mehan jayasuriya


Trapped in the Tumblr Closet: Mr. MFN eXquire

Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire is pretty disarming in person. After all, the foul-mouthed Brooklyn MC is best known for a chorus that starts with “Drunk driving on a Wednesday” and for tracks like “Fucked Yo Mama,” wherein he lewdly taunts the child of a woman that he’s seeing.

In person, however, he’s affable, warm and quick to laugh—a far cry from the anti-social characters he so often plays in his songs. And while Mr. eXquire (or “eX” as his friends call him) might not take himself too seriously, the hip-hop world increasingly does.

On his most recent mixtape, The Man in the High Castle, eXquire shows off his impressive mic skills over tracks that split the difference between electronic-pop and club-ready bangers. And on his major-label debut, the Power & Passion EP, he displays his abilities as a convener, getting trap music pioneer Gucci Mane and underground hero El-P on the same track. We sat down with eXquire to talk about the current state of hip-hop, his style sensibility, and the key to his success.

— Mehan Jayasuriya

One Week, One Band: Longform Music Criticism on Tumblr

If there’s one thing that most music blogs have in common, it’s the pursuit of the new: the latest fad, the hot new single, Kanye’s most recent outfit. But there’s also room for long-form, in-depth criticism of music outside the hype cycle. And so, each week for the past year, 27-year-old German MBA student Hendrik Jasnoch has handed over the keys to his blog — One Week // One Band — and invited music critics and fans to delve into the catalog of a single artist. The musicians span the gamut (ABBA, Fugazi, Lil Wayne), and yet the writing is nearly always thoughtful, colorful, and reverent. We chatted with Jasnoch about music blogging, fandom, and why he thinks there’s still a place for long reads.

Why start a blog devoted to longform music criticism?

I sort of fell into the music critic crowd on Tumblr, where people kept discussing the evolving nature of music blogs and lamenting shortening buzz cycles and impersonal listicles. That gave me the idea to create a collaborative space that would allow for an in-depth, personal discussion of any kind of music, not just the latest mp3s. In the age of Spotify and YouTube, I don’t really need to explain to anybody what a song sounds like — but detailing why I like it, and where it sits in the wider web, seemed like something worth sharing.

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Trapped in the Tumblr Closet: Field Mouse

Even if you’ve never heard the band Field Mouse, you can probably infer a lot about what they sound like from their name. Layers of shimmering guitars? Dreamy, stargazing melodies? Gently melancholic vocals? Check, check, check. Unlike a lot of indie-pop revivalists, however, this Brooklyn two-piece knows a thing or two about pop songcraft, a fact that’s showcased on the two excellent 7" singles they released last year.

And while their sound might draw inspiration from the shoegaze movement, they’re anything but self-serious introverts; their live shows are often punctuated by off-color jokes and deadpan rambling. The band members certainly brought their sense of humor with them when they stopped by the Tumblr Closet to chat about their songwriting process, love of Halloween and respective spirit animals.

Mehan Jayasuriya