Chance The Rapper performs ‘Juke Jam’ from Coloring Book, a specially-written poem and a Stevie Wonder ‘They Won’t Go When I Go’ on NPR’s Tiny Desk concert.

Chance The Rapper knew he wanted to try a different approach for his Tiny Desk performance, so he decided to do something he said he hadn’t done in a long time. He wrote a poem. More specifically, he wrote a poem in the short time it took him to ride from his hotel in Washington, D.C. to the NPR Music offices. Calling it “The Other Side,” Chance debuted it in the middle of his remarkable set, reading from his notes written out in black marker on sheets of typing paper.

“I still have all the keys that are of no use to me,” he began. “They used to, though. On the other side was a mansion on a hill, complete with L.A. pools and fireplaces and a rim made specifically for people that lie about being six feet to dunk on.”

Posted on July 5th, 2017

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The Grammys took place last night and the winners list is here, though it must be said, the Grammys have repeatedly shown themselves to be culturally irrelevant in the winners of the awards. Adele’s OK album winning over Beyoncé’s for album of the year continues the problem that a black artist has in winning one of the night’s major awards. Frank Ocean just refused to enter his work and explained why yesterday.

So the awards are establishment-lead trash but the live performances are what keeps people coming back. There were 16 performances last night and here are the most notable ones:


Chance The Rapper, Kirk Franklin & Tamela Mann

Chance The Rapper’s performance was a highly-charged medley from Coloring Book complete with choir, Kirk Franklin and Tamela Mann. Chance won Best New Artist and this is how he accepted.


A Tribe Called Quest, Anderson .Paak, Consequence & Busta Rhymes

A Tribe Called Quest performed ‘We The People’ (with some bits from ‘Award Tour’ and ‘Can I Kick It?) with Anderson .Paak, Busta Rhymes and Consequence. Busta called Trump President Agent Orange, they brought American Muslims on-stage and Q-Tip called the crowd to ‘Resist!’.


Beyoncé

A heavily-pregnant-with twins Beyoncé delivered the most visually-arresting performance of the night with some slow Lemonade cuts.


Bruno Mars’ Prince Tribute with The Time

Bruno Mars’ did a tribute to Prince with Morris Day and The Time (a band that Prince played with and formed in school) – ‘Jungle Love’ was played too but isn’t in the video. Mars did ‘Let’s Go Crazy’ is a Purple Rain-era velvet suit and it turns out he can slay on guitar:


Adele’s underwhelming George Michael Tribute

The big winner of the night – Adele performed a tribute to George Michael that was she restarted as she was off-key. Performing ‘Fast Love’ she slowed the song down to a craic-less coma level cover that could have been so much more. She also performed ‘Hello’ at the start and acknowledged that Beyoncé should have won the album of the year trophy (the Grammys do not have a strong history of giving big awards to black artists).


The Weeknd performed with Daft Punk

DP dressed as Glam Darth Vaders. They are very good at standing around behind equipment (it’s unclear if they did anything).


Metallica and Lady Gaga – Why?

Gaga couldn’t have fallen from the top further with this shit show pairing. Hetfield’s mic doesn’t work for most of it, Gaga trips. Why?

Posted on February 13th, 2017

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Chance The Rapper’s music video for ‘Same Drugs’ debuted on Facebook live last night and it features Chance in a duet with a giant puppet in the video by Jake Schreier.

It’s warmth for the soul. ‘Same Drugs’ is from Coloring Book, which is up for seven Grammys this weekend, first streaming-only album to receive one nomination, never mind seven.

‘Same Drugs’ also features vocals from Eryn Allen Kane, Yebba, John Legend, Francis Starlite and Macie Stewart.

Posted on February 7th, 2017

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Well shit.

After rescheduling and postponing dates, the worst thing has happened to Chance The Rapper’s two Irish dates in the Helix this week. They were cancelled with less than 24 hours to go.

