One of SoundCloud’s beatmaking all-stars put forth his magnum opus on Bandcamp yesterday. TEK.LUN‘s album, aptly titled The Oppression Olympics, explores imaginative storytelling techniques (comparable to Carmack’s Rekindling EP) that employ music as a vehicle to deliver messaging that can’t be completely captured in mere words or colorful drum loops. The spectacular project draws from raw samples of the George Floyd protests, free-thinkers, and traditional soulful vocals that pay homage to the cultural roots of popular music. TEK.LUN intelligently weaves this collection of sounds through a brilliant exhibition of his unmistakable production style, pushing the status quo for both genre and emotional experience in the same forward-thinking project.
Whether it’s the album’s unattainable swing, soul stirring keys, harrowing orchestrations or demonstrative arrangements, The Oppression Olympics defies conventional methods of social activism. Best observed in tracks like ‘Required Chaos II’, ‘U BEN LIED 2 + Never Know (Feat. Varth)’ and ‘Y’all Need to Listen (QUIT YOUR JOB!)’, the project speaks to reality on multiple levels. It whispers the sentiments of racial division, solicits emotional awareness, and scores the intolerance of the modern political climate through mature cognizance. It also fucking slaps, and challenges you entertain new kinds of multi-dimensional thinking.
The project was released on Juneteenth, a celebration of the overdue emancipation of slaves, alongside the POWER BLACK compilation featuring the dexterity of acclaimed black beatmakers including DEFFIE, KAELIN ELLIS, whereisalex, Oshi, jammvis, eu-IV, Kilamanzego and TEK.LUN himself. These creators have dedicated all profits from the sales of both projects towards the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and other organizations supporting the movement. The Oppression Olympics can only be understood through experience, so I’ll leave you with TEK.LUN’s own words about the album and some of my own encouragement: open your mind, your heart, your wallet, and explore ways to help guide the world into a better future for all.
The Oppression Olympics is an instrumental album centered around the divides within the Black community that keep the diaspora from unifying in its totality. Our Black voices are reaching parts of the globe they have never reached before and I could not think of a better time to share this than on Juneteenth, 2020.
I began working on this “idea” back in 2016, inspired by the Audre Lorde poem “There is No Hierarchy of Oppression.” I will again go broke donating a majority of the proceeds from this to various organizations geared toward mental health for black women + a few other foundations I’m currently verifying. Each song has a purpose and I hope you guys enjoy. Thanks for listening!