Flying Lotus

Vibe Exclusive: Flying Lotus Goes Nocturnal

Steamrolling its way to playlists and concert venues this fall is the new album from music fusion guru Flying Lotus (born Steven Ellison). The cleverly named Until the Quiet Comes is composed out of “a collage of mystical states, dreams, sleep and lullabies,” putting listeners and fans on a nocturnal trip through their subconscious. Never one to follow by the rules set by the music industry, Steven uses his artistic liberties to formulate the sentiments one feels in an out-of-body experience through his cosmic play of bass weight and computerized arrangements while his long-time muses Niki Randa and Laura Darlington match the beautiful chaos through the graceful vocals.

Steven sat down with Vibe, still wiping the sleep out of his eyes, to discuss his new album and the power the supernatural world holds for his music.

VIBE: If you can describe your sound to an alien visiting our planet for research, what would it be?
Steven: I think I might be over thinking the question. I want to say ‘beep boop, beep.” [Laughs] I’d tell them that it’s a lot of music that we’ve come to know: jazz, hip-hop, electronic music, psychedelic rock, so, some kind of mutant hybrid of all those genres.

Many readers might find your sound familiar due to the music you produced on Cartoon Network’s “Adult Swim.” Do you by chance have any favorite shows on that program?
I really like the new Black Dynamite show, that’s pretty good. The Eric Andre Show, Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job, Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Those shows are all pretty good.

What cultural musical influences did you look to when creating this album?
I think its more African percussion music that really inspired a lot of the songs, specifically the first track. I always listen for African music – it’s kind of like a foundation for sampling.

Stemming from a family of jazz musicians, including John Coltrane, does that influence ever find itself in your music?
Yeah, definitely. I think it’s not necessarily the specific sound that makes it jazz-inspired, but more so the mind set and approach to it. I feel like I’ve always been a jazzman in a way, or as much as you can be in 2012 and without doing heroin.

What made you want to focus on the human-subconscious/dream world in your latest album?
I feel like that world fascinates me so much. That feeling is very present in the artist’s mind where creative ideas flourish. The notion of the unknown and beyond is something that I’ve always been curious about, and the music and work that do is where I can ask those questions.

What are you hoping fans will get from this album?
I hope the fans will get an experience. I really did want this thing to be a journey, and something people can enjoy for a long time and can come back to. It doesn’t really refer to a specific time, it refers to all time – it’s timeless.

You have a few guest artists on this album including Laura Darlington, Niki Randa, Thundercat and Thom Yorke. What requirements does one have to possess when collaborating with you on an album/track?
I like vocalists who see their sound as texture as opposed to the song. When it comes to producing these records, I always like the approach to be that we’re expanding the beat and the track, and not necessarily doing just a regular song with hooks and choruses. Sometimes singers overdo it so that you only focus on the voice, which is cool sometimes, but it’s my record – I’m producing it – so the songs should be about the track as a whole. The people that are my favorites are ones who have such a respect for what’s already there. They don’t try to approach it thinking they’re going to turn it into a song, but rather going to add to it.

If there was a rapper/hip-hop artist you could collaborate with, who would it be and why?
I really want to do a song with Tyga – I’ve been listening to his tracks since 2008. I would also really like to do something with Eminem - that would be crazy. I’m so inspired by the new generation of rappers.

What was the best dream you’ve ever encountered in your sleep?
There’s a dream that was so real. I was wandering around in a forest where everyone I knew was there and they were all sitting down like they were about to watch a play happen in the woods. Then a really amazing god-like being came down to earth. He was like a Hindu god, and he was huge. I’m a tall guy, but I was probably only reach up to his knee, and I just held him around his leg and he took me up into the sky where you can see the whole planet. From that angle you could see everything, including some of most amazing details, and you could see that this being was washing the world over with good intentions. It was such a beautiful thing to see, and it felt more real than reality.

Until the Quiet Comes drops October 1st and 2nd on Warped Records. Preorder the album at flying-lotus.com/until-the-quiet-comes and check out dates and locations for his upcoming tour.

