Best Singles of the Week | 2020: Week 3

Last week I started off talking about how it was relatively slow for releases, which is kinda funny to me in hindsight because this past week was even slower. I’m sure at some point there will be a week with zero good singles, so when that happens I guess it’ll be nice to get some time off. This week had some gems though, so make sure you don’t miss out on these tracks.

Wednesday, January 15th

Legendary Loser by R.A. the Rugged Man produced by Psycho Les

So, as you can see the first few days of the week were very disappointing, but around midnight on Wednesday R.A. the Rugged Man finally blessed us with one of the best singles of the year so far, and it’s about goddamn time. We’re finally getting another album from him in the Spring after a 7 year wait. It’s called All My Heroes Are Dead, and it’s fully produced by Psycho Les. You can bitch all you want about how R.A. the Rugged Man takes too long to drop, but whenever he does it’s always worth the wait. This shit is fire. He fucking spazzed on this shit, and Psycho Les’ production is fantastic. There’s really not a single aspect of the song that I dislike. Some may roll their eyes at the boomer-ish music video, but it didn’t really bother me too much personally. The actual song thankfully didn’t really have any of that lame ass “mUmBlE (c)RaP iS kIlLiNg HiP hOp” rhetoric. Every single verse is dope as hell.

Since my daddy pulled it out, and my mommy’s draws dropped
I came out the pussy losing; I was a born flop
Flimflammed, I been banned, I been panned
I been kicked like a tin can, a tin-man standin’ in quicksand

Listening to him rhyme is almost always mesmerizing, and this song is no exception. Even the video is actually pretty cool once you get over the “mumble rapper” costume. It’s also nice to finally hear a song with three verses again. You can tell this song wasn’t written and shitted out in 15 minutes like a lot of modern day Hip Hop. Again, this is one of the best songs of the year so far. I fucking love it. Kudos to everyone involved.

Friday, January 17th

Crown by Che` Noir featuring Planet Asia & Street Justice produced by 38 Spesh

This is the second single from Che` Noir‘s upcoming album, Juno, which is completely produced by 38 Spesh, and is set to be released on Valentine’s Day this year. I talked about the first single during Week 1 of 2020, and I loved it. This new one is awesome too. It opens up with an audio clip of what sounds like a movie. It sets the tone for the rest of the song pretty well in terms of the content. As one may surmise from the title, the song is all about having pride in your blackness and being happy with who you are. The first verse from Che` Noir is pretty tight.

Came up from the struggle, rap for the women
A young age, I had a hustle that I match with a vision
Black is beautiful, complexion that unite us just to celebrate us
But our mindset is what can separate us

Planet Asia‘s verse was even better to me though. I got pretty excited when I saw that he was featured on this track, and he didn’t disappoint.

Paid my dues, now I’m in my lane on slow cruise
Done bust so many moves, I could’ve sold shoes
Talk to me nice or get the fuck from me, my life lovely
Elegant plush because it’s Trust, dummies

It was also nice to see Street Justice here because I enjoyed his appearances on 38 Spesh‘s album with Big Ghost Ltd. last year. He ended up impressing me again with his performance on this track. I’m gonna have to look into his solo work because he’s dope.

So much to see in the hearts of men, it’s dark within
I can’t even count my sins; Where would I begin?
I’m catchin’ licks after I repent, I’m not a saint
Even though we under grace, how could I pretend?

Honestly, I think he actually had my favorite verse on the whole track. He killed this shit. The song is fire. I can’t wait for the full album.

