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cloud rap is sort of the chillest of raps
July 25, 2013 1:11 PM   Subscribe

Depending on who you ask, Cloud Rap either is "the best shit happening right now" or it doesn't exist. If you ask Killscreen, the genre owes a lot to Japanese Role Playing Games. But according to Philly cloud-rapper Lushlife, "All Rap Is Cloud Rap."

Cloud Rap progenitor Clams Casino previously.

Various cloud rap examples:
Main Attractionz
HOLLYWOOD SQUADDA
XXYYXX
Flatbush Zombies
Piff Gang
DropxLife
AceLeague
Friendzone
Milo

Lots more to be found on Bandcamp.
posted by Potomac Avenue (45 comments total) 68 users marked this as a favorite

 
Rap and Japanese RPGs you say?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:20 PM on July 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


and this?
posted by zscore at 1:23 PM on July 25, 2013


gotta shout out the great homies, the underachievers... couple more tracks: herb shuttles, the mahdi

and ecclesiastes is my favorite track by milo.

that dropxlife tape is great btw.
posted by raihan_ at 1:28 PM on July 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


oh damn, breaking news: there's a new tape from jeremiah jae too. his record "raw money raps" definitely felt really really ethereal, as his voice felt above the beat, rather than before/behind it... highly rec'd. here's cat fight off that record.

i feel that a lot of these fellas are taking some of the seeds of madlib's woozier productions and pushing them way forward.... i like that a lot.
posted by raihan_ at 1:34 PM on July 25, 2013


This is just what I needed. Thanks.
posted by Our Ship Of The Imagination! at 1:43 PM on July 25, 2013


There's always been a mectasm funge element to our music.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 1:55 PM on July 25, 2013


I had only ever heard Jeremiah Jae on the Captain Murphy album, which is something I love these days. I will check that out, thanks raihan_.

Speaking of Captain Murphy, there is just no way that rapper is not Tyler the Creator. I know they're saying it's Flying Lotus but I don't buy it. But then, you could have also told me it was produced by Madlib and MF Doom and I would have believed it. Great mix of styles, even if nothing about it sounds particularly fresh and original.
posted by Hoopo at 1:55 PM on July 25, 2013


Video game rap? Cibo Matto 1999!
posted by Strange Interlude at 1:59 PM on July 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


Madlib, yeah, and cLOUDDEAD, Antipop Consortium, Eyedea, and so on, but this is taking that and adding chopped/screwed and crunk.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:08 PM on July 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


Don't sleep on Yung Lean, the cloudiest Swedish 16 year old on Youtube.

Personally, I've been bumping this track by Rome Fortune.

On the obscure tip, I'm still feeling this track by Mann named Flying Nimbus, incidentally.
posted by cloeburner at 2:15 PM on July 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


hoopo: the captain is definitely flylo. not all the production on "duality" is from him, though...

(man i love antipop consortium, too!)
posted by raihan_ at 2:16 PM on July 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


the captain is definitely flylo

OK I guess that settles it! He sounds just like him, right down to the delivery.
posted by Hoopo at 2:22 PM on July 25, 2013


Of course, dudes like Primo and Pete Rock were the recognized maestros, but even lesser-known producers were creating dramatic, and decidedly low-fi soundscapes using 12-bit drum machines with like six seconds of sample time

Shook Ones pt II produced by havok in 1995 could easily pass for cloud rap if not for sampled drum sounds.

What the fuck is the sample at 1:10 of MRAZ, I can't remember the name of that song. What is the acousitc guitar sample in ecclesiastes, it is like from Tin Man by America or something?
posted by Ad hominem at 2:37 PM on July 25, 2013


Damn, i thought it was Check the Technique but it was Mass Appeal.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:45 PM on July 25, 2013


I was going to say a lot of this sounds like the old school/conscious hip-hop that I loved in the 90s. Hiero/SoM/Pharcyde, etc... That's a Good Thing(TM)
posted by symbioid at 2:46 PM on July 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


thanks ...

meanwhile, 22 years ago ...
posted by philip-random at 2:55 PM on July 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


