Not You – Chromatics


Glyph is worse than some and better than others. He believes that life is just one damned thing after another, that only pop music can save us now, and that mercy is the mark of a great man (but he's just all right). Nothing he writes here should be taken as an indication that he knows anything about anything.

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8 Responses

  1. aaron david says:

    The wife is big Chromatics fan, and got me listening to Kill for Love. Good album.

    Spent a good part of the day listening to old Bad Brains on the Youtube.Report

  2. j r says:

    That last discussion of Kendrick got me back to listening to To Pimp a Butterfly again it’s become obsessive. I’ve also been watching a bunch of live performances of him and I know it’s cliched at this point, but what he is doing is really on another level. It’s become obsessive.

    And of course all of this culminated with the live Grammy performance yesterday, which cemented all of the various strains of thought that have been floating around in my head. The Grammy performance had a certain impact, but he did a couple of Late Show performances that demonstrate where he is even better:

    I can’t really think of another rapper who’s done the same things musically and vocally, together. I feel like I’m watching David Bowie channeled through James Brown.Report

    • Glyph in reply to j r says:

      Whoa, whoa, whoa. Let’s not get carried away, now. The Godfather and his band didn’t use click tracks.

      (I mean, it’s possible that the ‘phones in Lamar’s and the drummer’s ears are either sound bafflers or monitors, but generally when I see a drummer with ‘phones, I assume “click track”, and the start/stop/rhythm changes in the song would certainly necessitate one, for most people who aren’t James Brown or his band).Report

    • Chris in reply to j r says:


      We saw him perform in a small (tiny) venue at SXSW in ’14. It was so packed that you could barely move, but he was so intense that it didn’t really matter. Everyone was blown away, and he was the talk of the festival everywhere we went because of performances like that (he did like 6 shows in 3 days, because he has seemingly unlimited energy). But what he’s doing now is at a whole ‘nother level.

      I’ve said it before, but he’s pretty much the most requested collaborator in hip hop right now, and every damn time he does a verse for someone, you realize just how far ahead he is of everyone else on the planet. It’s almost scary to see how much he’s stepped it up over even 2014 Kendrick.Report

    • j r in reply to j r says:

      By the late 60s, James Brown had spent ten years turning his band into a finely synchronized drum kit and invented funk. Obviously, the comparison has its limits. My real point is that I’ve yet to see a rapper either perform so well-synced with a band or exhibit that level of vocal control.

      Watch the untitled track from the same Colbert appearance that comes after the video I posted. It’s even more impressive.


      Have you listened to the Black Friday verse over J Cole’s “A Tale of 2 Citiz” beat? Scary is the right word. It makes the “Control” verse look tame.

      And speaking of Control, what the hell is wrong with Jay Electronica? He drops a Kendrick diss track on the day of he Grammys, which only serves to make people wonder what exactly he’s been doing for the past ten years.Report

      • Chris in reply to j r says:

        The “Black Friday” remix even has a 10,000 hours of practice line. It’s a great verse. And Jay Electronica is a mess.

        Last year we saw both Chance the Rapper and Ghostface Killah with live bands. Chance’s band The Social Experiment (which put out its own album last year, of course) is awesome, and he is great with them. As with Lamar, the combo of hip hop and live band makes for an incredibly fun and energetic show. In fact, I don’t know that I’ve ever seen an artist with more energy than Chance with his band.

        Ghostface is playing with BADBADNOTGOOD, a jazz/hip hop fusion group from Canadiana (Toronto, I think), who studied jazz formally and are seriously good musicians. Here’s one of their official videos:

        Just audio:

        Here’s Tyler the Creator with BADBADNOTGOOD (Not Even a Remotely Safe for Work!!!!! I’m talking from the first words out of Tyler’s mouth):

        And BADBADNOTGOOD by themselves:

        Live, they do several Wu-Tang songs, and since Raekwon was in town for SXSW, they brought him out for about 4 songs, and even did an ODB tribute. It was pretty damn awesome.Report