Why it was awesome: It all started with Superchunk. Singer/guitarist Mac McCaughan and bassist Laura Ballance are Merge's Adam and Eve, the duo that founded the label to release their own records, and then their friends'. XX Merge wouldn't have been complete without hearing songs as vital as Superchunk's 1989 single "Slack Motherfucker" -- and their shockingly spot-on new stuff, like "Learned to Surf."
Vince Staples is hardly the ingratiating type. “Don’t shake my hands unless you passing payment,” instructs the redoubtable young’un on “C.M.B.,” a paean to ruthlessly mercenary, Randian capitalism. “Keep your salutation / I need my 40 acres.” This ice-grilling Left Coaster is more Mack 10 than Myka 9, a verbal marksman who refuses to placate… More »