Mixtape 476: WU LYF – Heavy Pop

WU LYF – Heavy Pop

This song is the sound of the last party of summer, a bittersweet second farewell to your hometown. The spotlights shine down, the pool sits open and unused while the liquor sits open and finished. Friends have come and friends have gone, and you feel like everyone you’ve seen over the last few months have stopped by. People you didn’t even know were acquainted have hugged, and shaken hands, and promised to meet up again next year. You’ve been wished well and wished well in return.

This isn’t the sound of the last day of high school, or the last day before college. There’s wisdom, there’s a certain world weariness. Less excitement, less unknown, more inevitability. There’s a knowledge that you’ll never see some of these people again. Sure, some will stay in your life for a while longer, some forever, but there are no misconceptions that you’ll “keep in touch”, or “talk everyday”. There’s a few hugs, some handshakes, and a knowing goodbye.

This is more in the vein of my tumblog, Taken in Tune, where I write something inspired by a song I loved in a more freeform way. I felt like Heavy Pop warranted this sort of entry, but I still felt like it, being new and fitting with the theme, belonged on the summer mixtape (though it’ll likely close it when all is said and done). If you enjoyed this, I urge you to check out Taken in Tune, because there are some things I’ve written on it that I’m very proud of. On the other hand, if you hated this and would rather I left this sort of thing on my other blog, feel free to leave a comment saying so.

Regardless, song number five of the summer mixtape for 2011, the:

Mixtape 476 – 2011

…is Heavy Pop by WU LYF.

1. The Dean’s List – Dear Professor

2. Nicki Minaj – Super Bass

3. Jim Jones and Girl Talk – Believe in Magic (ft. Lloyd)

4. Cults – Oh My God

5. WU LYF – Heavy Pop


Mixtape 476: Jim Jones and Girl Talk ft. Lloyd – Believe in Magic

I want Girl Talk to produce every song ever.

Seriously, the man can take any song, mix it with any other song (or three), and make it sound awesome. In this case, he takes a sample of Honey Cone’s “Want Ads”, wrings it out, and let’s Jim Jones do his shit, plus a little Lloyd for a chorus on the single (which makes it a little more of a song than an experiment).

The lovechild of Pitchfork.com’s “Selector” series, Jim Jones and Girl Talk team up, along with Lloyd on the chorus, to craft one hell of a little ditty.

Jim Jones and Girl Talk ft. Lloyd – Believe in Magic

(Yes, I realize I’ve been a little hip-hop biased so far this summer. That should be remedied soon enough.)

Anyway, song three of the summer mixtape for 2011, the:

Mixtape 476 – 2011

…is Jim Jones and Girl Talk’s Believe in Magic (featuring Lloyd)

1. The Dean’s List – Dear Professor

2. Nicki Minaj – Super Bass

3. Jim Jones and Girl Talk – Believe in Magic (ft. Lloyd)

And here is the original pitchfork.tv video, which is also pretty goddamn awesome.

Mixtape 476: Nicki Minaj – Super Bass

Alright, so I’ve got a new idea, a new format, I guess. Instead of saying “this song is awesome” or “this is the song of the summer” forty two times this summer, I’m just going to make a mixtape (so to speak, this is the internet after all), and then “release” it as a zip file when it’s done. So this way, you can grab the songs you want, or grab the whole thing once it’s all done and assembled into a nice little package.

ANYWAY, back to business…

Nicki Minaj – Super Bass

Nicki Minaj. I know what you’re thinking: “but Craig, why would you like Nicki Minaj? You’re a male, you’re usually snarky towards the mainstream, you don’t like popular music (usually), you’ve never liked a female rapper before, why would you start now?” and so forth.

To that I say, how the fuck do you know so much about me? I’ve written, like, 3 posts, I don’t have that much personal info, and, ostensibly, we don’t know each other.

Beyond that, however, you’re right. I usually don’t like the most popular songs, I’m usually snarky and bitter towards the mainstream (is it because I’m jealous that they have gallons, literally gallons of success, while I blog for free on the internet? …maybe), and I usually don’t enjoy female rappers.

BUT, holy shit, this time it’s different. I’ve changed, I swear. That first time I heard Nicki Minaj’s verse on Kanye West’s Monster, I pricked up my ears. This chick had talent. Sorry, she had talent. She rapped with a sort of ferocity that is missing in music today. She has an anger in her rapping, but marries it with an ability to turn a phrase with the best of them, and a pop sensibility that I can get behind.

Speaking of pop sensibility, that floaty background, accented with the attack of the kick drum, the processed guitars, the synths, it all gives the song a light summer sound without feeling frivolous. It all contrasts so well with the drive and, again, ferocity Minaj brings to every verse, easing into a pop chorus. It’s never too much of a good thing, and leaves you wanting more.

Even when the chorus is little more than replicating the sound of bass coming from a car stereo (the “super” bass, I suppose), it retains something that pulls you in. Even when the track falters at the bridge, the chorus steps forth again, reminding you why you were enjoying the song so much in the first place.

Then, the song just sort of…ends. And you restart it, because holy shit, those verses, man.

So, song two of the summer mixtape for 2011, the:

Mixtape 476 – 2011

…is Nicki Minaj’s Super Bass.

1. The Dean’s List – Dear Professor

2. Nicki Minaj – Super Bass

Get your camera, baby

The Dean’s List – Dear Professor

The Dean’s List – Burn it All

It’s become a bit of a tradition for me to proclaim a “song of the summer” early on, then to revise this prediction at least three to four times before I go back to school the next year. Last year ended with Cee-Lo Green’s Fuck You, which ended up being a pretty damn good pick, but started with something that even I’ve forgotten about by now, so who knows.

Regardless, I’ll throw my preliminary hat in the ring with The Dean’s List, and their song Dear Professor, off the genuinely enjoyable mixtape “The Drive In”

The song samples If I Die Young by The Band Perry, which is a perfectly…tolerable song in its own right…but tweaks it in such a way to create a bed on which they can actually craft a pop song.

ANYWAY, The Dean’s List manages to find something new in the chorus, turning a sombre song about dying young (obviously) into a joyful refrain for college life, parties, and generally enjoying the frivolity of youth. What better song for the summer?

The production is flawless, the flow is supreme, and the sound is fresh. Song of the summer (for now): The Dean’s List – Dear Professor

The Dean’s list is made up of Sonny Shotz, DJ Mendoza and Mik Beats, whose differing approaches to music create a fresh approach to the rap game, with a solid pop sensibility and a surplus of talent.

Also included is Burn it All, another standout from the Mixtape. I honestly would not be surprised to see these guys tear up the charts in time. Or, failing that, at least get the cred and recognition Wale and KiD CuDi are getting right about now.


Until next time, houseguests, it’s been a pleasure.

Welcome to The House

I’m Craig Chaplin, and I’m the other author here on Blog 476.

I’m also currently in Film Production, along with my buddy James, and I’m ALSO into film, TV, music, writing, pop culture, what-have-you.

ANYWAY, I will be using this blog to post my thoughts on new movies, reactions to older movies, commentary on pop culture goings on, and some new music I enjoy. Since this is more of a pop culture blog than a music or movie blog, my topics may be all over the place, but hopefully they’ll be enjoyable, informative, educational, thought-provoking, etcetera.

My email is craig.m.chaplin@gmail.com, and I welcome comments, hate mail, ideas, awkward love notes, breakup letters, whatever.

Until next time, my beloved readers, this has been off the record, on the QT and very hush hush.