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On the Record: Kanye West, J. Cole, Primal Scream, Empire of the Sun, Mac Miller and Statik Selektah

imageKanye West
Yeezus
(Def Jam)
Sounds like:
Yeezy’s seventh is a pretty solid collection of more simplified rhymes, atypical West production—he got lots of help—and always flavored by that ego.
Free association: Why does Justin Vernon have to be on so many hip-hop records?
For fans of: Dre/the Game/A$AP/Jay-Z, Missy x Frank Ocean, Chicago in Paris.

imageJ. Cole
Born Sinner
(Columbia)
Sounds like:
A strong sophomore showing from the Jay-Z protege, proving he can write and produce—and that he may be way more than a flash in the pan.
Free association: Tight guest game, thoughtful rhymes and headphone delights.
For fans of: Drake x Wale + Bow Wow, Miguel/Kendrick Lamar, sophisticated samples.

imagePrimal Scream
More Light
(Ignition Records)
Sounds like:
The Scottish legends of psychedelic and beat-friendly dance rock nail their 10th, and, yes, 30 years in, they stay relevant and fresh.
Free association: Required listening. You should give 1991’s Screamadelica some spins while you’re at this.
For fans of: Stone Roses x UNKLE + Saint Etienne, U.K. psych + electronica/trip-hop.

imageEmpire of the Sun
Ice on the Dune
(Astralwerks/EMI)
Sounds like:
The Aussie electro duo specializing in sci-fi funk and futuristic pop ride the wave of their debut’s acclaim with more, pretty dancey pop bliss.
Free association: Remember how we used to care about Justice? EOTS do it better.
For fans of: Hot Chip x MGMT + Yelle, role-playing nerd house.

imageMac Miller
Watching Movies with the Sound Off
(Rostrum)
Sounds like:
PA pride! The Pittsburgh emcee’s second is damn good for a 21-year-old white boy whose friendships with the black hippies are doing him right.
Free association: Pretty sure Schoolboy Q and Ab-Soul are rubbing off correctly.
For fans of: Earl Sweatshirt/Action Bronson/Jay Electronica, Macklemore, youth.

imageStatik Selektah
Extended Play
(Showoff Records/Duck Down Music)
Sounds like:
The New England DJ and producer’s fifth is a mixed bag of guests on every track over Statik’s hardening beat parade, and it’s all a little much.
Free association: When you have 20 guests on an LP, it’s hard to make it cohesive.
For fans of: Danger Mouse x DJ Premier/Funkmaster Flex, supreme/deluxe things.


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