Meet Helios Hussain, an emcee/producer from Detroit, and first artist aligned with Chuck Inglish‘s Soulds LIke Fun label.
During my late night web surfing, I stumbled on an article Inglish penned for The FADER called “Chuck Inglish Survived The Internet Rap Years And Lived To Tell The Tale.” As someone who’s been supporting The Cool Kids since the creation of this site (2007), and even before during my days at HipHopDX, obviously I was intrigued and dove in head first. I’m glad I did too. The piece is excellent.
Reminiscing on his come up, Chuck shares stories about getting his start in producing, meeting Sir Michael Rocks and The Cool Kids catching their break off MySpace, throwing parties with Flosstradamus and A-Trak, working with Chance the Rapper before 10 Day dropped, and more. It’s truly a great read if you’ve got the time.
Currently working on his next album, Everybody’s Big Brother, Inglish played the part and used some of his time to help usher Helios into the spotlight.
“These days, I want to build Sounds Like Fun as a boutique label. Basically I want to be the black Rick Rubin! That’s who I’ve wanted to be since I first I listened to [the Red Hot Chili Peppers’] ‘Blood Sugar Sex Magik.’ With Sounds Like Fun Records, I never thought about the first person I would sign, but I just met him. It’s a dude from Detroit named Helios and he’s got a song called “Confetti.” It’s the realest shit I ever heard. He only got like 149 followers on Twitter. But my connection with that song is real; I’ll do my best to get it out there.
If you know you have the identity to be one of those people that shifts shit on this earth, this is the time to exist. People will find you. There’s too much nonsense out, so the stars will shine. It’s like the theory of the Big Bang being the cause and effect of a black hole: for every black hole that’s happening, there’s a Big Bang happening outside of it. So I’m always optimistic.”
Helios Hussain’s debut single isn’t a “cool” record. It’s a striking deposition about the realities of growing up in Detroit with less haves and endless have nots. If you’ve got the desire to do something with your life, and the drive to make it happen, it’s time to let the “Confetti” fall.
I know this is supposed to be a post about Helios, but I keep going back to Chuck’s FADER piece. Honestly, the entire thing could be quoted, but his break down of how the internet and the social media landscape have changed over the years is too spot on to ignore.
Things traveled faster back then. Social networks have since diluted the travel speed. If a YouTube video popped in 2005, you’d have to wait to check it out when you got back home to your computer, which made it a bigger deal. Instant access isn’t the best thing. As of recently, I realized that music has lost its way. Once people figured out how to access everything, they had no more goals for how to push it forward. You can see every movie, you can listen to everything, [and] now nobody wants to see shit or listen to anything. Our brains are not designed to have every option. There are articles about how some of the most successful men in the world wear the same thing everyday, because it alleviates their brain from making choices. The worst thing you can ever do is hand me a Cheescake Factory menu; it’s big as fuck, and everything’s good. We ain’t never gonna order! You feel me? In & Out is the best experience you can have for fast food, because there’s only three options. I’m not saying people can’t evolve past being able to process that many choices, but why do I want that much?
I was watching an old episode of Martin today, and in the background I was staring at his stereo set-up, all the tapes. I was making this comparison in my head that music used to be more of a sit-down type of medium. Even on the go, people planned out their trips musically; before you left the house, you’d grab three or four CDs that you were gonna rock with. Music wasn’t just thrown around. Now it’s so out of control that artists have dumbed down their process and way of thinking, like, “Let’s just pump this shit out.” This is not the artists’ fault—this is the fans’ fault, and the media’s fault, for being greedy. It’s like taking the NBA players and being like “You just played a game, now play another game, because we wanna see it, all the time.” “You just won a championship? Play that shit again!”
With Spotify, Apple Music, and Soundcloud, there are so many radio stations, and you can listen to any album in the world. But where is the streaming industry going? It’s not physical—there’s nothing to be held. Music is a physical thing; regardless if it’s in the air—or in a cloud—if you put your hand next to a speaker and the bass is coming out, you feel it. When I first listened to J Cole’s “Forest Hills Drive,” I put my face up to the speaker and I sat there the whole time. It just so happened that I ate mushrooms three hours before—but I heard his whole shit that night! I really felt that album from top to bottom. It’s a disservice to everybody to not do so. But instead we’re trying to sell music through little bullshit ass [laptop] speakers. Me? I’m not going, dawg. Everyone else can try to keep up with the post, post, post, post. But I’m old school. If you don’t slow roast this shit, no one will last.