But yes, the anonymous artist has emerged from the shadows with new music for the first time in over a year (and longer if you consider just “Goodbye Tomorrow”). Alas, what other way to comeback than with some hard-hitting raps? The quick-hitting, 2-minute jam is a goin’ out anthem mixed with some gems from the emcee within. “No Announcements” is only intended to be a warmup with a full-length project building up from here. And believe us: Maks G & I were back home in Chicago for the listening party and there is another level to come. Until then…
On the heels of one of my favorite albums from anyone in 2015 this past August, we have hands down the coolest visuals I’ve seen for a music video yet this year.
Goodbye Tomorrow takes one of their strongest gems from their self-titled debut — “The Way” — and turns it into a video game infused, sci-fi action thriller. Label it a music video if you like, but it plays off much bigger than that. It’s really a 7 minute short film, with the budget and technical execution of a major motion picture.
The song, heard in full below, is spliced through much of the video and becomes the soundtrack to the story that plays out. It pits the Rebels and our young Neo-esque leader “Q’Seem” vs. Zero, leader of The Million, which represent the evil machines you can associate to the many corporations, or even individuals, you may encounter in life who try to control you. Q’Seem represents you, the youth, and The Way.
I’ll let the story unfold from there as I marvel at the many superb technical aspects that make this video have the proper, cinematic feel. Let’s see… how about all of the cool, custom designed video game allusions? Throwback to the 80s and 90s combined with a Call of Duty style presentation to the real-life scenes. They also must’ve had drones or choppers for some of the breathtaking aerial scenes that capture the hometown Chicago in the distance. Visually, how ’bout the color correction too? And then the score of the entire short film itself, hitting the right mood and amplifying the scale of each scene. Take note of every detail really, all the way through to the credits at the end. (A deep dive into the easter eggs reveals Rick Wayne the director.)
Overall, it’s the message too: powerful and inspiring for anyone to take control of their own life. Here’s the message/video breakdown, in their own words, said to Noisey.
“Døn͢’t givë̠̠ in͓ tø dü̠̠ality⃔. ₸he wo͛®ld i$ not sø b⃕la¢k and white͙. peÅce №t ¢om͓prømis⃒e… The concept of the video is the fucking truth…like, that’s the truth, that’s how the world actually is. It’s actually evil motherfuckers that are machine ass niggas that take you and program you. That’s the real truth, every day that shit happens. They wanna tame motherfuckers and put niggas into a box because if we’re pre-programmed to be a certain way then it’s easier to control what we’ll think and what we do. Until you see that, there’s no way to stop it, no outside help, it only come from you. That’s what you can take away from the video, song, album, all that. It’s just about the battle for your true self. You can’t never let somebody tell you who you are, what you are, what you can or can’t do, none of that. All the external, worldly, temporary shit is just a trick to get you off the way and shit.
Press play, hit the full screen button, and press the *popcorn* button on the microwave. Do that, maybe in reverse actually. Ha!
August has quite possibly delivered my favorite month of new music in 2015.
I don’t want the month to go any longer without bringing more attention to the four projects you see pictured above, especially because in this day and age of new music consumption, it feels like releases even a week old are being slept on because they’re somehow not that fresh of a new release.
Click the links for my detailed reviews on why they’re my favorites, the full streams, and amazing visuals from both artists. Below, here’s a couple Soundcloud streams of the many standout tracks to get ya started.
FKA Twigs “In Time” (will begin playing)
The other 2 projects I want to highlight represent more of the progression in Chicago music. The freshly signed G.O.O.D. Music artist HXLT dropped a new EP, Cover Me, showing a new side of his versatility as he cleverly sang and covered a variety of alternative hits. And Mick Jenkins tops it off with his hotly anticipated Wave[s] that should only continue to catapault his budding rap stardom for the rest of the year. Like above, click the links along with a couple of my favorites heard below.
The buzz has been building and the time has come for the release of their first full project – the debut album Goodbye Tomorrow: A Journey Through The Mind of a Non-Believer out now on iTunes via Rostrum Records.
