It’s not every week that Beyoncé and Jay Z release a joint album, a controversial hip hop star is killed and Ariana Grande gets engaged to a comedian. However this week, give or take a few days, all of those things have happened. We’re not going to get into the XXXTentacion story here, but suffice it to say Notion didn’t cover him in life and I doubt we’ll be covering him in death either. In cheerier news, there is, to use a technical term, so much fucking music this week. From the aforementioned Ariana and Bey Z (I’m going to assume I am the only one who has used this combination and trademark it as such) to masterful videos by Kojey Radical and Jay Rock, it’s been a tough week to narrow down to ten tracks. Yet narrow it down we did, so you better not skip any.
Kojey Radical – ‘Water (If Only They Knew) ft. Mahalia’
This is your weekly reminder to stop sleeping on Kojey Radical. Please, do it for yourself, do it for your country. If you sit through the whole of ‘Water’ and you’re still not convinced the man is one of the UK’s most creatively minded and talented artists then there’s no hope for you.
TINYMAN – ‘The Mountains’
If Pharrell started producing in London, the beat for ‘The Mountains’ is probably what it would sound like. TINYMAN has been around for a minute and is signed to Twisted Hearts, also home to the likes of Tertia May.
Mura Masa – ‘Move Me ft. Octavian’
Mura Masa has always been an expert collaborator and his latest release with Octavian is further proof of that. Wavy enough for the summer but interesting enough to make it through until winter, ‘Move Me’ is hard to fault. The bassline on this will knock the shit out of you as well.
Jay Rock – ‘OSOM ft. J Cole’
TDE are incapable of putting out bad music. I don’t know why I’m still surprised whenever new Kenrick, Q, AbSoul, SZA etc. comes out and it’s fantastic but here I am, my expectations exceeded and then some by Jay Rock’s new single and video ‘OSOM’. Reflective and defiant, Jay is at his introspective best and Cole blends in seamlessly. Directed by Dave Free, one-half of The Little Homies alongside Kendrick Lamar, the video is a masterpiece.
Death Grips – ‘Death Grips is Online’
Death Grips return with a new album, Year of The Snitch, today. Opening track ‘Death Grips is Online’ sets the tone pretty well, weird as ever but less abrasive than some of their earlier work. If you wanted to, you could almost dance to this.
The Carters – ‘APESHIT’
Jay Z and Beyoncé weren’t exactly going to be understated when it came to the first video from their joint album but ‘APESHIT’ is something else. From the choreography to the fact that Bey raps more than Jaz, to the fact that Migos are on the adlibs, there’s so much to unpack with this.
Ariana Grande – ‘The Light Is Coming ft Nicki Minaj’
Ariana is getting pretty conceptual with the rollout of her new record. ‘The Light Is Coming’ is pretty out there in its own right, though it has Pharrell all over it with those samples and flows, but the video is what sets it apart. Set in a gloomy forest with clones of Ariana appearing and disappearing, it’s hard to imagine the Ariana Grande of two years ago doing anything like this.
Four of Diamonds – ‘Name On It ft. Burna Boy’
Burna Boy is well on his way to becoming a fully-fledged pop star in the UK and this collaboration with new girl group Four of Diamonds seems like the latest in a string of moves designed to raise his profile to J Hus / Stormzy levels.
Squirrel Flower – ‘Daylight Savings’
Squirrel Flowers has a real knack for conjuring up warm, almost heartbreakingly tender tracks and ‘Daylight Savings’ is a great example of that. Hints of Angel Olsen meet Laura Marling give way to a melancholic yet roaring outro that turns the track shoegaze without losing any of its emotion or power.
Kamasi Washington – ‘Street Fighter Mas’
We’re ending this week on a high and what higher musical peak could there be then Kamasi Washington living out a real-life Street Fighter storyline? Searching for a worthy opponent Kamasi, Gootecks and Battlecat travel through the suburbs to find ‘The Master’. Epically soundtracked by Kamasi and his band, the whole thing comes to a close with an arcade battle, the hitherto undefeated master slain by Washington. Who said jazz was for nerds?
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