Groundhog Day has always meant two things to me, the first of which is my father’s birthday. The second is my favorite Bill Murray movie of the same name. Groundhog Day has resonated with me for some time now. Besides being one of my favorite comedies, it has taught me a lot in between the lines. A first time watcher would most likely take away the moral of appreciating every day and never taking what you have for granted. I agree with this 100% but I have watched this movie as many times as Bill went through his time-looping odyssey. These last couple times watching I’ve seen something new, I’ve noticed the themes of consistency and reinventing oneself. Both of these themes are important in the day-to-day as well as the long-term. I believe this for myself and for those pursuing formidable goals. Today’s music industry is no exception. You will have to work twice as hard to get noticed and ten times as hard once you have “made it.” There are two artists I have observed closely for quite a few years now that have put in the work necessary to bring their careers to new heights.
I’ve been listening to Travis Scott since the early days of Owl Pharaoh and his feature on the G.O.O.D Music compilation album, Cruel Summer. My friend (s/o Chimes) told me of his concerts and charisma way before La Flame kicked photographers off stage. Since those days Travis has retained his chaotic energy and channeled it into his sound. He experimented and expanded his portfolio until he found a confident stride with the Rodeo rollout. From the last days of 2015 into the New Year this man has not stopped. Once he found a comfortable place sonically, he plugged his bounce-flavored tracks into the market one step at a time. “Bake Sale,” his most recent collaboration that Wiz had been hinting to, finally released a little over a week ago. I was nervous it would never come out after G-Eazy used the beat for a track his album (which fails in comparison). “Bake Sale” borrows a little from the “Antidote” formula along with Trap Wiz to form the most upbeat stoner/cooking song one could create. Last December Scott premiered “Wonderful,” that sounds like a product of his recent tour with The Weeknd and “A-Team,” a triumphant march into 2016.
I’m sure everyone who was exposed to music in the last five years has heard DJ Mustard’s style, whether it was him on the production credits or not (I’m looking at you, Iggy). DJ Mustard had the consistency down until it almost got too repetitive for some ears. Since then Dijon has been on a slight hiatus, having toured and evolved his mix into something beyond what we’ve experienced so far. He took the universal sound of EDM and focused it through the lenses of a young artist from LA. A quick scroll through his Soundcloud and you’ll hear exactly what I’m talking about. Dependable collaborator Ty Dolla $ign makes good use of the new wave on “Saved” and “Wavy.” The furthest transformation of Mustard might be on Rih’s new “Anti.” The instrumental of “Needed Me” is otherworldly and innovative in its use of MIDI.
“Whole Lotta Lovin” is the result of the relentless efforts of DJ Mustard and Travis Scott. After months of crafting this composition Mustard made his return to the foreground. The track disregards the lines between hip-hop and EDM and synthesizes something original. (Genre-blending is getting very popular these days. See Bryson Tiller.) The record is catchy on its own but with the world premiere on Beats1 Radio, it’s had exposure to 100 countries by default, as well as a video coming out less than a week from release. Travis has honed another style with great melody, writing and quotables to match. The “Pour my lean and juice/ Braid my hair like Snoop,” line was basically perfect along with other relatable bars. The hook of the song ingeniously interpolates Cece Peniston’s “Finally” to good measure. Whoever had the idea to flip the lyrics deserves rounds. Mustard came through strong with a few nice keys on the piano and progression to keep things interesting. You can track how he has evolved his style while still remaining true to his come up. I’m highkey hoping that Travis and Mustard’s ventures into other musical realm will inspire others to do so as well. We live in a world more connected than ever and I hope musicians continue to play their role in that.