Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, that time has come again for the summer.
For the past 15 years coming this September, [adult swim] has always been our TV screens entertaining us after Cartoon Network goes to bed for the night with a lot of funny and experimental show, whether they are hilarious (Rick and Morty, The Boondocks – Season 1-3, Black Dynamite) or nauseating with their one-off jokes that go too long (Mr. Pickles, Squidbillies). However, their bizarre and distinctive style has certainly rubbed off in many artists, either well-known or growing at this point.
And well, most of you know the rest…..beginning the [adult swim] Singles Program.
For the past 6 years, [adult swim] has been putting out a free download album series with tracks released weekly, usually starting in the summer but as the years pass, the content of each annual release gets bigger and bigger and this year in 2016 is no exception as there is 25 weeks of singles coming our way. Personally, I have always look forward to these every year because I am simply attracted to whatever music they put out, whether it be hip-hop, electronic, alternative, pop, you name it. (Well, not everything.)
Now for this list I’m doing with what songs over the past 6 years that I liked, I originally was going to make a top 10 list but since I happen to like over….60+ of the 80+ songs released in there…..I have limited myself to 20…..with 5 Honorable mentions.
And knowing I have to make some cuts is the hardest since I really got into these songs, even the ones I haven’t put on the list.
But you’re going to find out the musical tastes of the Blue Hybrid…..when it comes to Adult Swim Singles…
20. [Drink tickets] – Kitty – 2015
So, maybe if you haven’t noticed the past few years we’ve heard many white girl rappers from the lesser-known KREAYSHAWN to the widely-known (and mostly despised) Iggy Azalea, here we got Florida rapper Kitty. I heard one of her songs mostly in the 2013 AS singles program, that being “Barbie Jeep” and she was fine in that song. Not my favorite, yet a good one but here……I’m definitely digging this song from the get-go from the grooving production to the seductive and sensual lyrics that Kitty wants to show you a good time. Hell, most songs you hear would make you want to leave the club rather than hang out there longer and it’s something you can even dance to…..or try to attempt to dance to and knowing she’ll drop another track on this year’s Singles, I await for what she has next.
19. [Why am I on this cloud] – Dan Deacon – 2013
An arousing and energetic percussion beat with tribal chanting in the background that once you hear it, you can’t help but be into it and bump to this, along with a little psychedelic/rockabilly flavor with the guitar riffs. I don’t know much about Dan Deacon and his stuff but he did created something that peak this Hybrid’s interest.
18. [City] – Freddie Gibbs + M adlib f/ Karriem Riggins – 2013
GANGSTA GIBBS and THE LOOP DIGGA! Back in 2013, I was starting to get into Freddie Gibbs and I have been into Madlib’s production work since hearing his work on Madvillain and some of his other collabs and instrumentals and this is before the glory that is Piñata came out and prior to this, I have listen to their EPs and City shows everything I was going to love about that album from Madlib’s beats and Gibbs’ swift lyrical delivery and the guest spot from…*looks up name*…Karriem Riggins was decent. Short and sweet to the point, this song delivers.
17. [Comenius garden] – The Field – 2012
You know one of those score pieces you hear in action movies when the fight sequences are happening? This song is what I imagined would be played if that happen. No, really. Watch something like The Raid (1 or 2, either way, great action flicks) and I can see something like this being played on there. Swedish Berlin-based DJ Axel Willner or The Field created something that has a lot of adrenaline and tension in its presentation and it shows.
16. [Amps, Drugs & Mellotron] – Tim Hecker – 2014
Most of my young adult life (well, with me knowing it), I have gotten into electronic music like Com Truise, Oneohtrix Point Never, Daft Punk and yet I have never gotten into this guy named Tim Hecker, whose name is dangerously close to the guy from that show Tim & Eric do what the fuck ever. This ambient hushed tone of the song fits like you’re lost in the woods trying to find your way home or you felt a presence of someone coming near you and you need to hide from them….and I’m getting weird describing things, aren’t I? Well, that’s how I felt about this single. It sent a chill in my bones.
15. [Too much MIDI (Please Forgive Me)] – Ford and Lopatin – 2011
Since I have mentioned Oneohtrix Point Never (or by his real name Daniel Lopatin) earlier, this is one of his collaborations with singer Joel Ford and this is also a single in their album Channel Pressure. This song has that 1980s synthpop sound with just the right amount of MIDI and a hard groove to it, especially on how the song begins and the thing is…..4 years later, I decide to check the full album and liked more than what I heard from them then gotten into Lopatin’s other work, which now I am a fan of.
