TRANSCRIPT Heat Rocks Ep. 118: Our Heat Rocks of the 2010s

Oliver and Morgan are kicking off the new decade and talking about their favorite albums from the 2010s. They discuss their own personal journeys through the decade and the changes in the music industry in general. 

Podcast: Heat Rocks

Episode number: 118

Transcript

music

“Crown Ones” off the album Stepfather by People Under The Stairs

oliver wang

Hello, I’m Oliver Wang.

morgan rhodes

And I’m Morgan Rhodes. You’re listening to Heat Rocks.

oliver

Morgan and I wanted to kick off 2020, and the 2020s in general, with a look back at the decade we just left behind, and to do so the two of us have compiled our favorite ten of the 2010s.

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[The following songs play in rapid succession, crossfading into each other with no gap between them] “Fall in Love (Your Funeral)” off the album New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh) by Erykah Badu. Up-tempo, grooving R&B/soul. You don't wanna fall in love [Fades into…]

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“See You Again” off the album Flower Boy by Tyler, the Creator. A short instrumental section with soaring horns. Fades into…

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“Ah Yeah” off the album Black Radio by Robert Glasper Experiment. Slow, harmonized vocalizing over snaps. Fades into…

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“Momma” off the album To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar. Mid-tempo rap. Sun beaming on his beady beads exhausted Tossing footballs with his ashy black ankles [Fades into…]

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 “Drunk in Love” off the album Beyoncé by Beyoncé. Poppy hip-hop. Surfboard, surfboard Graining on that wood, graining, graining on that wood [Fades into…]

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“Nights” off the album Blond by Frank Ocean. A slow, melodic instrumental selection. Music fades out and plays quietly as Oliver speaks.

oliver

Morgan, before we actually get to the music part of it, I’m just wondering. What did the 2010s mean to you personally and/or professionally? [Music fades out.]

morgan

You know, those two things melded for me, because I began the 2010s with a stint on KPFK, a show called The Listening Station, and I was on there from 4-6 A.M. So it was the beginning of my career there, which led to me being a music supervisor. So I started this decade not being a music supervisor and it went from Middle of Nowhere in 2012 to today. [Oliver affirms emphatically multiple times while Morgan speaks.] So, all that’s happened pretty fast. The beginning of the 10s was a wonderful time, I thought, musically. I thought there was some fire that came out. I thought the music business came out smoking, especially related to indie soul music and avant-garde soul music. And uh, quite frankly, although my regional bias heretofore has been well documented, I thought the West was won in the 2010s. Secured and won.

oliver

I think for me, when I think back on my 2010s, certainly it’s very much bound up into the fact that most of my 40s have been spent in this decade. And turning 40—this was back in 2012—you know, what came with it was a growing sense, maybe an existential sense of my own mortality, which is never awesome, but perhaps necessary as a life phase. Certainly the rest of the decade has been spent in the general awareness of our oncoming or potential global apocalypse. You know, the basics like that. So I don’t know if I was necessarily happier in the 2010s as opposed to the two thousand aughts, ‘cause I really enjoyed my 30s. My 30s were awesome. 40s have been a little bit more somber, I suppose. Maybe that’s just an inevitable product of age. Certainly, I think professionally it was fantastic. As a college professor I got my tenure, I was promoted to full. My one and only so far academic book all came out. I am very proud of the things I wrote outside of academia, in terms of music essays, reviews, articles, etcetera. And certainly I’m very very proud of our show, which of course got launched this decade. And so I think, when I imagine maybe ten years from now when I look back on this decade, the things that are gonna pop out to me is sort of where I came professionally during the decade, watching my daughter get older and age into adolescence, and I hopefully will be looking back on, you know, our show as being one of the high points. I mean certainly looking at it right now in terms of recency bias, it’s up there. [Morgan responds emphatically.] And I hope that that still remains the same even ten years from now.

morgan

[Oliver responds affirmatively multiple times.] Well, we met in the 10s. We met in 2013. So, when I was looking at your list—and we’ll get into that later—I thought at least one of these picks was a thing that brought us together, was our first show together, Tuesday Reviewsday on KPPC, and had it not been for that, we wouldn’t be here. So, shout-out to Jacob Margolis, KPPC and Tuesday Reviewsday. R.I.P.

oliver

Now, bringing back our theme for this episode, looking back on the 2010s. This was—it’s not that I imagine this wound be super easy, but I figured I would have at the ready just a list of albums. “Oh yeah, it has to be this and this.” And certainly there were some of those albums that I knew automatically would make this, but it’s trying to distinguish between, well are these the best albums, the top albums, our favorite albums? So I’m wondering, when you sat down with this, what approach did you take? What was your methodology for kind of winnowing this?

morgan

You know, this was more difficult than I would have thought. [Oliver hums in agreement.] When I first approached it, I was like, well, you’re just gonna step into it as a taste maker. So your list is gonna be akin to Pitchfork and NPR and Rolling Stone and Vice and all that kind of stuff. You’re gonna do a tastemaker’s list. But I realized, although there were great albums on all of those lists for all of those years, what I bumped was what I picked. And I went on what stuck with me, what I kept going back to, and what I could bump continuously without having to be like, “Okay, next.” So, that’s what narrowed my pick down. When I looked at what I ended up with, I was like, there’s six degrees of separation, even less between the artists that I picked. Some of them featured on each other’s albums in the 10s. And so I stayed in the family and uh, stayed a bit West if I’m honest. But I went with what made me feel good in this decade.

oliver

Right, and I think I approached it in very much the same way. I know on some level the music critic in me wanted to try to sum up the decade via what I thought might have been the most important albums in terms of what defined the decade. But I’m not saying, number one, that’s not an easy endeavor, if one sets themselves to do it. But more to the point here, I’m just not that invested in it, and I think this is one of the things that has—I don’t think it’s purely contained within this previous decade. I think probably as early as some point in the two thousand aughts, my listening tastes really became far more personalized in terms of things that were important to me as opposed to the things that I felt like, for the culture, needed to be put out there and highlighted. But I think, like you, what I gravitated to in coming up with is what is the stuff that I actually sat with, as opposed to those things that I felt like, well, everyone needs to hear this, because it’s so important. I mean, that’s valid. Totally valid. But it had to be what was the stuff that I actually rode for as a listener.

morgan

What do you think defined the 10s in terms of music? Like, we can—we’ve been in here, we’ve talked about the 90s, we’ve talked about the 80s. What defined the 10s?

oliver

[Morgan responds affirmatively several times as Oliver speaks.] What comes immediately to mind is that—and this is probably true for every previous era—is that it goes beyond just what are the trends in production or genre. Because those things, in turn, I think are also going to be impacted by what is the state of the music industry, how are things distributed, and I do think that the really defining feature of the two thousand teens, when it comes to music distribution, is the rise of streaming. And when people talk about there being like, a Spotify sound, for example. You know, a lot of the music, especially when I look back on, let’s say my 2019 list of favorite tracks, a lot of that stuff does fall into like, that Spotify sound, which is kind of lo fi, kind of mellow, easy-going. And I do think that when we look back, with having the benefit of more time when we look, I do think that we’ll be—you know, certain kinds of textures and production styles will be noted, partly because of the rise of streaming. And the other thing I’m leaving out that’s huge is the role of social media in how certain artists and certain albums get circulated and brought into our awareness. And without getting too far ahead of what we’re going to be talking about with some of the artists on our respective lists—I mean, one person who is not on either of our lists but was hugely dominant of the 2010s, Kanye West, right? Or Drake for that matter. And those are both artists who I think, you take away the social media component and I think, especially with someone like Kanye, and I think it changes their impact and how we receive their music. But those become indelible parts of how their music and their artistry help to dominate a particular form of awareness or discourse about music in this decade.

morgan

I think I agree with all of those points. Social media and streaming are hallmarks of this decade, but the beginning of social media, for me, was 2009. At least Twitter pushed itself to the forefront before Instagram, and it is there where I started to see this as the DIY decade, that a lot of people were blowing up on social media and doing it themselves. The best example in this decade was KING, and their three track EP, “The Story”, which got handed to a tastemaker, who handed it to Fonte, who handed it to Questlove, who handed it to Erykah Badu, and all this played out on Twitter. “Yo, have you heard this? Yo, have you heard that?” It was the first example—I think this was 2011—that I thought, “Well damn, I guess we don’t need labels anymore.” And the next time I saw them, they were opening for Prince. So, I thought there’s a lot of power in this thing they’re calling Twitter, and as time went on through the decade, I saw more and more artists using that platform and Instagram to make themselves Insta-famous. And what that commodity, what Insta-fame really meant to an artist, I’ve never seen before until the 10s.

oliver

One more thing I’m gonna throw out there before we actually move on to our decade list here is, in thinking about your question, in terms of how are we gonna remember the twenty-teens, I think in the world of hip hop, certainly the rise and dominance of trap, and the sound of trap is gonna carry over well into the 2020s. I think the popularity of singing and rapping, so the ways in which hip hop and R&B have become even more overlapped in many cases, that is really what strikes me as, again, when we look back on this previous decade, those are things that are gonna stand out to us. I’m wondering, in the world of R&B proper, to the extent that we can even call it that, what do you think have been the dominant trends in soul music for the 2010s?

morgan

[Oliver affirms multiple times.] Pop and R&B melded together, so that, depending on who you asked about a certain artist, you’d always be like, “Well, are they pop or are they R&B?” And it was sort of like both. Is Ariana Grande R&B or is she pop, depending on who you’re talking to, right? And it was one of those things that— I didn’t see those two worlds coming together, but I always thought about the 90s, that you had a pop group that did a little R&B number for an album. Pop R&B became a genre in this decade, and it certainly crossed color lines. So, I think future soul was still there, but it took a back seat to pop and R&B, certainly towards the end of the decade.

oliver

Well, let’s get into our picks here. And just so people know, so the way that we decided to do this is that in this first half I’ll talk about five of my picks, and in the second half Morgan will do her five, but both of us will post our full top ten list for the decade on our website at HeatRocksPod.com. And we absolutely encourage our listeners, if they want to post their own top tens and send it in to us, because we want to know what you thought were the defining albums, or whatever, favorite. You can define it however you want to, but we want to know what your picks are. I decided to go in chronological order, and we’re just gonna spin back to 2010. So we’re going to go back to the decade’s beginning, and my favorite album of that year, Erykah Badu’s Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh).

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“Love” off the album New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh) by Erykah Badu. Slow, melodic R&B. Come on, feel me Just tell me, you love me I like it… [Music fades out as Oliver speaks]

oliver

It’s kind of weird to realize that this is the only studio album that Erykah put out this entire decade. She had that mixtape, which was real cool. [Morgan responds affirmatively.] But, you know, what’s she doing? [Laughs.] You know?

morgan

Chilling.

oliver

Yeah. I mean, God bless, because I’m sure she’s doing great.

morgan

She’s earned it, yeah.

oliver

But it’s wild to think that we’re ending, you know, we’re at 2020 now, and we’re ending the decade, and this is the one album—the one studio album she’s put out this entire—the last ten years. This album, I think, for me at least, my love for it is unabashedly tied to the fact that it’s such a 90s throwback LP. The use of the samples, I think, is very deliberate like that, the quotations in there. But as someone who, even though I very much appreciate what Erykah did at the backend of the 90s in terms fo helping to lead the neo soul movement, I think this might actually be my favorite Badu album in terms of just wanting to sit and go end to end listen with it. It’s Return of the Ankh. And so much on this, even now ten years later, every time I hear it, just brings a huge, huge smile to my face.

morgan

This is a great album, from the cover art on. I had the opportunity to see her perform songs from this album here. New Year’s Eve 2010, we were supposed to give away tickets on the air for her show at the House of Blues, and um, of course my show’s 4-6, so nobody called in for the pair. [Oliver laughs.] So I was like, “Guess we going to, uh, to see Erykah Badu.” So seeing her on New Year’s Eve perform these songs was really magical. I like this album because, to me, it represents that in some way she’s a creature of habit. She started the 2000s with Mama’s Gun, so she comes out of the decade swinging. She also used a lot of the Soulquarians on this album, so it’s got that sound that you love and that I love. Poyser, Quest, Georgia Anne Muldrow is on this album. And Georgia Anne Muldrow, she’s a producer on my favorite song on this album, which is “Out My Mind, Just In Time.” And my favorite moment on that song starts at the 2:35 moment, where she says...

