Was6p, y’all. If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you probably remember that popular “Best Singles of the Week” series that I did last year. The reason I stopped doing it was just because it took me a really long time to write them, and it was hard to stay on top of releases. I’m gonna try to start doing it again, but don’t expect them to be as in depth as before. I’m not gonna be doing fully written song reviews for every track. In fact, this will probably just end up being a list of songs. I don’t know, I’ll experiment with it and see what’s easiest. I may end up ditching the whole idea, but hopefully not. Anyway, I didn’t get the idea to do this until Thursday, so I probably missed a bunch of the earlier singles of the week. Let me know what your favorite tracks were if I didn’t include them here.
Monday, March 1st
condos on freedom by Simon SMTHNG
I first became familiar with Simon SMTHNG through his production. If I’m not mistaken, I think I heard Lord Jah-Monte Ogbon rapping over one of his beats, so that’s how I found out about him. When it comes to North Carolina artists, I know a lot more rappers than producers, so Simon SMTHNG is one of the only ones I know of. He’s actually rapping on this song though, which I didn’t expect. I had no idea he rapped. He’s actually pretty good though. The kind of glitchy, muffled, heavy-pitched production is pretty nice too. It’s the first single from Simon SMTHNG’s next project, because we must, so be on the lookout for that. It’s a dope track.
Different by Cory Gunz produced by Daze
This was one of the nicest surprises of the week for me. Cory Gunz has always been kinda like a wasted, unused secret weapon that Lil Wayne has had stashed away to me. I think he’s the best rapper in Wayne’s Young Money crew personally, but for whatever reason his career just never took off. I don’t know the details of why that’s the case, but he’s incredibly talented, and this latest single just solidifies that fact. The bars are there, his flow is fire, and the production from Daze is really nice too. Give it a listen and let me know what you think. It’s dope af to me.
Tuesday, March 2nd
That Brand You Can Trust by DJ Views featuring Ruste Juxx & Skanks the Rap Martyr
DJ Views is a producer from Australia that I’m relatively unfamiliar with, but I started hearing about him recently since he’s done a lot of work with Ruste Juxx. A couple music videos have been uploaded to the Duck Down Records YouTube page, so that’s how I’ve been exposed to their collaborations. Anyway, this latest track is in promotion for the launch of a record label called Gizmo Produktionz. I’m not sure if DJ Views is the head of the label or if he’s even signed to them, but I guess we’ll find out in due time. Anyway, I actually think the production here is fucking awesome. It’s kind of a strange beat, but in a really cool way. Ruste Juxx murdered the opening verse too.
Underground, it's that New York sound Authentic, in Brooklyn wear that New York crown From the ave. where the cops get clapped for trespassing And boosters got a low price for high fashion
Skanks the Rap Martyr is an MC who I’ve only ever heard featured alongside Ruste Juxx, but he always really impresses me. I love how he was flowing here.
Fuckin' with us, he came to lose
That's how we made the news
R.I.P., it is what it is, bitch, we don't make the rules
But we'll take your jewels
Salute my niggas squad, this major moves
We makin' moves out in Japan with my dude DJ Views
And we stay with goons that's gonna move whenever we say move
So please make room and stay away if we ain't cool, fool
They both killed this shit. The record scratches from DJ Views towards the end of the track were just the icing on the cake. I think the track is dope as hell.
Thursday, March 4th
Cinderella 99 by Airøspace featuring Nikkie Ariel produced by B Young
This is the song that inspired me to start doing this again. It just didn’t feel right not being able to share this song on the blog. I have been doing my best to share songs on the other blog that I write for, OK-Tho! Mag, but it’s just not the same. Anyway, I think B Young’s soulful production here is phenomenal, and Airø sounds perfect over it. This isn’t the first time they’ve worked together, and every track I’ve heard from them so far has been fire. I loved Airø’s use of alliteration at this point…
No accountability, the villainy
You ghost with the agility
For simplic'y I rather tease the cycled sense of sick inside
That shit resides in symphonies amidst the sound, the silent
Sighs of missing me, pointing all the fingers like that
Shotgun's sold in empathy, the moment that you use it
Give my muse diffusing energy
Disowned me and we proved that I'm the tool to soothe your enemy
The vocals from Nikkie Ariel on the hook are really nice, and I love the flow from Airø on the second verse. It’s one of my favorite singles of the week overall. I think it’s dope af.
