THE Single of the Week:
Not only the beat of the week; the calvacade of rappers here trade off bars relentlessly, like Migos at their best, a vast improvement over merely taking their own individual verses without interacting with each other. More of this formula please. Oh, and, despite the name, the song bears no relation to Frozen, OBVI!
I was so impressed with “Let It Go” that I dug up 88rising’s two other releases on Apple Music, both from 2018. Yay! I love hopping on a bandwagon early in an artist’s journey! Based on these three outings, it’s tough to pin down this group’s signature sound…which is a good thing! But if I could influence their direction going forward, I’d implore them to focus more on rap, a register in which they seem more capable of delving into deeper ingenuity than the generic crooning of these other compositions:
The runner-up for Single of the Week:
Now THIS is the Wiz we all know and love. He broke onto the scene by putting a modern spin on classic stoner music, progressing the form into the 21st century. Recently, he’s forsaken his roots (get it? because he loves the plant so much?!) in a transparent attempt to break into the mainstream, pandering to the masses with derivative creations. But as the title suggests, “Gin & Drugs” is basically an inventive remix of “Gin and Juice”, a foundational hit of the stoner genre courtesy of Snoop Dogg — one of the Godfathers of stoner jams — and Dr. Dre (as always, Write All Nite insists on crediting producers when their contributions are so fundamental to what makes a song work). Wiz’s G-Funk producing vaguely samples Dre’s beat while also adding new strands (get it?! STRANDS?!?!) to lend some novel flavoring (I CAN’T STOP). Also, props to the singing in the style of Snoop’s dearly-departed Nate Dogg.
A few more songs worth a listen, in descending order of worthiness:
A$AP Ferg on some Kid Cudi bullshit, hallowed company around these parts! It’s not every day that I wish a song was longer; 90 seconds isn’t enough for this affecting vibe!
If two singles in the same week is a harbinger of the imminent arrival of A$AP Ferg’s promised new album, it’s already primed to be one of the year’s best. No other group can touch the unparalleled consistency of A$AP Mob’s output in 2018.
ST. VINCENT (aka Annie Clark)!!!!! She’s simply the best.
Classic Meek, fresh out of jail and an immediate return to form: sociopolitical rapping over an effectively-simple and simply-effective beat — but not good enough to forget “Red Bone”; what’s up with song titles this week co-opting famous material?
Joey Bada$$…on a pop track?! Kind of like when Kendrick guested on Maroon 5’s “Don’t Wanna Know” or when the aforementioned Wiz crashed their “Payphone”…except even trashier. And yet, I can’t help but be seduced by its nostalgic ode to the romanticism of my hometown.
Speaking of cheeseball music that I nevertheless find balling for unknown reasons!