14. [Papermill] – Madvillain – 2010
Ah, the sound of MF DOOM and Madlib together is always a pleasure to hear and also this is one of their first ventures outside of their acclaimed album Madvillainy with a sample of a jazz-rock song called “Irgendwie” by Blonker and you wouldn’t know it from the track as it felt like an island vibe than a jazz rock from a German musician. As always, DOOM’s lyrics are enigmatic and the production is solid. More of their efforts outside of Madvillainy makes me pine for another album of these two. Hell, anything with Madlib producing the beat will get me interested.
13. [On and on] – Autre Ne Veut – 2013
Autre Ne Veut……a name if I try to pronounce, I will fuck it up badly. Again, this is another connection to Oneohtrix Point Never considering he wrote for Ford and Lopatin for Channel Pressure with one of my favorite songs on there ,”Break Inside”. Anyway on the song, I like the electro-R&B production style and the lyrics does feel like a break-up or someone transitioning to a new life with the singer saying “Hey, do what the fuck you want….” Or at least that’s what I got from it.
12. [Spiral] – Wye Oak – 2012
Hey, some indie rock….or folk…..or indie folk-rock on here and it’s from someone called……Wye Oak. And yes, it’s a reference of the former Maryland state tree, which the group hails from. Musically, it’s ambiguous as all hell with its lyrics and the production which I dug the guitar on here and the more it gets that, the more I become entwined with it. You can say…..I’m spiraled into the song.
11. [Drunk girls (Holy Ghost! Adult Swim remix)] – LCD Soundsystem – 2010
I’m somewhat familiar to LCD Soundsystem considering I heard one song of his from SSX on Tour (“Daft Punk is Playing at my House”) and the other being “Get Innocuous!”, which I heard multiple times when GTA IV was popular. Here, this is a remix courtesy of NYC synthpop duo Holy Ghost! And this beat does make you want to dance and appropriate for the club (this coming from a guy that barely goes to clubs), even more so than the original version (albeit I have no desire to hear that version) and rarely that shit ever happens.
And now we are down to the top 10!!!!
What could be on here, you ask? Well……
10. [Drones over BKLYN] – El-P – 2011
Yes, El-P has been one of many hip-hop producers I have been following since the mid ’00s and knowing this guy would eventually collab with Killer Mike to become one of the best hip-hop duos of the 2010s, you can hear why you shouldn’t sleep on him. His beats are definitely killer especially with the use of piano in the verse and I definitely love the chorus on here. Yes, it repeats Drones over BKLYN!! But it feels so awesome, you wouldn’t care of the repetition. Either way, the song is still tremendous.
9. [Hanging on] – Active Child – 2011
Ever need a song that can actively put you in a depressing mood? Whelp, this song from Active Child will help you get into that mood quick. Maybe that’s why I like it so much….it puts me in a state of overwhelming emotion, whether it be of happiness or sadness……well, more of sadness on this song. Hell, their other song “Silhouette” with Ellie Goulding off their Razor EP puts me in both states of emotion. Active Child……they know how to make you feel.
8. [Chemical legs] – Com Truise – 2012
I think if I haven’t discover Com Truise back in 2012-13…..well, my life would be the same but not musically. At first, I thought he was just going to rehash some ’80s synth electro but listening to more of his stuff…..well, it’s still there but it’s so addictive to hear and amazing and not that half-assed in its production. “Chemical Legs” may be my 2nd favorite electronica track on AS Singles Program so far and I still continue to listen to Com Truise this very day. Oh, and his recent EP, Silicon Tare, is fantastic as well.
7. [Lively hood] – DOOMSTARKS – 2015
MF Doom appears again on this list and this time, it’s the collaboration with Wu-Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah aka DOOMSTARKS and this song is as fire as it can be with the beat resembling a cartoon villain’s theme (HA HA!) that matches the personality of our villainy rappers and the verses are masterful under this two. Now with this track, I just got one question to ask…….where the hell is the DOOMSTARKS album!? Come on, man. It better be released this year.
6. [Cosplay] – Captain Murphy – 2014
2012: The year that this mysterious rapper named Captain Murphy appeared and people are trying to figure out who is this guy? Where did he come from? Could he be a rapper going under a pseudonym? Well, yes and no. He’s really Flying Lotus under a name although he’s not technically a rapper, he’s an electronic producer. This is a strange-ass song along with the outlandish music video it came with it and it works. It’s the eccentric side of [adult swim] personified and it’s fascinating to hear it. Oh, and you’ll wonder if you’re on drugs or something.
5. [Rubble Kings (Dynamite on the streets)] – Run The Jewels – 2015
There’s fire on the streets and the reason for that is whenever you hear a Run the Jewels track, you explode with majestic fire. For the past 3 years, RTJ has been one of the illustrious hip-hop groups and we can thank Jason DeMarco, SVP/Creative Director of Adult Swim and Toonami, for this collaboration. The track has some incredible production from producer Little Shalimar and the flow of both MCs are energetic with the vibe of ’70s gang violence, especially since this is originally part of the soundtrack to Rubble Kings, a documentary about 1970s gang violence in the Bronx. The soundtrack is also available to download off Adult Swim’s website if you haven’t already got that already.
