I’m going to be upfront with you, I only listened to half the music I wanted to this week. I could bore you with excuses but the fact is I dropped the ball and I’m man enough to admit it. Not to worry, I still have some recommendations for you, but after the mountain of new music that dropped last week, it’s slim pickings this week. I’m not sorry.
Kyle ft. Lil Yachty – Hey Julie
The infectiously positive dream team that brought us iSpy (one of my favorite songs of 2016) is back with another happy-go-lucky banger to warm up our December. This song mostly sticks to the formula that made iSpy so popular, a nursery rhyme chorus with some standard trap lyrics wrapped in a hyper-positive vibe. This song makes things slightly different by warping and distorting the simplistic synth melody and the vocals to give it a very distinct song. The maxed out sound on top of the major piano keys just doesn’t blend very well at all. This song is trying to be playfully juvenile but sounds like a mixtape throwaway rather than a hit single. It’s grown on me slightly but doesn’t have the same replayability that iSpy did.
A Boogie wit da Hoodie – Look Back at it
Ever since A boogie came out I’ve been less and less excited with every song he’s released. I don’t really get the hype with this guy, he’s a decent rapper but a horrible singer, and the more famous he’s gotten the more he’s shifted to auto-tune warbling over some questionable beat choices. This song is no different. The somber, atmospheric beat does too much and too little at the same time. The major chords and introspective sound with that weird BEEP BOOP Daft Punk-esque radar sonar don’t match the lyrics or tone of the song at all. He says “let me tell you something about my life” then proceeds to talk shit for 5-minutes about sex and how cool he is. It’s like he had a concept for this faux-deep, sad song then decided it was too serious and replaced the lyrics with generic horseshit. Also, he can’t sing even if the concept was fully realized. Not good.
Gucci Mane – Evil Genius
Gucci AKA El Gato AKA Evil Genius AKA whatever he wants to call himself today is back with his most consistent release of the past 3 years. While this album doesn’t break the mold from any of Gucci’s other releases it’s much more polished than what he usually puts out. The beats are sleek, ominous trap bangers and there’s a dark, evil cloud hanging over the raps and production from Gucci and his guests. Even when Gucci drops “full-length albums” they sound like mixtapes but this villanous concept has him sounding new and exciting. He and his guest list form their own version of the Suicide Squad and drop verses that sound like villainous monologues. It’s nothing groundbreaking, he’s still Gucci Mane so it’s not the most versatile album, but this new persona is his best yet.
Favorite Songs: Cold Shoulder (ft. NBA Youngboy), I’m Not Goin’ (ft. Kevin Gates), Solitaire (ft. Migos and Lil’ Yachty)
Ice Cube – That new Funkadelic
Ice Cube’s new album is antiquated but oh so refreshing. Unlike actor Ice Cube, rapper Ice Cube sticks to his roots and he’s still (mostly) got it. Although it’s almost impossible to take him seriously after he did “Are we there yet?”. Ice Cube has found a new muse in Donald Trump and his supporters, and spends 90% of the album sending death threats and pointed criticisms at the new wave of racists and white supremacists. His hyper-aggressive delivery is (mostly) back and this is the most passionate he’s sounded in years. That’s what makes “That New Funkadelic” such a weird standout from the collection of NWA-esque bangers. Ice Cube has never been known for his subtlety and “That New Funkadelic” literally sounds like a new Parliament Funkadelic song dipped in early 90s G-funk. It’s unbelievably groovy and would be right at home at a Tupac pool party in 1993. Despite its antiquated sound, the groove is timeless.