Saturday, February 18, 2017

Muddy Cult Monthly Favorites - January 2017 Pt. 1

Welcome to our first entry to Muddy Cult Monthly Favorites!
This new feature to Muddy Cult was inspired by AramaJapan and Akidearest of YouTube. Hopefully, this new segment will further implement our opinions and recommendations to our Cult followers like are usual postings. Please feel free to leave a comment below on what you think of this new feature and perhaps share some of your favorites from January!

BlipMasta5's Favorites

Favorite Anime Related Video:

TeamFourStar's Broly Abridged

TeamFourStar has had a fan in me since their start. Their writing, editing, and comedy has continued to improve over the many years and this demonstrates that in spades. As a fan of the original series, they show a great balance of love and exploiting the holes in the plot. If you haven't heard of the allstars of the abridging community, I highly advise you take a look at this and the rest of their channel.

Favorite Music Video:

Broken - Denace & Dispencery7

Many have dealt with depression and just as many have tried to be the depressed's support. I think this song embodies both sides so well that it must be shared. You try your best to keep your head up, but emotions can control your thoughts so thoroughly that it's unshakeable. Plus being a constant support is tiresome as well, but its importance is vital to bear in these situations. Just take a minute to watch the video and it'll all be explained.

Favorite Dance Video:

These Walls (Cover) Choreography

When I saw that one of my favorite Kendrick Lamar songs had some of my favorite crews dancing to it, I had to give it the instant click. I was pleasantly surprised to hear an even jazzier cover of the tune by the female vocalist, Moss Kena. The movements were so clean, I had to share this as a favorite of the month! Witness poetry in motion...

Buonaventura's Favorites

So I have spent pretty much every night of January binging on the No Sleep Podcast trying to get current.  Stories are taken from Reddit's No Sleep community and read on the podcast by a crew of voice actors.  The showrunner/main narrator is David Cummings and he comes across as a lovable dork.  On the Christmas episodes, he tries to impersonate Santa and it's like watching a puppy try to do something and fail adorably.  You can tell he's really into what he's doing.

This podcast hits all the bulletpoints on my horror checklist.  There's a variety of authors so there's a ton of different types of horror.  There's a warning at the beginning of the show and you should heed it if you don't like certain aspects of horror.  Some stories can be pretty intense, involving child-rape and the like.  Because most of these writers are amateurs, even the particularly gruesome stories are still pretty hokey.  There are a few really legit creepy tales but most of the stories fall under b-movie horror where the dialogue is off or the story has glaring plot holes and is too verbose.  It's a fun exercise in critiquing and learning from others' mistakes (y'know, if you ever want to write horror fiction).

The actors do a great job and represent a wide variety of English speakers from North America and Europe.  I swear one sounds exactly like Daniel Day-Lewis.

The podcast is free but you can pay for a longer version with more stories and bonus episodes.  I haven't splurged for the extra content and I find what is offered for free does the job.  The No Sleep Podcast is actually on their first tour right now and they'll be in Houston at the House of Blues on February 18.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Two More January Reviews

Central Standard Time - Stik Figa
(Genre: Hip Hop/Rap)

When this project was announced, I instantly lit up with joy. If you don't already know, Stik Figa is one of my hometown legends and has been carrying the torch for Topeka in the underground for a while. When I heard that this project was another one backed by Mello Music Group, I became even more ecstatic because these connections would push their music even further than before.

Speaking of the music, Stik Figa puts you in the mind of the everyman in Topeka, Kansas. He displays his skills as an emcee as he delivers punchlines and paints you pictures of his surroundings and how that environment has affected not only himself, but the fellow townsfolk as well. This is all placed over a generally classic boom bap soundscape with the one experimental rap entry, "James Lemonade" featuring independent stars Homeboy Sandman & Quelle Chris. Other featured artists, such as Elzhi & Rappin 4-Tay, bring their full set of skills, too, adding to the project's enjoyment factor.

In conclusion, anybody who digs the roots of hip hop should find this album a quality buy. Its runtime is concise and doesn't lend itself to any filler, so every song definitely hits its mark. Yet, my personal favorites would have to be "Cold", "James Lemonade", & "The Ends & Outs". The lyrical prowess of this emcee is on full display with this release and it's certainly capable to make it Stik's time in the limelight.