Chance was due to make his debut headline in Ireland tonight (Wednesday) with another on Friday. He had spent the start of the week in the UK praying for Kanye and performing for Trevor Nelson’s show.

Close to midnight last night, promoters MCD announced the bad news “due to personal reasons.”

Those personal reasons may involve Kanye who was hospitalised for his own safety this week after acting erratically, as Chance said on the radio:

“I want to just extend this prayer and this love from all the way in Britain. We might come home early to see this man. Happy Thanksgiving.”

Chance features on the opening track of The Life Of Pablo – ‘Ultralight Beam’ and has been vocal about his love for Kanye.

His show at the Apollo in Manchester on the 26th has also been cancelled.


KANYE WEST x CHANCE THE RAPPER – Ultra Light… by OKLM_Insolite

Posted on November 23rd, 2016

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Chance the Rapper performed ‘No Problems’ with Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz on Ellen, using the backdrop of a “Generic Records” company board meeting, which they promptly tear up the way Chance keeps his career independent and in his own control, as he discusses below with Ellen.

Lil Wayne also referenced the recent US Olympic debacle with the new line “And if that label try to stop me/ I’m goin let ’em rob me / Yeah, right, like Ryan Lochte.”

Coloring Book, Chance’s latest free album has grown to be one of my favourites of 2016.

Posted on September 15th, 2016

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My favourite songs of the past month. Get the majority of them as a continuous playlists below on Spotify and Soundcloud.

Listen on Spotify

The top songs of the month

  1. Frank Ocean – ‘Solo’
  2. Emmanuelle – ‘Italove’
  3. James Vincent McMorrow – ‘Get Low’
  4. Banks – ‘Gemini Feed’
  5. All Tvvins – ‘End Of The Day’
  6. KDA feat. Tinashe – ‘Just Say’
  7. Bon Iver – ’22 (OVER S∞∞N) ‘
  8. Pional – ‘Casualty’
  9. Frank Ocean – ‘Pink + White’
  10. Waffles -‘Ca Va’
  11. Sampha – ‘Blood On Me’
  12. Flowdan – ‘Horror Show Style’

  13. Nao feat. A.K. Paul – ‘Trophy’
  14. Badbadnotgood feat. Kaytranada – ‘Lavender’
  15. Philipi & Rodrigo – ‘Mantra’
  16. John Talabot -‘Voices’
  17. Tensnake – ‘Freundchen’
  18. Carriages – ‘Moving Parts’
  19. Wolfgang Tillmans – ‘Device Control’
  20. Vince Staples & James Blake – ‘War Ready’
  21. Hazel English – ‘I’m Fine’

  22. The Invisible – ‘Life’s Dancers’ (Floating Points remix)
  23. Thundercat – ‘Bus In These Streets’
  24. Schoolboy Q – ‘That Part’ (Black Hippy remix)
  25. Sylvan Esso – ‘Radio’

Posted on September 7th, 2016

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Update:

Chance The Rapper’s original show in the Olympia Theatre is to be rescheduled due to conflicts but the good news is that Chance  will now play two shows in the Helix, on Wednesday 23rd and Friday 25th November instead. 

Current ticket holders will have first choice on exchanging their tickets for either of the new dates. A limited number of extra tickets will subsequently go on general release. Please contact Ticketmaster for any questions (I presume they’ll be in touch with ticketholders direct).

Chance The Rapper is finally coming to Ireland for a headline show. The Chicago rapper comes to Dublin for one night on Friday November 11th for a show at the Olympia Theatre. Tickets are €39.50 + fees on sale Monday from Ticketmaster.ie at 10am.

Chance is one of the best new artists to emerge in recent years. Endorsed by Kanye (and upstaging him on his recent album The Life Of Pablo), Chancelor Bennett has been repping the independent route since appearing with his Acid Rap mixtape. He diverged to bring in his music mates on the Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment Surf album last year and earlier this year, he dropped his free release Coloring Book.

The Dublin date is part of his Magnificent Coloring World Tour. You should get tickets.

Posted on August 23rd, 2016

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My favourite songs of the past month. Get the majority of them as a continuous playlists below on Spotify and Soundcloud.

Listen on Spotify

The top songs of the month

  1. Blood Orange – ‘Best To You’
  2. Lapsley – ‘Operator’ (DJ Koze’s Extended Disco remix)
  3. Talos – ‘Your Love Is An Island’
  4. Kelsey Lu – ‘Dreams’
  5. Angel Olsen – ‘Shut Up Kiss Me’
  6. James Vincent McMorrow – ‘Rising Water’
  7. I Am The Cosmos – ‘Letting It Go’
  8. Factory Floor – ‘Ya’
  9. The Avalanches – ‘Like A Folkstar’
  10. Doctr – ‘Tropique’
    https://soundcloud.com/music-for-dreams/doctr-tropique-1
  11. Abra – Crybaby’
  12. Shura – ‘Make It Up’
  13. Hvmmingbyrd – ‘If Love Was Enough’
  14.  Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein – Stranger Things theme song
  15. Glass Animals – ‘Youth’
  16. Mac Miller feat. Anderson Paak – ‘Dang!’
  17. Massive Attack feat. Ghostpoet – ‘Come Near Me’
  18. Roisin Murphy – ‘Ten Miles High’
  19. Badbadnotgood & Colin Stetson – ‘Confessions Part II’
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  20. GL – ‘Hallucinate’
  21. Trim – ‘Man Like Me’
  22. Michael Sembello – ‘Gravity’ (Psychemagik remix)
  23. Banks – ‘Fuck With Myself’
  24. Mall Grab –  ‘I’ve Always Liked Grime’
  25. Clams Casino & Kelela – ‘A Breath Away’


Posted on August 3rd, 2016

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Here are a list of my most listened and loved records of 2016 so far with Spotify playlists for overall and Irish albums of the year. Anderson Paak’s soulful album has been on constant, while Bowie left us a legendary parting gift, Bibio turned in a career best work, Kendrick dropped an outtakes album that is better than most regular albums, Radiohead returned with a personal album, Chance the Rapper continues to take over, Christine & The Queens stole our hearts, Rusangano Family made the best Irish rap album in quite a while, Blood Orange made a sprawling album of guest-filled tunes made for repeat, Beyoncé, James Blake aand Radiohead dropped albums at short notice, Kaytranada kept up on his promise and Skepta made a great grime album.

I would love to hear what records moved you so far this year, leave a comment below.

See also: Top 75 songs of 2016 so far.

Top 25 albums of 2016 so far…

Listen on Spotify

  1. Anderson .Paak – Malibu
  2. Bibio – A Mineral Love
  3. Kendrick Lamar – untitled unmastered.
  4. David Bowie – Blackstar
  5. Skepta – Konnichiwa
  6. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
  7. Christine & The Queens – Chaleur Humaine
  8. Chance The Rapper – Coloring Book
  9. Rusangano Family – Let The Dead Bury The Dead
  10. Whitney – Light Upon The Lake
  11. Mmoths – Luneworks
  12. Blood Orange – Freetown Sound
  13. Leon Vynehall – Rojus (Designed to Dance)
  14. The Gloaming – 2
  15. Kaytranada – 99.9%
  16. King – We Are King
  17. Cian Nugent – Night Fiction
  18. James Blake – The Colour In Anything
  19. Lisa O’Neill – Pothole In The Sky
  20. Anohni – Hopelessness
  21. Beyoncé – Lemonade
  22. Junior Boys — Big Black Coat
  23. Underworld – Barbara Barbara, we face a shining future
  24. Solar Bears – Advancement
  25. Doomsquad – Total Time

Top Irish albums of 2016 so far

Listen on Spotify

  1. Rusangano Family – Let The Dead Bury The Dead
  2. Mmoths – Luneworks
  3. The Gloaming – 2
  4. Cian Nugent – Night Fiction
  5. Lisa O’Neill – Pothole In The Sky
  6. Solar Bears – Advancement
  7. J Cowhie – Veil
  8. Ryan Vail – For Every Silence
  9. The Altered Hours – In Heat Not Sorry
  10. Ciaran Lavery – Let Bad In
  11. February & Mars – February & Mars
  12. I Have A Tribe – Beneath A Yellow Moon
  13. Ensemble Éiru – Imbas
  14. Cinema – A Night Train To Budapest
  15. Little Green Cars – Ephemera
  16. Bleeding Heart Pigeons – Is
  17. Rollers / Sparkers – Interior Ministry
  18. Overhead, The Albatross – Learning To Growl
  19. Plutonic Dust – Grand Delusions
  20. The Natural History Museum – Attenborough

Posted on July 6th, 2016

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My favourite songs of the past month. Get the majority of them as a continuous playlists below on Spotify and Soundcloud.

Listen on Spotify

The top songs of the month

  1. Metronomy – ‘Old Skool’
  2. Skepta – ‘Lyrics’
  3. Radiohead – ‘Daydreaming’
  4. Chance The Rapper – ‘No Problem’
  5. Marcus Marr – ‘Rocketship’
  6. Lyra – ‘Emerald’
  7. James Blake & Bon Iver – ‘I Need A Forest Fire’
  8. Kaytranada – ‘Lite Spots’
  9. FLUME – Say It feat Tove Lo
  10. BADBADNOTGOOD – Time Moves Slow (feat. Sam Herring)
  11. Jens Kuross – ‘Steadier’
  12. Planet Parade – ‘Face To Face’
  13. Factory Floor – ‘Dial Me In’
  14. Unknown Mortal Orchestra – ‘First World Problem’
  15. NAO – ‘Girlfriend’
  16. Wild Beasts – ‘Get My Bang’
  17. Glass Animals – ‘Life Itself’
  18. Sampha – ‘Timmy’s Prayer’
  19. Alicia Keys – ‘In Common’
  20. Todd Terje & The Olsens – ‘Firecracker’
  21. Kauf – Through The Yard (Fort Romeau Remix)
  22. Ensemble Ériu – ‘The Tempest’
  23. Grace Lightman – ‘Faultless’
  24. Shura – ‘What’s It Gonna Be?’
  25. Paul McCartney, Wings, Timo Maas & James Teej – Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five

Posted on June 2nd, 2016

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Follow the Nialler9 New Music playlist on Spotify. This week’s additions include new songs from Super Furry Animals, Skepta, Weval, De La Soul, James Blake and Jamie xx.


1.

Radiohead

‘Daydreaming’


A serene new album highlight.

With much of A Moon Shaped Pool referencing the hurt and pain from Yorke’s disintegrated relationship of 23 years, there’s a lot of personal weight to the lyrics this time out. ‘Daydreaming’ has a resigned serenity to it that comes with acceptance. Whether Yorke is actually singing “half of my life” backwards is debatable but what’s clear through its sparse lyrics “This goes beyond me, beyond you,” is reinforced by the arrangement, an intimate song that grows from a rolling piano line to something much grander with tumultuous backward-aping strings and a lot of subtlety. The video, by Paul Thomas Anderson has Yorke in limbo before he finds a place to ignore it all.

[Album review]


2.

Skepta

‘Lyrics’

Boy better know, Grime is back.

