T.I.- Wit Me (Feat. Lil Wayne)
Tip and Wayne bring their A-game to this collaboration, which benefits from it's distinctly southern, anthemic production. The heavily synthesized beat is reminiscent of some of T.I.'s most grandiose hits (think "What You Know"), so the intrumental nearly carries itself, but the duo's craft of interesting down-south flows take the track to the next level.
The-Dream- Turnt (Feat. Beyonce & 2 Chainz)
We already got a Jay-Z feature from The-Dream's new effort, and this one seems to be the second favor Jigga provided in repayment for his memorable "Swap Meet" dig at the Grammys. The thing is, Bey owes the Radio Killa for penning more than a couple of her hits (including "Single Ladies"), and thus sounds right at home on the same cut (unfortunately the writing credits won't tell us EXACTLY how much of her contribution he wrote). But you still can't write the kind of presence and vocal talent Beyonce brings to her music, and there's a lot of that here, giving us pretty much everything we wanted from the track, and it's just a bonus when you hear the "2 CHAAAAAAAINZ".
ScHoolboy Q- Hell Of A Night
"Hell Of A NigHt" does a good job of pairing Q's new age gangster-rap griminess on the verses with a straight up four-on-the-floor beat on the pop-leaning hook. Ab-Soul's weirdo-rap tendencies and Jay Rock's relative one-dimensionality make Q the obvious "next-in-line" for post-Kendrick crossover success. Whether that will come to fruition is still yet to be seen, but chances are he's one more A$AP Rocky-assisted party anthem away from a big break.
Earl Sweatshirt- Guild (Feat. Mac Miller)
Mac Miller provides Earl with a dark atmospheric beat reminiscent of some of the murkier moments on the OF wordsmith's self-released debut. The two rappers distort their vocals in the same devilish, chopped and screwed fashion that the collective's horrorcore-leaning material favors. An interesting twist from Sweatshirt, whose denouncement of his early-career rape-talk, and introspective new single “Chum” seemed like an abandonment of this type of sound. However, “Guild” and “WHOA” before it indicate that while the rapper will certainly leave behind the unnecessary immaturities from his first effort, both the gleeful absurdity, and the interesting bleakness that made the project great will still be present on DORIS.
French Montana- Hey My Guy (Feat. Max B)
It's weird to think about whether Max B would be in a similar position to French if he was still in the game. This was apparently the last track the Coke Wave duo recorded together, and while it's sad to think about the wasted potential of Biggavelli, it's good to know that at least a few kids who buy Excuse My French for "Pop That" (not to slight the track, which is still Molly-rap's Mona Lisa) will hear this and end up delving into Max's impressive back catalogue.
Black Hippy- U.O.E.N.O. (Remix)
The song with no definitive version finally gets one, and Rocko is nowhere to be found. This is one of the biggest beat robberies in recent memory, recalling when Wayne could grab an instrumental and instantly make it his own track, hook and all. It's kind of unfair for four rappers with this kind of ability to hop on this track. You can't help but think they knew what they were doing in trumping the original.
Staff picks for the week of May 20-26.
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 Mac Miller, Earl Sweatshirt, Lil Wayne 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.