Rico Nasty's treatment on tour, 2021's Spotify Wrapped & Brent Faiyaz's uncanny ability
This week the boys talk about Rico Nasty's terrible treatment on tour, Spotify's latest data mining report, and Brent Faiyaz's upcoming project.
This past week we reviewed 30 by Adele with honorary guest host Grant Sharples.
We had to enlist Grant for the review because he’d just performed a deep-dive into Adele’s catalogue. “19” was his favorite beforehand, but will it be his favorite after?
We all enjoyed the album, but one of us thought it was *perfect.* Check out our review below to find out why.
This week in the newsletter,
Nnamdi calls on Playboi Carti to step up and defend Rico Nasty amid the vitriolic treatment she’s received on his tour.
Avery chose to expose his music listening habits by publicly dissecting his Spotify Wrapped 2021.
Noah details his excitement for what could be Brent Faiyaz’s most creative album yet.
Reviewing Adele’s 30: “a showcase of creative growth”
LEAVE RICO NASTY ALONE!
What do we really mean when we say “protect Black women.” The phrase took off in popularity amid the tragic losses of several – Sandra Bland, Breonna Taylor and Oluwatoyin Salau. At its best, the phrase is a beautiful tribute that reaffirms our commitment to ensuring the safety of Black women. But at its worst, it was a performative display meant to absolve, primarily men, of the duty we have to check one another and *actually* ensure the safety of Black women.
Call me a cynic, but only one of those interpretations feels like it's holding true.
Rico Nasty recently posted a series of deeply concerning tweets, one of which hints at suicidal ideation, while decrying the treatment she’s received on Playboi Carti’s “King Vamp” tour.
Rico is known for being brash, fearless and garish in her music, look and self. So for her to tweet about “crying herself to sleep every night,” something serious must have happened. That instinct was right.
Rico has been facing an onslaught of hate while on tour. The abuse has so far been documented at at least two shows. During a performance in Los Angeles, concertgoers booed the “Smack a Bitch” emcee and interrupted her set to chant for Playboi Carti. A hostile crowd in Portland upped the ante, with one attendee throwing a bottle at her while she was on stage. The day after a show in Milwaukee, she tweeted “I wish I was dead just as much as y’all do...y’all win.”
It makes sense that Playboi Carti enlisted Rico Nasty as his opening act. Both have developed a sizable following among Gen-Zers, most of whom are attracted to them for their genre-bending, Rap/Punk style of music-making. So for his fans to almost make a game out of tearing her down is mind-boggling – at least if you don’t know who his fans are.
Rico has tweeted her disdain for the “Anti black ass crowd” and “Weak ass little boys with blonde pubes,” that seem to revel in watching her break down.
I know what you’re thinking – Playboi Carti is Black. How could this be a race thing if the headlining act is Black? Well, the answer is simple. Playboi Carti’s non-Black fans can appreciate his music for the proximity it gives them to Blackness, without *actually* giving a crap about Blackness. I’m sure you’ve seen listeners of rap who will quote an Uzi song, complete with the N-word, in one breath and then decry Black Lives Matter protests in the other. J. Cole put it best in KOD’s “1985.”
“These white kids love that you don't give a fuck
'Cause that's exactly what's expected when your skin black
They wanna see you dab, they wanna see you pop a pill
They wanna see you tatted from your face to your heels
And somewhere deep down, fuck it, I gotta keep it real
They wanna be black and think your song is how it feels”
Playboi Carti may be a fresh, innovative face in rap, but like many of his contemporaries, he performs for predominantly-white audiences. He knows who his base is. And whether or not his ignorance is willful, he should be well aware of the increased challenges a Black woman may face appeasing a crowd like that.
There's no reason a Black woman, at a concert headlined by a Black man, both performing in a genre created by Black people, should be getting attacked by a legion of mostly-white men. And there’s no reason Carti, the one person who can command that mostly-white crowd, should be silent.
There’s yet to be a tweet, a statement, or even a “y’all need to chill” from the Whole Lotta Red rapper. And that just may be the most disappointing part of this entire story. Rico was getting booed on stage, and Carti sat in the back and did nothing. He never referenced it in his performance. He never showed solidarity or voiced support. And he never reprimanded his fans for their disrespectful treatment of his guest.
Remember when Tyler the Creator checked his fans for booing Drake during his surprise appearance at the Camp Flog Gnaw festival? That sent a message that disrespect won’t be tolerated. It brings to question why Playboi Carti isn’t inclined to send a similar message in the face of similar hostile treatment.
So far, much of the public support Rico has gotten has come from women. Amine and Metro Boomin are among the few men that have publicly commented on the ordeal.
The opportunity to protect a Black woman was made clear in this instance. It didn’t require analysis or critical thinking. Rico was being bullied by fans, tweeted about how it was pushing her to the brink of suicide, yet the one man who had the opportunity to intervene has not. I don’t know what Playboi Carti and Rico’s relationship is like, but as a Black man, he has a responsibility to do more. And his failure to act, at least publicly, should be noted, remembered and condemned.
Y’all hear about this?
Exposing myself through my Spotify Wrapped
Our annual celebration of a big tech company compiling our data and presenting it to us in a fun way happened this week in the form of Spotify Wrapped.
It’s a cool way to look back on the year and see what you listened to most, for how long and how embarrassing your music taste can be!
For this week’s newsletter, I thought it would be interesting to expose myself and take a glance at my Wrapped.
I have never been one to shy away from my love of Drake’s music, but what I saw this year feels like a lot… even for me.
For starter’s my top song of the year is Wants and Needs by Drake featuring Lil Baby. Apparently, I played that song 29 times, which was the most of any other song. In my head, I can think of a couple more songs I thought I may have streamed more, but alas.
Then Spotify showed me that three of my top five songs of the year were by Drake. Those being, Wants and Needs, What’s Next and Laugh Now Cry Later, the latter of which didn’t even come out this year. The list was rounded out by Be Sweet by Japanese Breakfast and Bad Dream Baby by Hippo Campus (the two aforementioned songs that I thought I may have streamed more than Drake).
Then to finish out Drake’s domination of my musical habits, the app told me that he is my top streamed artist this year, with me being in the top 2% of Drake’s listeners… which… yeah.
Nnamdi very kindly pointed out to me earlier this week:
I reject my label as a stan, however, it is undeniable how much of a chokehold his music has on me.
I think I have some re-evaluation of my music habits to do next year. Maybe I will find another musician who makes just as catchy music for me. I always defend myself by saying that when I don’t have anyone else I want to listen to, I default to Drake. I honestly don’t see that changing.
The rest of my top 5 artists were Kanye West, Tyler, the Creator, Japanese Breakfast and Weezer.
I’m almost certain that Kanye became number two on my list because of how many times I listened to “Donda” for our review, on top of what I normally listen to with Kanye. The rest are great though and represent some of my actual favorite albums this year, whether it be “Call Me If You Get Lost” by Tyler, “Jubilee” by Japanese Breakfast or “OK Human” by Weezer.
Those were probably the most interesting/embarrassing highlights of my 2021 Spotify Wrapped. I think the only goal I’m really setting for next year’s Wrapped is to spend more time listening to music. The app told me that I listened to music for 37,900 minutes, which is respectable, but I feel that I can do better next year and maybe spread some of the love beyond Drake.
Comment or send us your Spotify Wrapped lists! We would love to see it!
Now on the 97 Demo Mix:
Songs from: Adele, Jon Batiste, Nas
Are we in store for the most diverse Brent Faiyaz album yet?
Thursday night, Brent Faiyaz released his latest single, “MERCEDES.” To no surprise, the song was incredible. This song yet again shows off Faiyaz’s uncanny ability to blend his unique voice with great production and just flow on the beat.
But, this song sounds unlike any other single he has released this year. Which got me thinking. Are we in for the most creative and diverse Brent Faiyaz album yet? This is an exciting idea to think about since Faiyaz is already an R&B artist that colors outside of the lines creatively.
This year saw Faiyaz have features on his songs for the first time. If you look back at every one of his past projects and singles, he has never had a feature on a song, even his work in Sonder.
The first single released this year, “Gravity” was produced by DJ Dahi and featured Tyler, The Creator. Outside of the “Fuck the World” remix featuring 2 Chainz, this was the first song Faiyaz released that had a feature on it. Ever. It gave fans something different. But, it sounded more like Tyler brought Faiyaz into his world. It sounded like something that would be on Flower Boy, Tyler’s 2017 album. Although the track is still amazing and addictive.
“Show U Off” was released in March and it was a song that had to grow on me. It was a more delicate side of Faiayaz that I wasn’t used to. The song came out during Women’s History Month and is an ode to women in his life. The soft guitars really match the emotion Faiyaz is trying to portray and it works.
“Wasting Time” featuring Drake is just a banger, plain and simple. The production by The Neptunes is impeccable and the two artists just float on it throughout the whole song. The violins used in the song were a surprising touch, but the use of it in this song was masterful.
“MERCEDES” is the most distinctive single he released this year. The production sounds like something an electric DJ like Kaytranada would make. The BPM on this song is faster than anything Faiyaz has released the last couple of years outside of “Lost Kids Get Money.” But, Faiyaz’s distinct voice and his astounding ability to sound good on pretty much everything still make this song an entertaining listen.
All this to say that through every one of Faiyaz’s singles, he has given us a tiny peek into what the album may sound like. This is fascinating because none of the singles are alike sonically. It sounds like Faiyaz is finding new ways to experiment with his voice and use it as another instrument in this song. If there is even more variance on his upcoming album, we should be excited about what we’re going to hear.
Edited by Hope Davis :)
Ep. 70 : Adele - 30 Review
Tweet of the week: