utterly consume him, overwhelm him, tear him open and leave him awestruck at the very compositional make up of his own deepest insecurities. He named it ‘Sad Saturdays’ because a girl he loved more than himself at some point makes him sad to this day (read his letter). It’s simple and honest the way rain is. There’s this Shakespeare piece that can explain this better than I could ever hope to:
“You say that you love rain,
but you open your umbrella when it rains.
You say that you love the sun,
but you find a shadow spot when the sun shines.
You say that you love the wind,
but you close your windows when wind blows.
This is why I am afraid;
you say that you love me too.”
Listen to “Sad Saturdays” below: