Last Week’s Albums: Rome Fortune, Charli XCX & Rick Rubin

Rome Fortune – Jerome Raheem Fortune

Rome Fortune’s long awaited debut is an abnormally when it comes to hip-hop releases. Devoid of features and with the majority of production handled by Fortune’s good friend Cubby, Jerome Raheem Fortune is a personal and powerful outpouring of Fortune’s current situation as both a rap artists and man struggling to survive in these trying times over experimental beats that push hip-hop boundaries.

Fortune’s strength has always been his lyrical content, and things are no different on JRF. Themes of family, drugs, and the daily struggle run throughout the album, with Cubby’s dream-like beats providing the ideal backdrop for Fortune’s ever changing flow on cuts Alone Tonight, Past Future and Find My Way. Fortune’s blurring of musical genres gains momentum on the album, with Chubby pushing Fortune’s sound into new and interesting territory. Both the Kaytranada produced Dance, an energetic story of escape, and the fuzzy synths and flute samples that allow Fortune’s dynamic flow to soak in on Blicka Blicka, showcase Fortune’s growth as an artist.

Verdict: Sharp and short, Fortune delivers on his potential with Jerome Raheem Fortune.

Charli XCX – Vroom Vroom EP

Last week Charli XCX announced the creation of her own label, Vroom Vroom Recordings, telling The Fader the label “is my new, experimental pop label and it will combine my love for bubblegum pop with mystery and darkness.” To celebrate the news the UK songstress dropped the fantastic Vroom Vroom EP.

Although short at just four tracks, the EP is a marked departure from Charli’s stadium pop sound, introduction a strange, experimental, darker persona, a la Grimes. The title track begins as a shiny pop number bursting with energy, but has Charli rapping and singing over an evolving, menacing production. Paradise, a collaboration with fellow singer Hannah Diamond includes chipmunk vocals and a scattered electronic beat, Trophy samples Pulp Fiction and contains more rapping before the tempo changing Secret brings things to a satisfying close.

Verdict: If this is the new direction Charli XCX is heading in that I’m on board 100%.

Rick Rubin – Star Wars Headspace (Compilation) 

Rick Rubin is a legend. Co-founder of Def Jam, possessing one of the greatest beards of modern times and a master behind the production desk, it appears the 52 year old is also a Star Wars fan. To coincide with the recent Star Wars film, Rubin has enlisted a stack of artists to appear on Star Wars Headspace, a compilation of tracks made entirely of sound effects and dialogue taken for the film franchise.

Röyksopp go bombastic on the Greedo vocal sampling Bounty Hunters, Baauer anchors Cantina Boys with Darth Vader’s deep breathing while Bonobo takes things down a notch with droid noises on Ghomrassen. Flying Lotus, Shlohmo and Rustie all contribute, while Rubin’s NR-G7 throbs with intensity and director J.J. Abrams’ Jabba Flow features warped production, scratches and an A-Trak cameo. If the list of people involved still hasn’t won you over, at least give Claude VonStroke’s R2 Knows a listen as it’s bloody hilarious.

Verdict: What could have been an exercise in madness turns out to be a creative and compelling collection that will please Star Wars fans to no end.


Image: Pigeons & Planes