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“Out My Mind, Just In Time” off the album New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh) by Erykah Badu. Slow, plaintive singing over a single violin. I gotta do my love for you Chopped and screwed for you Pay the rent for you It's true… [Music fades out as Morgan speaks]

morgan

It just changes up, and that is straight LA, straight Georgia Anne Muldrow, from that point in the song to going towards the end. If you love Georgia Anne Muldrow and her music, you’ll recognize that signature piano and just that moody sample-based mix. And to me, that was what was so classic about this album, that Erykah went back to a group of producers she’d used before, but it just sounded fresh then, and that can still get bumped.

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“20 Feet Tall” off the album New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh) by Erykah Badu. Slow, ardent neo-soul. If I get off my knees I might recall I'm twenty feet tall [Erykah vocalizes as music fades out under Oliver]

oliver

Next up, we’re going to hop to 2013, and an artist and album that I’m one thousand percent pretty certain—I guess that wouldn’t be a thousand percent then, would it? [Morgan laughs.] I’m very, very, very certain that Morgan, you’re the one that put me up on this, because I think it was an album that you brought into the aforementioned Tuesday Reviewsday segment on KPPC that we first got linked up through. And this would be Laura Mvula and her debut album, Sing to the Moon.

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“Like the Morning Dew” off the album Sing to the Moon by Laura Mvula. Passionate vocals that begin acapella before a few scarce instruments join. Our love is like the morning clouds Like the morning dew, that goes away Our love is... [Music fades out as Oliver speaks]

oliver

And so on that show, you would have introduced it and they would have done much the same that we just did now, they would have played a clip. And I just remember thinking, what is this? Who is this? And it’s a combination between the lushness, that wall of sound that dominates the kind of symphonic and orchestral arrangements on the album, and then of course Mvula’s voice. And I was able to catch her at her LA show not long after this album dropped that year.

morgan

The Bootleg?

oliver

Yes.

morgan

I was there.

oliver

And I thought it was just magical, and just love love love this album. And so—and it was a way of me knowing automatically, because this was early to how we got partnered up. I’m like, “Whoever Morgan Rhodes is, her taste is fucking fire.

morgan

[Laughing] Thank you, man. That’s always going to be precious to me, because it reminds me of how we met. [Oliver responds affirmatively.] And in retrospect, I don’t even know if they were pairing people up, or if we were the first tandem they put together, but either way that might have just been the Lord putting us together. But the one thing I remember when I first heard this album was, “Yo, is that her doing everything?” Like, is she doing the arrangements, is she also singing, is she d—because it sounds like there’s 40 people in the studio with her, but it’s all her, right? It’s a matrix mix. Once you learn more about Laura Mvula and you find out her background as a choir director, as an arranger, how she grew up in her aunt’s choir, it all makes sense. And I remember at that show at The Bootleg how she apologized for being late. It was her first time in LA and she got stuck on the 405. [Oliver laughs.] Um, I’d been to The Bootleg many times, I have never seen an artist command so much silence. I mean, everybody was quiet. And this is LA, so somebody’s gotta be in there texting or talking or something. But you could hear a pin drop. My jam off that, and I think that’s the one I talked about, is  “Father Father”. I tried to place that on a show that I worked on and they weren’t letting me make it.

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“Father Father” off the album Sing to the Moon by Laura Mvula. Passionate, harmonized vocals over Let me love you Let me love you Don't try to fight; don't let me go You've gone too far from what I know

oliver

Side note too is, I just think when we’re reflecting on the 2010s, you have the emergence of these incredible vocalists with such distinctive voices, right? You have Laura, Brittany Howard, Valerie June. And they don’t—you wouldn't confuse one for the other, but what I think all three of them share is just the way in which they use their instrument, and the signature way in which the little inflections, the subtleties to it. It was a great decade for female—Black female voices. [Morgan responds affirmatively.]

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“She” off the album Sing to the Moon by Laura Mvula. Upbeat, joyful neo-soul. She don't stop, she don't stop, she don't stop She don't stop, she don't stop, she don't stop [Music fades out as Oliver speaks]

oliver

Alright, moving ahead, we are now in 2015, and I knew automatically there was going to be—there was no way Kendrick Lamar was not gonna make this list. And this goes back to something I was talking about, where—around the methodology of how do you come up with the list of summing up the decade? If this was about the best of the 2010s, then I think Good Kid, M.A.A.D City would’ve been the album pick. But if we’re talking about favorite albums, then there’s no way that this choice wasn’t going to be To Pimp a Butterfly.

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“Alright” off the album To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar. Fast-paced, frenetic rap. Do you hear me, do you feel me? We gon' be alright Uh, and when I wake up I recognize you're looking at me for the pay cut But homicide be looking at you from the face down What MAC-11 even boom with the bass down Scheming! And let me tell you ‘bout my life Painkillers only put me in the twilight Where pretty pussy and Benjamin is the highlight Now tell my mama I love her but this what I like [Music fades out as Oliver speaks]

oliver

You talk about artistic vision, ambition, the quality of execution, the range of different, especially LA personnel, past and present, who collaborated to make this album. In a way, I kind of hope this might—my opinion about this might change, because—and it’s not to knock down Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, because as a concept album, in terms of the timelessness of a lot of those songs there. I mean, Good Kid, M.A.A.D City was perfect in many ways. And I know To Pimp a Butterfly, some people find to be a little bit too sprawling, maybe a little overly ambitious. But I would love to be able to think at some future point that actually To Pimp a Butterfly is actually the better album. I don’t know if I’m ready to say that. I’m easily ready to say it’s my favorite of his stuff this decade. Whether it’s better than Good Kid, I don’t know, but regardless. I think To Pimp a Butterfly is—if you want to understand the import of Kendrick to the decade, I think this is the album that you can go to, because you can see someone who, as an artist, coming fully into his own and just going for it.

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“Wesley’s Theory” off the album To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar. Fast rap with an electronic backing. Pass 'em all out on the block, what's good? I'ma put the Compton swap meet by the White House Republican run up, get socked out Hit the prez with a Cuban link on my neck Uneducated, but I got a million-dollar check like that We should never gave, we should never gave N-ggas money, go back home Money, go back home [Music fades out as Morgan speaks]

morgan

So many scholars unpacked this album and I didn’t read a lot of this stuff until later, after I’d had a chance to sit with it, because quite frankly I just enjoyed the production. You know, I just stayed there before I got into the subjects and the themes, because it was just so beautiful. I mean, come on, “King Kunta”, “Complexion”, which is one of my jams on there, um, the fact that— Let’s read off a few people featured on there. You’ve got Thundercat, Taz Arnold of Sa-Ra Creative Partners, Josef Leimberg, Terrace Martin, Snoop, Lalah Hathaway, Rahsaan Patterson, Bilal, Anna Wise. Come on, now. And as I mentioned, “Complexion”, which was not just a great song for him, but a great song for Rapsody. And uh, she comes in around the 2:32 mark.

