Yassss! This week marks the highly anticipated launch of VICELAND and, what we’re arguably most excited for, the channel’s flagship music program, Noisey, which documents artists, their tunes and the cool scenes they come out of. To fully prep ourselves for the inevitable binge marathon that will ensue, we sat down with series host Zach Goldbaum to get all the insider deets. Herewith, five reasons why this show is a goldmine for real music lovers.
1. It covers music for everyone, in cities everywhere. After meeting Kendrick Lamar—he of unparalleled lyricism, silky smooth vocals and Grammy Award sweeps—and his crew in Compton for episode 1, Goldbaum hangs with Diplo and Major Lazer in San Paulo, Rick Ross and DJ Khaled (major key!) in Miami, Big Sean and Danny Brown in Detroit, and Chief Keef, Common, Lil Durk, Skepta and a heap of DJs in Vegas.
2. Each episode is totally different. Some, like Kendrick’s episode, focus on the artist’s story and roots. Others are scene reports of popular music-centric cities like Miami or Detroit. Noisey looks at the relationship between it all: “Music is a reflection of the city and what’s going on there,” Goldbaum explains. “The city itself and the music dictate how we tell the story.”
3. Sh*t gets heavy. To paint the full picture of life in some of these cities and the struggles that many artists face in their day-to-day, Goldbaum hits up quite a few sketchy spots and rolls with serious gang members. “We definitely got into some hairy situations. In Detroit especially, I’ve never seen so many guns in my life. Thirty-round extendos, fully automatic assault rifles,” he recalls. They’re not messing around.
4. …and Goldbaum gets right in there. In typical VICE fashion, Goldbaum stepped up and went all in to film this series, from drinking Hennessy at 2 p.m. in Compton, to hitting up Nitrous parties in Detroit. “I’ve definitely smoked weed in every single city I’ve been to, among other things,” he divulges. “We immerse ourselves in the cities we’re in. If there’s lean going around, maybe I won’t say I’ll try the lean… but maybe I’ll try the lean.”
5. It gives you an intensely intimate look at the real lives of your favourite artists. While Lamar’s albums provide a refreshingly genuine look into his reality, Noisey takes it one step further by immersing us in his hometown, childhood school and crew from Compton. “I hope the doc is like a companion piece for the music, so if you listen to To Pimp A Butterfly and then go watch the documentary, and then go re-listen to the album, you gain a deeper appreciation for it,” Goldbaum says. Mission. Accomplished.