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A$AP Ferg (L) and A$AP Rocky attend A$AP Mob Yams Day 2019 at Barclays Center on January 17, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)

2019 Yams Day: A Millennial Hypebeast's Wet Dream

It's somewhat fitting that the theme for the 2019 Yams Day is WWE wrestling. While it pays homage to the late Yams' favorite sport and pastime, it perfectly encapsulates today's concert culture for the millennial hypebeast.

After wading in the brisk weather of one of the colder Thursday's of Jan. 2019, 20-somethings and late 90s babies flocked to their assigned sections of Brooklyn's Barclays Center to pay tribute to the founder member and enjoy A$AP Rocky's "Injured Generation Tour."

The crowd is more salt than peppered, even more than a Lil Wayne concert. Puffer jackets decorate the rows of the rickety stadium chairs. And young clear girls donning cornrows, tube tops, cropped shirts, and a rainbow of colored, high-waisted camo pants weave in and out of the aisles. Boys in beanies, florescent skullcaps, and cross-body bags are seen down below migrating in huddles by the main stage and sub-arena masquerading as a wrestling ring. If you needed a gentle reminder of just how influential black culture can be, you found it here.

Rocky, the mob's fierce leader, encouraged the crowd to form a pit in the center of the venue. And just like WWE, a single spotlight highlights the pit as shirtless boys crash into one another, limbs failing and heads bobbing. It surely looks like it hurts, but as mentioned several times throughout the night, it's all for show, and for fun of course.

Each mosh is ricocheted off of one another so much so that from the lower level (which is actually one level above the floor), looked like a violent sea rolling up to shore.

The only thing keeping these kids up, besides the body of the person beside them, seems to be the revolving doors of performers which included a long list of ragers like Ski Mask the Slump God, Flatbush Zombies, Joey Bada$$, Metro Boomin, and of course A$AP Mob.

Weed fogs the air as fans light up to commemorate the fallen members of hip-hop. That includes more than Yams today, as XXXTentacion recently passed away in 2018. And it wouldn't be a night if someone didn't yell "Free Tekashi 6ix9ine." "No one deserves to be locked up," it was stated.

"Millennial" and "hypebeast" haven't always found the perfect harmony, but when they do it produces a unique experience. Black boy joy is one of the better products. A$AP Ferg and a variety of other friends and family partake in a fun-loving game of dance-tag, flinging their arms and bodies around as Lil Wayne and Swizz Beatz's "Uproar" cuts on. Other jams of the present and past like Crime Mob's "Knuck If You Buck" and Kendrick Lamar's "M.a.A.d city" also blast through the speakers, while the n-word echoes through the spot.

 

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$ummer $lam or #YamsDay? 😂

A post shared by Barclays Center (@barclayscenter) on Jan 17, 2019 at 6:08pm PST

Millennials are fearless. What's more courageous than the kids entering the pits of destruction, are the musical acts that run off the cliff of the stage into the audience. They are so certain their fans will catch them, they often dive head first, flipping into piles of extended arms.

The surprise guests of the night, Meek Mill and Soulja Boy, are perhaps the most trending acts in the social realm. Soulja Boy reenacts comedic interview from The Breakfast Club, reciting "Draakee" as he walks from one end of the stage to the next. Meek creates a "moment," performing "Dreams and Nightmares (Intro)."

 

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A post shared by VibeMagazine (@vibemagazine) on Jan 17, 2019 at 10:47pm PST

Bedtime is approaching but there's not a yawn in sight around this crew. If you're looking for the millennials, you can find them turning up at Barclays.

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Future, Chief Keef, And More Friday Releases You Need To Hear

As the first month of 2019 winds down, a handful of hip-hop artists dropped new projects and singles. From Future to Chief Keef and Logic, we've compiled a list of Friday music releases you should be listening to.

Check out the full list below.

Future – The WZRD

Future's latest project The WZRD is finally here. The 20-track album features guest appearances from Young Thug, Travis Scott, and Gunna. It also serves as his seventh studio album.