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“Complexion (A Zulu Love)” off the album To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar. Mid-tempo rap with upbeat instrumentals. KENDRICK LAMAR: Where the homegirl Rapsody at? I need you to speak your mind real quick, loved one! RAPSODY: Let me talk my Stu Scott, 'scuse me on my 2Pac Keep your head up, when did you stop, loving thy Color of your skin? Color of your eyes That's the real blues, baby, like you met Jay's baby, uh You blew me away, you think more beauty in blue, green and grey [Music fades out as Morgan speaks]

morgan

For all the complaints, I think, of my generation that the younger generation doesn’t harken back, that they don’t respect their elders sonically, that they’re on some island and they’re doing things new without harkening back to old music. This debunks all of that. This sounds like a little bit of The Chronic and a little bit of Funkadelic albums, and a little bit of jazz albums. He threw everything on there, all in the name of telling a story, and at the same time he snuck away and left us with an anthem for all the political unrest. So at the marches across the country, the kids were singing “Alright”. But it was a moment where I thought, and I’ve said this before, that he stepped into the role quietly as an elder statesman of hip hop, with someone that really had something to say.

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“For Sale? – Interlude” off the album To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar. Slow, somewhat spectral instruments over slow rap. I remembered you was conflicted Misusing your influence, sometimes I did the same Abusing my power full of resentment Resentment that turned into a deep depression Found myself screamin' in the hotel room [Music fades out as Oliver speaks]

oliver

So, for my number four, we’re gonna stay in LA, and another artist that I knew had to be on my top 5 was gonna be Frank Ocean. The only question was, which Frank Ocean album? And it really comes down between Channel Orange and Blond. And much as that distiction I just made a moment ago between Good Kid, M.A.A.D City and Kendrick’s To Pimp a Butterfly, I feel like Channel Orange probably will go down as the more influential album, perhaps the more flawless album, but the album that I actually sat with, and with Blond in particular, I mean really just heavy, heavy rotation. You gotta remember this comes out late in 2016 and much in the same way that we wer talking about in our episode about Tribe Called Quest, We Got It From Here coming out just right after the election, I think Blond was part of that sonic salve, just to nurse in sort of your feelings about at the end of 2016. And I think, again, very similar to To Pimp a Butterfly, Blond to me is a more ambitious album. It reaches. You could argue it’s more uneven as a quality, as a consequences of its reaching, but when it hits, it’s so, so amazing.

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“Pink + White” off the album Blond by Frank Ocean. Slow, melodic, somewhat poppy R&B. Yeah, yeah, oh Yeah, yeah, yeah That's the way everyday goes Every time we have no control If the sky is pink and white If the ground is black and yellow [Music fades out as Oliver speaks]

oliver

One of the things that we joke about here on Heat Rocks is when we ask people, you know, who could do a song of whatever song off of whatever album we happen to be discussing on any particular show. Frank Ocean is always the right answer, and I think partly because as a singer and as a songwriter and as an interpreter, you really do feel like there’s nothing that he can’t put a particular spin on that is so signature to who he is. And I haven’t really spend enough time trying to figure out what that quality to him is that allows him to do that, ut it is one hundred percent there. And I think Blond just captures—it doesn’t have to have like, this tight through line. It doesn’t have to be a concept album, where you have every track is perfectly sequenced with the next. I mean, I love those albums too. To me, Blond is a bunch of ideas thrown at the wall, and I’m just trying to throw myself at that wall so I can absorb as much of it as possible.

morgan

Sure. It’s not this classic gospel run, it’s just Frank Ocean, and I love that about him.

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“Godspeed” off the album Blond by Frank Ocean. Slow, earnest, loving singing over a delicate backing. Wishing you godspeed, glory There will be mountains you won't move (Ooh, ooh, ooh) Still I'll always be there for you [Music fades out as Morgan speaks]

morgan

I just saw the film Waves a couple of months ago, and it featured so many of Frank Ocean’s songs, and it was perfect. And it was sort of that thing. It was sort of a mix of everything I think about Frank Ocean and Frank Ocean’s music. Even the lead character looked like Frank Ocean on Blond. He had the bleach blond hair, he was angst-riddled but also cool and sexy and beautiful and had smart things to say. That’s Frank Ocean in a nutshell. Great pick.

music

“Self Control” off the album Blond by Frank Ocean. Slow, tender instrumentals under sincere vocals. I, I, I know you gotta leave, leave, leave Take down some summer time Give us, just tonight, night, night [Music fades out as Oliver speaks]

oliver

For my last pick, I was kind of hoping I would find something in 2019 or 2018, just to help bookend the decade. But if I’m being honest here, I really had to go back to 2017 to find an album that I really, truly ride for as an album to make my list here. And that would be—and again, we’re staying in Los Angeles. [Morgan laughs.] I think our West coast bias is really showing on the show today.

morgan

Absolutely.

oliver

But we’re talking about Tyler, the Creator and his Flower Boy.

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“Glitter” off the album Flower Boy by Tyler, the Creator. Mid-tempo, playful rap. Firework I feel like glitter, and every time you come around I feel like glitter You're the one that I wanna give my life [Music fades out as Oliver speaks]

oliver

Number one, it’s just such a well, well-made album. Every cut feels thoughtful. The features, the collaborations, every guest on here, it just feels like it was really, really well thought out. The sound of it is—I could just listen to most of this album on an endless repeat, so on just a basic kind of aesthetic level, I love it. But I think partly also I wanted to put it here is, I mean really who has had a more interesting character arc over the course of the 2010s than Tyler, who started the decade, you know, as part of Odd Future, as someone who was—it seemed like he was courting controversy and trying to be deliberately kind of a dick, and that was kind of his steeze, right? And it’s not as if Flower Boy was some kind of 180 that no one saw coming from anywhere. I think the album that came out before that, Cherry Bomb, the hints were there. I mean, you could see the progression or just the turn. But, I wasn’t expecting Flower Boy, and I think if you had played it for me and told me this was Tyler, I would not have initially believed you, if not for the fact that his voice is so distinctive. But just to see that kind of—and I want to call it naturation. I don’t know if he would call it that. He might say, “This was always in me. This has always been who I am. It’s not a progression, it’s not a naturation, it’s just me in a particular moment.” But I see it as a naturation, because it’s him being better in touch, more introspective. There's a lot of honesty on this album about who Tyler is and how he identifies, and for all those reasons, I just think Flower Boy is such an amazing work of art.

