Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Review: The Neighbourhood's "#000000 & #ffffff" Is One of the Most Unique Projects of This Year

Indie rock band The Neighbourhood gained a lot of popularity last year following their smooth single "Sweater Weather". How would a band capitalize on this popularity? Definitely not by releasing a Don Cannon and DJ Drama hosted mixtape filled to the brim with rap features. But that is exactly what The Neighbourhood last week, by releasing the unique and unprecedented mixtape "#000000 & #ffffff".

#000000 & #ffffff (also called Black and White) sounds like the weirdest and possibly worst project ever made. A California rock band who's known for making breezy hits teams up with hip-hop producers DJ Drama and Don Cannon to make a mixtape featuring only rap artists, such as Danny Brown, French Montana, Casey Veggies, and even new comers Raury, OG Maco, and Dej Loaf. Despite the insanity of this project, its one of the best mixtapes released this year.

It would be hard to call this mixtape a rock mixtape. The production moves away from the previous breezy, Cali-influenced sound that The Neighbourhood is known for, and sounds much more hazy and atmospheric. Black and White sounds like it was created by the Weeknd instead of a rock band. But this new production style blends perfectly with the topics that The Neighbourhood sings about on this mixtape, which range from hate, lust, betrayal, and all other sorts of issues The Neighbourhood has had with women. Lead vocalist Jesse Rutherford says that the mixtape is "a diary of songs that are inspired by our thoughts while on the road. It exposes our anxiety, rejoices in our achievement and expresses our ability to create whatever the f*** we want." The mixtape is as diverse as it is unique. The song "When I Get Back" featuring G-Easy sounds like much of the previous songs that The Neighbourhood has released, while the song "H8M4CH1N3" featuring Danny Brown sounds like a creeping threat filled with oriental chords. And the song "Jealousy" featuring Casey Veggies and the 100s contains a wailing saxophone, a sample of Lil Wayne's "A Milli" and ends with an outro from the 100s that sounds like its being shouted down from an alien on an UFO.

Few artists can take their music in completely different directions and have it be a success. But that's exactly what The Neighbourhood did with this mixtape. Besides the obnoxious intros from Don Cannon and Dj Drama, this mixtape is refreshing and awesome. Download the mixtape from the link above.

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