Planet Cognac & Smokers Cough Present: Nacho Picasso, GDP w/ Space Jesus, Lakutis, DVS, Perrion, Rosegold

Nacho Picasso

Seattle rapper Nacho Picasso found sudden mainstream recognition in 2011 when Pitchfork dubbed his second solo mixtape one of the best rap debuts of the year. Forbes gave last year’s Exalted the number four spot on its “100 Best Free Albums of 2012“ list and XXL magazine recently included the versatile MC in “The New New – 15 Seattle Rappers You Should Know.”

GDP w/ Space Jesus

After years of relentless touring and consistent releases, New Jersey’s GDP has proven himself as one of the hardest working and versatile acts in hip hop. 2013's "Holla" 12" proved to be the antithesis of 2012's "Tunnel Buddies" cassette both lyrically and musically, yet listener's rejoiced. His collaborative effort with longtime friend Space Jesus, #$ - "Hash Money" is set to release in February 2014 on G's own Smokers Cough label. The video for the first single off the album, "Right Now", premieres on 12/10/13.

While rappers are in videos and interviews claiming their various other counterculture affiliations, GDP is out skating and playing in bands. His longtime involvement in the skateboarding, punk rock and hip hop communities has earned him a loyal and diverse following. Meet an emcee that’s not afraid to make whatever kind of music he wants, period.

Lakutis has been lurking his blonde-locked self around the Das Racist crew for a minute now, popping in for fire guest verses, not to mention an almost-dangerously electric performance with DR at our store. Well Lakutis is ready to jump into the spotlight, and we're happy to help him do it with his brand new debut EP I'm In the Forest.

In case you couldn't tell by the battered biker jacket and the stoner-vibrant hairdo, 26 year young rapper Aleksey "Lakutis" Weintraub is a quintessential New York dirtbag: growing up uptown with his Russian mother, he spent his formative years hanging around other first-generation Americans, like his friends Himanshu Suri and Ashok Kondabolu, who would later form Das Racist. He spent his high school years swimming in late-90s early-00s grimy New York lifestyle cliches (which was, needless to say, awesome). Rap was as much a part of this lifestyle as asking kids moving to New York from Kansas for cigarettes and watching Maury Povich instead of going to high school.

But during Das Racist's meteoric rise to the top of the internet, Lakutis was honing his death freak and getting in touch with his inner blood eagle. "Most of my friends were raised on anime, comics, videogames," he says. "It kind of creates this unspoken understanding that the point of life is to become a violent maniac." Which he thinks he accomplished by waking up at 3 PM and rarely wearing a shirt. His first released efforts included "Amazing" and "Rapping 2 U," from Das Racist's 2nd album Sit Down, Man on which Lakutis compares his penis to chicken parmigiana.

For I'm in the Forest, his absurdist/nerdist debut EP (being released by us and Das Racist member Himanshu Suri's Greedhead Records), Lakutis funnels his love of NY Hardcore Punk, handball, Demolition Man, "real hip-hop", 90s fighting robot cartoon Bots Master, and various other cultural artifacts into one tightly wound EP. It is amazing, and utterly confirms something we all knew: Aleksey Weintraub might be the Golden Child.

To further understand Lakutis, here is a paragraph in which he describes his favorite Game of Thrones characters:

"Bran's a loner at heart and an escapist like me. His favorite stories are 'the scary ones.' He's very brave and sympathetic. Cersei is awesome for all the opposite reasons. She's a cruel damaged bitch that fucks her brother. The sadistic way she endears herself with Sansa and wants to hurt her because she reminds her of a younger her is amazing. I just finished reading the first book that parallels the fist season of GOT and Cersei seems like the only character they made more complicated and slightly more sympathetic in the show. I don't think I recall them giving any explanation as to why she's such a bitch in the book but in the show they have one scene where she pleads with Robert and tells him how she worshipped him when they were married and asks him if he ever felt anything for her. It's heartbreaking and gives the audience a rare moment to sympathize with an otherwise detestable character."

Featuring production from Das Racist, Dash Speaks, and more, the 7-track I'm In the Forest has a whole lotta Lakutis, plus guest spots from Heems, Kool A.D., and a song entitled "Ja Rule." So those are things that are good. Out in conjunction with Heems' in-house label Greedhead, this is the opening salvo in the DR + associates rap takeover. So you should probably download it here.

There is something about the way DVS raps, and even the way that he got into rapping, that is quintessentially “New York.” Growing up, he listened to records by New York rappers like Big Pun and Busta, guys who “were so nice they’d just get it into your head like, fuck,” and broke their rhymes down, analyzing what made them so good at what they did, and at some point emerged an unholy hybrid of everything good in technique-heavy rap. DVS raps faster than fuck, enunciating every syllable within an inch of its life, spitting beautiful, brilliant bullshit that could only be born in a town like New York. DVS is a born hustler, he’s done Boiler Room-esque psdeudocorporate scumbaggery, PR (something he claims that, along with the stairs in Morningside Park, is basically the opposite of drugs), passed out fliers, and now the main product he’s pushing is himself.

DVS traffics in the circles of New York’s new, weirder rap landscape, a loose affiliation of guys like El-P, Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire, Das Racist and Action Bronson, who rose from the ashes of El-P’s Def Jux label to something that picks and chooses from the good rap that’s come before it, smushing influences together until you’ve got something better, something altogether stranger than anything you could imagine. We’re talking “progressive” rap in the sense of “people are making music that sounds completely brand new while still remaining true to hip-hop,” not “progressive” as many rappers perceive it, which involves rapping over half-assed dubstep songs and calling it a day. “He’s got this incredible voice, and he’s a very masterful technical rapper,” says Dapwell, hype man for Das Racist and friend from DVS's youth. “He comes from this really strict school of rapping.” "Look at DV's shit," says Majesty, DVS's parter in rhyme and fellow boss of his label Overthrow Entertainment. "Skill-wise, what he's doing with rhyme patterns and flows and hooks, nobody's not really fucking with him. There's absolutely nothing he can't do."


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