morgan

We were together, um, you and I, and your wife and your baby. We went to go see the Sister Rosetta play the weekend that this came out. And you asked me, “Have you heard Flower Boy?” And I was like, “It is fire.” We played a little bit of it for us in the car, and the first thing I was thinking is like, “Yo, this is a kinder, gentler Tyler.” Right? [Oliver laughs and affirms multiple times as Morgan continues speaking.] This is not the roach eating Tyler who took the oddness of Odd Future really to a trillion. Where if you close your eyes, and his voice wasn’t so distinctive, this could be a Childish Gambino album. All the points that you’ve made are great ones, and this album is fire, period.

music

“See You Again” off the album Flower Boy by Tyler, the Creator. Fast, kinetic rap. I said, okay, okay, okay, okidokie, my infatuation Is translating to another form of what you call it? Love Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah, I ain't met you I've been looking, stuck here waiting for I Stop the chasing, like an alcoholic You don't understand me… [Music fades down and plays quietly under Oliver’s dialogue.]

oliver

We will be back with more of our rundown of our ten favorite album of the 2010s after a brief word from some of our MaxFun sibling podcasts. Keep it locked.

music

[Music increases in volume again.] Yugh! 20/20, 20/20 vision Cupid hit me, cupid hit me with precision I wonder if you look both ways When you cross my mind...

promo

Music: Upbeat, sci-fi sounding music plays. Dan McCoy: Hey! I’m Dan McCoy. Stuart Wellington: I’m Stuart Wellington. Elliott Kalan: And I’m Elliott Kalan. Together, we are The Flop House. Dan: A podcast where we watch a bad movie and then talk about it! Elliott: Movies like--Space Hobos! Into the Outer Reaches of the Unknown and the Things That we Don’t Know: The Movie, and also--Who’s That Grandma? Stuart: Zazzle-Zippers! Breakdown 2 and Backhanded Compliment. Dan: Elvis is a Policeman! Elliott: Baby Crocodile and the Happy Twins! Dan: Leftover Potatoes? Stuart: Station Wagon 3. Elliott: Herbie Goes to Hell. Dan: New episodes available every other Saturday! Elliott: Available at MaximumFun.org or wherever you get your podcasts. Dan, Elliott, and Stuart: [In unison] Byeee!

promo

[Wolf howls. Dramatic piano and organ music. Throughout, the wolf howls again, and a crow caws.] April Wolfe: Hello there, ghouls and gals. It is I, April Wolfe. I'm here to take you through the twisty, scary, heart-pounding world of genre cinema on the exhilarating program known as Switchblade Sisters. [Sinister echo on the title.] The concept is simple: I invite a female filmmaker on each week, and we discuss their favorite genre film. Listen in closely to hear past guests, like The Babadook director Jennifer Kent, Winter's Bone director Debra Granik, and so many others every Thursday on MaximumFun.org. Tune in! If you dare... [Thunder booms, something growls over April as she cackles evilly, and then all sound abruptly cuts.] April: [Rapidly] It's actually a very thought-provoking show that deeply explores the craft and philosophy behind the filmmaking process while also examining film through the lens of the female gaze. So, like, you should listen. [Same sinister echo effect] Switchblade Sisters!

music

“Crown Ones” off the album Stepfather by People Under The Stairs

morgan

Yo, and we’re back on Heat Rocks with Oliver and I talking about our favorite ten albums of the 2010s.

oliver

Okay, Morgan, you heard my five. Let’s get into your picks. Where do you want to start?

morgan

[Whispering] Oh, man. Not surprisingly, I want to start in LA. And that’s with Thundercat and his beautiful, beautiful album, The Golden Age of the Apocalypse.

music

“Daylight” off the album The Golden Age of Apocalypse by Thundercat. Mid-tempo, melodic harmonizing over lively instrumentals. Open your mind Daylight [Music fades out as Morgan speaks]

morgan

Confession is good for the soul, and I will say that I was not familiar with him until this album. I didn’t know of his family’s history in the community, I didn’t know about the other musicians in his family. This album was my introduction to him. My first impression was this guy’s nice with his hands. This album is a flex of his skill as a guitar god. I ended up seeing him perform some songs from this album at Royce Hall. Yo, he came out with a long Rick James wig on, a bullet belt. He played so long, he got a cramp in his hand. And he could sing. I played this album out on KPFK. This was one of the albums that stayed in every rotation, so I credit him a lot fo being part of my late-night playlists over and over again. I’m sure people were tired of me playing this, but to me this guy was—his talents were prodigious. Um, humble, steeped in 70s funk, but also yacht rock. Dumb stuff with [Through laughter] Michael McDonald. Shout-out to Michael McDonald.

oliver

Shout-out.

morgan

This is somebody that I could tell whose pocket was deep sonically, who probably if I spent some time with him, had great stuff in his crates. And this album was melodic from start to finish. It was the right balance of the right thing, as much as I wanted the guitar and as much as I wanted of his vocals, and it just came swinging out of nowhere. And to your point, it had the LA sound that I came to expect, and it was moody, and in the time when this came out I was also moody, so it was perfect. It was perfect for me. And this was the first time in my memory that there was an artist that I had fallen in love with on the strength of just the guitar playing. I mean, I loved his vocals, but he just made a great frontman for his one-man band. He was an eclectic guy. He had played for Suicidal Tendencies for a number of years, he’s got a cool cat named Tron, his videos were wild. It was just like Brainfeeder meets Adult Swim meets LA, and I love that. I love the part that he was playing in the scene, and I love this album. Especially uh, another track called “Walkin’.”

music

“Walkin’” off the album The Golden Age of Apocalypse by Thundercat. Up-tempo, upbeat instruments and vocals. To put myself closer to you Every time that I look in your eyes I see a reflection of me Don't ever leave me alone Without you where would I be? [Music fades out as Oliver speaks]

oliver

Alright, number two?