As the summer has heated up, so has the speculation about the identity(ies) of Goodbye Tomorrow. They, the mystery Chicago collective, provided more clarity on that by redirecting the clarity to what they’re about, their why — earlier this week in a great profile by DJ Booth:
“It’s about the collective nature of humanity,” they said. “What’s possible when we get rid of the me-me-me bullshit. Everything’s so me focused, so look at me, and hip-hop’s a microcosm of that, but that attitude is everywhere. Our whole idea is to get rid of that. Our message is the power we have that we can take back and claim, to get over the bullshit that divides us.”
So, let’s all take a step back and ask the greater question: not who they are, but what’s their message?
And tonight, we get their first full body of work.
I was lucky enough to get an advance listen of the album so I can say right off the top, AJTTMOANB matches the depth of the visuals thus far. That includes their 2 music videos (“Pray 2 God” below) and their various social media imagery too.
The album is really what the title says: a journey. For the first 3 records, we hear Goodbye Tomorrow in their most rebellious form, rapping on the high life while also boasting a bravado that’s infectious to the listener. He backs it up throughout in different ways, but it’s most obvious on the high-octane trio of tracks to start out the album. His versatile flow rides the album’s wide range of polished production and layers within.
“Light One, Pour One” is the album’s turning point and Goodbye Tomorrow’s most personal and emotional raps. This is where the journey begins to take form as he battles self-doubt on his rise as an artist, but to the core: as a person.
“Pray 2 God”, “Shine”, and “Confetti” represent my personal favorite stretch of the album, and on a greater scale, continue to embody that tug of war. There’s a more positive, motivational mindset that shines through (no pun intended) and I believe these songs can become anthems for the dreamer inside all of us.
The album takes an unexpected turn thereafter. “Movie”, “(Don’t Wanna) Let It Go”, and “Cleopatraaa” show the R&B side of Goodbye Tomorrow. The rapper can sing too! “Movie” will enter your bedroom playlists almost immediately and has a different form of single potential too. “(Don’t Wanna) Let It Go” cleverly borrows a melody from “Shine” (one of the many superb production subtleties) and continues the lady-centric chapter. And “Cleopatraaa” most notably features one of the rawest, singing freestyles I’ve heard in music, delievered with a dark autotune aesthetic.
Finally, the last 2 songs of the album are the fitting conclusions to The Journey. “The Way”, as digested the other day, finds a theraputic and optimistic Goodbye Tomorrow looking forward. “28” continues the theme, flexes some more tough bars, and the experience ends with a haunting Japanese outro that’s just waiting to be decoded (…let alone the complex lyrics throughout in English. Ha!)
After the breakdown above, it goes without saying that I recommend a stream/purchase to go along with a closed-eyed, focused listen to interpret more yourself.
Goodbye Tomrrow is an artist I truly believe can change the rap game and culture as a whole. This is just the debut project so you can join us on the ground floor and experience the ride that unfolds into the months and years ahead… because Goodbye Tomorrow will certainly be a leader into a brighter light.
**The album also boasts no credited features, but that’s almost certainly Yasmine from Krewella on the intro track “I Don’t Give a Fuck” and “The Way”, on top of her lead role in the “Pray 2 God” video. Plus, a few other uncredited singers add to the collective and do their thing too, adding layers to choruses throughout.
LASTLY: I stopped through to the Goodbye Tomorrow album projection tonight in Wicker Park. The setup followed suit to the aesthetic and it looks like there may be more album listening sessions to come this weekend in the Chi. Look for this truck and stay plugged in on their Twitter to find out where/when you can pick up your limited edition physical copy.
Goodbye Tomorrow: A Journey Through the Mind of a Non-Believer.
What a title… a self-title, in fact, for the mysterious Chicago collective to make their official debut through Rostrum Records in just 9 days.
Given the depth of GT’s visuals thus far, I would expect to uncover more of the same when the album hits in full. There’s already been connections to past releases within a new release so I don’t see why that wouldn’t continue come August 14th.
For example, this announcement is the code from the artwork (click the link) of Goodbye Tomorrow’s new song last week, “NoOne or NoThing” featuring Lil Herb, AJTTMOANB matches with the album title and the MS paint file reads 08.14. Nice. Lookin’ forward to a new release before the album drops then! In the meantime…
UPDATE: Whoa, follow the @goodbyetomorrow snapchat. They revealed the tracklist there by graffiting each song name around Chicago, a la the photo above.
Now they also revealed it online in GIF form here: