The concept album is an oft maligned thing in hip hop – something that Kashmere the Iguana Man too noted in his recent interview. This LP from Shakka, The Shakka Crown Affair, borrows from the plot of its namesake the Pierce Brosnan starring The Thomas Crown Affair and sees Shakka as a playboy art thief.
the story unfolds in interludes between the songs
The art in question is music in Shakka’s version, however, and the story unfolds in interludes between the songs, which sample, cover, or otherwise borrow from the music which Shakka ‘steals’ – from Dilla to Coldplay, Young Money to Calvin Harris. Shakka’s prowess on the mic backs up his itchy fingers, though, as he takes us on a trip from his youth to his growth into adulthood and all the influences that entailed.
The LP raises an interesting point about originality, as the story unfolds and Shakka Crown becomes dissatisfied with using other peoples’ art – culminating neatly in a totally original piece – what’s the line when it comes to re-appropriation in music?
If a rolling stone gathers no moss, then metaphorically speaking, Odd Future – OFWGKTA – is as clean as a whistle. The collective is rapidly becoming the name on everyone’s lips, and with good reason, but that hasn’t altered their grassroots approach to releasing music. The latest free release is Frank Ocean’s Nostalgia,Ultra LP, a departure from much of the existing output in that Ocean is a vocalist rather than emcee, and the LP deals in a somewhat softer sound, too.
Musiq (Soulchild) quality harmonies with contemporary soul and R&B styled runs, stylised auto tune and frank, meaningful, and explicit song writing.
There’s a great diversity to the track listing, with a mixture of original productions and re-appropriated tracks from everyone from Mr Hudson and MGMT to The Eagles… and even Coldplay.
Frank Ocean’s soulful vocal combines some Musiq (Soulchild) quality harmonies with contemporary soul and R&B styled runs, stylised auto tune and frank, meaningful, and explicit song writing. The most auto tuned and poppiest runs and riffs are mitigated by the breadth of material and the uncompromising song writing, and of course, co-signed by Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, as well as the nods to the nostalgia in the title; the sound of tape players rewinding and button clicking and classic video game named interludes elicit fond memories… and maybe even a sense of melancholy.