Rap is the new blue jeans. Or at least that's the proposition raised on "Blue Jeans"-- a new collaboration album by Kaio, Lil Emo Boy 2005, and producer Family Man Xay.
In a time much before 2020, blue jeans seemed to make or break the individual. Teens raced to their nearest sprawl-mall to secure that prized pair of Guess Jeans or JNCO jeans to express who was the hottest...the richest...the chosen few.
But we now live in the death of precious suburbia; the cool kids are racing back to city-cores packed with culture, thrashing 808s and bragadocious gladiators that spar in speakeasy coliseums. There was a time when these joust-matches went by the name of hip-hop, but we now know these same sounds as simply...popular music.
On Blue Jeans, the gang presents a middle finger to popular rap music. Through self-aware pop-culture references and intrusive soundbyte after soundbyte, the project is both parody and trailblazing in it's grasp of rap's torch. Sonically, the project champions an inconsistent, fidgety soundscape. Liberal distortions, arpeggiating robotics, and punchy drums wreak havoc through the 29 minute runtime, with Kaio & Lil Emo confronting the instrumentals with havoc of their own.
Tracks like "Black Rainbows" and "Rev." simulate car-crash via sound, while other tracks like "Wont Last Long" and "Teach me How to Dance" exhibit admiration for popular sounds and melody. The project also makes space for hip-chop, through moderate soul samples on tracks like "Cry Later" and "Belt". Overall, the album is eclectic, unsettled, and confrontational.
Perhaps, the middle finger the album presents isn't one of contempt, but one of love. One that loves rap music and shows great concern in where it's headed. A middle finger that truly wants to push the margins of what it means to rap. If blue jeans got teens into the door, then rapping is one's way into the space of popular music in 2020. And much like complimentary shoes, shirts, & jackets, how will you wear your blue jeans? How will you rap, and how will you push the conversation forward? This album, potentially presents an answer to that question.
Listen to Blue Jeans below and follow Altnubian on Spotify for more new music.