What am I listening to: Miles Brewster
I have always found myself to be a music lover. From the young age of 7 years old, I would listen to Lil Wayne's Carter III (yes the explicit version) on full blast on my Ipod Nano. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been entranced by the ability of musical artists to evoke emotion with the use of sounds and words. I like to think that my music taste has grown like a tree. It started with its root in Hip-Hop. Around the age of 12 or 13, I listened to music that was generally very popular amongst Black kids my age. But as I grew older I began to explore different genres of music, as well as artists of different popularity. My palette began to expand one artist at a time and would take me in all sorts of directions. I would find out about experimental Hip-Hop artists like Earl Sweatshirt which would lead to an even more far out artist like Flying Lotus. I would hear about Mac Demarco which would lead me to the Canadian group Men I Trust and so on and so forth. This pattern would continue in all sorts of directions, with some artists falling out of taste, and others creating a whole new branch entirely, leading to the “music tree” I have developed today. Here are a couple artists that have had a large impact on my life.
Hailing from Valesburg, New Jersey, Mach-Hommy’s career has always been shrouded in mystery. He burst onto the scene in 2016 with his first project, HBO (Haitian Body Odor). The project featured bare bones instrumentals where his complicated yet addictive rhyme schemes could shine. He often discussed his hometown of New Jersey, as well as his Haitian roots (an aspect that really drew me in being Haitian myself).
Yet there was a catch, the album could not be streamed at all, only bought on the music platform Bandcamp for the cheap price of $1,000. Yes, a whole rack.
This release was followed by many others over the next 5 years, all priced well over the $300 mark. I found his music in less than ethical ways, but everytime it was well worth it. He had features with Griselda members Conway The Machine ,Westside Gunn, as well as his frequent partner in crime Tha God Fahim. Mach-Hommy brings a fresh and interesting perspective to gangster rap that really is unmatched by his peers. I would suggest listening to his most recent project, Pray for Haiti (which is on streaming platforms along with a lot of other ones that formerly were unavailable) for anyone trying to get a sense of who Mach-Hommy is. Some other dope projects include Fete des Morts AKA Dia de los Muertos, which is completely produced by Earl Sweatshirt, as well as his opening project HBO.
D’Angelo is probably one of my favorite artists. His voice is smooth like butter, and anytime I play his music a smile is instantly brought to my face. I’ve always known about D’Angelo, his music would always play in my house growing up, as it has in so many Black households. He fits a similar R&B lane that Anthony Hamilton and Maxwell do, yet to me his music really stands out. When I found Voodoo in the 10th grade, it changed my life for good. I would mainly recommend listening to Voodoo, his second studio album. But Brown Sugar is a fan-favorite. You really can’t go wrong with any of his three major studio albums
Flying Lotus may be the most interesting and experimental artist on my list. He is one of the most important artists in the history of electronic music, paving the way for so many artists of the 2010s. Yet he shouldn’t simply be classified as an electronic artist, his music is complicated and contains heavy influences from Hip-Hop, Jazz and Rock. He really is an incomparable artist. I was first introduced to Flying Lotus with Your Dead! which he released in 2016, I remember listening to that album in order repeatedly.
The layers are unending and each listen evokes a new emotion and discovery each time. I would recommend either Your Dead! or Cosmogramma to get introduced to the LA producer.
Wiz-kid has garnered a lot of popularity recently and it's about time. He and Burna Boy have been blazing the path for the international success of Afrobeats for some time now. His music is truly addicting. His hit Essence feat. Tems along with the accompanying album, Made in Lagos, has garnered incredible success but he’s also got plenty of other gems. He’s worked with fellow Nigerian artists like Tiwa Savage, Adekunle Gold, DJ Spinall and Juls (all artists you should check out). I promise if you give his discography a listen you won’t be disappointed.