In this day and age, it seems like the only way to get attention and stay in the spotlight is by dropping a surprise mixtape, album, or EP.
For chillwave darling Chaz Bundick, aka Toro y Moi, this may not be a move intended to extend his relevance, but rather a way to show his evolution as an artist. As opposed to the trippy pop sound that he normally produces, this new project, entitled Samantha, leans more towards a modern twist on Southern, sizzurpy hip-hop, paying homage to his roots in South Carolina. On August 28, he dropped the 20-track mixtape via Instagram, with a link to a free download on his personal Dropbox.
Many of the tracks on the album are less than three minutes, and come with cryptic, messy titles and random dates. Although it may appear to be a rough cut of a final product, it’s actually a perfectly balanced tape with great fluidity. The steady pace of Samantha highlights artists and collaborators such as Nosaj Thing, Rome Fortune, Washed Out, and Víctor Vásquez, known as Kool A.D. from his days with Das Racist.
Highlights from the tape include “2Late (ft. Kool AD and SAFE),” a distorted R&B track and twisted love song. Kool A.D.’s perfectly stoned, autotuned voice drawls over the monotone beat. On “Benjiminz (ft. Rome Fortune),” Toro y Moi gives us a hot, Mystikal-inspired, shake-yo-ass beat for Rome to spit over. It’s all about “playin’ the game, to change the game.”