We’re overwhelmed by the pure volume of music available on streaming platforms today. Whether you use Spotify, Apple Music or Tidal, you’re drowning in back catalogs and facing waves of Costco-sized new releases each week, packaged in any number of branded playlists. But even the depth of what is available, the streaming era also made us lose a lot of music, and disproportionately release of the past few decades. The transition to these platforms cut out songs that had uncleared samples (*cue Logic’s latest rant*) or those the labels weren’t pushing as part of an artist’s brand. Mixtapes, singles, random recordings, entire chapters of growth from our favorite emerging artists, mostly lost except from the periphery.
Before 6lack’s name started being mispronounced on radio stations and in large venues across the country, he was making a splash on SoundCloud with the 2014 single “Pretty Weather” alongside Miami-based Twelve’Len. Since deleted from SoundCloud, the “Pretty Weather” video still remains on YouTube, sporting 87k views while buried on a page with most videos amassing millions.
Looking back, the song lays the foundation for 6lack’s now Grammy-nominated sound, intentional in every aspect and eerily soothing. Twelve’Len has since continued his craft both in the studio and on the video side, having directed the “Pretty Weather” video and most recently Denzel Curry’s “Ricky”.
This is a reminder to earmark the “old” and circle back from time to time, even if it means escaping the confines of that streaming service on your phone.