PHOTO COURTESY OF EBRU YIDLIZ.
Composer Joseph Haydn once said, “Art and composition tolerate no conventional fetters: mind and soul soar above them.” Lushlife certainly took this concept to heart when creating his song “Totally Mutual Feeling” featuring Khruangbin. The lyrics breach the metaphysical and weave between the grit of real life and an enlightened, timeless place where one can, as he raps, “walk with the elephants.” Still, it remains grounded in contemporary politics. Inspired by the talented people in his life who had something to say about what to do next in a post-Trump world, Lushlife fused their voices on a mixtape: My Idols Are Dead + My Enemies Are In Power. Out now, the mixtape includes “Totally Mutual Feeling” and features a slate of cross-displinary collaborators including recording artists Killer Mike and Sad13 and author/law professor Jedediah Purdy.
Lushlife’s hope is that in bringing artists, academics, and intellectuals onto one project, he has created something that will cut through the noise and inspire people to fight back—”a platform for dialogue outside of the increasingly pointless social media outrage continuum,” he says. True to his word, the rapper is using the mixtape to make a difference by donating all of its proceeds—it’s available on a contribute-what-you-wish basis—to the ACLU. On Friday he will also release an abbreviated EP of the mixtape, Idols + Enemies, on streaming services. The new music video for “Totally Mutual Feeling,” which premieres below, is also, unsurprisingly, not beyond the fray of political symbolism.
Directed by LAMAR+NIK, the video was filmed as a single shot in a room full of perfectly placed mirrors. Lushlife strolls around the space, making friends and enemies out of his own reflection. “[The] viewers are never quite sure if what they’re seeing is absolute or a clever distortion of reality,” says Lushlife. “In that way, I think the video really does feel like a fitting analog for these times.” Indeed, Lushlife’s “genre-pushing jams and visual art” bite their thumbs at the White House’s inability to be transparent and consistent, two things the rapper accomplishes in the reflective and glass-filled atmosphere of “Totally Mutual Feeling.”
MY IDOLS ARE DEAD + MY ENEMIES ARE IN POWER IS AVAILABLE NOW ON A CONTRIBUTE-WHAT-YOU-WISH BASIS WITH ALL PROFITS BENEFITTING THE ACLU. THE ABBREVIATED EP IDOLS + ENEMIES IS OUT FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2017. FOR MORE ON LUSHLIFE, VISIT HIS WEBSITE.