Every Sunday, we’ll be answering your questions for a feature called the #PNPmailbag. We’ll pick a handful of submitted questions each week and different members of the P&P team will be providing answers.
Feel free to ask us anything about new music, the industry, the inner workings of P&P, or any random things that may be on your mind. Submit your questions on Twitter by using the hashtag #PNPmailbag, or email your question to firstname.lastname@example.org with #PNPmailbag as the subject.
Do you think Young Thug releases too much music?—Alex O.
I think Young Thug’s release strategy has been perfect up to this point. He’s been a constant presence, and the influx of leaks, half-finished songs, and non-stop projects has kept fans engaged and given us all a crash course in Thug’s versatility.
That said, I think Lyor Cohen is right. Thugger moves at a ridiculously fast pace, and that often means making a song in a matter of minutes and then moving on to the next one. But Thug isn’t a buzzing newcomer anymore—if he’s going to take things to the next level, I think he’d be better off reducing the quantity and increasing the quality. If Thug can make a perfect song in under 10 minutes, imagine what he could do if he took his time.–Jacob
Do you guys still have hope that Frank will actually ever release an album?–James J.
I think about this often, very often. Each surprise album release from other artists makes me anxious that Frank Ocean will be next, but the weeks and months continue to pass. And yet, for whatever reason, I still have faith that this album is on its way. Four years later, Channel Orange remains a great listen from start to finish. But at this point, I think all of us have unintentionally put so much extra pressure on Frank that he’s well aware it and can’t deliver anything short of a masterpiece.
I’ve never once thought that Frank might not drop another album, my only question is when?! It may take a few more weeks, months, or (hopefully not) years for him to feel like his album is finished, but no matter how naive it may seem, no one can convince me that this album isn’t eventually dropping. Personally, I don’t want it until Frank feels ready. So we’re all going to have to continue to practice patience. Plus, James Blake said it’s going to be worth the wait.–Adrienne
How often do you get the chance to look at user submissions? Are there best times to submit?–Blake Ladzick
We literally check submissions constantly. I’m not using “literally” here in a cute way; we check submissions whenever we possibly can, as often as possible.
Between our submissions email account and all of our personal email accounts, we do get a lot of emails. We try our best to keep up with the emails, but because we—and I am comfortable with speaking on behalf of my team when I say this—want to be as thoughtful as possible with our responses, we do sometimes get buried.
In terms of a best time to send your submission, there really isn’t one. Most of our team is based on the East Coast of the U.S., but we’ve also got people on the West Coast and in England. Personally, I check my emails first thing in the morning. Weekends can be good because we might have more time then.
Why do you post so much grime?–Tyler Russo
Ha. Well, I’ll give you the simple answer first. Just like all the music we cover on the site, the grime we post is music that we enjoy listening to and think is worth sharing.
Speaking personally, I think that the current grime landscape includes some of the most exciting and unique music around, both on the MCing and production sides. Most of these MCs come up spitting for hours at a time on live DJ sets, and their technique, flows, and ear for memorable lyrics is incredible—in fact, grime is probably best enjoyed live, in the form of a set on radio when multiple MCs are feeding off the beats played and trying to outdo each other’s bars. However, when all those skills are transferred successfully to record, the results can be incredible.
I do understand that grime is somewhat of an acquired taste, and that for an American rap listener, especially one who listens to a lot of more traditional hip-hop, the harsh electronic production, the speed of the rapping, and, of course, the accents take a bit of time to get used to. Young Thug is one of the most popular rappers out and we can all agree that understanding what he’s saying can be almost impossible at times, so don’t let the accent put you off too much. I would encourage any rap fan who considers themselves at all open-minded to invest a bit of time these UK sounds—the reward can be a whole new world to explore.
As a Brit who lives in America, I’m immensely proud of my home’s musical output, and seeing people get excited about grime over here in America is great. And it makes sense. The internet is breaking down borders and making music from all over the world accessible, and kids online are always searching for the next exciting sound. At the beginning of last year, I broke down some of the reasons why I thought grime had as good a chance at catching on in Amercia as it ever has, and there’s a lot more to it than Skepta and Drake.
Speaking of Skepta, his new album Konnichiwa might be a good starting point if you’re wondering what all the hype is about—his precise, clear flow should be relatively easy for anyone to understand, and there is a variety in production including a U.S. influence on “It Aint Safe,” “Ladies Hit Squad,” and “Numbers.” Alternatively, you can jump right in to Dizzee Rascal’s classic 2003 debut album Boy in da Corner and bombard yourself with brilliance.
With the fresh talent coming through in the UK right now (see some of our favorites here), I don’t see us letting up with the grime coverage anytime soon, and hopefully something will connect with you and make you a new fan.–Constant Gardner
Can you guys function without playing “Panda” daily? Do you prefer “Pt. 2” by Kanye or the original “Panda” by Desiigner?–JP
Yes, at this point I can function without playing “Panda” daily, but when the song first dropped I was listening to it multiple times a day. The fact that it’s now the No. 1 song in the country is insane. And I’ve got to go with the original over “Pt. 2” just because Desiigner snaps on that second verse.–John W.