We've started poking around in locals' iTunes, iPods, Spotify playlists, CD players, cassette decks, turntables and brains with one question in mind: What are you listening to? We don't even care if it's good, we just want to know what the music community has been obsessing over, playing on repeat, picking apart, hating or turning people on to. Sometimes, these things even all happen at once.
"I've been listening to Oddisee's People Hear What They See all summer. I love Oddisee because he rhymes like a beast but also handles his own production as well. This album is the perfect balance of good songwriting and strong music that's not just repetitive loops over and over.
"The songs have great change-ups and structure that keep me interested every time I jam it. The content is strong and about real life, not just what most rappers want us to think about their life, with money, drugs and cars. Plus, his rhyme schemes are crazy. He's not just doing some couplet patterns, but doing a lot of A B B A schemes, with tons of intricacies.
"I've also been riding to Jack White's Blunderbuss, but who hasn't? I just really appreciate his writing. He's a lot different from most rockers in regards to his cadences being very hip-hop. The lyrics are able to paint visuals that are vivid with every listen, and that's what a great writer can do.
"What keeps me coming back to both of these albums is that both artists aren't afraid to stretch their genre into what they want their music to sound like. No constraints with what tradition says they should or shouldn't do. I love that!"