Armand Hammer’s Paraffin Is A Disorienting Rap Masterpiece

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Armand-Hammer-Paraffin“Service weapon in my face, all I could see was his lips chapped.” That’s billy woods, one half of the New York rap duo Armand Hammer, on “Dettol,” a song from their new album Paraffin. He’s rapping, in hard and dense clusters, over a staggered loop of strings and pianos, the kind you might hear … More »

PTP releasing Armand Hammer’s Paraffin on cassette, hosting immigrants rights, racial justice benefit TONIGHT

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PTP, the NYC-based label known for its masterfully curated catalog of politically charged experimental music (including projects by the likes of TMT favs N-Prolenta, Yatta and Saint Abdullah), has announced it will be releasing a limited-cassette run of Paraffin, the latest album from NYC alt. rap linchpins Armand Hammer (ELUCID + billy woods).

Previously only available as a 180-gram vinyl from billy woods’ Backwoodz Studioz, the album will be available to download via Armand Hammer’s bandcamp or purchase on cassette via PTP’s come August 31 (pre-order here). That is, assuming that all 50 copies of the tape are not sold at tonight’s release party at HOLO in Ridgewood, NY.

A benefit supporting the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI), the release party also features sets from King Vision Ultra with Via App and Yatta, Grey Wulf, Dreamcrusher and Bonnie Baxter. Armand Hammer’s headlining slot will be accompanied by a video installation from performing-arts collective BKLYN ZULU.

The show is the latest in a series of “Silent Weapons” events presented by PTP, which raise funds for organizations that provide resources and assistance to underserved communities in New York. Tickets are available for tonight’s event here.

<cite>Paraffin</cite> cover art

Watch: Armand Hammer – “Dettol”

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Yesterday, at the health food spot in my neighborhood, the guy behind the counter making my tuna ceviche wrap complimented me on my shirt. I told him it was an album cover, correctly assuminng he’d think it was a metal band. When he asked as much, I told him, no, it’s ROME by Armand Hammer. Oh, the health food dude knows him and heard that one mixtape where he’s sitting on the park bench. Race Music, I say. Yeah, they’re dope, I add, no emphasis on “they’re” though, because what the hell.

Walking home, I realized that since billy woods’ face is perpetually blurred or concealed on film, and since Armand Hammer was indeed a person, it makes sense that someone who’s never really listened to them might get the impression that the group is one guy, specifically the guy whose face isn’t osbscured, Elucid. I imagine both he and billy woods would get a kick out of this. I’ve typed over 25,000 words about the two of them, so I’m not really laughing, just reporting on the odd series of events that have helped keep me, like a young Larry Merchant, perched on the balls of my feet since becoming a fan. There was also an insane car wreck outside of my window yesterday evening, and a few hours earlier in a separate incident my co-worker’s wife was involved in one. She’s OK, though; one of the guys in one of the cars outside my window, not so much.

Earlier today, hours before getting the email with a link to this song, I cleaned the apartment, but I used Chlorox, not Dettol. Also, when I started writing this, a record arrived, but it was Lemonade, not Paraffin. That, the internet says, is on its way to a USPS facility. I eagerly anticipate its arrival.

Juice WRLD Turns SoundCloud Rap Into Toxic Emo-Pop

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Juice-WRLDFifteen years ago, in her Punk Planet column, Jessica Hopper wrote a piece called “Emo: Where The Girls Aren’t.” The piece went about as viral as a zine column could in 2003, and it’s probably still one of the most widely discussed pieces of music criticism that this century has given us. Its … More »

The 40 Best Rap Albums Of 2017

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Streaming changed things. 2017 was the year that rap once again reaffirmed its stranglehold on the collective imagination of America’s youth. Like the moment when Billboard first started using Soundscan and inadvertently proved the massive popularity of N.W.A, the streaming services of the world showed just how powerful this music remains. Rap dominated streaming charts. More »

Welcome To The Collaborative Rap Album Boom

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It didn’t start with Watch The Throne. For decades, established rappers have been forming groups or teaming up for one-off collaborations. In the ’90s, there was TRU (Master P, Silkk The Shocker, C-Murder) and Westside Connection (Ice Cube, WC, Mack 10). With 1999’s Blackout!, Method Man and Redman, two rappers who got famous in different … More »