Week in Pop: 209 Xmas, Mane, SILENTSHOUT

Sjimon Gompers

Film still from Mane's "New World Order" video; courtesy of Elektra Johnson & Tay Rey.

DoNormaal’s Week in Pop

At home with DoNormaal; photographed by Ivan Mršić.

Following up on 2015’s Jump or Die album, Seattle hip hop star DoNormaal shook up the entire pop universe with one of the year’s best & uncompromising releases Third Daughter that is guaranteed to have folks talking well into the new year. With production credits & appearances that include upstarts like Brakebill, Wolftone, Joe Valley, Joel Scanlan, OLD SLAB, Fish Narc, Dark Dred, Jack City, Luna God, Bobby Davis, TMLO, RVN, Wolftone to mixing/mastering by Cid Vishiz; deNormaal’s Christianne Karefa-Johnson unleashed an album anything that has arrived before. Genres & applied tags of the pigeonhole trade fall to the wayside with inner expository rhymes on “fraught”, crashing through the crises of identity on “ego slave”, the meditations of “emotional”, introspective insights on “odie dokie”, golden egg obsessions on “gold rooster”, life musings that buzz in the fuzz of “lyf so”, the goodnight greeting on “heat lullaby”, to a duet with RVN on the honest exchanges of “my teacher”. Subterranean spaces are surveyed on “batcave”, as equine playtime are traded for something more real on “my little pony”, ascending to higher echelons in “adja”, or the ambient oddness that abounds on “dodo” & continues on the mystic twinkles of “magic donormaal”, right before fastening the seat belt of “buckle”. Dishes of desert are served best cold on the minimalist “revenge”, right before strolling with the weird rolling “take a walk”, collaborating with Wolftone on the persistent & impatient “don’t me wait”, purveying the different facets of folks/situations & dialogues with “ur side”, right before closing out with solemn-yet future sighted song “grieves” that gives us plenty to be excited about for DoNormaal in 2018.

It is now our pleasure to present DoNormaal’s following Week in Pop guest selections, courtesy of Christianne Karefa-Johnson:

Roni Size & Reprazent, “Railing”

Prodigy, “Out of Space”

My older brother Timothy was a cool 90s raver-ish kid who put me onto both of the above songs. They remind me of him. I’ve always felt like a periphery kid who just wanted to swag out and get in the groove and I feel like thats what that culture is all about. I feel like one of my rightful places in history is on the club dancefloors of the 90’s sweating profusely with a lollipop in my mouth and some pills disintegrating in my belly.

Stepping out of the flashes of blue light with DoNormaal; photographed by Jesse Hughey.

Bali Baby, “Banana Clip” ft. K. Mitch

It feels like the age of the femme rapper. I love this song not only because the beat is FIRE and reminds me of childhood, but also because as a woman who feels very femme but also very masc. Nothing excites my senses more than hearing rappers like Bali Baby play around with that ying yang mixture of innocent girly girlhood and bad ass unapologetic boss life that is for some false reason typically associated with men.

DoNormaal on the mic; photographed by Jesse Hughey.

Lil Wayne, “Forever”

This is one of my 1,000,000 favorite Lil Wayne joints. And it’S massively overlooked. Its so short and sweet that I would listen to it on repeat for days on end as a teenager and I still do sometimes. His flow and his effortless cool is unmatched. He just has this wild appealing swagger and way of saying things that I love to rap along with.

Seattle & the world’s new top boss, DoNormaal; photographed by Ivan Mršić.

Kid Cudi, “Do it Alone”

As my boyfriend Raven says, Kid Cudi is our big brother. This song feels like the story of my life. And the story of any outsider kid who knows they have a calling and something to teach the world but is also very clued into how difficult and scary that journey is gonna be. To step out into the center of a world that you dont quite understand completely and that certainly doesn’t understand you and radiate out.

A salute to DoNormaal, from DoNormaal; photographed by Ivan Mršić.

50 Cent, “Put That Work In”

This is a song from a relatively old 50 cent mixtape that has just always stuck with me. Also kind of a hidden gem I don’t ever hear people referencing. Sometimes it hard to explain exactly why something speaks to you, maybe it just happens to dance with some specific creative thread inside you. Short, sweet, and makes me feel cool. I also think his lil rant at the end is hilarious. He’s a funny guy.

Standing & styling with DoNormaal; photographed by Ivan Mršić.

ABBA, “Chiquitita”

I grew up on ABBA. When me and my twin sister were seven or eight we heard “Dancing Queen” on K-Earth 101 oldies radio and my mom started singing a long. We became obsessed. So one day my mom came home from work and said she had a surprise for us. She went upstairs and put the Abba’s greatest hits CD in the player and we went nuts. It was the first CD we’d ever owned. I feel really influenced by their melodic sensibility and song writing. The chorus of this song gives me so much strength and when I sing it I feel like I’m expressing my emotions to the best of my ability. Which feels so good and cathartic. The piano solo at the end is my whole entire heart translated into music.

DoNormaal live at Seattle’s Hi Dive; photographed by Sam Leung.

Local Seattle 6950 playlist

This is a playlist of music from some of my closets friends in Seattle. My partner Raven Hollywood and I co-founded a collective called 69/50 that is really more like an energy and a scene that consists of a lot of our friends and creative collaborators and fans and anyone who’s trying to make innovative, subversive art with us and around us. So these are all local Seattle musicians making really cool music that should be spread as far and wide as possible. I’m TRULY giving y’all an in to some crazy dope shit that is not widely known. We need more eyes on the sick art thats being made in this city.

Stepping up with DoNormaal; photographed by Ivan Mršić.

Lil Peep playlist

For anyone who isnt familiar, Lil Peep was a newly 21- year old rapper who quickly rose to prominence as an independent artist out of the LA soundcloud scene in the past couple of years. His passing about a month ago has had a big impact on both myself and my partner Raven and we’ve been listening to his music a lot. When my friend Joe Valley showed me a song of his called California World a year or two ago I recognized something in his melodies and phrasing that really hit the spot and reminded me a lot of things I liked and was trying to do musically. I think his life and the way he lived it was really important and has taught me a lot and i suggest people get to know who this person was, what he wrote about, and how he wrote about it. He was so young and had so much really quality music under his belt that its hard to even imagine the radical places he could have taken it if he had the time. He accomplished so much in so little time as an independent artist releasing his music online for free. I want people to remember this artist and for people who were not familiar with him while he was alive to hear what he left behind.

Follow DoNormaal via Twitter.

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