Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Song of the Day #309 - Joey Purp - Photobooth

Cause she ain't really bad, she a photo thot

Alright this is a funny one. Back on May 6th, when "Daydreaming" came out, I was in a /mu/ thread about it and getting my funpost on... /mu/, of course, is usually pretty negative, but on occasions can transform into a hyped up echochamber like no other, fueled by the safety of anonymity to praise tracks with boundless emotion... it's really great. Then, someone pointed out that it didn't get Best New Track on p4k, and the pro-Radiohead circlejerk briefly became an anti-pitchfork circlejerk, even though the text of article was pretty positive. Someone explained that pitchfork awards a maximum of one BNT per day, and thus had to save May 6th's for Joey Purp's "Photobooth". Finally, in the least expected but most wonderful development, the anti-pitchfork circlejerk flipped instantly to a pro-"Photobooth" circlejerk, as no one could deny that this is a gigantic banger, a masterpiece.

Like seriously listen to this and you'll find yourself physically unable to deny it the BNT. The two-layer intro before the beat really hits is a proclamation of the track's grand ambitions: it sets out the sort of "pastiche world" that the beat functions in as an "evolved" or "grittier" form, it reminds me a lot of the intro to "Sloppy Toppy", I dunno if I can explain it. And man, the beat that drops, holy shit, we don't get one like this too often. That huge, blown-out sound that flirts with abrasiveness, that heavy heavy bass, the flair of the trumpets, the huge structural changes (especially the "bloom" on the hook, with that brass swell, hnnng), the clunky acoustic drums... what madman could concoct this? Is this the fertile power of the Chicago sound? Is this the equivalent depth in Lake Michigan of guys like Ethereal in [Atlanta is landlocked, joke impossible]?

It's hard to imagine how could someone could rap over all of this, and Joey's flow is appropriately unimaginable. He's super articulate, with an endless parade of clever disses and badass bragging. All at once he seems to making the plays of Jay, Future, and Ferg: smart, delirious, powerful. His lines are peppered with homages to other rappers, especially his Chicago comrades Chance and Kanye, which really drives home the joy he's having making his own mark. It's bananas: two verses and a hook and not a second of pause, not a single syllable that doesn't feel like it's pushing in two or three other directions.

The central image of the "photo thot", a girl who leverages the possibility of sex to get photo ops with celebrities and thus Instagram fame, seems pretty "real" but tbh I have no idea. It's clear he's just having fun with it, which is the most important part: although there's all this dynamism and effort on display, this is just "a track" from him, it's "the one about Instagram models", it isn't his big manifesto definitive statement whatever. That is: it can happen again. That's something to get excited for.

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