Articles in Spanish for respected sites, Sir

So yeah, I didn’t follow through with the whole getting-this-blog-into-shape thing. The world has been incredibly distracting, but I have another excuse: I’ve been writing in Spanish. I stopped publishing around when I started with “La Tormenta” a million years ago, and now that the alchemical process is about to give results, I’m getting a head start in reclaiming my old journalistic career back.

It’s been harder than previously anticipated, but I got a semi regular column in Venezuela’s premiere electronic music site Dj Profile, in which I have written about Massive Attack and Justice so far:

1.- http://www.djprofile.tv/mentes-trabajando-independientemente-regreso-massive-attack/ (–> English version)

2.- http://www.djprofile.tv/just-tease-sobre-woman-el-tercero-de-justice/

And I wrote about my favorite female emcees for Spain’s sexiest literary site, Culturetas:

http://culturetas.es/emcees-gringas-apoyo-lauryn-hill/

Last but not least, I keep my music tumblelog at the edge of everything with constant updates:

http://hugehefner.tumblr.com/

That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.

“In 2016 I enjoyed”, my music list to close off the period

I would love to justify my lateness alleging that I was waiting for the new Run The Jewels to drop, but actually I just couldn’t find the necessary silence to finish this beauty until today. Or the will. This December in Venezuela was odd and noisy, even with fireworks out of everybody’s price range.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand… without further ado and starting at the top:

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Two or three paragraphs about Chance the Rapper’s “Coloring Book”

The third mixtape by the half emcee/ half singer from Chicago is half gospel hip hop/ half club music. On my first spin I thought at last, through Chance, I was going to be able to appreciate this new wave of mumble rap the children seem to be crazy about. It features Future, Young Thug and that idiotic kid Lil Yachty and none of those songs make me want to rip my ears off. I even liked “Smoke Break“at first.  On repeated listens though, I tend to skip them and the Justin Beaver one. That sound just doesn’t appeal to me even with Chance and his production team in the mix.

As for the gospel, I propose it’s the reason this album didn’t really blew up worldwide. It was critically lauded across the board, the Grammy academy changed its rules just to be able nominate it, Chano appeared in every screen and became a household name, but the music per se got to a point and then stalled. You can talk about God all you want, just ask Kendrick, but.unlike jazz and funk, gospel is completely specific. It has all those catholic connotations and people from other walks of life don’t want to hear that shit. Also, personally, gospel doesn’t speak to me. I have no memories associated to it like most gringos. Anyway, “Coloring Book” didn’t really explode like it was supposed to.

As for Chance, his singing sounds better than ever in this mixtape, the very musical pieces bring out the best in his voice. His rapping though, It’s not on “Acid Rap” level. He’s got some slick lines here and there, but the melodies and not the lyrics were his main focus and the hip hop part suffered. The exception is “How Great”. On that note, let’s talk about Jay Electronica’s verse: Incredible. It’s not even that good by his standards and it’s still one of the bests of 2016.

In conclusion: Overall it’s a good project, parts of it are great, but Chance, do yourself a favor and drop acid before starting on your next one.

BONUS, the clips:

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Two or three paragraphs about Anderson .Paak’s “Malibu”

In November 2015, I predicted Anderson .Paak‘s rise to stardom while discussing Dr. Dre‘s “Compton“. And I had no idea he was such a talented individual back then. I consumed a couple videoclips for the “Venice” singles and wasn’t particularly impressed but his voice was unique and got stuck in my head. Two days later, The Season / Carry Me” dropped and I was floored. It was exactly what the world needed, it was obvious. As the release date approached, Come Down” appeared and the funk was within us.

Still, I wasn’t expecting such a consistent and well-thought-out album. When “Malibu” arrived it was already over. Anderson .Paak won by knockout. As the year went by he became the vocalist to call and was invited to participate in virtually every project that came out of the USA. He began appearing as a musical guest in talk shows and, surprise!, Boom!, he played the drums and had a band. Later on, he stole the show at every music festival and his fate was sealed. In a move that surprised no one, Dr. Dre signed him to Aftermath. “… and fuck fame/ That killed all my favorite entertainers”… beware of your own words, Mr. .Paak.
In The Needle Drop‘s “Malibu” review, Fantano made a good point: even with the presence of superstar producers, the album sounds synthetic and relies too much on loops. It has some, but it could be even better with more live instrumentation. His Tiny Desk Concert” is proof, the already wonderful songs come alive and breath fresh air. Simple and sexy, butter and velvet. It’s ridiculous. Still, I don’t listen to “Malibu” that much. Maybe it’s too R&B for me. Maybe too happy. Maybe I’m waiting for a live album or one for the more aggressive Nx Worries project he has with producer Knxwledge. One thing’s for sure, there are no filler songs in that album and .Paak more than proved himself as an artist. The kid is just starting, let him spread his wings and he’ll burn the world down.

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