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this is real life

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this is real life by wait what

after a couple months of work, I’m happy to announce that this is real life is available today. to cut to the chase for those of you who don’t like reading artist statements, here are all your salient details:

-the record is free, but you can pay what you want and all profits go to 826 Valencia to promote youth writing.
-the awesome people over at
indieshuffle put the record out with me
-I’m playing a
CD release show in SF tonight (8/31) at Kimo’s (21+, 9PM, Polk @ Pine) with Hoodie Allen - if somehow you haven’t checked him out yet, you have to.
-if you like the record, share it with a friend -- burn a cd, play it at a party, put some tracks on a mixtape for someone. or you could go the digital route and
connect via facebook, tweet about it, vote on hype machine, or get in touch with me via email

I had so much fun making this -- it’s called this is real life because as I was making it, a lot of things in my life seemed to fall into place, and I’d step back every once in awhile and just make sure that it all was real. I hope you guys get some of the fun out of this record that I got creating it.

sincerely, thank you for listening to my project -- I hope you enjoy it,


p.s. if you run a blog and want to write about it, that’d be awesome! feel free to go right ahead, but if I can help out with anything or you want to do an interview, feel free to get in touch: pr (at) waitwhatmusic (dot) com and check out this press release (PDF). enormous thanks to everyone who has already.

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cd release show: tues 8/31


the new record is coming out next week, and I’m playing a CD release show with hoodie allen in san francisco. salient details:

tuesday, august 31 at 9:00pm
kimo’s, sf (1351 polk @ pine)
21+, $6, all profits go to 826 valencia for youth writing

I’ll be playing with live drums and performing selections off the new mixtape as well as from the notorious xx. stop by, grab some drinks, and enjoy a great night -- bring some friends and rsvp here. spread the word, looking forward to seeing you there!

-charlie (wait what)

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new single: i gotcha right moves (lupe fiasco vs. onerepublic)

i gotcha right moves [lupe fiasco vs. onerepublic]
(click to download)

“I warned y’all cornballs I hush puppies”

introducing ‘i gotcha right moves’ -- lupe fiasco’s ‘i gotcha’ vs. onerepublic’s ‘all the right moves.’ the download is free, or also available as a ‘pay-what-you-want’ (what you want can be $0), but all profits are going to 826 Valencia to support youth writing. so feel free to send to some compadres, put it on your facebook page, tweet about it, or phone a friend. the new album, this is real life, is coming august 30. I had a lot of fun putting the album (and this track) together, and can’t wait to share it with you guys.

until then, please enjoy this track, and let me know what you think on the facebook page and vote it up on hype machine. cheers!

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347-WTWHT-01: leave a voicemail for the new wait what mixtape


"I give you my number, you call me up"

one of the coolest things about the notorious xx spreading the way it did is that I’ve gotten some really awesome notes from people who have checked it out and told their friends about it. I’ve been working on a new mixtape called this is real life (more details soon), and as part of it, I’m embarking on a new idea -- sampling your voice for the intro to the record. so here’s how it works:

1. call me up! 347-WTWHT-01 (which is 347-989-4801)
2. leave a voicemail (all calls go straight to vm) about whatever you want: what you thought of the notorious xx, what type of music you like, how your summer’s going -- it’s all fair game . it’d be cool if you said the name of the mixtape -- this is real life -- and if you left your name and where you’re from.
3. I’ll sift through the voicemails and sample a couple of them to make the intro (and maybe some skits) for the new mixtape.

be creative, funny, enthusiastic -- have fun with it! i’m trying to get a collection of voices to start the record on the right foot, so being psyched for what you’re talking about can really help. if you leave me a message, include your email (I won’t sample your full email address) and I’ll send you the link to download the new record before it’s released to the public.

that’s pretty much it -- you can leave more than one if you want, and I’ll be going through them around august 9, so try to get them in by then. also, by leaving the voicemail, you acknowledge that I have the right to sample the message (or parts of it) that you leave. I won’t include any private information in any of the samples. unfortunately, there’s no monetary reward for contributing a voicemail, though I will send you the download link for the new record early if you include your email (either in the message or email me -- waitwhat (at) waitwhatmusic (dot) com -- after leaving a message). typical calling rates apply (it’s a new york area cell phone number).

