Hey y’all! Your boy is back with a my lists of tracks for y’all to check out. For those of you that really dig my suggestions and like to look to me for new and good music, sorry that I missed out on last week; I had a long week at work and I ended up focusing more on the album reviews I was doing. This week, the list I am doing is a little bit different than the ones I have done so far. There have been so many good EP’s and mixtapes and little music projects coming out lately and I can not review all of them, so this week’s list will be of songs that are off of projects that have come out lately that I dig but do not have times to talk about the way I would like to. I really do hope that y’all do not just listen to the songs in this list but also check out the rest of these projects; ya’ll know that I would not be suggesting them unless I did not truly think they are dope and worth listening to. With all of that being said, let’s just get into this list!
IFFY – HOOK
‘Iffy’ is one of my favorite songs off of the new mixtape I Love You Hook, from rising California rapper Hook. I am pretty sure that I wrote about Hook in the last newish songs post that I made. She is truly a star, and if you have not listened to her yet I really hope you give this track a chance. This song sort of sounds like Playboi Carti meets Rico Nasty during her Sugar Trap phase. I know that is a pretty wild comparison and you probably can not imagine that in your head, but trust me and check her out because it is awesome. Another song I would suggest off of I Love You Hook is ‘Stand It.’ This song sounds more like Father or Splurge than anyone else; in fact, it does not really sound like everyone else. Like I have said before, if you are one of those people that like to complain that trap music has gotten stale and boring, listen to this track because it is anything other than boring.
DANCING – bLAck pARty
‘Dancing’ is a song that I randomly noticed in the suggested videos for music videos I was watching on youtube a couple of weeks ago. Now, sometimes randomly clicking on music videos on youtube can be a total miss(there really is a lot of poop to wade through on that site sometimes), I and totally glad that I clicked on this track. bLAck pARty is a singer and rapper that makes smooth and funky r&b music that is not totally unlike Childish Gambino or Frank Ocean. In fact, Gambino is actually the person who initially discovered bLAck pARty, and Gambino has remixed a song of his as well as had him contribute background vocals to his recent projects like the music on the tv show Atlanta and Gambino’s critically acclaimed album Awaken, My Love. ‘Dancing’ has such a nice and funky groove that sort of sounds like a combination of a lot of today’s most popular neo-soul and R&B artists; I can hear a bit of influence from Miguel, the aforementioned Frank Ocean, and Jhene Aiko in this song. bLAck pARty just released a project called Endless Summer that you R&B lovers should love. If you like any of the artists I have mentioned, you need to give this project a try. Another song off of Endless Summer that I personally dig is ‘Home,’ which features Zoe and Y. Michelle. This song has a bit of a reggae vibe mixed with neo-R&B and 50s soul music. I implore y’all to check this guy out because you will no regret it.
WINGS – SHORELINE MAFIA
‘Wings’ is the latest banger from one of my favorite rising hip hop acts. If you have been following this blog for a while, you should recall the name Shoreline Mafia because I wrote a piece about them at the beginning of the summer. I have been waiting for this neo-G-Funk super group to drop some new music, and their Party Pack. Vol. 2 mixtape does not disappoint one bit. The chemistry that these guys have is so palpable, and their approach to old school West Coast hip hop sounds is so damn refreshing. ‘Wings’ is produced by a rising DJ that I have really been starting to love this year. D.A. has been providing some of the best and most danceable party rap music over the last couple of years, and this track is no different from his signature style. ‘Wings’ reminds me a lot of Bhad Bhabie’s banger ‘Bestie,’ which was also produced by D.A. This is the type of track I could see totally blowing up for Shoreline Mafia because it is just so danceable and fun. Another song from Party Pack. Vol. 2 that I would highly recommend is ‘Wake Me Up In Traffic,’ which features two other rising LA rap stars, Drakeo the Ruler and 03 Greedo. This track has that typical G-Funk flow that one would expect from the Mafia, as well as a melodic and poppy twist that sort of reminds me of some old school mixtape era Wiz Khalifa. If you are into funky West Coast style rap music, you will love this new Shoreline Mafia tape.
