Childish Gambino – This is America
Donald Glover is a magnetic actor and the best way to experience this song is to watch the video, which elevates the concept to a powerful, unflinching work of political art. The internet is awash with thinkpieces but if you need this explained to you, it’s likely you’re not really trying to see the message anyway. On a scale of one to It Takes A Nation Of Millions to Hold Us Back, “This is America” is an 11.
This new triple album is being called Rae Sremmurd’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, and we can see that, because each brother ostensibly has his own disc, in addition to the group disc. SR3MM is the group record and has the most features and the biggest radio singles, EG Powerglide. Swaecation, naturally, features more R&B songs because Swae Lee is the singer and hook svengali, while Jxmtro showcases Slim Jxmmi’s raps (and Mike Will’s more adventurous rap beats). But despite the different styles on display between the solo records, the Outkast comparison feels more like a PR box than an honest impression. As a group, Rae Sremmurd still compliment one another perfectly, and they’re still all over each other’s records, whereas “The Love Below” especially felt like Andre 3000 evolving beyond Outkast as a rap group into a weird pop singer, no longer the quirky rap hitmaker of So Fresh, So Clean. But Rae Sremmurd are just a few years into their domination, still at the height of their powers, and show no sign of drifting apart. Honestly this week’s That New New could be us talking about Rae Sremmurd BUT there is so much great new music out right now, we’re going to keep it moving.
Speaking of variety! Even though the texture on this EP is very consistent – latin percussion, lush keyboards and Mark’s confident, charismatic vocals – the breadth of songs is such that each one stands out in its own way. “All The Work” especially resonates with us because it is dancey, but all four songs, including her cover of Sade’s “Love is Stronger Than Pride” are truly great.
“Genius” is the debut of a new supergroup comprised of Labrinth, Sia and Diplo, and it’s an epic, arch song. If anyone has the power to elevate Sia beyond Rihanna soundalike radio songs (to be fair she wrote “Diamonds”), it’s Diplo, and Labrinth is no newcomer, having scored a huge hit with Tinie Tempah all the way back in 2010.
Thugger’s new EP is called Hear No Evil, and we’re really feeling this earworm (produced by Charlie Handsome and Rex Kudo), along with the hypnotic “Now” featuring 21 Savage. And the video is weirdly captivating, with American Sign Language taking on the beauty of dance.
Rusko Has Made 5 More Songs
Rusko was sidelined with cancer for a bit, but he beat it and musically he has not lost a step. There’s a little of the old rough bizness (Walalalangleng, Hot) but the vibe we’re feeling the most is the girl songs,where he goes into deeper R&B territory. The shuffly “Emotional” featuring Anjulie is especially gorgeous.
This is a serious, funny, honest, cynical, woke, dystopian, post-hip-hop, jazz rap therapy session. Really really smart shit!
Dr. Octagon – Moosebumps
Kool Keith, Dan the Automator and Q-Bert have reunited for a Dr. Octagon sequel, and we really tried, but this album is just exhausting. It’s like listening to a comedian with advanced alzheimers. We can’t even bring ourselves to link the album; just listen to Dr. Octagonecologyst (1996) and pretend this new shit doesn’t exist.
Listen to all this plus new Rae Sremmurd, Nicki Minaj, Janelle Monae, Tinashe and more on our Spring 2018 TNN playlist:
There’s so much new music out right now that it’s hard to keep up, but here are some standouts from our That New New Spring 2018 playlist.
Even as Bodak Yellow went from rap radio ubiquity to Billboard hit to your mom’s Facebook in the span of two years, it’s always been clear that Cardi B has a little extra something which distinguishes her from a string of one-hit rappers (Young M.A, Bobby Shmurda, OT Genasis). Her debut album blows all expectations completely out of the water. There are so many great songs on this record that to pick one to talk about is to do a disservice to the others, though “Best Life” featuring Chance the Rapper is definitely resonating with folks. And we have to give a shout out to Benny Blanco, who got his start producing for Spankrock before becoming a megaproducer on the pop charts; his beat for Cardi (Thru Your Phone) gives us goosebumps.
