Brandon Soderberg

writer

Biography

  • Deniro Farrar

    'Cult Rapper' Deniro Farrar Embraces Tupac, the Internet, and Charles Manson

    Who: Charlotte, North Carolina's Deniro Farrar, 24, a blog-rap third-waver who's mixing eccentric, wobbly production from Internet heroes like Ryan Hemsworth and Blue Sky Black Death with the long tradition of dark, soulful gangsta rap. All the while, he's also exhibited eclectic, out-of-the-box taste (he remixed Grimes' "Oblivion," for example), and like so many young rappers right now, has largely bypassed the gamble that is reaching out for "street buzz," preferring the slower, steadier grind of online networking. "Before the Internet, you would have to catch buzz through the streets," he explains.

  • Creative Adult

    Hear Creative Adult's Post-Punk Road Trip 'Public Transit'

    "Public Transit" from Bay Area noisemakers Creative Adult is an aural trip through the most vital elements of '80s post-punk. It has scheduled stops in the dungeon-dance of Joy Division (thanks to vocalist Scott Phillip's Warsaw-era Ian Curtis belting it out) and pop-tinged shoegaze (by way of an extended My Bloody Valentine-like noise jam of an outro). And then there's an extended intro, piling riffs on riffs on riffs, and defining Creative Adult's often askew approach to songwriting and sound-sculpting. The point here is the group's sonic journey, which finds room for crazed catchy shouting, experimental structure, an ineffable sense of menace, and a whole lot more in just four minutes. (That menace is no doubt due to Godspeed You!

  • Hip-Hop at the Grammys: Macklemore Wins, Kendrick Lamar and the Rest of Rap Music Lose

    Hip-Hop at the Grammys: Macklemore Wins, Kendrick Lamar and the Rest of Rap Music Lose

    The Grammys' continued ghettoizing of the rap awards to the pre-telecast was actually welcome this year: It meant not having to hear Macklemore's name called over and over again and hearing that opportunistic, conscious-rap cornball "aww shucks" his way through a whole bunch of speeches. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis pretty much swept the rap awards, receiving Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song (for "Thrift Shop"), Best Rap Album (for The Heist), and, during the primetime awards telecast, Best New Artist.The industry's long been looking to find the white rapper they can hold near and dear to their hearts, ostensibly in an effort to extricate blackness from hip-hop, just as they did with rock music decades earlier.

  • Rap Songs of the Week: Young Thug and Meek Mill Pay Wayward Tribute to MLK

    Rap Songs of the Week: Young Thug and Meek Mill Pay Wayward Tribute to MLK

    Cities Aviv, "Don't Ever Look Back"Like some lost sample-slaying session between Theo Parrish and J. Dilla, this takes-its-good-ol'-time closing track from Memphis rapper Cities Aviv's excellent Come to Life (out next week) uses viscous vocals like a frustrated inner-monologue mumble, but ultimately, it's all about the slow-growing rumble of noise that threatens to take the track over but never quite does. An avant-rap track without that much rapping on it. A bedroom-dance jam that decides it doesn't feel like getting out of a bed. A sick slab of noise that's far too pleasant to appease the aggro side of the avant-garde.

  • gary clark jr.

    Hear An Inspirational Big K.R.I.T. Remix of Gary Clark Jr.'s 'Blak and Blu'

    Country rap tunes meet Texas-tinged, bluesy rock on this Big K.R.I.T.-helmed remix of Gary Clark Jr.'s "Blak and Blu." The single is from his upcoming Blak and Blu: The Mixtape and the artist pairing more than makes sense; both K.R.I.T. and Clark are, within their respective genres, dedicated nostalgics with an ear for updating classic sound. Furthermore, they have the chops to make that update work. Here K.R.I.T. taps into his inspirational OutKast-fueled side with some wizened, no-nonsense words about embracing life's pains alongside its triumphs.

  • ana tijoux, vengo

    Hear Ana Tijoux's Horn-Heavy 'Vengo'

    If you're a fan of Breaking Bad, chances are that you've already heard Chilean the talents of MC Ana Tijoux on the mic without even realizing it. Her 2010 track "1977" was featured on the show's Season 4 episode "Shotgun," which found Jesse spending the day with Mike picking up cash for Gus. (Check out the clip here.) During the scene - one of those now classic, busied Vince Gilligan montages - Tijoux's whirling rap skills soundtrack a tedious day of driving around New Mexico.With her new track, a tense banger titled "Vengo," Tijoux announces the upcoming release of her latest album, Vengo, which arrives March 18th on Nacional Records.

  • Tink / Photo by Shawn Andrews

    Tink's 'Winter's Diary 2: Forever Yours' Stars a '90s Baby Adept at Grown-Up '90s R&B

    Tink is an 18-year-old Chicagoan equally skilled at brash, speedy-spitting rap and deeply felt, real-talk-entrenched R&B. Her raps have received most of the praise, though, especially after last year's Nicki Minaj-meets-Future mixtape Boss Up and "Wanna Party," a buzzy collaboration with weirdo club-music supergroup Future Brown. But Winter's Diary 2: Forever Yours, her latest and best release so far, mostly focuses on her R&B side, which itself has many sides to it: twirling-the-telephone-cord loneliness, punching-a-wall fuck-you frustration, totally-in-love-with-that-boy joy, and wisegirl pragmatism when it comes to determining what's actually important between two people.

  • Rap Songs of the Week: Tink Gives Rap Dudes the Business on 'Talkin' About'

    Rap Songs of the Week: Tink Gives Rap Dudes the Business on 'Talkin' About'

    Lee Bannon, "Resorectah"Forever-dabbling Sacramento producer Lee Bannon's latest, Alternate/Endings, is a no-bullshit, good-and-proper jungle record, and an unexpected follow-up to 2013's satanic Caligula Theme Music 2.7.5. and 2012's glitching cloud-rap-oriented Fantastic Plastic. Here, we find a daring, open-eared hip-hop head applying his sample-slicing, atmosphere-building skills to "Amen" break investigations: Opening track "Resorectah" gives a vocal sample the Dilla treatment and the DJ Screw treatment all at once, while a Burial-like layer of electronic fog and digi-smeared slurs stomp and stumble beneath the jungle jamming.

  • Lizzo

    Hear Lizzo's 'Girls'-Approved 'Paris'

    Former member of Chalice and current member of female rap trio GRRRL PRTY, Lizzo is a Minneapolis rapper closely tied to the city's burgeoning and defiantly independent hip-hop scene. Her new track, "Paris," displays her ear for fractured, dance-friendly electronic beats and flaunts her breezy rapping skills. It begins as a casual game of shit-talking — witty boasts about Jay Z and Prince bounce off metallic boom-bap — and peaks after the chorus. "Have you ever been to Paris at night?" she asks. Only to answer, "Neither have I, neither have I," into a propulsive, off-kilter, and double-time delivery.Fans of HBO's Girls will be thrilled to learn that "Paris" will make an appearance on the series' upcoming episode this Sunday (January 19) at 9 p.m. EST.

  • Amiri Baraka in the '70s

    Amiri Baraka, R.I.P.: Go Beyond 'Blues People'

    Writer, poet, playwright, activist, music critic, and walking bullshit-detector Amiri Baraka died yesterday at the age of 79. Most of the cranked-out obituaries thus far feel comfortable appending backhanded compliments like "polarizing" or "controversial" or "embattled" to their headlines, a glib misinterpretation of a complex and knowing artist.

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