morgan

This is not LA, but it might as well have been. [Oliver laughs.] Hell, for all the LA people that were featured on it. And that’s Robert Glasper and Black Radio, the Grammy nominated Black Radio. Oh man, Black Radio was appropriately titled, because I think what he was trying to say is, radio has gone through all types of changes, but when you’re listening to adult contemporary Black radio, and if my generation is at the controls, this is what it will sound like.

music

“Cherish the Day” off the album Black Radio by Robert Glasper Experiment. Smooth, mid-tempo R&B. Cherish the day Won't go astray Won't be afraid Won't catch me running You're ruling the way that I move [Music fades out as Morgan speaks]

morgan

I came to know him on his jazz albums.

music

“Portrait of an Angel” off the album Canvas by Robert Glasper Experiment. Instrumental jazz with playful piano. Music plays for several moments, then fades as Morgan speaks.

morgan

But it was a perfect time for this sort of album, because the future soul indie scene was starting to get a little bit of exposure, and putting them all together on this album, and it being Grammy nominated gave them more exposure. He also held a remix contest for the song “Move Love” which features KING, Amber, Anita, Paris, hometown heroes. I’ve already told the story of how they got discovered. So this was a year later, right? A year or two later. But “Move Love” is one of the prettiest tracks on this album. Classic Robert Glasper piano, classic KING vocals. It’s just a great sandwich.

music

“Move Love” off the album Black Radio by Robert Glasper Experiment. Slow, wanting, reaching singing over snaps, drums, and piano. Searching for the silver line Stop, turn, look and see Pause, breath, run and dream Stay strong, live and lead [Music fades out as Morgan speaks]

morgan

The other thing that was happening around this time with jazz is we were starting to talk about the freshman class of jazz and the new jazz artists, Christian Scott, Terrace Martin, Gretchen Parlato, Robert Glasper, Jason Moran, Chris Bowers. And this was all from that school of people that were sort of like, yeah, we grew up on the standards, we’re classically trained. We’re gonna throw some hip hop in here. Mos Def is on this album.

music

“Black Radio” off the album Black Radio by Robert Glasper Experiment. Smooth, jazzy instrumentals with a hip-hop twist. You wanna fly free go far and fast Built to last, we made this craft From Black Radio Black Radio [Vocalizing heavily and playing around with each syllable on the following lines] Black Radio Black Radio [Music fades out as Oliver speaks]

oliver

So for your number three, you went with, I think, one of the defining pop artists of the 2010s.

morgan

An indie artist named Beyoncé. [Oliver laughs.] Uh, yes, Beyoncé. If you don’t remember where you were 12/13, I do. One of my homegirls was like, “Yo, they’re saying Beyoncé dropped an album.” I was like, “She ain’t dropped an album.” And then she had, and I was like, oh my god. We didn’t know what we were in for. We didn’t know it was gonna be songs and videos. I just was so unprepared. I was like, how can artists of this magnitude just sneak up on us and do this?

music

“Haunted” off the album Beyoncé by Beyoncé. Slow, evocative vocals over a fast dance-like beat. My haunted lungs Ghost in the sheets I know if I'm haunting you, you must be haunting me My wicked tongue Where will it be? [Music fades out as Oliver speaks]

oliver

This is something that we kind of alluded to but didn’t really touch on specifically, which is that when you have the ability to just put your album onto a Spotify or to YouTube or iTunes, whatever. If you’re someone like Beyoncé and you decide, you know, I’m not gonna do the radio single and let that marinate for two months and then I’m gonna have a couple videos, I’m just gonna put out a frickin’ full length album, videos for every song, and I’m gonna do it at midnight with zero promotion, and I’m gonna blow this the fuck up.  [Morgan responds emphatically and laughs.] You can do th—I mean, it helps if you’re Beyoncé, or it helps if you’re Kendrick Lamar, but you can do that at that level, which is something that we had just not seen prior. And to me, this was the first album that I remember where, oh shit, they can just jump the line. They can just put stuff out as they want to.

morgan

And, to your point, I think you have to be at that level to do something like that. Otherwise if you’re an artist nobody cares about, they’ll be like, “Whatever, this fool dropped an album.” [Oliver laughs.] But the one thing that I thought was just so gangsta about it was not only was it a surprise album, but all the videos, and then she just titled it Beyoncé. Like, I ain’t really even got to get deep, okay? This is called Beyoncé, period. I think we were here talking to Tiffany Gouché about Destiny’s Child, and I think one of the things that came up is about how even then we sort of knew that Beyoncé was gonna get to this point. We sort of knew Beyoncé was gonna get to be a star. Did we know she was gonna get here? I don’t think so. But she bodied this decade, not just this, but Lemonade, and then Homecoming. And I want to say, my family got together and watched this on Christmas. We’re doing a new Black tradition, we’re watching Beyoncé together as a family. My niece and nephew had never seen it, and the one thing they kept saying is, “She’s really amazing.” And I think on this album you get to see a lot about Beyoncé, but first and foremost you get to see that she’s really amazing. The visuals were stunning. They weren’t just a bunch of videos, they were like mini-movies, they were drawn in. This was sexy Beyoncé. Like real sexy. Not “Crazy In Love”—

oliver

“Drunk in Love.”

morgan

“Drunk in Love.”

music

“Drunk in Love” off the album Beyoncé by Beyoncé plays again. We be all night, and everything alright No complaints for my body, so fluorescent under these lights, boy I'm drinking Walking in my l'assemblage I'm rubbin' on it, rub-rubbin' If you scared, call that reverend, boy I'm drinking Get my brain right Armand de Brignac, gangster wife Louis sheets, he sweat it out, like washrags... [Music fades out as Oliver speaks]

oliver

I’m glad you brought this in, even though this would not have been my pick. Certainly, I would have put Lemonade on my top ten.

morgan

Above this?

oliver

No, it’s not so much whether or not it would be above or below, I just in general, I don’t think you can talk about the 2010s without talking about Beyoncé, because she went from one of the more—certainly one of the more popular and important artists in the 2010s in terms of having gone solo from Destiny’s Child, but just the supernova level of power, stardom, influence, the whole nine, respect. That was Beyoncé in the 2010s, and between this album and between Homecoming, between Lemonade, which would have been my personal pick, because it’s the album that I sat with the most. It was just flex after flex after flex.

music

“Partition” off the album Beyoncé by Beyoncé. A mix of rapping and singing over a steady, deep beat. All on Instagram, cake by the pound Circulate the image every time I come around G's up, tell me how I'm looking babe Boy this all for you, just walk my way Just tell me how it's looking babe, just tell me how it's looking babe [Music fades out as Oliver speaks]

oliver

Alright, number four.