The main difference IMO is the lack of breakbeat samples and addition of 808 hi hats and rolls. That is just my opinion.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:55 PM on July 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Like an absurd percentage of rap in the 90s sampled drums off Its a new day by Skull Snaps maybe as many as sampled funky drummer in the 80s. Who got the props is a prime example of something that sounds modern except for the funk drums instead of more snappy 808 sounds.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:11 PM on July 25, 2013


Good post, although I've never heard any of these guys described as "cloud rap" before. My friends and I always just described the beats to people when they asked us, usually using words such as ethereal or lush or ambient (which means different things to different people) or we compare them to shoegaze in a loose manner. I'm waiting for someone to sample something such as Evenings or Slow Magic, or for those guys to end up making beats for a rapper, or anything that fits those categories, because they'd all translate really well into "cloud rap" beats even though most people would throw them into the chillwave pile. Lil B's The Age of Information could probably be considered cloud rap, and is not totally his typical #based style, and is from 2010. I'm glad Friendzone got mentioned, I just discovered his stuff recently and I love it. My friends and I have been bumping Clams Casino for ages. His two instrumental mixtapes, along with his EP, are impeccable and I'm waiting to hear more from him. Cities Aviv deserves a mention, although not explicitly cloud rap. It may be on his soundcloud somewhere but he sampled MBV at some point and it's great, and was totally cloud rap. I don't know if he counts, but Shawn Kemp, aka Lil Ugly Mane, has some really, REALLY spectacular beats, and he is probably in my top 5 right now. Some of them don't especially fit the cloud rap style, but some of them invoke the same feelings out of me. Antwon has a few cloud rap beats. I really enjoy his song Lap of Luxury which has a beat by Shawn Kemp, although Antwon's rapping is a bit more abrasive than most, likewise with Lil Ugly Mane.

I know I have more somewhere, so I'll post them when I remember.
posted by gucci mane at 3:33 PM on July 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


What is the acousitc guitar sample in ecclesiastes, it is like from Tin Man by America or something?

So fucking close!

Ventura Highway by America
posted by Ad hominem at 3:52 PM on July 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


wasn't this a thing a few years ago?
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:07 PM on July 25, 2013


Cloud was a popular rap and still is.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:53 PM on July 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


any discussion on this subgenre is awesome because at some point i can link to this photo.
posted by raihan_ at 5:57 PM on July 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


PM Dawn is still the chillest rap though. goat sensitive rappers. Shit is like massage music. It is what you bump chilling by the fireplace sipping rose with your girl. PM Dawn bout that snuggling and gazing into each other's eyes life.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:14 PM on July 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is where I link the best PM Dawn song you've probably never heard.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:19 PM on July 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


s.maharba
posted by gucci mane at 6:21 PM on July 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is where I link the best PM Dawn song you've probably never heard. yt

Where the hell did that come from.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:26 PM on July 25, 2013


1989, their first club single, Bobby Hill's The B-side radio show on WPFW, the deep recesses of my brain, in that order.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:29 PM on July 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


a couple of days ago I emailed Lil B wishing him a good day and then today he emailed me back.
posted by solarion at 6:30 PM on July 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


Was it on a 12 inch single with this

I gotta admit, I'm no PM Dawn expert.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:31 PM on July 25, 2013


I prefer Squall Rap.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 6:32 PM on July 25, 2013


i think nosaj's beat on this chance the rapper track is cloudy. i am a huge fan of his and chance's verses on this one are particularly great.
posted by raihan_ at 6:34 PM on July 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


Was it on a 12 inch single with this yt

Pretty sure that remix came later no big deal I'm just a regular guy who knows everything there is to know about PM Dawn.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:48 PM on July 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


goat PM Dawn expert. I'm kinda blown away by how much it sounds like De La Soul. I guess we should end the PM Dawn derail though.
posted by Ad hominem at 7:01 PM on July 25, 2013


The 'it's a new genre' thing gets tiresome if only because most of the time it isn't at all, but it's good to see hip hop firmly expand into the territory where it's impossible for any hip hop head to even come close to having a firm grip on it all.

I've liked some of Flatbush Zombies previously and some of the Ace League stuff I just heard is good. I'm starting to get into it slightly, so thanks for the post.
posted by cashman at 7:24 PM on July 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Cam'ron does cloud rap with Blue Sky Black Death.

