Now, I live in NYC, and the weather is slowly settling into autumn, so this week’s roundup is moody. There are some sunny songs but the bright days are sparse, so my mood isn’t exactly shining. But, overall its an upbeat theme for this week. Let’s get to it.
I’ve always been a fan of Mick; he’s intentional with his words, consistent with his style and seriously silver-tongued.
On this track, Mick teams up with the cozy instrumentals of my beloved Kaytranada. The outcome of their collaboration is this Pro-Era type sound, a genre of hip-hop that I love.
Mick fits in perfectly with this aesthetic, both with his flow and his message. The track may sound chill, but the lyrically-gifted Chi-town rapper always has something to say, so listen.
What do I love about this song? That funk-like bass guitar riff. UK based DJ Riton is known for this electro-pop sound. This is definitely a sunny day song. I wouldn’t even need Kah-Lo’s lamenting vocals to take me to Boogie Wonderland if ya’ know what I mean.
This is the lead single on Kah-Lo and Riton’s forthcoming mixtape, Foreign Ororo, scheduled to drop on Septemeber 28th through Last Gang. It’s also the second time that the duo team up with Mr. Eazi, listen to Money ft. Davido.
This is most definitely not a sunny song, produced by FNZ (short for Finatik N Zac) PERCS/PERZ is off Denzel’s new album TA1300, and it goes HARD. Released in July, TA1300 shows off Curry’s newfound aesthetic; clearly he’s experimenting with a new sound, and I personally like it.
Based out of South Florida, Curry is affectionately associated with the genre/trend of SoundCloud rappers (a term that I don’t entirely understand). But he upholds the versatility and rawness of the genre in this track. This is a track you bump at the gym… on a Monday because Monday’s suck and you need Denzel’s idgaf vibe.
Another Kaytranada special. I’ve come to expect nothing short of fire beats from this lovable Canadian, and he always pulls through. Teaming up with his little brother (yes, kaytra has a little bro), the Celestins share more than a last name; apparently, they both take an interest in groovy bass lines and summertime sounds. Their duo is actually called The Celestics, and I'm delighted to have learned that. Also, Jazz Cartier is Canadian, so this is practically a patriotic anthem.
Can't you hear this song becoming a house party hit? Montreal MC dropped "Come Inside" in February in anticipation for his album 002 / LOVE ME scheduled to drop on September 21 through Last Gang.
To be honest, Grime gets a little more popular in America every time AJ Tracey releases a new track. He’s a big part of this wave of U.K rappers (which includes JME) that are re-inventing the genre of grime. “Alakazam” is two parts Grime and 1 part Trap, AJ recruits Curry for the second time (Listen to AJ’S remix of Knotty Head), and Curry’s aesthetic mesh’s so well with AJ’s equally explosive sound.
Produced by Nyge, “Alakazam” is the 6th tune on the rising star’s album (nay, ‘project’… his words) Secure The Bag! which he dropped this time last year. His most recent single, however, is LO(V/S)ER.
This is actually the first track I’ve discovered by Azizi Gibson, but he has a lot going for him as far as getting my stamp of approval (lol).
First, he’s signed to Flying Lotus’s Brainfeeder which is one of the most innovative experimental hip-hop labels in the culture, in my humble opinion.
Second, this track. Produced by Tuka & 8sho, “Nintendo King” paints an image of teenage ‘innocence’ but with the naughty side of adult vices. I don’t know if its blend of bells and portamento 808s but I feel like a freshman with a crush
It’s not easy as an authentic reggae artist to enter the North-American charts, especially when most people’s knowledge of reggae starts and ends with the name Marley. But when Jamar McNaughton a.k.a. Chronixx released Chronology in 2017 he held the No. 1 spot on the iTunes reggae top 10 for months.
What resonated with me on this song is how the production blends reggae sounds and classic 90’s hip-hop beats. The not so subtle scratching, the quintessential boom-bap beat, and Chronixx’s flow are reminiscent of music The Fugees would have released. Listen to his second verse (from 2:08 onwards) and tell me if you disagree, seriously.