Overcomer by Royce da 5’9″ featuring Westside Gunn

This song is kinda frustrating for me, and you can probably guess why. Westside Gunn kinda ruined this shit for me. Bro… Why… Why? Why is he on this song? He’s so bad… I just do not get the appeal of him at all. His voice is fucking unbearable, his flow is mediocre at best, and he’s not a good lyricist. Why the fuck does he have such a huge presence on this song? Even if he was rapping well, the content is completely out of place. It has barely anything to do with anything Royce said. The percussion on this track doesn’t come in until after he’s done rapping, and it sounds like he was really struggling to flow over the loop properly. The beat itself is cool though. Shoutout to Royce for producing this. However, one thing that I will mention that kinda ruined it for me is that as soon as I heard it I couldn’t help but notice that it has the same melody as Perfect Day by Hoku. Anyway, when I saw the little behind-the-scenes teaser for this single, I was hoping that Westside Gunn would just be on the hook, but that unfortunately isn’t the case. For some reason he has two verses on this shit. His hook is cool though. I don’t mind him there. Honestly, if Westside Gunn had a tolerable voice he would be an average rapper. The voice makes him below average though. Anyway, I guess I should stop shitting on him and explain why I’m talking about this song in a post about my favorite tracks of the week. Once the beat finally drops, this shit gets really good. Royce’s verse here is fucking amazing. His writing is so eloquent. It’s crazy. Obviously the main thing people are gonna talk about in regards to this single is the fact that he dissed Yelawolf.

Yelawolf, this is your first and your last pass
I ain’t gon’ put it on blast, your punk ass know what this about
You think it’s ’bout being loud or tryna be hostile
‘Til you get found face down on the ground outside of Kid Rock house
Though you a vulture pundit, I hope you get sober from this
Men lie, women lie, so do numbers

That’s a pretty small part of the verse, but obviously that’s the excerpt everyone’s paying the most attention too. Overall, I don’t really like the song that much. I mean, I definitely like the song to some extent, but it’s too flawed for me to call it dope. I’m gonna have to edit out the Westside Gunn feature in GarageBand. After that it’ll be great. It’s definitely worth checking out for the Royce verse alone though. He killed this shit.

Learned from OGs by Planet Asia featuring El Camino & Fred the Godson produced by 38 Spesh

This is the lead single from Planet Asia’s upcoming album, Trust the Chain. It’s completely produced by 38 Spesh, and it’s set to be released on February 28th if I’m not mistaken. Shoutout to 38 Spesh, man. That dude is putting in a lot of work already this year. He also has an album with El Camino coming out next month if I’m not mistaken. Or maybe it’s not next month. I know he’s doing an album with him though. Anyway, Fred the Godson spit the first verse on this song, and he was actually pretty great.

I walk with the Desert like Iraq & ’em, preferably the .50
OG gave me same crack recipe for Whitney

I’ve never really been into him that much in the past, but this verse is really well written, and I like his flow a lot as well. El Camino really killed that second verse too. His flow was fire. He was spazzing on this one. I gotta check more of his work out because I really like most of what I’ve heard.

I used to only rock shell toes with wide laces
Shootouts everyday, I’m livin’ in the matrix
I can make a million off rap, it’s all patience
It might take you years to get on, just embrace it

He did a nice job with the hook too. So, as you can see, I really enjoyed those two features. However, Planet Asia definitely had the best performance in my opinion. He rapped his fucking ass off on this track. I mean, he always does, but still. It’s still impressive. This shit is fire.

PA Medallions, polaroid the post-war
Niggas on my wave now; wow, where’s the coast guard?
Peep the subconscious crack era flash cards
Vivid in the rhyme like crime you didn’t ask for

This shit is fire. I will say that I wasn’t really blown away by the production, but it’s certainly not bad. My focus was on the rapping though. This is dope as hell. Check it out.

Time Comin’ by Thurz featuring Iman Europe & Fat Ron produced by BeatBoy

Time Comin ft Iman Europe and Fat Ron (prod by BeatBoy)

These singles from Thurz just get better and better. I think this production from BeatBoy is stellar, and the sung hook from Iman Europe sounds really great too. I don’t think I’d ever heard of her before listening to this song, but she did a really nice job, and Fat Ron also did his thing. Of course the first verse from Thurz was great too. I actually think the second one is even better though.

