Danny Brown has been toning down his raps a little bit on recent releases. While Danny sounds great no matter which flow he uses, and shows an incredible versatility in delivery, it's good to hear him rapping like a pill popping gremlin once again. It's ironic that this song is called Kush Coma, because Brown sounds anything but catatonic here. The beat comes from his in house producer SKYWLKR, and reflects his taste for electro-leaning, sonically abrasive production. It serves as a great sign for his upcoming album OLD, which will also hold some instrumentals from rising UK producer Rustie, to which we can expect similar results to this track.
Schoolboy Q- Yay Yay
Boi-1da is on somewhat of a roll now. While it seemed like the producer was being phased out by similar (but less interesting) producers like T-Minus, 1da has returned in a big way with Drake's 5am In Toronto, and now Schoolboy Q's dealer anthem that brings top notch performances from both parties involved. Q has always had a more street-wise demeanor than his more hypothetical storytelling counterparts, Kendrick and Ab-Soul, and "Yay Yay" brings that grittiness in full form. Plus his "YAWK YAWK YAWK YAWK" ad-lib has never hit harder.
Shlohmo x Jeremih- Bo Peep
Jeremih's most recent mixtape showed him developing a sound that was distinctly his own, and it succeeded greatly because of his careful and interesting selection of production. His pairing with young, forward thinking beatmaker Shlohmo seems like the logical progression from Late Nights, and sees him going even further into the hazy, atmospheric realm that the mixtape hinted at. Jeremih's willingness to experiment with different sounds that may fall outside of the R&B archetype are what makes him one of the most exciting figures the genre has to offer right now. If "Bo Peep" is an indicator for where he's headed on his next album, it certainly puts him pretty far ahead of his peers.
Lil Wayne- Trippy Feat Juicy J
Opinions were pretty mixed on Lil Wayne's latest effort, but there was one place where most agreed- recruiting Juicy J & Crazy Mike for production was a great decision (and never go full Rebirth). The three beats that Juicy and Mike contributed definitely served as some of the few unanimously praised moments on IANAHB2, and even inspired Gudda Gudda to rap capably (yes we're talking about the man behind "I got her..GROCERY BAG!", which still stands as the most thought provoking hashtag rap of all time). While the other two Juicy beats had Wayne returning to his gangster rap gun talk, this one is dedicated to his love of drugs, a topic both him and J are fairly accustomed to addressing on record. It feels a little weird to hear Wayne romanticizing his drug use after his recent health scare, but the production and natural dynamic between the two rappers make for a listen that's too fun to take seriously. But really Weezy, stay off the lean.
King Los- Becoming King
Los knows how to do an intro. Following the longform, hookless template that many rappers before him have set, Los makes things interesting by bringing some dynamics to his flow. The Bad Boy rapper's delivery morphs seamlessly with the production underneath it. From an impressive double time flow, to well paced couplets, Los consistently engages, and sounds hungry as ever with every line. If he shows even half as much fury on his tape as he exhibits here, things could get interesting.
Rihanna- Pour It Up (Remix) Feat. Young Jeezy, Rick Ross, Juicy J & T.I.
The "Pour It Up" beat has often been dismissed as a "Bands A Make Her Dance" rewrite, but it's more of a sequel. While it sports some serious low end that only Mike WiLL could deliver, the energy is definitely a little different than on Juicy's cut. While "Bands" sounds like a night out at the strip joint, "Pour It Up" is more like the comedown, as hard as everyone on this track tries to convince you otherwise. It ends up creating the same melancholic atmosphere that a lot of Rihanna's new album does (mainly unintentionally), as well as the work of The Weeknd. While this crew of rappers was certainly trying to make another "Bands", the juxtaposition of their party rhymes with WiLL's moody synths makes for something weirder and more interesting. Turn Down.
Kendrick Lamar- Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe Feat. Jay-Z
Jay-Z features have become a rare event, and when Hov decides to hop on a track many are a little to quick to praise it like an offering from the gods. Sometimes when he gets into self indulgent whisper rap territory I have to call bullshit, but this actually ends up being a torch passing moment with a much cleaner handoff than "Light Up" or "Mr. Carter" before it. Kendrick sticks by his "go in on every track" philosophy and brings not one but two brand new verses to the remix, and Jay comes through with a 16 big enough to match him. We won't get into "who had the better verse?" discussions, because all that matters is the 'newcomer meets legend' formula finally landed properly, and it's as great as everyone made it out to be.
Staff picks for the week of March 18th-24th
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 Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Lil Wayne, Juicy J 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.