Music is impossible to approach subjectively. There is nothing that anybody hears that they don’t attribute to what they’ve heard before or otherwise enjoy. This is why the idea of “genre” is sometimes difficult to deal with on a concrete level. Defining music to fit into a certain box of our own expectations limits the potential audience and does it’s best to eliminate creation of a new sound.
That being said, how do I describe BadBadNotGood?
The college jazz jam session that became a band that is how the likes of Tyler the Creator, Frank Ocean, Ghostface Killah on its’ resume is impossible to define. Even with the inherent similarities to Jazz (even modern Jazz) to Hip Hop, the sheer effortlessness that Matthew Tavares, Chester Hansen, and Alexander Sowinski pull off such a fusion is incredible.
Their most recent release of Sour Soul from Lex Records shows the ability of this group to combine perfectly the two genres of Hip Hop and Jazz.
The story goes, of course, that the classmates played their arrangement of something called the ‘Odd Future Sessions’ for a class project and was told by their professor that had hadn’t found “anything of musical value in their performance”. So they put their performance on YouTube and it went viral. Flash forward 4 years later and they’ve got first billing on a Ghostface record.
Uncompromising Wu-Tang revivalists, BBNG bring continue to bring in the likes of Danny Brown and MF DOOM to collaborate on one of the funnest Ghostface records in the last 10 years, by far. This is only on top of the fact that BBNG still manages to find space for their own brand of fusion to shine.
Fusion, soul, hip hop, whatever you want to call it, this is a jazz album. And for those who can’t handle “jazz” can let this one go by. But they’ll be missing out. Just like the rest of the BBNG catalog, this a record you jam in a small room, or completely by yourself with a pair of headphones.
Those not interested need not apply.