morgan

I went with one of my favorites, my favorite artists of all time, which is D’Angelo. And this was D’Angelo and the Vanguard, Black Messiah.

oliver

Another surprise release.

morgan

Another surprise release.

oliver

Big surprise.

morgan

There had been some rumors, but nobody believed that. It had been too long. [Oliver affirms emphatically.] And so I think people were like, “Eh, he’s not gonna do that. He’s gonna make appearances.” And so, not only did this album come as a surprise, but the subject matter of the album, how political it was, the social justice themes around it came as a surprise. I think with an artist like D’Angelo, we’re used to him disappearing for a while, so to the extent that we were happy to hear from him, we were. But I just don’t think anyone thought he was gonna drop an album here.

music

“Really Love” off the album Black Messiah by D’Angelo & The Vanguard. Slow, evocative instrumentals with guitar playing over a background of snaps. Music plays for several moments, then fades out as Morgan speaks.

morgan

I got a chance to see him perform some songs from this album downtown, and he was in perfect form. His band was perfect, his singers were perfect, and he did this thing where on the last song everyone came off the stage one at a time, ‘til the last man standing was him. So one by one, you know, the singer would leave, and then another singer, and then the drummer, and then somebody on guitar, ‘til it was just him. It was really, really perfect. So for people that were wondering, is he back? He was back in a real way. For whatever the conditions of his exile were, self-imposed or otherwise, he sounded great.

music

“1000 Deaths” off the album Black Messiah by D’Angelo & The Vanguard. Kinetic, frenetic neo-soul with distorted vocals. I been a witness to this game for ages And if I stare death in face, no time to waste But oh! And if I charge it to the game before Every time I slip into the unknown Well, that's only when the spot gets blown It's war That is the Lord!

morgan

I love this album, and I think it just came out so strong. I think it’s one of the seminal albums of this decade. I think, from someone who had been gone a long time, he clearly had some things to say. It was of the moment, it was timely, and right on time, and so Black Messiah.

oliver

So, I can’t help but notice that your picks here all go in sequential, chronological order. Thundercat was 2011, Robert Glasper was 2012, Beyoncé was 2013, this D’Angelo album 2014, and your fifth pick stays on pattern with a 2015 choice.

morgan

[Laughing] Kamasi Washington, The Epic.

oliver

The Epic!

morgan

He couldn’t have titled it anything else, except maybe “The Opus”, because this is what this is. This is free jazz summer camp. Come as you are, play what you want, play as long as you want, because the album is almost three hours long. [Oliver laughs.] Okay, there’s hella tracks on this album. From homegrown hero, we’re back to LA again, a family that’s precious to the community. My niece danced at the Lula Washington Academy there on Crenshaw amongst his relatives. He is a part of what I was talking about earlier, this freshman class of jazz, where if you close your eyes this could be Ornette Coleman, or it could be Kamasi. And he brought a ten-piece band with him, and one of my favorite songs on this album is called “The Message.”

music

“The Message” off the album The Epic by Kamasi Washington. Fast, jazzy, energetic instrumentals, a wall of sound. Music plays for several moments, then stops as Morgan speaks.

morgan

I felt like this album did not require you to be a jazz fan. This album just required you to be open minded, because there were so many influences on this album. Some people thought it was straight ahead free jazz. Some people thought it was a little bit of everything. And it had something for everyone. It was also politicized, he had some things to say. So a lot was happening—we haven’t talked about this part of the decade—that so much was happening socially and culturally and politically that at least as far as LA was concerned, they were addressing those things full force.

oliver

I’m wondering, it’s notable, as I was saying before, that all of your albums go in sequential, chronological order. But they basically—your picks, at least here, and maybe for the full top ten list it’ll be a little more fleshed out in terms of spanning the decade. But the five that you went with, basically you stopped mid-decade. So, what does that have to say about your thoughts on the back half of the 2010s?

morgan

You know, we talked about how we chose these albums, and I guess something was happening to me at the beginning of the decade. And I also was doing a lot of thinking, I was also introspective. I’m not gonna get into how old I was during this decade. But I will say that I was thinking about some things, and these albums that I’ve talked about were the soundtracks for some of those thoughts and those moods and some of the things that I was writing about, you know, some of the things that I was placing, things that were happening around me. And I don’t know what happened in 2016. It’s crazy, because I almost started with Janelle Monae, ArchAndroid. ‘Cause that was 2010, right? Almost started there. But I like the album, but I didn’t hold onto it in the same way I held onto these. And I think something did change around 2016, and I can’t put my finger on it. You know, the picks that we put up will reflect ‘16, ‘17, ‘18, and ‘19, but I will say something happened. I just don’t know how to articulate what happened in music and what happened to me, but there’s something different. What about you?

oliver

It’s certainly, to me, more about my personal listening habits rather than something different within the music. You know, if I had—I don’t know if it would have made my top ten, but you just mentioned Janelle Monae, but Dirty Computer. I think if I had a top 15 list, she would—that album would easily make it there, just in terms of like, just the quality of a concept album, level of execution. Um, but if I’m being honest, I didn’t sit with that album nonstop. There are a few tracks on there that I really ride for, but it’s not an album that once I got into it, I’m like, “Oh, this is all I want to listen to.” And, again, I don’t know if that says more about the music. I always assume it just says something more about me. And it could be that, you know, in the week after we tape this, there’s gonna be something in 2020 that is gonna be that album where I’m just gonna listen to that thing to death. Who knows. It just didn’t happen to—nothing sparked that same level of engagement in the last two years.

morgan

That said, though, but our lists are so similar. We’re sort of circling very similar wagons. [Oliver affirms emphatically multiple times.] There isn’t that far of a stretch between Thundercat and Erykah. Thundercat has played with Erykah, Thundercat has played with Kendrick. You know what I’m saying? Robert Glasper played on To Pimp a Butterfly, who’s also played with KING. So we’re circling sort of the—who’s also played with Kamasi. So we’re sort of circling the same, you know?

