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The Internet Is Written In Ink

We Uncovered Dev Hynes' Hip-hop Project

It's about going out in Dalston and eating chicken burgers and fries.
Ryan Bassil
London, GB

Our new column delves into musicians' HTML attics, searching to see what remains of their earliest forays online. Sometimes there's astonishing early material that has only been heard by a handful of people. Sometimes it's just them being a dick in the comments section of Gawker. Whatever happens though, The Internet is Written in Ink.

It’s not a secret that Dev Hynes, the man behind The Best Pop Song of 2012 (Solange’s “Losing You” in case you were wondering) is a musical polygamist. Since bursting on to the scene in 2005 with Test Icicles, he’s probably been in at least as many bands as years that I’ve been alive, with as much genre philandering as an iPod at a house party.

Annoncering

In case you don’t believe me, you should learn to trust people. But, if you’re neurotic enough to need proof, here’s a brief run through of a portion of his genre travelling career so far: Saddle Creek dream-records (Lightspeed Champion), nu-metal (Demon Sic), screamo (The Red In Sophie Loren), super group (Pun Lovin’ Criminals, with Alex Turner), pop-punk covers band (with Florence and The Machine), throwback Sade-era pop (Blood Orange) and, with his collaborations with both Sky Ferreira, Sugababes and Solange as a ghost-writing extraordinaire.

See? Devonte Hynes is essentially a musical chameleon. He’s even, unbeknownst to the majority, delved into hip-hop.

Let’s take a look.

His Blog

Back in the mid noughties, Dev used to run his own blog. Run under his Lightspeed Champion moniker, among entertainingly self-loathing rants about The Strokes, girls and insecurities, sat a ream of Garageband produced mixtapes, freely gifted in the cereal box of life. I’ve got a few of them. There’s the I Wrote and Recorded This Album in Less Than Five Hours EP, the Garageband Xmas EP and the Bad Covers EP. However, the Holy Grail, for myself, had always been Dev Hynes' hip-hop project.

Unfortunately, his blog doesn’t exist any more (RIP). Which is a shame, when you consider that it would probably be the best artefact of 2007 scene culture since LDN Is A Victim uploaded their satirical masterpiece. However, since this is The Internet is Written in Ink, and no-one is safe, it’s been unearthed.

Annoncering

The Music

It’s called Nigga Bullshit, which is a name I’m not going to comment on, and here’s their MySpace.

Unfortunately, the only song to exist on there is a “cover” of Kanye West’s 808 and Heartbreak throwback, “Heartless”. Which has been reworked as “Heartless Motherfucker”.

It’s quite nice though, in an unfinished, walking in on a private joke kind of way. However, despite Justin Timberlake’s injection of cash and a promotional video that features everyone famous ever, which also probably cost more money than I’ll ever make in my life, MySpace is dead. Seriously, I’m sorry Justin. But you’ve made a mistake. With that in mind, I scouted the megalith of online music streaming aka Soundcloud, for more hip-hop music from Dev.

Initially, I was unsuccessful. But then, our intern, who is probably the biggest Dev Hynes' fan in the world, ever (Hi Dan!) informed me that he’d been holding on to the holy grail for several years, and so, we uploaded it to Soundcloud.

Here’s the first track, it’s called “Eat That Shit”.

Sure, it’s not exactly Jay Electronica spitting intellectual complexities over a cinematic soundtrack. But it’s not meant to be. It’s meant to be fun. It’s a bedroom project that hasn’t taken itself seriously, and is all the better for it.

The second track is called “Love Tube”.

If you’ve ever spent an evening drunkenly freestyling over Aaliyah samples, then this track is the culmination of everything that you can dream of achieving. It also features throwback lexicon like “skeen” and promises to “put Dalston on the map”, which is now a dream that's been fully realised.

Annoncering

The last track from Nigga Bullshit is “Chicken Burger and Fries”, which, alongside Las Ketchup and "The Fast Food" song, probably ranks in my top five food themed songs ever.

If you couldn’t guess from the title, the song is about going to a diner to pick up a chicken burger and fries. And with that, there’s the complete collection of Dev Hynes hip-hop recordings. Now, I’m going to go and stalk Jack Penate’s old blogspot, or something.

Follow Ryan on Twitter @RyanBassil

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