Black Rock by Mello Music Group featuring Joell Ortiz, Namir Blade, Stalley & Solemn Brigham produced by Namir Blade
This was one of the nicest surprises of the week for me. Mello Music Group first teased their upcoming label album last year when they released Nightmare by Cambatta, but they went a long time without actually saying anything about it. This Thursday, they officially announced that it would be released on April 1st, and that it’s called Bushido. Along with that, they announced that Stalley had officially signed to the group. I did not see that coming at all. Stalley will probably be the only artist in history to sign with both MMGs. He’s with the superior one now though. Mello Music Group is my favorite record label at the moment, so I’m obviously really excited for Bushido, and this latest track was a fantastic teaser. It was just really cool to hear all these artists alongside each other. Joell Ortiz killed that first verse, and I love the way Namir Blade came in right behind him. His flow was awesome. It’d been probably a few years since I’d actually heard anything from Stalley, and his voice sounded a little different to me here. I really liked his performance though. I was really interested to see what Solemn Brigham would sound like over this beat because this was my first time hearing him over someone other than L’Orange’s production. The production from Namir Blade sounds a lot more reserved than what L’Orange usually makes for him, so I was just curious to see how he would approach it. He killed it. He probably had my favorite verse to be honest, which is saying a lot. They all did a great job here. The song is dope as hell.
Hope You’re Doin’ Better by mndsgn.
This is a pretty smoove R&B track from mndsgn. I couldn’t really tell if the vocals were from a sample that I just wasn’t familiar with, or if they were actually performed by mndsgn. himself. I don’t think that’s the case though. I may be forgetting something, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard him sing in the past. I don’t know. The shit sounds good. That’s all you need to know. I also wanna call attention to the music video, which is really cool. It’s one of the better music videos I’ve seen this year in my opinion. So yeah, that’s all I’m gonna say about this track. Check it out and let me know what you think. It’s dope to me.
Friday, March 5th
The Midnight Gospel Literally Saved My Life by S. Reidy produced by Die Cute
This is the first single from S. Reidy‘s upcoming extended play, I Started Grieving Today, which is scheduled for release on March 19th. This track reminds me a lot of something Yoni Wolf might’ve made with his Reaching Quiet group back in the day. S. Reidy has always kinda reminded me of Sage Francis too, so that’s pretty high praise if you’re familiar with them. I really like Die Cute’s kinda mellow production here, and the sentimental verse is great. I actually really love the sung hook here too. It sounds a lot better than I would’ve expected. That’s the part that mainly reminded me of Reaching Quiet. So yeah, overall I think the song is dope as hell. Give it a listen and let me know what you think.
Leave the Door Open by Silk Sonic produced by Bruno Mars & D’Mile
This is the lead single from the upcoming Silk Sonic album, which is a band led by Anderson .Paak & Bruno Mars. I’ve never really gotten into Bruno Mars’ music just because I don’t really listen to a lot of Pop music. However, I’ve always thought that he was a really talented vocalist. His vocal performance on that Cardi B collab was so over the top that it was almost funny. He sang his motherfuckin’ ass off on that track. This one is no different. Anderson .Paak takes care of the verses while Bruno sings the hook. The hook is good enough, but he really shows off on the bridge and outro. The song is smoove as fuck. I really like the kind of vintage aesthetic that they went for. This track sounds like it’s straight outta the 70s, so that’s cool. I think it’s really dope.
The Heart & the Tongue by Chance the Rapper produced by Chance the Rapper & DexLVL
As much as I didn’t like Coloring Book, even I was a bit taken aback by the catastrophe that was The Big Day. However, this latest track is a nice return to form. It’s not amazing or anything, but I enjoyed his performance here. There’s not really a hook or anything. He’s pretty much just rapping the whole time, but it’s very good. The production sounds like a very stripped back version of something that could’ve appeared on Coloring Book. It’s not really that attention grabbing, but it serves as a suitable backdrop for the verse from Chance. I think it’s a dope song. Check it out and let me know what you think.
no sense by Baby Keem produced by Baby Keem & Jahaan Sweet
I’ve been kind of ambivalent towards a lot of Baby Keem’s music in the past, but when I find a song of his that I like, I really like it. I think this latest track is fire. I really like the kind of somber keys here. I think I just prefer Baby Keem when he’s singing instead of rapping. This shit is catchy as fuck. The lyricism doesn’t really stand out to me at all, but the melody that he’s singing just sounds really good to me. That’s pretty much all I’ve got to say. I just think this shit sounds great. Give it a listen and let me know what you think.
