Thursday, December 17, 2015

Lil Bub + Meow The Jewels. Are Cats the future of music?

On the 14th December of this year "Science & Magic" debuted at #1 on Bilboard's Top New Alternative New Artists Chart, #2 on the Top New Artist and Electronic Music Charts, and at #121 on the main Top 200 Albums Chart. As far as I know this marks the first ever time that a cat has had a chart album. History has been made. Of course earlier this year Lil Bub also guested on the Run the Jewels "Meow the Jewels" remix album. She has not produced this record herself, but her deep distorted meows are all over the record. Andrew W.K. explains that The album is a "genuine musical experience, a bona fide and musically gratifying concept album, which entirely emerged from the soul and spirit of Lil BUB herself". Lil Bub is lucky enough to have musicians as her owner and friends who were willing to make the record for her. On the flip-side 'Meow The Jewels' was not so much a labour of love as a commitment that had to be fulfilled. As part of the fund-raising for their second album together Hip Hop legends Killer Mike and EL-P started a handful of fund-raisers. such as playing house parties and the promise of quitting the music industry for good if offered a million dollars. They would write one song each year for the benefactor. The most popular by far was obviously the Meow the Jewels LP. They gained far more money  than they needed to make it and ended up collaborating with Massive Attack's 2d, Zola Jesus, Prince Paul and Dan the Automata. EL-P has said “I enjoy the painful irony that this is probably the only time I’ll get to be on an album with this amount of people I respect, and I forced them to make the stupidest fucking shit possible*.”. The fact that the finished product is still one of the best hip hop albums of the year (Both Lil Bub and RTJ are in my top 50), only goes to show how great the original album is. The producers  have done a great job of re-imagining  the album and the end result is oddly calming, but also very angrily political.
It has been over ten years now since Damon Albarn left Blur to form his own new group Gorillaz. At the time  it seemed ridiculous but a decade on. He has made some of his best albums with the cartoon monkeys, and had more world-wide success than he ever did with Blur. Gorillaz were officially inducted into the Guinness book of world Records as the 'Worlds First Virtual Band'. Following on from this Hatsune Miku, a virtual hologram has become one of Japan's biggest popstars.
While some may groan at the idea of a Cat making an album. It's not that strange when you consider that LIL Bub is real. Most of us will never experience holding her. Andrew W.K. says "she is the softest creature I have ever encountered", but we can buy the album and experience the "sonic aura of BUB's loving and compassionate presence".
The downside is that Lil Bub will not be touring the album. But the upside is that she will never spend our hard earned on cocaine, or angrily sign autographs for us like most pop stars. She will always just be Lil Bub.

* Happily the profits will go to a cat charity. The album is available for free at


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