Thursday, June 11, 2015

Best New Album: Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment's 'Surf'

Excuse me while I pour a glass of wine, sit in a lawn chair on a brownstone rooftop and watch the sun go down over New York City. 

Not your standard hip-hop listening activity, but, I pretty much always end up feeling that way when I listen to real hip-hop; albums that, in essence, are filled with rap, but, pull in so many other eclectic elements that it's hard to bucket it into that genre only. Or any genre, I guess.

This is Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment's debut album, Surf - a 16-song (free) release from the gloriously unconventional Chance, The Rapper and his collective of bohemian musician friends. Not to mention J. Cole, Busta Rhymes, Big Sean, Migos’ Quavo and a whole other community of top-tier rappers who lend their voices to this bright-as-sun, soulful statement. Surf is incredible.

As is the case with some of hip-hop's best albums, I can't predict what the critical perception of Surf is going to be in the long run (it's been positive so far). It could be criticized for lacking cohesion (it doesn't) or praised as a genius loot bag filled with soul, jazz and hip-hop glitter and meaningful rhymes - all melded together by the hot breeze that radiates from each track.

Whichever track you choose, front to back, this is the summer soundtrack. But, for grooving purposes, I'll suggest "Wanna Be Cool," "Sunday Candy" and "Familiar," and for your balmy rooftop nights, let the cool saxophone of "Nothing Came to Me" and the pretty melody of "Windows" transport you. 

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