Friday Music Roundup: 4/21/17

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  • I wrote a little bit last week about DAMN., Kendrick Lamar’s new album. This week I’ve picked my favorite three tracks from that project.
    • HUMBLE. – a certified head-bobbing banger that deserves to be played at max volume on the stock car stereo of your Honda Accord.
    • DNA. – the first true song on the album and features a stunning mid-song beat change reminiscent of “m.A.A.d city” from GKMC.
    • XXX feat. U2 – Those two characters after “feat.” gave me momentary pause, no doubt, but if the feature hadn’t been IDed I wouldn’t have guessed it was Bono in a million years. A pleasant surprise in the second (and stronger) half of the album.
  • Another album that was a bit overshadowed by K.Dot’s monster release is Joey Bada$$’s second major album cheekily titled All-AmeriKKKan Bada$$. There are four tracks that really stood out on this solid sophomore effort from Josif Badmon.
    • Temptation – Quite a departure from his 90’s hip-hop revivalist vibe, this single has an infectious blues-inflected beat complete with trumpet flares and guitar licks. “I’m young and I’m restless” is a played out phrase, but I can’t help but keep singing the hook well after the song is over.
    • Land of the Free – A far more prototypical Bada$$ beat. I was immediately reminded of Juicy when I heard the first bass guitar slaps. Joey’s withering delivery touches on the plight of the black male in America, “In the land of the free, it’s full of free loaders/Leave us dead in the street to be their organ donors” and is reminiscent of Brother Ali’s classic Uncle Sam Goddamn.
    • Devastated – The first single off of A-AB, this might be my favorite Joey Bada$$ since his 2015 single Paper Trails.
    • Rockabye Baby – From the jump, this track is a departure from the others. It’s dark and dirty. Discordant piano keys, low rumbling 808s help support a perfectly chosen feature by Schoolboy Q who never fails to deliver on a 16 bar guest spot.
  • Since a ton of new and dope music has come out in the weeks since Drake’s More Life was released, but I find myself coming back to one song in particular – “Gyalchester.” The title is a play on the UK city of Manchester, and “gyal” i.e. Caribbean slang for “girl”. Drake you fucking culture vulture. But hey this thing still bangs.
  • And lastly, I tacked on a few electronic tracks I’ve been bumping in recent days. Ciszak, Destructo, Jauz.

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