Juicy J- August 27th Flow
Juicy J is nothing if not consistent. While Juicy's newest song definitely has a promo single feel (it's only 2 minutes long), the Three 6 rapper did not skimp on his characteristically quotable lyrics or production (once again courtesy of the winning team of himself and Crazy Mike). August 27th just got a little more exciting.
Drake- All Me (feat. Big Sean & 2 Chainz)
Apparently Big Sean fought for this to be on Hall Of Fame, which makes Drake dropping it as a freebie hype single an even stranger choice. The song could have easily fit on Sean's project, but we probably wouldn't have got Kardinal Official/Jully Black "Ol' Time Killin'" sample and tribute (it's some Toronto shit), which is the kind of easter egg that often makes Drake's music a little more complex. And oh yeah, 2 Chainz sneezes out Givenchy.
DJ Khaled- I Wanna Be With You (Feat. Nicki Minaj, Future, & Rick Ross)
This one will forever be overshadowed by Khaled's strange but effective promotional strategy. Then again, with a stacked cast like this, the song is bound to sell itself. Nicki turns in an impressive verse, and Future makes T-Pain jealous, making this a perfectly orchestrated slice of the Khaled formula.
The Weeknd- Love In The Sky
Abel has cited directors like John Carpenter, David Cronenburg and Ridley Scott as influences for his new album, and the 80s-channeling paranoia present on "Love In The Sky" is a good indication of this. The Weeknd's music has always had a certain cinematic quality, possibly brought on by the relative anonymity behind the project, and its thematic visual aesthetic. It always seemed like the music could represent some kind of overarching narrative, something Tesfaye will hopefully push closer to the foreground on Kiss Land.
Big Sean- Fire
"Fire"'s divisive video treatment has already somewhat overshadowed the song itself, because Sean sounds pretty great over this production. Somewhere between some early Kanye sample-work, with some pure pop sensibility injected into it, Sean is able to be confessional, while never getting too self-serious. He even gets away with "Trap-anese".
2 Chainz- Where U Been (Feat. Cap-1)
Tity 2 Necklace has his formula down, and he's not ready to stray from it anytime soon. He is continuing to perfect it however, never running out of new (and hilarious) ways to say the exact same thing. Cap 1 lays down a solid verse as well, but the song is never as fun as when 2 Chainz is spitting.
Rick Ross- I Wonder Why
Rozay does a good job of incorporating Trayvon's story into his own dope boy narrative while remaining respectful. The reference is far from subtle, but so is his delivery, becoming increasingly exasperated as the track goes on to the powerful "stand your ground" refrain.
A$AP Ferg- Hood Pope
It's about time homie got back on his Fergenstein. A$AP's next to blow has delivered another strong cut, after the surprisingly great, dancehall-channeling "Shabba". This time he's using the off-kilter melodic style many were introduced to him with on "Kissin' Pink," but his sung vocals don't compromise the innate hardness of the production, making for an interestingly woozy trunk banger.
Staff picks for the week of July 29th to August 4th.
This feature highlights a hand-picked selection of some of the bigger tracks of the week. We have chosen a few of the tracks that landed within our top 25 most played, focusing on those that stood out, and left room for discussion. This edition features Rick Ross, Drake, Big Sean and more! Take a look at the list in the gallery above, and feel free to let us know your own favorite tracks in the comments.