Sunday, May 22, 2011

New Love, it'll Work Out in the Summertime - Magnetic North Hip-Hop

In the Fall of 2009 I had just graduated from college and was itching to start over and reinvent myself in a big city. Having been enamored with New York since a young age, I was looking for a job/housing there when a friend informed that one of her mutual friends based in Queens was looking for a roommate.

These were the pieces of information that she provided me:
1. His name is Derek, and he is hot.
2. We'd be a good match because we're both musicians.
3. His hip-hop group has previously collaborated with WongFu, so if Phil Wang ever dropped by the apartment, I am obligated to tell him that she is single and available, or else suffer a terrible death at her hands - probably by castration. Or a public revelation of my lacking techniques in bed, as reported by my girlfriend (this is not true).
4. Phil and Derek are freaking hot.

Unfortunately, the living situation didn't exactly work out (no job, no money, crazy father, etc.) But I did get to check out his group - Magnetic North.
Composing of emcees Derek Kan and Theresa Vu, Magnetic North originally hailed from Berkeley, California, but currently operate out of Astoria, Queens. They released their self-titled debut album in 2006 with the single "Drift Away" garnering massive buzz. Last summer, they dropped "Home:Word" - a collaborative album with Taiyo Na that received widespread acclaim from critics, even having a single reaching #2 on Japan iTunes.

It also made me buckle at the knees and called my parents while crying to explain that I never meant to spend so much time behind closed doors as a teen.

The lead single on the album - "Summertime", is to me a perfect representation of the whole record: optimism & hope infused with the sunshine and feel good grooves of my favorite season. T-Vu's mesmerizing and exact technique on the mic is especially showcased on many of the tracks, and Derek's arrangements and production consistently blew me away.

This album made me regret never living with Derek. Who knows? If I had lived with him, I maybe could've been part of the magic behind the making of this album that was the soundtrack of 2010, and certainly will be for 2011.

Standout Tracks:
"New Love"
"It'll Work Out"
and my favorite song on the album: "Home:Word", which I'll leave you with.

This album fills me with hope, and I hope it makes you smile like it does for me. Don't let your worries keep you from walking your path.

j. cheesy out.