Drake- Hold On, We're Going Home
Drake finally delivers the first (?) single from NWTS, and it's one of the biggest crossover records he's put out to date. A completely sung, scarcely R&B cut, "Hold On" finds Drizzy trimming the fat off of tracks like "Find Your Love" and "Shot For Me" to create a straight ahead pop number. As infectious as the melodies are, like Drake's best songs, they reveal their stickiness more over time, and the more you hear "Hold On," the clearer it becomes that it's one of the strongest songs Drake has released this year.
Young Jeezy- No Pressure (Feat. Rich Homie Quan)
Jeezy seems to have a good ear for fresh new sounds. As demonstrated by his extensive work with DJ Mustard earlier this year, the Snowman can spot a new talent when he sees one. Thus it's no surprise that we're now seeing Quan show up on his songs more often. A regional hit does not a rap superstar make, but Rich Homie Quan is more than "Type Of Way," (which is also more than a 'regional' hit at this point). It's hard to see the star quality in Quan on first glance (that being 'Future without autotune'), but the Atlanta crooner has proved time and time again that he can provide catchy and memorable melodies, with no lack of soul.
Ab-Soul- Christopher DRONEr
Ab-Soul recently explained that he was channeling Meek Mill on this track, and it shows. The TDE rapper sounds furious on "DRONEr," which tackles the topic of Christopher Dorner's killing spree earlier this year. If anyone can cover that kind of serious subject matter it's Ab, who possesses the taste and talent to take on pretty much any concept he pleases.
As singular as his voice and presence is, Future definitely has the ability to create different types of records. His music is usually best when at the two polar opposites of his songwriting-- the love ballad (Turn On The Lights) and the ignorant banger (Karate Chop). "Honest" successfully covers the middle ground however, and stands as one of his best offerings in a while. Despite semi-rehashing both the concept and flow of "UOENO" in its chorus, "Honest" contains both borderline-pretty melodies and hard-hitting but very quotable repetition. He even manages to throw in one line that reaches a little deeper than you'd expect. "These niggas get shot for being honest". "Honest" still sounds like a Taylor Swift album title though.
Juicy J- Ain't No Comin' Down
Two southern legends join forces to deliver yet another new track leading up to the release of "Stay Trippy". Juicy has probably given us as many great pre-album freebies as Drake at this point, he's just been a bit more low key about it. His consistent onslaught of quality music is certainly making a good case for the album, which at only a few weeks away, still feels too far.
Staff picks for the week of August 5th to 11th.
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 Ab-Soul, Drake, Young Jeezy 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.