Konnichiwa, the new album from grime king Skepta is the most exciting album in the genre that was nearly dead a few years ago. Skepta and Boy Better Know didn’t stop believing and now, they find themselves co-signed by Drake, lauded by Kanye and working with Pharrell. Thankfully, this isn’t a crossover attempt, Konnichiwa maintains its grimey British energy. ‘Lyrics’ which opens with a sample from a tetchy freestyle battle between Pay As U Go and Heartless crew has the album’s best beat with a video game synth, a warped vocal sample and walking bass line that is futuristic but also harks back to the what made dubstep so vital. Skepta’s forceful and paced delivery (“See me on the TV, hi mum”) and it all adds up to one of those songs you can’t stop repeating.


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Posted on May 16th, 2016

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Last year’s Electric Picnic mixtape kicked off with a track from one of my favourite bands Hundred Waters. ‘Show Me Love’ is a short piece of music that kicks off their second album The Moon Rang Like A Bell. It was later given a solo version by singer Nicole Miglis.

Having released their music on Skrillex’s OWSLA label so a remix from him isn’t a huge surprise.

What is, is that he got Chance The Rapper, Robin Hannibal of Rhye & Moses Sumney in on the act too and made a video featuring most of them. You can get the track for download at ShowMe.Love.

Posted on March 22nd, 2016

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Chance The Rapper’s decision to share the spotlight over to his mates after the buzz created from his Acid Rap mixtape is about as altruistic you can get. There was a possibility that Chancelor Bennett couldn’t take the pressure and limelight and wanted to shuffle to the back of the cast but after hearing Surf over the last two weeks, there’s no doubt that Chance saw what we had not yet – a talented bunch of people capable of making something greater together than himself.

Surf has a refreshing lack of ego. Chance and his Chicago friends who include Nico Segal (the trumpet player of the title), Peter Cottontale, Nate Fox and Greg Landfair Jr didn’t get caught up in the hype. Instead, they used the time (and presumably money) to pursue their artistic thirst.

Surf is like a trippy psychedelic jazz pop stage musical with an all-star cast that also includes Busta Rhymes, Erykah Badu, Janelle Monae, B.o.B., J. Cole, BJ The Chicago Kid, Jeremih, Raury, Big Sean and King Louie among other just as important players. Seriously, the personnel list on this is huge. Surf is the kind of album a teenage Outkast would make if they were off their heads on pills all the time and didn’t feel like they had to throw gangsta shade.

Surf creates its own bright and breezy world. A perfect visual accompaniment of the album would be a constantly rotating 360 degree camera circling the performers and settling on the player or singer or rapper in question in the spotlight. Or a cartoon (the band already covered the Arthur theme song). Chance pops in and out, always impressing with his identifiable rasp and wordplay heavy lyrics. The trumpet is centre-stage, flutes grab your ear, pianos cajole the focus, backing vocalists add reinforcement and then a rapper like King Louis drops in with a great line about “if this bitch from Paris / then Paris is terrible.” And that’s just one song – ‘Familiar’. One of Migos also turns up for some autotune action too but it all feels seamless.

Surf isn’t a rap album. It’s a vibrant uplifting celebration of life with realistic moments of self-doubt and confusion embedded in it. Chance’s melancholia is present on ‘Windows’ as he sings “Don’t you look up to me, don’t trust a word I say”. It’s the duality of that and the pop positivity felt in the music that gives Surf a human edge.

It’s spacious, it’s not in a hurry, it’s masterfully arranged, it bumps like disco (‘Go’), it sleepwalks with experimental reverb horn (‘Nothing Came To Me’), it beats the jazzy-soul drum (‘Just Wait’) and it pops like candy on one of the most uplifting songs of the past year (‘Sunday Candy’). ‘Slip Side’ might say it best as it encapsulates the overall independent spirit of this album. “I don’t wanna slip, slip, slip, slide / Imma stand up on my own two feet.”

That the Social Experiment’s ethos shines so brightly on the same track as Busta, Monae and B.o.B, just suggests what magic and talent is on display here. This ensemble hold their own in the spotlight.

https://soundcloud.com/regency_ent/sets/chance-the-rapper-surf-full-album

Posted on June 12th, 2015

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