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Beyoncé, “Mine (Machinedrum remix)”
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iLoveMakonnen feat. Ezra Koenig and Despot, “Down 4 So Long”
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Remy Banks , “Snowbeach”
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Oneohtrix Point Never, “Rush”
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Flying Lotus, “The Protest”
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NPR Microphone Check, “J. Cole: 'It Ain't Enough Of Us Trying'”
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iLoveMakonnen, “Swerve”
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Lucki Eck$, “Stevie Wonder [ft. Chance the Rapper]”

Editor's Letter

As of this writing, yours truly is a little over six weeks out from reconstructive surgery to the anterior cruciate ligament of my right knee. To repair the damage, my surgeon—who btw has a flavor saver—took a third of my patellar tendon (the big, thick band below the kneecap) and shot it up into some holes he’d drilled into my femur and tibia. There are screws in there somewhere, as well. As recompense for this intentional trauma, I received prescriptions for a couple different opioid medications that, even though taken responsibly, turned a potentially painful recovery into a pretty chill weekend watching Netflix from the bathtub. As nice as it sounds, being submerged in mind-numbing painkillers is not conducive to making magazines, nor is it conducive to reading magazines, nor is it conducive to looking at a magazine lying on the floor. It’s not even conducive to saying the word magazine. You know what it’s good for? Euphoric napping.

This is kind of how I’ve felt about a lot of music from the last year or so, incidentally. It’s there, it’s soothing, it invariably sounds like someone playing a great song on her radio 100 yards down the beach. But life is not (my apologies) a beach. Sometimes you run along the proverbial sea, step in a hole and blow out your knee. It sucks. And then the drugs wear off. This is the time not for muffled Balearic beats, but hardcore and Southern rap. Imperfect music for my newly imperfect anatomy! But it’s also not that personal. These are troubled days, as you have probably noticed. Oil floods oceans, countries continue to build nukes, it’s always hot as hell and everyone is broke except for the Germans. And, as you will see in this issue’s photo essays, there are more, equally pressing problems in the world. Which is why we’re listening to stuff right now that is the opposite of calming. Some of it is actually stress inducing. So even though I may be old, with a skeleton likely to splinter with the changing winds, I don’t think now is the right time to relax.

—PETER MACIA

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