Our Spilt Milk this week shares the things that fascinate us this week, including 50 Cent's ad, TUT's "Preacher's Son," new Fear of Men, and a Lowe's commercial.
50 Cent was notably absent from the 2016 Forbes Five after declaring bankruptcy last year. Despite his seemingly endless side hustles including a deal with Vitamin Water, his own energy drink Street King, and an acting career, he can't seem to get back to where he was. Last week, Drake and Chance the Rapper made news with a new music and 50 did so by appearing in a commercial for Hostelworld, a youth hostel search engine. The video parodied his the iconic MTV Cribs episode from 2007 in which 50 proudly showed us around his 23-bedroom mansion in Farmington, Connecticut, which was the former home to Mike Tyson. In the commercial, the aging rapper walks around an unbelievably huge and well-kept hostel in Barcelona, giving chess advice, smelling the bed sheets, and having uncomfortable conversations with girls too young for him. He referred to his bed as "where the magic happens" before kicking the camera out so he can get some sleep (ostensibly). (Raphael Helfand)
Kev Adams performing as “TUT”—sometimes referred to as YGTUT—released his first full album, Preacher’s Son, in 2015, with a level of maturity and direction to his work that is uncharacteristic of musicians with comparable experience levels. Preacher’s Son balances thoughtful, narrative lyrics with a beat that nods to the blues and funk traditions of Tennessee and the South. I have favorite tracks, but when I listened to the album again in its entirely, I was impressed by how he was able to tell a story that felt authentic, while developing a sound that was unique to him.
Preacher’s Son is an album that depicts a young man growing up in both the church and the streets, raised on confronting the traumas of bad choices, experiencing the redemptive power of hope and the overwhelming joys of love and charity. “Sunday Service with Isaiah Rashad ” with the hook—“Damn we gotta hurry, late to the Sunday service / Last night I hit the town, late I was on that screw-juice swervin”—best explores the irony of the rap lifestyle and the Southern gospel tradition. This is a theme that Kanye West has explored, as has Chance the Rapper on his recent Coloring Book mixtape, but I think its noteworthy that TUT is doing this in his first album. TUT’s father is a preacher and his mother is a gospel singer, but he’s not trying to bury his past. Instead, he is using his music to explore the complicated paths he has walked. (Piper Serra)
Fall Forever, the second full-length album from English trio Fear of Men, is set to release on June 3. Three songs off the album, “Island”, “Trauma”, and “Sane”, are available for listening on the band’s Soundcloud and Bandcamp pages. Judging from these previews, it seems as if Fall Forever will be at the very least on par with their debut, Loom. Of the three, “Island” is the most reminiscent of Fear of Men’s earlier releases, delivering on those vocally-driven harmonies and soaring melodies that distinguish the band from the countless other indie pop groups out there. Jessica Weiss’ vocals are pure and resonant, echoing slightly in an ideal way like ripples across a clear, still pond, like how you wish you sounded when you sing in the shower. (Nicole Cohen)
If you’re watching a show on Hulu and opt for one three-minute ad instead of ads throughout the show, odds are that you’ll get one for Lowe’s that tells the story of two kids in two houses, set to the tune “We’ve Only Just Begun” by The Carpenters. The ad brought to mind another story of young love in two houses with songs of similar vintage—Sofia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides. In the scene that stayed with me, the Lisbon sisters are in one house and the boys that love them are in another, and they play dreamy ’70s pop songs including “Hello It’s Me,” “Alone Again Naturally,” “Run to Me,” and “You’re So Far Away” to each other, each end holding up the phone and letting the song speak for them. Pop as language isn’t new, but the songs’ vulnerability caught the way the boys and girls in the scene were in love with tortured love.
My wife and I see this ad-plus-flashback before watching Lip Sync Battle, which uses T. Rex’s “20th Century Boy” as its theme song. Marc Bolan understood that sound and attitude are everything in rock ’n’ roll, so much so that his sneer and distorted Les Paul riff imparts a measure of rock ’n’ roll on every star who poses and postures to it during the opening credits. This season, only Josh Gad lip syncing The Divinyls’ “I Touch Myself” as Donald Trump transcended celebrity maintenance on the show proper, but those opening four minutes keep me coming back. (Alex Rawls)
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