Black Skinheads: Leather Corduroys “Seasons”

Tosten Burks hates seasons. Blink twice—and we’re 21 months removed from Acid Rap, with Chance in the stratosphere, Vic on the verge, Chop in the studio with ‘Ye, Tink with Timba, Herb with...
By    January 22, 2015


Tosten Burks hates seasons.

Blink twice—and we’re 21 months removed from Acid Rap, with Chance in the stratosphere, Vic on the verge, Chop in the studio with ‘Ye, Tink with Timba, Herb with Nicki, and Louie crowned future king of Canada. Still unclear, can Bennett and Mensah’s fellow piggy bankers squeeze into the frame? And then the age-long posse problem, can they do so while standing apart from their friends?

Thus far the rest of SAVEMONEY has rejected both Chano’s nostalgic scatman blues and Vic’s wispy hip-house—Brian Fresco instead soulfully trapping with Tree, Towkio shouting out Nike and Kendall Jenner over watercolor juke, Dally Auston slurring over THEMpeople’s staticky futurism—but Joey Purp and Kami’s first full-length as Leather Corduroys represents a new level of departure. A stylistically erratic, at times great debut, Season ranges from Yeezus to Thugga, N.E.R.D.core to screamo, with a cameo from Elton John. Star-making or not, it is an impressively strange collision of things.

Without wasting time to belabor the reminder that teamed-up rappers make everything better, here, we have Purp, with the afro-bun and daughter, known to show up to studios with fruit baskets and molly, who was sipping Rossi on the rocks in argyle socks over Mndgsn beats years before Stones Throw noticed, and Kami, ears gauged, left wrists usually strung with hemp, who was smoking acronyms over evil Jonwayne loops almost before the Wayniac himself picked up the mic. On Season, introducing the brand to the world (detailed DIY Leather Corduroys instructions and all), the pair rattles around almost too many ideas.

Those most successful are the odes to Pharrell and Chad Hugo’s sci-fi rock-hop. The maximal “In Da Club” thrills with yelping Karate Kid jokes and groovy haunted-house-of-mirrors-synths. Seminal Bakersfield Brainfeeder Mono/Poly, Social Experiment keyboardist Peter Cottontale, Chicago bassist Carter Lang, Joey and Kami all clearly bonded over Dam-Funk before recording. Similarly scuzzy funk melts on “Solo Dolo” and the Syd tha Kid and Matt Martians diptych, “My Good Girl.”

Other high moments, like Knox Forturne’s “Remember Me,” and “RMS/Launch,” spark life into some of Yeezus’s allegedly insurrectionary ideas for the dance floor—sampled squawks, tribal chants, blankets of feedback, finger snaps in 2/4 time—but served goofier, with Bloody Marys, boogiemen, peanut butter jelly and tooth decay. Purp’s verse on the creaky Thelonious Martin banger “Chicken Talk,” may be his best ever, reading Catcher in the Rye while kush bushes dry, waiting to shoot the crown. Stefan Ponce laces the Elton John-sampling “Rocket Man” with Grammy drums. “Adios” is the best Young Thug song so far this year.

And then there’s “Developers,” which loops Steve Ballmer’s sweaty-armpitted “developers” chant with the CEO’s similarly viral freak-out during Microsoft’s 25th anniversary keynote. For three minutes Joey screams, as if he’s wearing a Naked Raygun cut-off, over 80s hardcore riffs and the Ballmer samples, repeating, “Chicago shooting like it’s Baghdad in this bitch.” As the song ends, Ballmer refrains, “I, love, this, company!” In its “Paranoia,” “Holy Holy” moment, directly addressing what the kids see on the news, Leather Corduroys turns full punk, burning sentimentality to ashes with dark comedy. On a project that covers so many new bases, the duo does the same to expectations. Both have solo tapes on the way, each bound to swerve.


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