A really strange thing happens when you watch the video for A$AP Forever for the first time – as you’re sitting through a generic A$AP song (gang gang blah blah) and waiting for the (admittedly pretty compelling) beat to drop for the first two verses, your attention drifts away and you look up the string sample, which sounds very familiar, and as you click away, instead of the beat dropping, it just goes into the entire original song and it’s Moby and just as you are ready to throw your laptop out the window the video ends with a car crash. A lot of people love A$AP mob and we play the fuck out of Ferg’s Plain Jane, so maybe this will grow on us, but Rocky is so unlikeable.
Murda Beats and BlaqNmilD execute a perfect alley oop slam dunk with this NOLA bounce beat, looping up Lauryn Hill and chopping Drake’s vocals, plus the video manages to celebrate women in a way that we really need right now. This doesn’t feel like it’s going to be “Hotline Bling” big but it is definitely going to run the clubs for a while, and it’s way more fun!
This shit slaps! Plus the video is hilarious.
All this plus new Diplo, Jpegmafia, Tunji Ige, MF Doom x Czarface and and and more in our playlist.
We skipped That New New last Monday because we dropped a new Rub Radio, so we’ve got an extra spicy delivery this week. Let’s get right into it!
Holy shit this is good! Honestly if you close your eyes, it’s like peak Timbaland & Aaliyah. We always checked for Redinho but this is just next level, and we can’t wait to hear what he does next.
I don’t even know how to characterize Young Fathers – they rap but aren’t really rappers, they sing but they’re definitely not indy rockers either, and their beats aren’t hip-hop or electronic per se. They exist somewhere outside those lines, but channel the emotions and power of the best of all of those art forms. If you need a referent at all, King Krule may be the best comparison.
Trouble isn’t reinventing the wheel, but his record is produced entirely by Mike Will Made It so it’s definitely worth a listen. Features from Drake, The Weeknd, Quavo, Fetty Wap and Boosie Badazz bolster the project.
Vybz is still the king of dancehall as far as we’re concerned, and we’re still running “Fever” in the club almost two years after it came out. “Real Bad Gal” might not replace “Fever” in our sets but Dre Skull’s subtle pads plus Kartel’s sweet vocal makes for a great tune in the tradition of “Yuh Love.”
All these plus new Kacey Musgraves, L8BLOOMER and Let’s Eat Grandma in our newly minted Spring 2018 playlist!
This week it’s a very rare video edition of That New New!
The list of reasons to be mad at Apple grows longer with each forced upgrade, and the fact that for now the only way we can hear this new Anderson .Paak song is to watch an ad is particularly galling. HOWEVER this also involves watching FKA Twigs dance through a Spike Jonez directed video, so it’s hard to stay too mad.
Vince Staples is a funny motherfucker and to intro his new single, he started a GoFundMe – no need for commentary on this, just watch the video! Then listen to the song here.
We’ve been on Okay Kaya’s dick a lot lately too, and for good reason – she’s a great actor (you can see her in Thelma), singer, dancer and model. The onanistic video for Dance Like U is a piece of art and will make you a believer if you weren’t convinced by IUD.
Listen to these songs (besides Til It’s Over because Apple is some haters) plus NEW SADE(!!!) on our That New New playlist, below:
That New New (3.5.18)
We’ve been slack with the writeups lately but we’ve been updating the playlist nonstop and we’re back with some words for those of you who like to read while you listen to music for some reason.
1950 is timeless R&B, somewhere between Alessia Cara and Lana Del Rey. King Princess is new to us, but she’s on Mark Ronson’s new label, Zelig, she’s self-produced, and she’s young and gay and has an incredible voice!
Find me someone who doesn’t like Rae Sremmurd, go on, I’ll wait! Swae Lee in particular is responsible for a huge number of hits on the radio in the last few years, and a solo album from him is a really exciting prospect. (A Slim Jxmmi solo record is a little harder to imagine). Swaecation is supposed to be mostly R&B, and “Hurt To Look” is more of a groover than it is a “Black Beatles” type anthem, which means it might take a few listens to grow on you but you’re also less likely to get sick of it. This is like perfect heavy warmup material, so look forward to hearing it in the 10-11 slot at The Rub for the next few years.