What’s wealth without a piece of land?
You can’t be straight without the right hand
Niggas went left tryna be the man

I loved that line about needing Play-Doh to knock your gumby straight too. That was dope. His flow on this shit is fire. I’m now wondering if we’re gonna be getting a new single from Thurz every week. I’m not gonna get my hopes up, but I won’t be surprised if he at least drops every week this month. Anyway, this shit is fire. Don’t sleep on it.

Here We Are by Zac Flewids produced by Cherry Blu

Zac Flewids is an artist I became familiar with late last year when Sylvan LaCue was featured on his extended play, Music to Drown To. I think that’s what it was called. It might have been called Songs to Drown To. I haven’t gotten around to listening to it yet, but I definitely will at some point. I’d only heard that Sylvan LaCue collab before hearing this latest single. This shit is dope though. Don’t take this as an insult or criticism, but this reminds me a lot of Under Pressure era Logic. In other words, he sounds like Logic, but good. I just think his voice, his flow, and the production style are pretty similar. I think this is my first time hearing a beat from this Cherry Blu producer, but it’s really nice. I don’t think the lyrics are super amazing or anything, but they’re pretty solid.

My bitch don’t want it with me anymore, damn
She don’t wanna have to see me poppin’ every pill I can
She don’t wanna have to bring me to the hospital again
I don’t wanna put her through it anymore than I have

This quatrain is the most interesting part of the song to me. It’s not like he was trying to go for some super lyrical verbal acrobatics or anything though. This is just a really smooth & chill song. His flow and delivery are really what make the song so enjoyable for me. He just sounds really good here. Check it out. It’s dope.

ragazza al mare by wun two

This is the first entry in a cumulative compilation by wun two called Facce. He’s gonna be dropping a new track every month of the year for this album, and each one is inspired by the Italian painter, Diego Voci. Anyway, the song is awesome. It’s pretty much more of the same from wun two, but that’s by no means a bad thing. The beat is super relaxing and beautiful. I love it. He kept this one under two minutes long, but I could listen to this shit on repeat forever. It’s so good. I’m looking forward to hearing the next one. This shit is dope af. Also, shoutout to him and Thurz for dropping dope singles every week so far this year.

Stoner’s Interlude by ScienZe produced by Dre Phantom & Sly5thAve

ScienZe is an artist who I’ve been familiar with for about three years at this point. He dropped an album in September that I unfortunately haven’t gotten around to listening to yet. Anyway, I got an email about this track when it dropped and was a little confused because it’s just odd for me whenever artists choose interludes as singles. I’m sure this’ll end up on a full project at some point in the future. It’s dope though. The beat is really chill, although I feel like I’ve heard the sample before. The vocals at the beginning of this song aren’t really that impressive, but they’re sufficient. I don’t mind them at all. The one aspect of the song that really hooked me in is the actual verse. He’s not necessarily spitting the slickest shit I’ve ever heard. I wouldn’t expect that kinda thing on a track called Smoker’s Interlude though. He just sounds really good in my opinion. It’s mainly his flow that stood out to me. He sounds really good on this shit. I think this would definitely be more enjoyable in the context of a full project, but I still think it’s pretty dope. Check it out.

So yeah, as you can see this week was incredibly slow in terms of actual singles. We at least got a lot of full length projects on Friday though, so I guess that kinda makes up for it. As always, if a single came out this week and I didn’t write about it here, I either didn’t like it or didn’t hear it. Anyway, shoutout to 38 Spesh & Planet Asia for being involved in two of these singles. They did a great job. Hopefully this coming week is a bit more exciting. Then again, I’m fine with not having to write long ass posts about music all the time, especially since WordPress starts lagging once I surpass 5000 words. Oh, by the way, if you’re wondering about the thumbnail for this post, it’s a picture of Elizabeth Warren refusing to shake Bernie’s hands after pulling the whole identity politics card this past week. That was lame, and it seems to be backfiring on her campaign. It’s all very unfortunate and disappointing. I used to really like her. I think I wanna try to stop using political news stories for the thumbnails, but that’s really been the only big news so far this year. Hopefully the next week is different. See ya.

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