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Review - Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiments: Surf

Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiments: Surf

By Francis Cook

Chance the Rapper is one of my favourite rappers of the last couple years. He brought a uniquely fucked up, acid sound with his debut Acid Rap which has demonstrably influenced others including ILoveMakonnen and A$AP Rocky. It’s remarkable that, at such a young age, he ushered a new sound into rap music.

Surf is a holiday in more than one way for Chance the Rapper. He doesn’t even include his name on the bill, instead going to his touring band, and, unlike Acid Rap, Surf is a happy album. Escaping the traditional dark, cynical trappings of the genre, themes here include self-confidence, love, and friendship.

Donnie Trumpet’s talent on the horns is on full display and, for a rap album, there is a lot of band here. “Warm Enough” captures the feeling of loving and giving yourself to someone while trying to preserve and protect yourself (in only 3.22 seconds!). Set to Donnie Trumpet’s haunting, slow melody, J. Cole comes in to drop one of his most poetic verses:

“Well if you knew both minds not sure you’d like what you find
I made mistakes, I want to tell you but can’t make up my mind
As I’m writing this I see a red balloon in the sky
And to me that’s a sign tellin’ me that these lines
Were meant to be written, repentin’ in the form of a rhyme
I know the Lord’s a forgiver, hope he’ll forgive me in time”

Surf defies categorisation, featuring jazzy instrumentals, gospel hooks, and a camp R&B track evoking Boys II Men, "Caretaker". “Nothing came to me” and “Something came to me,” are both moody, instrumental jazz piece by Trumpet, showcasing his talent and justifying the album billing. They wouldn’t be out of place on the Blade Runner soundtrack.

It’s hard to be negative about Surf. The album exudes charm and, if not quite happiness, a sense of contentment and of finding that contentment in oneself. If hearing Chance the Rapper yelling “I don’t want to be cool, I just want to be me,” doesn’t put a smile on your face, you have a cold dead heart.

Here’s “Warm Enough”:

In other music news Rhianna’s new video is causing a bit of controversy on the internet hive-mind. I don’t think it’s as risqué as people are making out – or, put it this way, there’s a lot worse out there. Rhianna is an absolute badass on this track and embodies it well. Note she has $420 in her bank account. Nice touch.

My favourite track this week comes from Future and sees him getting a little emotional.

Young Thug may or not be releasing Tha Carter V sometime soon, continuing the Lil Wayne trolling theme (Young Thug’s last release being titled Tha Barter 6.)

Segueing away from rap now to round up, I’ve been listening to a lot of Comet’s On Fire and Swans lately, here are some current favs for your enjoyment.


© Scoop Media

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