With a falsetto reminiscent of The-Dream, Adrian Daniel’s album is extremely fucking sexy. Our pick is “Face of Eve,” which could just as easily fit in the House of Balloons as in Flawd.
At this point Ferg has been dominating for so long, you’d be forgiven for yawning at the thought of another song in the “Plain Jane” mold, but Denzel & IDK shine here, and the weird pimp interludes push it over the top for us.
Listen to all these plus new smangers from FLACO, Jesse & The Wolf, Ghostface and Juelz Santana in one convenient place!
Last week we talked about “IUD” and this week we get it from the dude’s perspective, with PARTYNEXTDOOR singing about how isn’t ready to be a daddy. This is the perfect recipe for a meetcute with Okay Kaya!
The rollout for both the movie and the soundtrack has been crazy, and not surprisingly the TDE-helmed album lives up to the hype! They’ve got such a talented team, it’s hard to pick a favorite, but right out the gate, “Bloody Waters” with Ab-Soul, Anderson .Paak and James Blake is really doing it for us.
Young Thug has so many vocal styles, it’s sometimes hard to ID him on a track if you don’t know it’s him. We’re going to call this one “Mystikal’s James Brown impression.” 24hrs comes in with the Swae Lee-style sweetness to balance Thugger’s guttural shouting.
All this plus new ones from Craze, Ravyn Lenae, Detboi, BlocBoy & Drake in our TNN Q1 2018 playlist:
Busta Rhymes ft. Missy Elliot & Kelly Price – Get It
We’re old, so we still have Busta & Missy in our top ten (do millennials even have top tens anymore?). This is produced by Bangladesh and it’s really crazy. Who doesn’t want to live in a world where this goes to the top of the charts and has a bonkers futuristic video with all three dressed in cyborg costumes made out of garbage bags, doing weird spastic dances?
Odie – Little Lies / Leven Kali – Do U Wrong (ft. Syd)
Every now and then a new song hits you in just the right place emotionally, nurturing you like comfort food. “Little Lies” should do you right, especially if you are a Frank Ocean fan. And the Leven Kali record randomly autoplayed in Soundcloud after “Little Lies” and carried the vibe, so we’re throwing it in too!
Dabrye & Ghostface – Emancipated
You’d be forgiven if you’re not familiar with Dabrye, who is more of an electronic music producer – in the best sense, like Warp Records / Ninja Tune etc, not like EDM – from Michigan. His album comes out February 15 on Ghostly International, a very reliable label for cool, weird music. Ghostface has been releasing more or less same-y records, so getting to hear him over a Dilla-esque beat is a rare treat. There’s an equally great Dabrye record with MF Doom called Lil Mufuckaz.
Listen to these plus new Keys N Krates (album out now!), Rich Brian and Offset below:
That New New 1.22.18
Timbaland & 6lack – Grab The Wheel
6LACK was one of our favorites last year and that doesn’t look to change anytime soon now that he’s working with Timbaland. And not “Sexyback roid Hulk” Timbaland either, more like “if Aaliyah was here in 2018” Timbaland.
Eli Escobar – City Song Part 2 (Peace, Love and Harmony)
Somehow, in addition to DJing 8 nights a week, Eli Escobar is releasing albums at a remarkable pace. Happy Again was less than a year ago, and he’s back with a full length, called Shout, which ranges from really pretty deep house (lush pads and R&B vocals) to jazzy, Moodyman style tracks to hard-edged, minimal acid workouts.
SiR – Summer in November
SiR is a singer and occasional rapper from Inglewood, California on TDE (Kendrick Lamar, SZA, Isaiah Rashad, etc), and November is his second full length. It’s a super chill record with a lot of personality – introspective, personal, sexy and funny. Honestly there’s not a bad song on the album, it’s really high quality songwriting and production all the way through.
Listen to all 3 songs plus new ones from Craig David, Goldlink & Kaytranda and Bishop Nehru below: