Hangin’ for some new tunes to get you through the hump day blues? Fear not, for here’s your mid-week rap wrap courtesy of your loyal H&E editor.
Doomtree, Spill Me Up
This track has a sound that is just everything I love to an absolute tee – a heavy, industrial-leaning instrumental with a focus on a heavy bass and paranoid synths, all the while topped with clear verses with incredibly refined, clever lyrics. It’s the perfect blend of old and new. The track features production from Lazerbeak, with rhymes from Sims, Cecil Otter (who provides my favourite rhymes here) and P.O.S. According to Soundcloud, the entire collective are working on their own solo projects, so Doomtree have a lot to look forward to.
New Logic is always a good thing. Especially when it’s a song that he’s been teasing for so long. It’s a classic slice of braggadocio pie, with Logic showing off a menacing bravado – and for good reason too. His incredibly flow not only gives us reason to believe the hype, but makes for a serious banger. “Flexicution? This is what people said they wanted from the rap god.” Oh, and the female vocalist who comes in at the end? That’s his wife, Jess Andrea. Talk about a power couple.
Keke Palmer, Yellow Lights
Here’s a little R&B-pop intermission for you from famed actress and singer Keke Palmer. Keke’s electrifying voice is crystal clear and seductive as hell. Backed by a sparse, woozy beat, it’s the kind of sound that made me love Rihanna’s newest album as opposed to her last few – it’s raw, sensual, and only manufactured just enough that it’s a catchy pop banger – not something unlistenably synthetic. This is a track for a hip-slingin’ slow dance, horizontal or otherwise. She’s got a really clear natural talent and those vocal runs are absolute honey on the ears.
DJ Shadow ft. Run The Jewels, Nobody Speak (lyric video)
Alright so this isn’t new music, it is a new lyric video, but considering this song is easily in my top five tracks of 2016 I couldn’t just leave it unreported, now could I? DJ Shadow and RTJ both have albums coming out this year, and I have no doubt they’re both going to be among the greatest releases in a year already overflowing with musical ambrosia. This track absolutely slays. Every single layer – lyrics, beats, melodic instrumental layers, sampling, fucking everything. I can’t remember the last time I played a song so many times on repeat as I have with this one.
Hip-hop lyric videos can be a wondrous thing, and considering this track contains some of Mike and El’s funniest lyrics, including my personal favourite line about smoking snow cones with the entire cast of Peanuts, this colourful clip is one hell of a ride Not only does it satisfy the rap-loving word nerds, but this is a typographer’s wet dream.
It should also be noted that the track has been released on Conde Nast’s own Youtube opponent The Scene, not YouYube. Read our new feature here to find out whether or not the music industry is boycotting YouTube, and why.
Manu Crook$, Blowin’ Up ft. Miracle (Prod. DOPAMINE & Many Crook$)
For anyone who says they blankly just don’t like, or refuses to listen to hip-hop from Australia, and for anyone who just likes solid tunes and club-ready hip-hop. I got to catch both Crook$ and Miracle in the flesh a couple nights ago in Sydney and their slinky, trap-influenced beats had the crowd heaving. Not only is it crucial to understand and witness just how much the local landscape is expanding and refining, but this is just a damn fine track courtesy of Manu Crook$’s fresh rhymes and DOPAMINE’s production, as wicked as ever.
Image: Facebook / Keke Palmer