"This is a loosie joint that I put together this month (sort of celebrating my birthday) with Weirdo Rock God-head R. Stevie Moore on the hook; to that effect, I produced an Avalanches-inspired instrumental and we're spitting rhymes that lament and celebrate being grown-up Rap dudes," rapper-producer Raj Haldar, better known as Lushlife, recently told me within an email concerning his latest Soundcloud release, "Earl Sweatshirt, Give Me a Hug." "I actually knew R. Stevie Moore when I was a kid—he worked at the record store where I would go every day and spend my lunch money on records. Never really knew he was like a lo-fi God or later, would be huge inspiration to dudes like Ariel Pink. We got to talking a while back and decided to flip this joint together," Lushlife tellingly continued. Haldar then recruited fellow Philly-bred emcee, Anything I Touch, I Bruise master-remixer, recent Rap Booklets curator, and part-time Passion of The Weiss contributor Zilla Rocca to join himself and the self-described "#1 Veteran Progressive Popster." Rocca's fellow Passion of The Weiss scribe Chris Daly, who had the distinguished honor of premiering "Earl Sweatshirt, Give Me a Hug," went as far as to deem it "the absolute best titled track of the year." Daly goes on to describe Lushlife, Zilla Rocca & R. Stevie Moore's surprisingly great concoction as "Lushlife schools the youth about what it takes to make it, dropping such knowledge... over a lush Soul sample and refined kick drums." Lushlife is scheduled to hit the road on a quick 10-date joint tour with Blackalicious, which spans from September 27th to October 13th.
R. Stevie Moore has self-released a staggering 400+ cassette, CD-R, and digital-only genre label-eschewing albums since 1968, as well as countless mailed-in collaborations with Half Japanese frontman Jed Fair, Dr. Dog, Ariel Pink, MGMT, Minutemen bassist Mike Watt, The Vaccines, and magician-comedian Penn Jillette. "Earl Sweatshirt, Give Me a Hug"'s central sample backbone, in fact, was culled from Moore's 2015 Bandcamp-released album, Knickerboxer Thuggery Comb-over. Lushlife's most recent output is his 2016 Western Vinyl-released album, Ritualize recorded with Philly/Brooklyn-based "lo-fi House music" trio CSLSX (pronounced "casual sex"), which features the likes of Killer Mike, Marissa Nadler, Freeway, and RJD2. "Earl Sweatshirt, Give Me a Hug" is the second off-kilter Hip-Hop track uploaded to lushlifemedia's Soundcloud page within a week's-time—the first being a jarring instrumental cover of My Bloody Valentine's "When You Sleep." It seems to have all started with a fateful 2015 Passion of The Weiss piece wherein "Zilla [Rocca interviewed] Lushlife about focusing on the fans and not the hype, working with Camp Lo, his new album, Ritualize, and more..." Zilla's most recent remix project, Anything I Touch, I Bruise Vol. 2: The Superior Foes of Zilla Rocca, was released on a name-your-price basis earlier this month; additionally, he tells me he's currently "sitting on 2 full-length Rap albums that will probably drop in Fall/Winter [2016-17]."