Following a string of his most critically and commercially successful projects to date with last years ‘Alfredo’ and 2019s ‘Bandana,’ Freddie Gibbs returns with this instantly accessible piece of R&B tinged G-funk. In a press release, Gibbs’ stated he intended to pay homage to classic acts like Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. That influence can be felt in spades throughout this piece, which adds a new melodic and infectious layer to Gibbs’ more strictly lyrical tendencies. The production work here from Pilgrim and FaxOnly instantly clicks with the vibe this track establishes. Gibbs exploration of new sonic influence pays off in dividends as he continues to expand upon the most exciting point of his career.
2. Death from Above 1979 - 1 + 1
The dance punk mainstays are back with this absolute barn burner of a track that recalls the raw and frantic energy of their most seminal works. Notably on display here is some of the band's noisiest production since their reformation in 2014, which, when combined with moments like the anthemic and triumphant bridge entering the third leg of the track, take this song from solid to electrifying.
3. JID - Bruuuh [Remix] (feat. Denzel Curry)/ Ballads (feat. Conway the Machine)
It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly 3 years since we’ve seen JID release music under his own name. While the time in the interim has seen him collaborating on numerous projects, nothing has quite shown off his technical ability as a writer, performer, and storyteller quite like 2018s ‘DiCaprio 2.' With these two recently released tracks however he gives us a peak at that greatness once again. ‘Ballads’ featuring Griselda affiliate Conway the Machine and ‘Bruuuh [Remix]’ featuring Denzel Curry feature simple understated beats, which works well as the highlight on these tracks really are the bars. These tracks have been kicking around in one form or another for over a year now, so whether they are intended to tease a new album or just tide us over remains to be seen. In any case, with these tracks JID has given us a lot to chew on for the moment.
4. Tkay Maidza - Kim (feat. Yung Baby Tate)
On ‘Kim,’ Tkay Maidza continues to be one of the most exciting and charismatic MCs of the moment. This lead single for her upcoming debut album ‘Last Year Was Weird pt. III’ is nothing short of an absolute banger. Maidza’s typical colorful production is on prominent display here, with an earth shaking bass and quirky instrumental nods to her forays into the synthpop genre keeping the track expectedly eclectic. ‘Kim’ and tracks like it prove that Maidza has what it takes to be a defining voice in pop and rap this decade. My suggestion? Get on board now.
5. Stereolab - Household Names
Originally recorded over 20 years ago, ‘Household Names’ is the newest teaser from the fourth volume of the avant-pop bands archival ‘Switched On’ series. That said, this song doesn’t feel particularly vintage. With lush vocal and keyboard arrangements, this light, breezy track sounds perfectly at home in the modern day. Of course, that’s just the sort of sonic soothsaying that the band is known for. I’d call this a must listen for fans of the group, but for most of Stereolab’s core base, just about any song constitutes that qualifier.