To celebrate 3 years of Screens And Rhymes, I put together a playlist of my personal favorite under the radar records of 2015. Rough Cuts features tracks that just missed the Best Music of 2015 Mix (What A Year To Be Alive) mix with DJs Thaddeus Jeffries and YVNG PAVL.
There’s an hours worth of B-sides from artists like Vic Mensa, Iman Omari, Cousin Stizz, Father, Kelela, Jay Prince, and more. Enjoy the vibes, and check out the full tracklist below.
Screens And Rhymes officially presents our year end music mix, What A Year To Be Alive: Best Music of 2015. This is the third collaboration between me and DJs Thaddeus Jeffries and YVNG PAVL. (2014’s edition was About A Year Ago, while 2013’s was the strictly rap focused OOH KILL EM). As a team, we selected our favorite records of 2015, and the two DJs turned it into an amazing set of over 100 minutes of sonic bliss. Art direction was handled by myself in association with Michael Toney.
2015 was filled with new stars, huge collaborations, surprise albums, and singles spread through snaps, reposts, retweets and memes. What A Year To Be Alive.
The project is filled with new blood like Playboi Carti, Novelist, Villa, Towkio, Abhi//Dijon alongside guys on the come-up like Tunji Ige, Cousin Stizz, Michael Christmas, GoldLink, Skepta, Vic Mensa, Travi$ Scott, Lakim, and of course the heavyweights like Drake, Future, Kanye, Jamie xx, and Tame Impala. This year we built a special web experience to capture the vibes in proper form. Stream via Mixcloud, download, and check the tracklist below.
I have been a fan of Jefe Replay’s chilled out cut “Sips Tea” since Boston tastemaking DJ Durkin tweeted about it back in October. The record has been making waves with those in the know on the New England scene since August—now that it’s got the video treatment it should find a much larger audience.
Director James “JMP” Pereira includes cameos from local MCs like Michael Christmas, OG Swaggerdick, and Caliph. There’s swagged out scenes of highlight reel dunks on an 8 foot hoop, Jefe sporting an Aaron Hernandez jersey, and mobbing out in front of a mural in Roxbury.
Jefe is arguably one of the most important rappers on Boston’s scene. He is indirectly responsible for one of The Bean’s biggest movements—he hipped Cousin Stizz to 2012’s 12 For 12 cypher series, which led to Stizz linking with Michael Christmas and Goodwin (detailed in this Noisey piece.). Between “Sips Tea” and his feature on Stizz’s “Talk,” most fans will make it their business to check for his upcoming Ask For Juan project.
Tommy flipped the bird during his Hall of Fame acceptance speech (as a coach). But it really doubles as a message to all the NBA lottery teams who were unwilling to make a trade on draft night.
Tommy, we feel you, bro. Middle finger to the writers who said the Celtics would stay stuck in the eighth seed. F-U to all the lethargic GMs who were not willing to make splashy swaps with the C’s. Celtics fans stayed patient for “fireworks” (quoting team owner Wyc Grousbeck), but the offseason moves looked more like firecrackers.
This rebuild has been a grueling three year process filled with gruesome losses, despite the miraclesurprise playoff surge in year two. The phrases, “Boston sports team” and “content with losing” DO NOT go hand-in-hand.1 Thankfully, somehow Brad Stevens has shown the ability to turn water into “Michael’s Secret Stuff,” so Boston is in a good place.
Deep analytics suggest this team will be very good—like second place in the East good. Christian Williams and myself are not quite that optimistic, but think the C’s will see some improvement this year. Throughout our preview of The Celtics 2015-2016 Season, we will be guided by Ultimate Homer Heinsohn. Look out for Tommy’s points (see what I did there) sprinkled throughout the piece…
The C’s lost a ton in the 90s and mid-2000s, but the Celtics remembered their championship pedigree and re-instated “Celtics Pride” upon raising Banner 17. It’s not too hard to remember those glory days when guys like Pierce and KG are still in the league. [↩]
C-Will blessed S&R with his byline again, but almost made me sweat it out like Tristan Thompson’s contract negotiations. [↩]
Episode 35 of Beat Haus Radio features Australian producer, Swindail. The Sydney beatsmith speaks to us about the scene down under, his plans to hit the States, and schools us on what he’s listening to. There’s also a set from longtime homie, Tha Yellow R Kel who drops cuts from Boston artists like Cousin Stizz and Black EL.