Also, just because FlyLo came up earlier and I don't think I'll ever get to mention it again, FlyLo does dirty south beats. If he ever put out an album of this shit I'd flip. What a talented dude.

I'm lovin' hiphop Metafilter without all the normal hate.
posted by yeahwhatever at 9:05 PM on July 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Actually I can add some more to this topic.

Main Attrakionz - 808 and Dark Grapes II - Free download. I love the Friendzone tracks on this. They just dropped a new mixtape within the last month, and another (808 and Dark Grapes III) is coming soon.
Friendzone - My Wishlist - Great mixtape, including a cover from Illmatic over piano. Im a sucker for pianos in the beat.
Grimes ft. Deniro Farrar (Ryan Hemsworth Mix) - Grimes music stands alone pretty well, but also happens to make good beats.

Blue Sky Black Death also has done an album with Farrar, as well as a track with Gunplay and Isaiah Toothtaker.

One thing I find really interesting about this is its a sound centered around producers not rappers.

It's not really cloud rap, but Rome Fortune's Beautiful Pimp (mentioned by cloeburner earlier) is top notch.

Also you misspelled Attrakionz in the main post.
Also really again, I love seeing people that know whats up all postin' in the same place. Good thread.
posted by yeahwhatever at 9:32 PM on July 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm lovin' hiphop Metafilter without all the normal hate.

Seriously. For the first time in my life I don't feel 5 years behind on this stuff and it's all because of you. Thanks to everyone for sharing! Also, how great is MishkaNYC? Free FLAC downloads? Thank you.
posted by Lorin at 9:55 PM on July 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


a friend of mine refers to ryan hemsworth as "her future bf"... constantly. its strange. he's awesome.

fun anecdote: for every flying lotus album that's actually released, there have been another 4-5 made. the interim between cosmo and UTCQ, he was in a very dancy/banger phase, which is where FLOTUS comes from. there's a lot more floating around out there. he used to be very generous with his unreleased joints for all of us local folks, but less so now. ;(
posted by raihan_ at 11:38 PM on July 25, 2013


So much love in here I almost feel bad making jokes about PM Dawn.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:50 PM on July 25, 2013


I absolutely love everything Ryan Hems has done. It's almost all stellar. So many fantastic mixes: FACT, Fader, Diplo and Friends, Mixmag, Truants. If you're into them, I have a few others I can't find online anymore, lemme know and I can host them somewhere. His individual tracks remixes are usually money too.

Some friends and I saw a FlyLo show recently. We expected it to be all brainfood, super jazzy, etc but were really surprised by how dancy it was. It was an absolute blast. I would eat up any FlyLo bangers. When that FLOTUS track dropped, it was stuck in my head for days.
posted by yeahwhatever at 11:56 PM on July 25, 2013


Bookfiend, prod. Clams Casino with fantastically slow vocals by MF DOOM, is pretty great. It's on Clams Casino's Soundcloud, but I thought I would point it out here. The lyrics are the usual weird impenetrable reference-laden surrealist rap, but actually the title is accurate, it's just about his love of reading. It's pretty charming. I hope they do an album together.
posted by vogon_poet at 12:53 AM on July 26, 2013


This seems like a good place to ask: is Lil B's "NYU" (off The Basedprint vol 2) cloud rap?
I certainly think of clouds when I hear it, but wasn't sure if it was representative of the genre or anything.
posted by porn in the woods at 6:43 AM on July 26, 2013


A line from Lil B (from an interview with Noz) supposedly inspired the name Cloud Rap so, yeah definitely.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:27 AM on July 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


This logs in for what I refer to as "short people's hip hop". As compared to other Hip Hop, where being short in the audience is, travellers's guide-wise, not advisd . First: This stuff, Madlib, Aesop Rock, Dr. Octagon (and various forms) rap about ideas and science. Then, we get big people's hip hop (in this metaphor) which is about winning, smashing, aggression, killing, all the normal. Anyway: short people's hip hop vs big people's hip hop: proven a good way to choose what gigs i go to.
posted by mooksimpson at 4:14 AM on July 27, 2013


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