by Irene Lo


Play Yung Bae to listen to Kaoru Akimoto’s “Wagamama Na High-Heeled Shoes” and Chic’s “My Forbidden Lover

Is Yung Bae’s “Anibabe” an extended sample with bells and whistles?

Do you like to love Yung Bae?

Do you like to hate Yung Bae?

The internet age of music production demands a shift in understanding wholesale samples, grassroots hype, and authentic routes a producer takes to build his name.

A producer is not thought of as curator or consumer. His originality is not a synthesis of samples. An anonymous mixtape is good for mystery but bad for creativity.

Consider audience expectations. The culture of vaporwave and future funk is cinematic romance where the future is retro. The internet is endless space of musical ecosystems. What stands for theft in one community is invention in another. The listener of vaporwave agrees the artist is not passing off Margie Joseph as his own when he does not credit “(Strange) I Still Love you” in the track description. The artist is not hiding behind nameless architecture. The artist does not expect credit simply for incorporating obscure hits as key elements. A uniform aesthetic (Roman busts, Japanese text, sounds from Windows PC circa 1997) informs the listener to the artist’s overall vision. A closed loop of emotionally-arousing collage text and sound, and to stretch the movie analogy.

How meaningful music is comes down to whether it ‘does’ something (innovative) or it sounds ‘nice’ (timeless). Chillwave is a mood with minimal scalability. Sharing a fetish of trashy tropes is its marketability factor. It is television in the background, manipulating the familiar for a sense of the uncanny. Spectacle lies beyond the horizon of judgment. Enjoy.

 The Yung Bae Effect