In the arena of music criticism, one of the most common (and objectively embarrassing) phenomena is that of the listening session—that magical time when journalists gather together as one in an office or nightclub of the label’s choosing to listen to an album in advance of its release date, often plied with alcoholic beverages.
We do this, ostensibly, for the opportunity to review said album, but more often than not—and this is where the embarrassing comes in—listening sessions look most like an opportunity for music nerds to vibe out in public and practice various forms of turn up (or turn down) as manifested in elaborate arm patterns, jaunty shoulder bops, subtle body rolls or, if you are listening to musicians that aggressively identify themselves as Hip-Hop, stoic head nods.
With this in mind, and with the anticipation of the 17-song album/opus debut by summer hook king Fetty Wap, we wondered how idiotic and dumb we would look if we converged our stannish physical fervor at hearing new Fetty for the first time with the masking aloofness of the listening session. On a crisp September afternoon, we accompanied four mini-bottles of Italian red wine to the beautiful Manhattan offices of 300 Entertainment, Fetty’s record label, to listen to Fetty Wap in a bright conference room. In an effort to live our truths, we .gif’d our first reactions to each song, gradually made greasier by wine, supervised by a wall puppet (at right) and a bear-sized portrait of Fetty’s face (not pictured)—just two cool drunk chicks vibing to Fetty Wap, the man who brought the Bonnie & Clyde trope to an all-time romantic high in summer 2015. Listen with us via the embeds! This post is intolerable if you don’t listen with us via the embeds! It’s your girls over here doing some dumb shit!
(We should add that Fetty Wap as an album is so exuberant and idiosyncratically solid that our notes from the session—taken on our cell phones, as documented by the above gif—devolved sharply into the equivalent of the conversation you have with a cab driver when you’re drunk and feeling passionate about something, and include things like “quinceñeara of corruption,” “where is drake,” “monty/fetty::dean martin/frank sinatra,” “this chorus goes,” and “sounds like trap queen.” Basically, every song features Monty and goes harder with Fetty’s unsung producers than it would with anyone in possession of a wall full of Billboard plaques or a residency at a Vegas hotel club)