On October 23, I spent a damned good evening watching an excited-to-be-here Flying Lotus at the Neptune. The Philly via LA producer (perched behind and in front of some insane, opaque projection screens) smashed the whole shit up as he spun—or clicked, or whatever—through his impressive catalogue, including some of the ghost lullabies from his new one, Until the Quiet Comes, even enlisting the most welcome surprise of the Palaceer Lazaro for a song. FlyLo also made sure to drop some Kendrick Lamar—"Swimming Pools," to be precise, the first single from that good kid m.A.A.d. city, his highly focused work of old-soul sound-cinema, which is now readily available at a store near you and deserving of a good portion of your time. The fact that the industry is so embracing of Kendrick's rather highly developed artistry is encouraging. Another great piece of work, Main Attrakionz's, Bossalinis & Fooliyones, we've already talked about.
What we haven't talked about could probably fill an airplane hangar—but one of those things is the Cody ChesnuTT album, which is just about as fly as anything you'd find in one. Sure, it's not rap, but you, like me, likely first heard him with the Roots on "The Seed 2.0," which is still about as unfuckwittable as modern soul medicine can get. Landing on a Hundred is a shot of pure life, a triumph I wasn't sure we'd ever get to see—it's been a decade since his last album, The Headphone Masterpiece. "Everybody's Brother" starts off with the pretty shocking "I used to smoke crack back in the day"—but when he talks about teaching kids in Sunday school, you can hear how happy he is to be where he is. If his celebration of the Motherland, "I've Been Life," doesn't get your heart going, you might not have originally come from there (meaning, you're from space, doggie). See, there are artists—my favorite ones right now—seemingly fighting for their souls and sanity via their art because, as you know, shit is hectic.
Yeah, I was just bitching to myself about writing a glorified show calendar, when somebody asked me what I was excited about recently—so that's what came to mind. It's good to remember the stuff you're actually excited about as the year winds down—cold, damp, and despondent though you may currently be. There are plenty of artists bubbling around here who I'm excited about, too, and you'll be hearing more about them soon, trust. I'm also excited to see what exactly happens after someone in our little scene suddenly becomes a big deal—though I'm not cheery at the prospect of seeing new levels of that ugly plague of chronic, parching thirst. Before you start trying to do A, B, or C to get to that sanctified place you call "on," first knock the dust-caked cobwebs from your aching lungs and just drink deep from all that is real and life-giving. Somebody on Kendrick's album said that we're dying of thirst, and I agree with that, so—do hydrate higher.