thanks guys -- really looking forward to hearing what you submit!

charlie (wait what)

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dj set and sound for ubu roi

Ubu Roi
Cafe Royale, San Francisco (800 Post St @ Leavenworth)
Mon July 19 @ 8:00 PM
Admission is free

my super-talented friend ben adapted and directed this play, Ubu Roi, and I’m excited to be a part of it -- I’m doing the sound for the performance, and then will be playing a DJ set after the show. it’s a stage reading and starts at 8 -- the play’s been written up in local papers and we had a great rehearsal today, and should be a lot of fun.

after the play, I’ll be playing a set that will include both tracks from the notorious xx as well as a couple of new tracks from an almost-completed mixtape, so come on by, grab a beer, hear some good music, and say hi -- check out the facebook event for additional info. hope to catch you there.

charlie (wait what)

p.s. also, official announcement about new material coming very soon -- thanks to everyone who’s been asking me about it. it’s in the works :)

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the notorious xx

download album+art from: waitwhatmusic | mediafire | zshare | megaupload

update (4/6/10): Dear Mitch, if you're holding this letter, you already know” unfortunately, the powers that be have been, and, perhaps unsurprisingly (but disappointingly), the people behind the hip-hop half of this project have demanded that the album download be removed. a small part of me hoped that the music industry would have seen the value in spreading a piece of art that melded two disparate performers’ work together, thereby introducing each artist to a new audience, but they must’ve been too busy suing 9-year-olds downloading mp3s to have figured that one out. the notion that this project would hurt the sales of either artist is, in my opinion, absurd. but my opinion doesn’t have lobbyists and legislation, and thus, is frankly not worth much.

thank you to everyone who checked out the record -- I’m truly grateful that you gave it a chance. the response has been overwhelming, and I really appreciate everyone who checked it out and sent a link to or burned a copy for a friend. you guys made this project what it became, and I really, really appreciate it.
In 10 days, it reached the top of the hype machine, got featured on top blogs and New York magazine, and reached an audience of a half a million people in 113 countries (check out the new press page for more). I never thought it would come close to reaching this kind of level -- I was hoping my friends would check it out and dig it -- and I owe you guys a ton for spreading the word: thank you.

to anyone reaching this page who wanted to check it out, I’m sorry that you’re not able to do so here. a little internet sleuthing should turn up what you’re looking for, but unfortunately, it won’t be on this page.

I am working on a new project, and encourage you to join the Facebook group to get updates if you’re into that sort of thing -- I’ll have new tracks, some merch soon, and am working on getting a live show/mini-tour together (if you’re a college student and want to book something, let me know). here’s to hoping that the music industry reaches a point in the not-too-distant future where mashups and remixes aren’t considered ‘unlawful acts’ :)

cheers, and thank you, everyone
-charlie (wait what)

...and the original post:
the notorious xx began as an idea in my sister’s apartment, where I was trying to figure out what it would sound like hearing juicy over vcr, and since then expanded to include all 11 tracks of the xx’s debut album chopped, sliced, and mashed up with biggie’s vocals. I made it over the span of a few weeks in boston, williamstown, albany, chicago, aspen, denver, and san francisco, and then mastered over 10 days in zurich, zermatt, london, san francisco, dallas, baton rouge and new orleans.

without the help, ideas, and support of a lot of people, it wouldn’t have been possible. thank you to everyone who helped out, gave me feedback, and otherwise influenced this project -- you were crucial in making this idea a reality, and I can’t thank you enough.

I had an awesome time making this album -- from the music to the art to the
video -- and I hope you guys have as much fun listening to it as I did assembling it. feel free to connect via facebook, vote on hype machine, get in touch via email, or tweet about it, but most importantly, if you like it, the coolest thing you could do would be to share it with a friend -- music was meant to be enjoyed by groups of people, and sometimes we all get so accustomed to being siloed off by our iPod earbuds that we forget that.

thank you for listening to my project -- I hope you enjoy it,

p.s. if you run a blog and want to write about it, that’d be awesome! if you
have any questions/want to do an interview, feel free to get in touch:
pr (at) waitwhatmusic (dot) com and check out this press release (PDF). enormous thanks to everyone who has already.

1. dead wrong intro
2. juicy-r
3. it's all about the crystalizabeths
4. islands is the limit
5. one more chance for a heart to skip a beat
6. suicidal fantasy
7. everyday shelter
8. basic hypnosis
9. infinite victory
10. the curious incident of big poppa in the nighttime
11. mo stars mo problems

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notorious b.i.g. vs. the xx [album sample 2]

juicy-r [notorious b.i.g. vs. the xx]


“born sinner, the opposite of a winner. remember when I used to eat sardines for dinner.”

juicy was the first impression that biggie gave a lot of us, and you couldn’t help but root for him -- there’s something inherently sad yet nostalgic about lines wondering ‘why christmas missed us,’ and though the track juxtaposes his former and current lives, he makes sure that the listener knows he’s still the same guy. despite his former circumstances, he does hold a faint sense of nostalgia for them.

vcr, with the chorus alone, reminds me of a couple watching their favorite old movies on a vcr in a basement somewhere, holding onto a different kind of nostalgia. this was the first track I made for the album, and it came about when I imagined the family room in my childhood home, and remembered seeing the super nintendo, sega genesis, and vcr all next to each other.

hope you guys get that sense of nostalgia with this track -- one week until the new album drops. follow on facebook or join the mailing list (on the right) to get a reminder.

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notorious b.i.g. vs. the xx [album sample]

it’s all about the crystalizabeths [notorious b.i.g. vs. the xx]


“player haters get away or my lead will spray”

crystalised is one of my favorite xx tracks (and pitchfork agrees -- #19 of 2009 :) I don’t know if the xx actually wrote it in reference to Stendhal’s concept of crystallization (a kind of “mental metamorphosis, in which unattractive characteristics of a new love are transformed into perceptual diamonds of shimmering beauty”), but that’s what I think of when I hear the two of them trading lyrics back and forth.

whereas that concept of crystallization takes the quotidian and makes it serene, it’s all about the benjamins almost does the opposite, making the lavish sound commonplace. puffy and biggie talking about all that their newfound lifestyles afford them is actually (unintentionally) kind of banal -- cars and linguine dinners are certainly much less interesting than hearing biggie tell a story about his life before becoming famous. this track juxtaposes the ability of love to elevate the object of desire to become more perfect than he or she is with the vapid wealth-obsession that fame brought biggie.

just read that back, and that’s way too much pretension to use in writing about one of the best hip hop tracks of 1998 and one of the best indie tracks of 2009 being mashed up. sorry about that -- I really am. not enough to delete it, because I already wrote it, but it is pretty over the top and absurd. really, I am sorry, but I will say this: I bet Stendhal and Benjamin Franklin never imagined they’d be connected like this.

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nas vs. mgmt & justice

got urself an electric gun [nas vs. mgmt & justice]
download at soundcloud


“but the q.b. don’t stand for no quarterback”

with all the buildup that takeover, blueprint and the jay-z/nas beef got in 2001, most people wrote nas off before things really got started. got urself a gun was the perfect track for him to show that he still had the energy from illmatic. electric feel was already one of the most energetic songs on the mgmt record, but justice’s remix of it stepped it up to whole new level. though nas may never collaborate with mgmt and justice, it would be cool to hear what it would sound like -- maybe something like this.

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drake, kanye west, lil wayne & eminem vs. madonna

die forever day [drake, kanye west, lil wayne, eminem vs. madonna]
download at soundcloud

“there they go, packing stadiums as shady spits his flow”

even with all the hype, the young money signing, and dropping a mixtape that sounded like an album, drake must’ve felt like he really made it when he got weezy, kanye, and eminem to get on forever with him. for as many times as madonna’s reinvented herself, it took til last year for her to do a hip hop collaboration of note (revolver with lil wayne -- the vanilla ice collab wasn’t musical, and doesn’t count). die another day is my favorite bond theme song, and since the first time I heard it, I wanted to hear a solid club hip-hop track over that minimal synth sound.

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lil wayne vs. freeway & beanie sigel

roc the milli [lil wayne vs. beanie sigel & freeway]
param> download at soundcloud

“okay you’re a goon, but what’s a goon to a goblin”

roc the mic never got the recognition it probably deserved as one of the best hip hop beats from the early 2000s, whereas a milli was everywhere in summer ’08 -- this is what weezy might’ve sounded like if it was 2002 and he was signed to roc-a-fella.

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