It has been one whole month since Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment finally dropped the highly anticipated Surf, as a free album on iTunes no less. So really, you have no excuse not to give it a spin and instantly improve your mood.
It’s always good when something you’ve been waiting on for months ends up being worth the wait. Aside from Kanye’s SWISH, and after Kendrick Lamar’s GKMC follow up, the only other album I was really waiting for was Surf. Like To Pimp A Butterfly (but not), when it finally arrived Surf managed to exceed my expectations.
I say that partly because I expected some of the good and funny Soundcloud loosies Chance released over the last year as sort of promotion and updates on the ongoing experiment would end up on the album. I also expected Surf to be more along the lines of a follow up to Acid Rap with Chance raps on every track. True, Chance has always emphasized the social experiment aspect, but it wasn’t until I got a few tracks in that I realized how much of a collaborative effort we were in for — for the better.
Where Kendrick completely blew by any idea of what I thought was even possible in a follow up from him by diving headlong into jazz, here
Mr. Chance the Rapper and his friends were able to deliver the whole next step in their experiment; a bright and shiny, sometimes slow and melodic, even tribal album that’s full of optimism and twice features jazz detours of its own.
Speaking of features there’s J Cole, Big Sean, Busta Rhymes, and Erykah Badu out of nowhere on the lofty “Rememory”. Fellow Chicago up and commers BJ the Chicago Kid and Jeremih. Plus King Louie and Quavo of Migos on the excellent and maybe most unexpected, “Familiar”. And that’s still not the complete list of friends who help give Surf a unique creative energy with many different touches of flair resulting in one of the best albums of the year so far.
16 tracks make up a breezy 51 minutes that’s uplifting, joyful, ear tingling through headphones, and easily re-playable, especially on Sunday afternoons. Surf hits its peak toward the end with the single, “Sunday Candy,” released way back in November 2014, but still stands out as my favorite. Maybe that’s because of the single shot, expertly choreographed video (or “short film”) that goes along with it. Anyway, watch the video. Download the album. Pass the vibes. Have a good Summer.