Links to the central, if you have time:
Pardon the Interruption (Music Video)
Cold (Music Video)
Shade45 Radio Freestyle ("I do the rap thing")
Passion of the Weiss Interview
Prey (A music video from the Shame the Devil EP)

SweetSexySavage - Kehlani
(Genre: R&B/Pop)

I became privy to Kehlani a long while back due to a collaboration with one of my favorite artists, Dyme-A-Duzin. They did a R&B track that brought me back to the days I grew up with the genre. I soon decided to look her up and found her rather talented, but the You Should Be Here project grabbed me the most. That was a few years later and since then, I kept up with her single releases on the road to this major label debut with anticipation.

This album reinforced what I believed she had the potential to achieve. She writes and performs songs with a very clear and honest voice. It's all delivered in a way that fuses the throwback feel of 90's/early 00's R&B and today's contemporary take on the sound. This brings a very nice ride with variety as she embodies the album title with each topic. She tells tales of love, lust, trust issues, her musical ambitions, & more. The only gripe may be the length of the track list, despite there not being many misses.

To me, she's an artist that reminds me of heavily hip hop infused R&B artists like Mya, Ciara, Aaliyah, & Amerie. Some tracks that have entered my heavy rotation are "Undercover", "Personal", "Not Used to it", "Everything is Yours", "Do U Dirty", & "In My Feelings". Honestly, this is a very solid debut and warrants a listen for any contemporary R&B fans. I would find it hard not to become infatuated by this sweet, sexy, savage debut.

Ride the Kehlani Tsunami:
You Should Be Here (Playlist of the album)
Gangsta (From Suicide Squad) (Part of the deluxe album)
Sway in the Morning Interview ("Young Sway got the answers")
Nardwuar Interview (Doot Doola Doot Doo)

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Fair Shake Review: Sky - Riplon

Sky - Riplon
(Genre: Hip Hop/Rap/Trap Rap)

Riplon is a Brooklyn, NY born emcee that I've crossed paths with down here in Florida. After seeing him perform down here, I knew he was an artist to watch as he truly is a wordsmith. His style is written in such a way that emotion is clearly emoted and versatile to fit any mood. This was confirmed by the 7th Day EP & the At Home EP. Hence, the announcement of his first full length album, SKY, had me anticipating its release.

This LP traverses a wide spectrum of hip hop production from east coast boom bap to the moody trap sounds of the south and even an experimental track in the mix. Riplon tells you stories of his past that makes him the man he is today, his current ambitions & struggles to make them realized, as well as displaying his lyrical prowess. He seizes the opportunity to show off his traditional use of poetry (i.e. "The Idea of Dying Alone") amidst his witty wordplay and skillful storytelling. This creates quite a dynamic listen throughout the project.

You really get a sense of his upbringing in tracks such as "Pop Off", "Sunset", & "Do it for Love" which both have drastically different styles. He continues to broaden his rhyme style while promoting the message to never limit yourself with songs like "The Conscious Mind" & "Sky feat. Prince Golden". Then insight behind his psyche are displayed in "Searching for My Soul" & "Man of the Cloth". The former has a chorus that I personally couldn't care for, but the verses are standouts on the project. My own favorites would include the aforementioned "The Conscious Mind" & "Pop Off" along with "Killin' it feat. Richie Guapo" & "Sunshine".

In summary, I would say that this is a masterfully crafted LP. The naturalness he brings to each style of genre is impressive enough, but his way with words leave little to be desired. The sequencing of the tracklist are also very well done, making it a very cohesive listen sonically and thematically. I recommend this to fans of other versatile rappers such as Kendrick Lamar, Lupe Fiasco, J. Cole, & maybe Big K.R.I.T.  Riplon is certainly an artist to watch as he has the trajectory to continually expanding his skill set while maintaining a high standard for lyricism. Honestly, the sky truly isn't his limit!

More on Riplon:
Killin' it (One of the singles)
The Idea of Dying Alone (The a capella interlude)
Mieux Magazine Interview (Promo for SKY)
Riplon Live at the Market (The first time I saw him perform)
I Can't Breathe (From the At Home EP)