Surf (Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment album)

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Surf (Donnie Trumpet cover).png
Studio album by
Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment
ReleasedMay 28, 2015
Recorded2013–15 in Los Angeles, California, Florida, CRC in Chicago, Illinois
ProducerThe Social Experiment
Nico Segal chronology
Donnie Trumpet EP
Chance the Rapper chronology
Acid Rap
Free (Based Freestyles Mixtape)
Singles from Surf
  1. "Sunday Candy"
    Released: November 25, 2014
  2. "Nothing Came to Me"
    Released: January 27, 2015
  3. "Wanna Be Cool"
    Released: July 10, 2015

Surf is the debut studio album by American band The Social Experiment; it was released exclusively on iTunes as a free download on May 28, 2015.[1] The album highlights trumpeter Nico Segal, formerly known as "Donnie Trumpet," and was created by Segal along with his band of collaborators called The Social Experiment — a self-described group of bohemian musicians, consisting of Segal, Chance the Rapper, Peter Cottontale, Greg Landfair Jr., and Nate Fox. The album was highly anticipated because of Chance's heavy involvement with the group, contributing vocals and some of the arrangements to the album. Surf was downloaded 618,000 times via iTunes in its first week, with over 10 million individual track downloads.


Surf was surprise-released as an iTunes Exclusive free download shortly before midnight on May 28, 2015, after numerous delays. The album was originally to be released by the end of the year in 2014, but the release date was pushed back several times. Preceding the album were singles "Sunday Candy" and "Nothing Came To Me", neither of which showed any of the various features on the album – since Chance is technically part of The Social Experiment, he is not regarded as a feature. "Sunday Candy", an ode to Chance's grandmother, featuring vocals by Chance The Rapper and various uncredited singers including Jamila Woods, was followed by "Nothing Came To Me", an instrumental track accompanied by a "silent film" starring Cara Delevingne.[2] The Austin Vesely, Ian Eastwood and Chance The Rapper-directed music video for Sunday Candy was released on YouTube on April 12, 2015.[3]

Critical response[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
The A.V. ClubA−[5]
Chicago Tribune3.5/4 stars[6]
Complex4.5/5 stars[7]
The Guardian4/5 stars[8]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[12]

Surf was met with widespread acclaim from music critics who praised its varied musical elements and aesthetic. At Metacritic, the album received an average score of 86, based on 17 critics.[4] In its first week, Surf was downloaded 618,000 times via iTunes, with over 10 million individual track downloads.[15] Critics highly praised the artful style, lyrics, production, and incorporation of dance, jazz fusion, and neo-soul elements in the music of the album. The album's diverse range of guest artists also drew praise; while no officially credited features were listed in the iTunes track list, Surf contains contributions from BJ The Chicago Kid, Big Sean, KYLE, Jamila Woods, Noname, DRAM, B.o.B, Busta Rhymes, J. Cole, Janelle Monáe, Quavo and Erykah Badu, among others.


Surf has been ranked as one of the highest-acclaimed albums of 2015, according to review aggregator website Metacritic.[4] Robert Christgau named it the sixth best album of 2015 in his ballot for The Village Voice's annual Pazz & Jop critics poll.[16]

Publication Accolade Year Rank
Pitchfork The 50 Best Albums of 2015 2015
Stereogum The 50 Best Albums of 2015 2015

Track listing[edit]

All tracks produced by 'The Social Experiment'. Although no features were listed on iTunes, many artists accompanied Nico Segal and The Social Experiment during the recording of Surf.

  • Amanda Bailey
  • Chancelor Bennett
  • Eryn Allen Kane
  • Jeff Gittleman
  • Lane Beckstrom
  • Macie Stewart
  • Nate Fox
  • Nico Segal
  • Peter Cottontale
  • Raury Tullis
  • The Stepkids
  • Stix
  • Victoria Lee
2."Slip Slide"
3."Warm Enough"
4."Nothing Came to Me"
  • J.P. Floyd
  • N. Segal
5."Wanna Be Cool"
8."Just Wait"
  • C. Osteen
  • C. Lang
  • C. Bennett
  • Dustin Green
  • F. Starlite
  • J. Floyd
  • N. Fox
  • N. Segal
  • P. Cottontale
  • Chuck Ellis
  • J. Gittleman
  • Jenna Jimenez
  • J. Floyd
  • Mitchell Owens
  • N. Fox
  • N. Segal
  • P. Cottontale
  • Tahj Chandler
  • A. Bailey
  • E. Kane
  • F. Starlite
  • J. Gittleman
  • Jesse Boykins III
  • Joey Purp
  • L. Beckstrom
  • Lili K.
  • M. Stewart
  • Mike Golden
  • N. Fox
  • N. Segal
  • P. Cottontale
13."Something Came to Me"
  • F. Starlite
  • N. Fox
  • N. Segal
  • P. Cottontale
  • A. Suleiman
  • C. Bennett
  • D. Green
  • Erykah Badu
  • N. Fox
  • N. Segal
  • P. Cottontale
15."Sunday Candy"
  • C. Bennett
  • E. Kane
  • Franco Davis
  • J. Red
  • J. Woods
  • J. Floyd
  • M. Stewart
  • N. Fox
  • N. Segal
  • Patrick Paige
  • P. Cottontale
  • Sima Cunningham
  • Stix
16."Pass the Vibes"
  • Eric Butler
  • J. Floyd
  • N. Fox
  • N. Segal
  • Thaddeus Tukes
Total length:51:54



  1. ^ "iTunes - Music - Surf by Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment". iTunes.
  2. ^ "Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment – Nothing Came to Me". Genius.
  3. ^ "Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment - Sunday Candy "Short Film"". YouTube.
  4. ^ a b c "Reviews for Surf by Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment". Metacritic. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  5. ^ Rytlewski, Evan (June 2, 2015). "Chance The Rapper finds good company on Donnie Trumpet's Surf". The A.V. Club. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  6. ^ Kot, Greg (June 1, 2015). "'Surf' album review: Donnie Trumpet and Chance the Rapper's Social Experiment mix styles and eras". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  7. ^ Charity, Justin (June 1, 2015). "Review: Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment Lead a Parade of Jubilation on 'Surf'". Complex. Retrieved June 1, 2015.
  8. ^ Bakare, Lanre (May 29, 2015). "Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment – Surf first listen review: Chance the Rapper goes psych". The Guardian. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  9. ^ Hebblethwaite, Phil (June 30, 2015). "Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment – Surf". NME. Archived from the original on December 13, 2015. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  10. ^ Drake, David (June 5, 2015). "Donnie Trumpet & the Social Experiment: Surf". Pitchfork. Retrieved June 5, 2015.
  11. ^ Sawdey, Evan (June 4, 2015). "Donnie Trumpet & the Social Experiment: Surf". PopMatters. Retrieved June 5, 2015.
  12. ^ Spanos, Brittany (June 16, 2016). "Surf". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  13. ^ Unterberger, Andrew (June 1, 2015). "Review: The Social Experiment Bury Their Lead on the Disarmingly Joyous 'Surf'". Spin. Retrieved June 1, 2015.
  14. ^ Christgau, Robert (September 25, 2015). "Chance the Rapper and Friends Count Their Blessings: Expert Witness with Robert Christgau". Vice. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
  15. ^ "Timeline Photos - Chance The Rapper". Facebook.
  16. ^ "Ballots: Robert Christgau". The Village Voice. Retrieved September 25, 2016.
  17. ^ "The 50 Best Albums of 2015". Pitchfork. December 16, 2015. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  18. ^ "The 50 Best Albums Of 2015". 2015-12-01. Retrieved 2015-12-10.