oliver

Oh, totally. Which says a lot, I think, just about you and I and our tastes that happen to run very much parallel and overlap. That said, we each picked an honorable mention album, and for me, I decided to go with something that was very left-field compared to everything else I have listed here. And it’s an album that I had kind of forgotten that I had given heavy, heavy rotation run to, until I went back I think into my iTunes and I sorted by most played, and I remembered, oh yeah, back in 2012 I was listening heavy, heavy to Rufus Wainwright’s Out of the Game. And this is not an album or an artist that I think most people who know my tastes would necessarily associate me with, because he’s not an R&B or not a hip hop artist. To me, he is the king of baroque pop. [Morgan laughs.] But I have been listening and really enjoying Rufus’ work since the early 2000s, which is when I first discovered him. His debut self-titled album, his album Poses, which was really my intro to him. And I thought Out of the Game was jsut everything I love about Rufus in terms of his approach to songwriting, his approach to his music making, that baroqueness that I mentioned just a moment ago is all there to listen to. And I think a lot of people who know my tastes, they wouldn’t assume that Rufus would be that high up there, but when I think about the albums that really gave me joy and pleasure in the two thousand teens, Out of the Game is definitely there.

music

“Respectable Dive” off the album Out of the Game by Rufus Wainwright. Slow, drifting instrumentals and vocals, a little yearning, a little sad. ...never play cards or write postcards When we’re both in the same town But still... [Music fades out as Oliver speaks]

oliver

What’s your honorable mention, Morgan?

morgan

My honorable mention goes back to LA. [Laughs] No surprise there.

oliver

Not even that, we’ve just been in LA.

morgan

We’re not leaving LA. It’s an artist named Sunni Colón, he’s from LA, and an album called Psicodelic, which came out actually in 2018. I fell in love with him the year before, and we placed him on Dear White People. But a lot of people think he sounds like Frank Ocean. They say that he’s very ethereal, um, art rock meets Frank Ocean. I fell in love last year with a song called “Mornin Dew”.

music

“Mornin Dew” off the album Satin Psicodelic by Sunni Colón. Upbeat vocals over playful piano. ...real love I'm looking for real love You're lookin for real love I'm lookin for real love Give it to me [Music fades out as Morgan speaks]

morgan

I almost picked Frank Ocean, Channel Orange, but I went with Sunni Colón. Brothers from a different mother.

oliver

Well, Morgan, it has been a pleasure getting to know you across this past decade. I hope that only continues with this upcoming one that we now have stepped our foot into. [Morgan responds affirmatively, saying “yeah”.] Yeah, it’s been glorious. It’s been blessed.

morgan

It has been, and there have been so many wonderful music moments that we have shared together, not just on this podcast but outside of this podcast, conversations that we’ve had. You know, artists that we’ve loved that we’ve realized we had in common and we’ve got a shared love for. For Betty Davis. The moments that we’ve had here on Heat Rocks. And again, I just thank KPPC for bringing you into my life, man.

oliver

Shout-out to Jacob Margolis as always.

morgan

For sure, for Tuesday Reviewsday and so. Shout-out to Laura Vullo, who’s sort of the, you know, the person that brought us together.

oliver

You’ve been listening to Heat Rocks with me, Oliver Wang, and Morgan Rhodes.

morgan

Our theme music is “Crown Ones” by Thes One of People Under The Stairs. Shoutout to Thes for the hookup.

oliver

Heat Rocks is produced by myself and Morgan, alongside Christian Dueñas, who also edits, engineers, and does the booking for our shows.

morgan

Our senior producer is Laura Swisher, and our executive producer is Jesse Thorn.

oliver

We are part of the Maximum Fun family, taping every week live in their studios in the West Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles. Rated the 51st best neighborhood in LA, according to StreetAdvisor.com but number one in our hearts. We want to thank all of our five-star iTunes reviewers, including Justin Soleta, who wrote to say that we are a quote, “Well-balanced, informative podcast hosted by people who know what they’re talking about.” I really hope that’s true. [Both laugh.] If you, listener, have not had a chance to leave us a review yet, please, please consider doing so, because it is such a vital way that new listeners can find their way to us.

morgan

We also want to thank our social media fans and family, including the following. We want to shout-out Jason Woodbury, who was reflecting back on his year, and the wonderful conversation he had with us about Karen Dalton. We also want to thank NomNomsky for just giving us love in general. We want to thank Tim Nekuza, who said, “Thank you for this podcast.” Thank you, man, for the shout. As usual, we want to thank Gregory the A’ight, whose been holding us down from the beginning. Kevin Czap, whose been holding us down. We also want to thank Robert J. We’ve got a lot of people to thank. Bill Kitchen. We also want to thank Grim, we want to thank Bill McKibben, Fuzzt0ne, Bass Reaves, as always DadBodRapPod for shouting us out, holding us down. GangWeaponizedASMR. [Laughing] Thank you, Gang. We also want to thank Cryptic One, and finally we want to thank John Gotty and Iron Mike Tundra. We do so appreciate the tweezies and the retweezies. Good to see you all.

oliver

Good to see you too, Morgan. One last thing, here is a teaser for next week’s episode. And we are starting 2020 off right, because we have none other than Wendy & Lisa joining us to talk about Prince’s Around The World In a Day. It is a super special episode, and we cannot wait for y’all to hear it.

wendy melvoin

That summer, we were all like, rehearsing for the next tour and recording a whole bunch of albums at the warehouse. There were a whole bunch of other bands that were around and recording was happening simultaneously as being in other rooms rehearsing. And Johanathan and David drove up to rehearsal and gave us a cassette of David’s song, “Around The World In a Day.” The two of us listened to it in Lisa’s car, and we were—we both looked at each other and said, “We have to play it for Prince. He’s gonna lose his mind.”

lisa coleman

Prince was like, “Can I have it?” [Morgan laughs.] “Get David on the phone!” [Through laughter] You know what I mean?

wendy

“Can I have that? Can I have that?” And that’s how Around The World In a Day started. That song was the epicenter of the creative process for Prince to create everything else around it.

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About the show

Hosted by Oliver Wang and Morgan Rhodes, every episode of Heat Rocks invites a special guest to talk about a heat rock – a hot album, a scorching record. These are in-depth conversations about the albums that shape our lives.

Our guests include musicians, writers, and scholars and though we don’t exclusively focus on any one genre, expect to hear about albums from the worlds of soul, hip-hop, funk, jazz, Latin, and more.

New episodes every Thursday on Apple Podcasts or whatever you get your podcasts.

Subscribe to our website updates for exclusive bonus content (including extra interview segments, mini-episodes, etc.)

Meanwhile, you can email us at heatrockspod@gmail.com or follow us on social media:

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