Marble Pie by Planet Asia produced by DirtyDiggs & JayDrippa
This is apparently the second single from Planet Asia‘s upcoming Block Shaman album. I don’t think I ever heard the first one, so I’ll have to go back and check that out. I still haven’t gotten around to listening to his latest record, Bodhidharma, so I need to get on top of that too. Anyway, this new track here is fire. I love the horn-driven production, and Planet Asia killed it as always. As I’ve said in the past, I can always rely on Planet Asia to kill every verse; it’s really just up to the producer to provide him with a dope backdrop. DirtyDiggs & JayDrippa thankfully did just that. I love the way Planet Asia was rhyming here. He really sounds like the OG he is here.
Grown man rap, smack you just for talkin' back
I ain't tryna here no lip, nah we ain't havin' that
Now sit your little ass down and do your chores
And this time when that report card come, I better see the score
Or it's gon' be some shit in this house
Think I'm playin'? All you gotta do is see for yourself
I brought you into this world, and I can take you out
Rappers start smellin' their piss, and end up swimmin' in it
I love how he’s talking his shit about fathering so many niggas’ styles in the underground. He doesn’t get the credit he deserves for inspiring so many artists. The way the beat switches up after about 70 seconds is awesome. The production here is crazy. So yeah, overall I think the song is dope as hell. Check it out.
Egomaniac by Sypooda featuring Grafh & B.A. Badd
Sypooda’s a Virginian producer with whom I had pretty much zero experience with prior to hearing this. By the way, I just noticed that that sentence has a lot of unintentional rhymes, so shoutout to me for that. Anyway, I checked this track out solely off the strength of the Grafh feature, and I wasn’t let down. I really love the dark, piano-driven production here. It sounds real gritty, which is a style I always love. Grafh killed the first verse too.
I'm a nonstop grinder, you a temp-worker
My rocket launcher'll turn you into hot lasagna or fresh burger
My heat-seekers get around like a networker
Get hot, nigga
I wasn’t familiar with B.A. Badd before hearing this track, but he actually ended up impressing me a lot. The dude is a very talented MC.
Puzzle said keep my foot on they neck 'til they see I'm on
So I curb stomp you with my Yeezys on
I dig my heel 'til the teeth is gone
You want beef? It's on
If it's smoke, then I'm Cheech & Chong
See this is chess, not checkers
You ain't nothin' but a decent pawn
Get you cleaned for that dirty money, Mr. Clean & Dawn
I think I misquoted that last line. I don’t think he said Mr. Clean. It is what it is though. I did my best. Anyway, the song is really dope. Give it a listen and let me know what you think.
Ode to Raekwon by Scorcese Lorde Jones featuring Zilla Rocca produced by Panels
This is a special song. I believe it’s the last track Scorcese ever recorded. I guess this would be considered an East Hampton Polo Boys song since it’s produced by Panels. I know they were working on a Winter Catalogue album, and I’m not sure how far into the process they got with that. I’d definitely love to hear it if it’s finished, but I digress. This song is dope. I think the opening verse from Zilla Rocca is great, and Scorcese‘s performance from beyond the grave was great as well. I think the best thing about this song is that they actually sound like Wu-Tang Killa Bees. This beat from Panels definitely has RZA energy. It’s a really great track, and I’m glad Zilla Rocca went on to finish it after Scorcese’s passing. Give it a listen and let me know what you think.
IRONHORSE MONASTERY by Iceberg Theory
Iceberg Theory released some of the most interesting music I heard all year in 2020, so I was pretty excited when I saw that he dropped this track. He dropped an album in December that I haven’t covered yet, but I am planning on publishing a review for it, so stay tuned for that. Anyway, I think this latest track is fucking awesome. I think Iceberg Theory‘s production here is fantastic. I love how he’s rapping over pretty much no percussion at all aside from the minimal drums that are present in the actual sample. His fast paced flow here is phenomenal too. I actually think this is genuinely one of the best rap performances I’ve heard from him. It’s easily one of my favorite songs of the week. I would quote an excerpt from the verse, but I don’t wanna fuck his lyrics up. Just listen to the shit. It’s boiling hot fiya.
Again, I’m positive I missed some tracks since I didn’t decide to write about this week’s singles until Thursday, so let me know what I may have missed. What were your favorite tracks of the week? What do you think of these tracks I shared? Let me know.