It is with great sadness that I join the many mourning the passing of Prince. He was truly an inspiration and cornerstone upon which countless fans and fellow artist rested laurels. A perfectionist and iconoclast, he truly was a force to be reckoned with. Starting as a child prodigy, he would go on to record nearly 40 full length albums over thirty seven years.
With an iconic voice and delivery, Prince was one of the kings of cool. Bullied from a young age, his strife helped shape him into the uncompromising and unapologetic tour de force that he became. Spawning pretenders left and right and continuously flummoxing his peers, Prince was like no other.
He helped begin a national conversation about sex, gender, race, and religion and their respective place in our popular spotlight. Answering to only his inner fire, he took the world by song and video and hellfire. One of the most talented pop, funk, rock, and hip hop musicians to have ever graced the stage, the world will sorely miss his influence.
Hello, hello! Welcome to the first installment of The Weekly Listen.
Here, I offer what I’ve been jamming on this week from the new to the old, and why. In return, I hope you will post comments about your own tunes of the week so we can compare and contrast.
A friend of mine recently suggested a whole mess of music for me to listen to the past couple of weeks, so I’ll start there.
My favorite tape has to be ‘Suffolk County’ by artist Cousin Stizz (Not to be confused with former PRO ERA member Captial Steez, RIP). Stizz hails from Boston, and brings a fresh perspective from the often diluted haze rap game. Boston is not typically known for their rap scene, as it seems lately Southern Rap like Atlanta trap and Houston chopped has been dominating the listening pool. Nearly every car I ride past during the day is bumping Future or a Future look-a-like. Similar yet different, Stizz stays away from the auto-tune but keeps the high hats so familiar in today’s music.
In any event, Stizz has some quality production to help his lazy flow. I recommend Fresh Prince off of Suffolk County if you want to dive in.
New music aside, I am always coming back to some ‘oldies’ that I keep on repeat. Tried and true.
Driving between Baltimore and DC for work & play, I find my go-to drive and vibe tape to be the immaculate ‘The Water[s]’ by Mick Jenkins. Jenkins, a Chicago native, captures the frustration of wanting to be better as he raps about the thirst of this nation, and the benefits of aqua rehydration. Not really, but also kind of. A complex listen, great sober and altered both. My 2014 song of the year and personal absolute favorite is ‘Dehydration’ featuring The Mind.
I’ll be back next week to keep chipping away at my weekly playthroughs. As always, leave a comment below to tell me what you think.