5@5: A morning playlist featuring Julian Brooks and Old Painless

 

Old Painless – Blue Whales (Submission)

Remaining as mysterious as he was when we first crossed paths, Belgian Experimental Hip-Hop artist Old Painless returns with the incredible ‘Blue Whale’. Paired with visuals seemingly recorded on a Dell computer from the nineties thru the early two-thousands, the talent shares his latest work. Check it out.


Julian Brooks & Paris King – Don’t Ever (Submission)

In a song about not wanting to wake up lonely and missing out on life in general, ‘Don’t Ever’ is Julian Brooks and Paris King’s can double as a motivational speech if reworked as such. Watch the trippy visual below of the singer-songwriter seated in a green pasture, which reminds us of a famous painting we’ve learned about in art school, but it was long ago, so of course, we can’t remember the name of the work. It’s a different style of tune for the Temper Twinz member, but we like it.


LP – House on Fire (Submission)

Voices like LP’s aren’t in every run of the mill, so when someone like her comes around, you support it. There’s no other choice, or at least, that’s how I feel. The intensity of her vocals pin you up against the nearest wall, making you surrender to the fiery, yet delicateness of her artistry. The house is on fire because we’ve been too busy praising and not watching our surroundings.


PAWL – Waste My Time (Submission)

How real with yourself do you have to be to say that you want to waste your time out loud? Well, PAWL gets bold on the Summer/warm weather-ready record. Listen to the party track below.


The Sweet Kill – The Girl Who Kissed The World Goodbye (Submission)

As you’ve probably realised once you heard the lyrics to the song, The Sweet Kill’s record is about falling in love with someone who eventually commits suicide. I hadn’t had that experience, but I imagine it isn’t like any other loss. Watch the lovely visual for the ‘Love & Death’ EP single, as it does a great job at putting the message altogether.

My last band ended with a tragic event where my songwriting partner committed suicide. The Sweet Kill is a tribute to our bond, music and her short life on this planet. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t miss her and our connection. The question this song proposes is when do we know when it is too late? Years have gone by and I can’t express how much gratitude for all of the good/bad times we’ve travelled. What was will never be, and now it’s too late, rest in peace. When a life comes to an end by fate or by one’s own hand I can’t help but wonder where she is now. In spite of her not being here, she is still the motivation of what my heart is trying to tell the world. I loved her then and I still love her now. – Pete Mills


Glass Dove – Terrible Secrets (Submission) (Bonus)

If you’re the type of person who needs to see the atrocities happening in this country with a catchy backing track for you to understand the urgency of what’s going on, then, I hope ‘Terrible Secrets’ by Glass Dove will do that for you. From the injustices happening to all minorities in America to the sadness we feel from the Columbine High School massacre to the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting (Parkland), at some point, our ways have to change.


GRUNGECAKE

Jensen Kirk’s Eponymous LP, Honestly Reviewed

Jensen Kirk is Compton’s emerging poster boy.

Jensen Kirk

Jensen Kirk is a South Central, Los Angeles rapper who has been working hard to break through in the game. In 2008, he was previously known as Jay K and scored a Summer hit on the radio called, “California Girl.” Since then, Jensen Kirk continued releasing music and building a following.

With his new self-titled LP, Jensen opens up the project with “Life & Times,” sounding confident as ever. A few tracks into the LP, he could remind listeners of West Coast artists The Game, Nipsey Hussle and Skeme. In no way is he copying any of them, he just has that Real-Nigga-Attitude the way he approaches tracks. He’s real straight-forward. “Born Killas,” where he talks about how America views black youth, starts off with him saying

“Fuck the police / I’ma scream that shit until I D.I.E. / My people hate they own kind cause that’s all we ever seen / Shoot a nigga in front of his momma, welcome to the streets.”

No witty wordplay to get his message across, just passion.

“The Beginning” details his struggles in the industry over the years while claiming he’s just getting started. “Wit It Tho’” featuring Polyester The Saint has the two getting at beautiful women and gives off the vibe of something you would probably hear on a Dom Kennedy or OverDoz. project. “The Dogg (Interlude)” featuring Sean Auguste is a greatly appreciated tribute to the late Nate Dogg, referencing songs of the West Coast legend throughout the verse.

Super Miles, Medi, and G Rocka who individual and collectively, along with Tariq Beats and PJ Escobar, provide a nice variety of beats that flow perfectly together for Jensen Kirk to express himself. He’s able to speak about his personal life, his ambitions, social and street issues, women and more on this LP. There is a song “A Million,” where Jensen seems to be singing on the hook and in the verses that come off corny. The hook is too generic and sounds like an attempt of making a radio record while the “Light Show” seems like the obvious choice for the radio without sounding forced.

This is a very strong LP. The only thing it could’ve used was a real creative track that would make Jensen stand out against the likes of Kedrick Lamar, Big Sean or any current rapper. Compared to some of his earlier work, he’s made a drastic change so I believe by his next album he will be even better.


GrungeCake