4. [Squad out!] – Skrillex & Jauz f/ Fatman Scoop – 2015
Well, I know the year before this came out, “Turn Down for What?” was one of the biggest EDM songs of that year but I think this song easily outmatches that in terms of energy, production and replay value. I dabble a little bit when it comes to Skrillex and I have no idea who the hell is Jauz but these two made their use of dubstep not feel so generic or dull like how I usually find some dubstep songs and they got the right hype man track for this in the form of Fatman Scoop. Remember him? Yes? No? Well, anyway, this song is definitely worth getting hyped over and the music video for this makes this a whole lot better.
3. [Worth it] – Danny Brown & Clams Casino – 2015
Danny Brown has been that one rapper that I do find myself hearing some of the time, mostly on songs from various albums that weren’t his or from an album compilation. I also don’t know much on Clams Casino aside from that one track ‘Wizard’ (also on AS Singles 2011) but them together? Makes a great team-up with Casino’s glitch/discordant style and Brown’s solid delivery on the lyrics especially on the lyric, “Is it really worth it? For fast cars and ice? Do you wanna live that life?” Definitely a good rap track to add to your catalog.
2.[The Mystery of Lonnie the Døn] – Shabazz Palaces – 2015
Remember that song “Cool like That” from that group Digable Planets? Well, after that group was inactive, the front man Ishmael Butler (formerly Butterfly and now known as Palaceer Lazaro) along with Tendai Maraire form Shabazz Palaces and I have been listening to some of their stuff a while ago and with this track…..I loved it immediately. The mysterious and eerie vibe I got this track was majestic along with the dark, echoing lyrics of Ishmael, especially near the end. Listening to more of these guys, I’m really looking forward to what project that got next.
And before we get to our #1……here’s some honorable mentions that were close but didn’t make it.
[We can’t stop] – JJ featuring Ne-Yo – 2011
Damn, I really like a lot of Swedish musical acts because I firmly dug this track from JJ and Ne-Yo…a guy I haven’t heard in a while.
[Star-Spangled] – Fatima Al Qadiri – 2014
You know that eerie and ambient version of The Star-Spangled Banner that plays at the end of every Adult Swim run at 6 in the morning? Yeah, that spook you the fuck out, right?
[Coupe] – Future – 2014
I’m gonna get some shit for this, am I? And I mean on both sides for not putting higher or mentioning his name. I just know it because while personally I really don’t care for Future as an artist and most of his stuff I sampled beforehand and I’m just not that interested in, this is the one track I’ll stick to. Plus, I liked the music video to this.
[Between Friends] – Captain Murphy featuring Earl Sweatshirt – 2012
Between this track and the sequel track Between Villains with DOOM (as Viktor Vaughn) and Thundercat, I actually dug the Friends track more than Villains and this is coming from a DOOM fan. That and I liked Earl’s verse more on this.
[Barbarian Boy] – Lightning Bolt – 2013
Another rocking track I like in the roster, especially from this group Lightning Bolt, which is appropriate for their name because this definitely struck me to jamming to this joint.
And now for my #1……
This choice is always been an unexpected pick for me, just like in that year of AS singles – not only that was my top favorite track of that year but my favorite AS singles overall……
[The Lavishments of Light Looking] – WOKE (Flying Lotus, Shabazz Palaces & Thundercat) f/ George Clinton – 2015
The forces of experimental hip-hop group Shabazz Palaces, electronic/hip-hop producer Flying Lotus & bassist Thundercat formed a super group called WOKE and like the song’s title, this song is pretty lavish in its production with a good intermingling of funk with Thundercat’s bass performance, Lotus’ production spaced-out psychedelic ambience and the rapping and singing was also excellent that complimented each other. I’ve been loving a lot of hip-hop producers like The RZA, Kanye West, Madlib, The Alchemist, The Neptunes to name a few but in the past few years, Flying Lotus has definitely become another addition to that. Shabazz Palaces also become another hip-hop group I definitely want to follow for their experimental sound and Thundercat plays a mean bass.
Here’s to the Lavishments of Light Looking, the best AS Single!!
OK, I am done. Now as usual, if you feel like I left out some tracks you like, comment below and tell me your favorite [adult swim] single.
Now I’m going to enjoy this year AS singles slate but if you want to hear some people’s opinion on the newer stuff……I recommend you go to [swim squad] and check out RobBarracuda’s look on each single along with those from last year and of course, for everything else from their weekly recap reviews of Hunter X Hunter, One Piece, Samurai Champloo, Shippuden, Mike Tyson Mysteries and coming soon, those of Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans.
I’m MAK2.0 aka The Blue Hybrid, bringing all the singles into one kick-ass library of music.