Manila Folders

January 5, 2020

How This Decade Got Its Juice

Before the year (or better yet, the decade) came to an end, artist MELO-X tweeted out, “I should really do a thread of how a group of artist and creatives from NYC gave this whole decade its juice.” Earlier today, he shared his “first stab at a list.”

First stab at a list.

— MELO-X (@MeLoXTRA) January 5, 2020

His initial list includes:

While I’d love to dive into this whole list, I just want to highlight a few artists and then give both you and I the opportunity to discover the cultural weight this list carries.

To kick things off, if you’re a long time reader of Manila Folders then you may recognize Street Etiquette - Black Ivy + Sartorial Sounds from Folder 002. The song features Jesse Boykins III, Joekenneth Museau, Joshua Bennett, Melo-X, Mara Hruby, Rinaldy Alvarez, Theo Martins, almost all of whom are tied to other projects listed. The first of which is Zulu Guru (2012) (Spotify, Apple Music), a collaborative album between Jesse Boykins III and MELO-X.

On the other end of the list, Jesse is mentioned again—this time highlighting his Love Apparatus project. I’ve attached the music video below for “B4 The Night Is Thru,” one of the tracks off of the album. Perhaps one of my favorite part’s about the video is Jesse’s comment which states “there was no stylist…everyone styled themselves…”

(Listen on Spotify or Apple Music)

Another artist featured on the album is Theophilus London, who can also be found on MELO’s list above. When I saw This Charming Mixtape included, I immediately pulled up DatPiff in hopes that it could still be found there. To no surprise, the mixtape still graced the platform and I was delightfully reminded of the mixtape cover (which is a nod to Elvis Costello’s This Year’s Model). Unfortunately, Hum Drum Town is cut short on the DatPiff version, but you can find it in full on this SoundCloud playlist.

[EDIT 2020-10-24]: While the album is still on DatPiff, it was no longer embedding properly, so I’ve opted to embed a SoundCloud playlist below.

While talking about Theophilus London, I can’t leave out his track and music video for “Last Name London” which puts on display his fashion sense, swagger, and lively art direction.

That’s all I’ll cover for now. Take some time and dive deeper into MELO’s list. You won’t be disappointed.