Ahead of the album's release, Future dropped a documentary, entitled Future Hndrxx Presents: The Wizrd, which previewed the LP and discussed his views and artistry. It also included commentary from Andre 3000, DJ Khaled, Rico Wade, Metro Boomin, Southside and others.

Chief Keef – The Leek 7

Chief Keef has delivered the seventh installment of The Leek series with  The Leek, Vol. 7. The 12-song project features only one feature from Gucci Mane on the single "Jet Li."

Listen to The Leek 7 below.

Logic – "Keanu Reeves"

Logic is paying his respects to actor Keanu Reeves in his latest single. The Maryland artist dropped the track nearly nine months after he debuted it during the Movin' On Festival at Penn State University.

"Did you know I'm mixed like Obama?/It ain't a project if Logic ain't talkin' 'bout being biracial," he brags  on the track. "When them soccer moms pull up in they van while I rid/Like, ‘Oh my God, children, it's the 1-800 guy!"

Listen to the new song below.

Ariana Grande "7 Rings"

Ariana Grande’s Thank U, Next album turns a Broadway classic on its head with her latest single “7 Rings.” The resident princess of pop, Grande takes plunges into the world of hip-hop and R&B with a reworked sample of “My Favorite Things,” classicly sung by Julie Andrews from the musical, The Sound Of Music.

The 25-year-old pays homage to Lil Mama’s “Lip Gloss,” with a Soulja Boy-sized flow reminiscent of his “Pretty Boy Swag” days. A follow-up single to her smash hit “Thank U, Next,” Grande’s outer good girl gets replaced by her inner savage as she sings “Been through some bad sh*t, I should be a sad b***h/Who woulda thought it'd turn me to a savage?/Rather be tied up with cuffs and not strings/Write my own checks like I write what I sing.”

Instead of feeling like an inauthentic nosedive into edgier music, “7 Rings” fits Grande like a glove as a testament to her evolution.

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Meek Mill Once Used Soulja Boy's "Kiss Me Thru The Phone" Lyrics In Love Letters From Jail

Who knew Soulja Boy’s ubiquitous 2008 hit “Kiss Me Thru The Phone” once served as a romantic catalyst for Meek Mill? The Philadelphia rapper recently admitted on Twitter that while he was incarcerated in his youth, he used the lyrics to Soulja Boy’s schmaltzy love note within letters and phone calls to girls.

This was my favorite song when I was in jail back in the day calling girls collect.... and I used to his bars in the letters I wrote them no cap lol 😂😂😂 #bigdraco pic.twitter.com/qFqgkylQtm

— Meek Mill (@MeekMill) January 16, 2019

Amid Meek’s cheeky co-sign, Soulja Boy has been one of the Internet’s favorite topics of discussion since his latest interview on The Breakfast Club. The 28-year-old rapper spoke about his legacy in hip-hop and why he deserves more credit than he’s been given for his influence. He also had some choice words for Kanye West when he said the latter is old and "lame."

"I'm younger than you," he began. "I'm flyer than you, ni**a. Whatever. You crying on Twitter every week about Drake? You gotta stop that sh*t, bro. You look lame, bro. You look cap, bro...You up here supporting Trump and sh*t, bro. You supporting Trump? What the f**k wrong with you, bro? That sh*t's not right."

Other artists in the industry also chimed in on the situation:

I’m Not Going To Lie Soulja Boy Been Funny As Fuck

— Sir Ski Mask (@THESLUMPGOD) January 17, 2019

The internet crazy , Soulja boy reinvented himself 🤦🏾‍♂️

— zoey dollaz (@ZoeyDollaz) January 17, 2019

Soulja Boy is a legend

— juicy j (@therealjuicyj) January 16, 2019

WE HAVE NOTHING BUT LOVE, RESPECT & ADMIRATION FOR SOULJA BOY IN THIS HOUSEHOLD *cranks dat in silence* pic.twitter.com/Amacz7NQYO

— The Vibe Formerly Known As (@KARIFAUX) January 16, 2019

For nostalgia's sake, listen to "Kiss Me Thru The Phone" below.

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