SMOOVE KRIMINAL – YOUNG M.A.
I have to level with y’all; I was really looking forward to this Young M.A. album. I have been into her for years and have thought she has some of the best lyricism and one of the most killer flows of any rising rapper in the game right now. One may ask, Joe, if you were anticipating this album so much, why didn’t you review it? Honestly, the album disappointed me a bit. Like i have said before, it is really tough to make a 20 plus song album excellent because that is just so much content, and admittedly this record seemed a bit clustered. It is pretty apparent that the songs for this record were made sort of randomly over the last three years; you can literally hear the styles of music change within the album based on the year that it was probably made. I do not want to sit here and bash Young M.A.’s Herstory in the Making all day, though, because I do still think she is so talented and I did like some of the songs on this record. One track that I really dig is ‘Smoove Kriminal.’ Young M.A.’s flow on this song is just as icy and smooth as you would expect it to be. If you can imagine what you think her sickest bar is in your head right now, imagine that for three minutes over a fast tempo heavy trap beat. This is definitely a banger I will be listening to consistently for a while.
LOS ANGELES – AMEER VANN
If you have been into the hip hop boy band Brockhampton for the last few years, you should have a pretty good idea by now of who Ameer Vann is. For those of you that are not privy to this knowledge, Ameer was one of the most popular members of Brockhampton when they first started to get big online. He has a very distinctive voice and rapping style that reminds me a lot of old school Houston Rappers like UGK or the Geto Boys, and his relatable and introspective lyricism about mental health issues and drug addiction really resonated with a lot of fans. Unfortunately, Ameer Vann was kicked out of Brockhampton in May of 2018 due to allegations of sexual harassment along with other misgivings that the group learned about. Now I am not here to talk about my opinion on Ameer’s situation or what happened with Brockhampton; if you are a big fan of BH and are not cool with anyone supporting Ameer, I respect that opinion and understand where you come from. But in my personal opinion, judging the facts around Ameer’s situation(including the fact no actual proof of anything pertaining to Ameer actually came out), I thought it would be okay to check out Ameer Vann’s first music released after that whole situation and see what the dude had to say for himself. His whole EP, which is called Emmanuel, kind of goes back and forth from Ameer telling his side of the story and him telling why he is sad and angry and that he knows he is a piece of shit. If you are looking for a big formal apology for the perceived misgivings and mistakes of Ameer Vann, you will not get it in this EP, and honestly, I do not think you will ever get it. But if you like Ameer’s rapping style and want to hear some songs that really bring out and capitalize on his dirty south flow and style, you should totally check out this EP. I think the best song on the project is ‘Los Angeles.’ It is an old school Texas trap chopped and screwed banger that is almost hypnotizing because of Ameer’s dreamy flow and the booming but slow instrumental. It is definitely my favorite song on Emmanuel. I hope Ameer can move on from this and continue to pursue that old school trap style because he could make some awesome music if he does.
BATTLE LINES – KERO KERO BONITO
People who have known me personally for a while or been following this blog for a while should probably know how big of a fan I am of Kero Kero Bonito. For the last few years, KKB has been one of my favorite music acts in the world, releasing so much cool diverse music that is really unlike nothing else you will hear. Every album cycle seems to have a different overall theme; a couple of years ago, they seemed more into bubblegum bass music and hip hop, whereas last year they dropped their version of an indie alternative rock album. They have seemed to have reset again, this time making synthy indie rock with traditional Japanese sounds and elements throughout the songs. All three songs on their new mini-EP have an underlying tone and sound that will remind you of the music they play in the Japanese section in a museum. My favorite song on Civilisation 1 is Battle Lines. This one sort of sounds like it could be on that really dope indie-pop album that Paramore dropped a couple of years ago with a traditional Asian music twist. It is kind of strange and definitely worth checking out.