Four writers, five new albums/songs you need to know.
Young Jeezy Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101 (10th Anniversary Deluxe Re-Issue)
If you want to read a couple thousand words about the importance of Young Jeezy’s 2005 landmark album Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101, Rembert Browne over at Grantland has you covered, but if you want to celebrate this album’s Deluxe Edition re-issue properly, put on “Go Crazy” and, well, go crazy.
God bless Mannie Fresh. -Bryce Rudow
M.I.A. “Matahdatah Scroll 01 Broader Than a Border”
I’m so jealous of M.I.A.’s creativity that it almost interferes with how much I like her music. Her new project is an audio visual tie-in with her upcoming album, Matahdatah. The video, referred to as “Matahdatah Scroll 01 Broader Than a Border” is a combination of the track “Warriors” from her 2013 release, Matangi and a new single, “Swords” from her upcoming album. It’s as fierce and fun as everything you’ve come to expect from M.I.A.
The two combined tracks feature different videos, one shot in India, the other shot in West Africa. They show two radically different set of dancers with M.I.A.’s music as a backdrop. Its her way of showing the commonalities between people, but not without setting it to infectious beats and innovative compositions. The video is currently hosted at Apple Music. Check it out. -Bryce Rudow
Albert Hammond Jr. “Losing Touch”
Do you miss the old Strokes? I miss the old Strokes. I miss them every day. I’m here to let you know there is solace– Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr.’s solo stuff sounds JUST LIKE THE OLD STROKES!!! So when you’re done puking to the garbage that is Comedown Machine, listen to Albert Hammond Jr.’s “Losing Touch.” It’s got a soaring chorus and, most importantly, a crazy synthy guitar solo that sounds straight out of Sonic for Sega Genesis. And lyrically, I like to pretend that this is his goodbye to the direction that The Strokes seem to be headed in. If it is, I don’t mind. He’s earned my trust. -Tam Sackman
Migos “Spray The Champagne”https://youtu.be/9B7pqubIjBc
While it may sound like the most hackneyed and expected statement from a rap fan to a music listener, I’m wholeheartedly encouraging anyone in reading distance of this post to take a listen to the track “Spray The Champagne” from Migos’ latest, actually excellent album Young Rich Nation. On one level, it feels the follow-up to Birdman and Lil Wayne’s 2007 hit “Pop Bottles,” in the fact that it’s literally what happens after a bottle of champagne is shaken and uncorked. As well though, for anyone wanting to disparage the now finally developed and ready for prime time talents of Atlanta’s Quavo (one of rap’s most underrated wordsmiths), Offset and Takeoff.
Producer Murda Beatz follows in a now expected Atlanta production tradition of creating spooky magic with dissonant minor-key piano stabs and when the bassline drops, plus the trio chant the hook of “young ni***s got the crown, spray the champagne,” I swear, if you’re holding a cup of anything in your hands, it’s going up into the air, back down onto your body, and that party’s about to be turnt as hell. -Marcus Dowling
Sam Herring, Madlib “Trouble Knows Me”
The unlikely duo of Future Island’s Sam Herring and indie rap production titan Madlib recently dropped their collaboration “Trouble Knows Me,” one the fresher recent tracks in the alt-hop rotation, Classic Madlib production utilizes a looped old-school instrumental sampled over minimal percussion, while Sam Herring raps poetic surrealism. Despite being a relative newcomer to the genre, Herring’s flow feels veteran and unstilted; his baritone gravel spits with a confident swagger akin to MF Doom’s work with the same producer. Most importantly, however, Herring’s bars exude the honesty necessary for hip-hop, the intimacy and newness of his emcee skills perfectly captured in the cryptic lyric, “Fireworks burst in my mind’s eye, cause my mind’s still that of a child.” -Connor McInerney