Before I get into the tracks that were released this week, I’d like to bring your attention to the new podcast that I’m doing with my friend Johnny. It’s called the Stay Focused Podcast, and it’s in its super early stages right now, so things will probably change as we experiment with it and tweak certain aspects. I’ve been wanting to do a podcast for years though, so it’s nice to finally be getting somewhere with it. Check it out.
Sunday, March 14th
Twisted Colossus by Mantis the Miasma featuring Sleep Sinatra produced by Mantis the Miasma
I’ve been kinda lukewarm on Mantis the Miasma’s work in the past, but this is easily my favorite song that I’ve ever heard from him. I think his production here is great, and same goes for the opening verse from Sleep Sinatra.
Trained specialist, you'll get maimed effortless My strength present in the pain that I'm centered in Developing the gains like weight lifters Used to lift weight, but the word payments way slicker Remain a blizzard I'm cold with it Niggas wanna trip and get your soul lifted I'm going the whole distance, every 16 is hieroglyphics Like I was Del, I'll cast a spell to leave your mind twisted
The references to Non Phixion and Del the Funky Homosapien were tight. The second verse from Mantis was really nice too. His flow has a sense of urgency that was absent from that of Sleep. I think this is one of the best performances I’ve heard from him.
You misread box office tickets, this is not B. A. Baracus
This is Hannibal Lecter, eating your Faceman, get put to rest in coffins
Howlin' Mad Murdock, as a mind doctor, sound like I've been signed to Rawkus
I came from dirt and roaches, you were born gifted with options
My moccasins hard to walk in, my life is an endless nocturne
Been depressed incessantly, but never slitting my carpals
I think the song is really dope. That cover art is fire too. Check the song out and let me know what you think.
Tuesday, March 16th
Corner Store Scandal by Namir Blade & L’Orange
On Tuesday, Mello Music Group announced an album by Namir Blade fully produced by L’Orange entitled Imaginary Everything. The announcement obviously came with this single and music video. I think the guitar driven production is really nice, and Namir actually sounded smooth as hell on this joint. The flow of the hook is reminiscent of the hook from A$AP Rocky’s Fukk Sleep. This track also kinda reminded me of Mick Jenkins for some reason. I think the way he was flowing on the verse was really smooth. I liked that reference to Randle from Monsters Inc. in the first verse. That was hard. The song is dope. Give it a listen and let me know what you think. The album comes out on May 2nd.
Scene! by They Hate Change & Fire-Toolz
Deathbomb Arc is doing a collaborative compilation with a collective called Hausu Mountain, who I’ve never heard of. I don’t know exactly what they specialize in or if they’re a label or what. I have no idea who they are. This first single is fire though, so I’m gonna have to look into them. I’m assuming Fire-Toolz just handled the production on this track. The beat is really cool. It reminds me of something I’d hear in an old Dreamcast game. Andre & Vonne killed the verses here too. I don’t know their voices very well, so I don’t know which lines came from who, but all of it is fire. Whoever spit that second verse killed that shit. I love the way he was flowing. The song is dope as hell. Don’t sleep on this one. The album is called Arc Mountain, and all of it’s proceeds are going to The Last Prisoner Project. It drops on May 7th, so be on the lookout for that.
Facemelter 3000 by D. Lanham & Jonathon Cloud produced by Jonathon Cloud
This shit is fire. I’m obviously more familiar with D. Lanham than Jonathon Cloud, but all the features I’ve heard from the latter have been great, so I knew I was gonna fuck with this shit. Everything about this song is fire. D. Lanham absolutely slaughtered that first verse. This is the first time I’ve heard him collaborate with another rapper, and I feel like he kinda rapped more aggressively than he does when he’s on his own. He smoked this track. Jonathon Cloud didn’t let himself get slaughtered though because he also killed this shit.
Shakin' up the room, I step with a strong presence
The air pressure breakin' 'em down with low effort
Suggest you find yourself another nigga to eff with
The constant rule breaker, the harbinger of that next shit
Go ahead and send your best interest to scope out that exit
Anything less is simply reckless
When I say I'm makin' my rounds I got a checklist
You just swingin' that net, tryin' to catch shit
This is easily one of the best songs of the week for me. If you listen to anything from this week make sure it’s this. They spazzed out. It’s dope af.
Champion Sound by Cypress Hill produced by Black Milk
When I first watched the music video for this song, I assumed that it’d be featured on the soundtrack for RBI Baseball 21, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. I think they just used footage from the game for the music video because they like the game. I don’t know. It’s kind of a weird choice for a music video, but I’m not gonna pretend to care that much. I was just confused. The song is really dope though. I love the ghostly production from Black Milk, and the opening verse from Sen Dog is tight. B-Real definitely stood out more though, as always. He killed it. The hook is pretty simplistic, but it serves its purpose well enough. Overall, it’s not the most memorable song of the week, but I definitely enjoyed it, and I think it’s worth checking out.
Wednesday, March 17th
Savage Monks by Daniel Son featuring Lord Jah-Monte Ogbon & Eto produced by Cuns
This shit is hard as fuck. I’m not super familiar with Daniel Son, but I’ve enjoyed the features I’ve heard from him in the past. He’s done some dope work with guys like Buckwild & Flee Lord. His voice kinda reminds me of Recognize Ali. I don’t think I’d ever heard any of Cuns’ production before checking this track out, but he definitely did a great job here. I love how it sounds kind of dark, and it also fits the whole martial arts theme because it sounds like it has some Eastern influence. The first verse from Daniel Son is really nice, and Eto did his thing at the end, but I have to say that Lord Jah-Monte Ogbon really stood out the most to me. I just think he sounded awesome here. I love how he had that filter over his voice for the first quatrain which made it sound like he was rapping through a phone. If his whole verse was performed like that I might’ve been pissed, but it only lasts for four bars. Everyone here did a great job. Give the song a listen and let me know what you think. It comes from Daniel Son & Cuns’ DOJO EP, which is scheduled for release on March 26, so be on the lookout for that.
Reign Supreme by DJ Views featuring Ruste Juxx
DJ Views has been flooding listeners with new singles every week, and this latest one just might be my favorite so far. I think this is the best instrumental I’ve heard from him. Ruste Juxx fucking slaughtered this shit too. Especially that second verse.
Violent is my voice over the violin
Fulfilling every desire when I'm inspirin'
Verse fire and flame in that full blast
Juxx quick on the draw, you better pull fast
Or duck down, turn your bones into dust
Rust will make your whole throne combust
At the drop of a pin, at the tip of a hat
I take an eye for eye goin' tit for a tat
I love it. The cuts from Views are fire too. Overall, I think the song is dope as hell. I have zero gripes with it. Check it out and let me know what you think of it.
Mad Love by Elaquent
This is the first single from Elaquent‘s upcoming sequel to his Bedtime Stories EP, which dropped last year. That was a pretty solid project, but this single still ended up being even better than I was expecting. It sounds like a rainy day, but sexy. It sounds like an R&B beat, but it doesn’t need any vocals to be honest. It sounds complete already. I just realized the reason that it sounds like a rainy day is because it sounds like there are literally raindrops sampled in this beat. That’s cool. The beat itself is dope as hell though. Don’t sleep on this one. Bedtime Stories II drops on April 9th, so be on the lookout for that.
Ziplock / Rich Don’t Stop by Saba produced by D. Phelps, Coop the Truth, Karim Hutton, Justin Zim, daedaePIVOT & Daoud
I’ve been listening to Bucket List Project & Care for Me a lot lately, and while I still think that the former is the better project, it’s not like it completely blows Care for Me outta the water. Saba‘s a super consistent artist, so I’m really excited for whatever he puts out next. This latest pair of tracks is really great too. I prefer Rich Don’t Stop personally, but both fo them are fire. If you’ve heard his work in the past then you kinda know what to expect; it’s a lot of super melodic rapping with kind of emotionally heart-wrenching lyricism.
I was in West Oakland California when I found out about a piece of me
All this solitude around I’m starting to see when I’m alone the shit I think
I come from the part of town not talked about but chalk your outline if you blink
I can’t go outside today that shine’ll fade and that go along with my piece
All these energies and entities and people that just want shit from me
I can’t make this up the luxuries of being broke as fuck been escaping
Not to sound ungrateful bout the blessings but my best days are all in my past
I been working like a slave I’m proud to say now lil bitch I’m in my bag
The singing is of course super catchy. I love the hook on Ziplock. I think the rapping on Rich Don’t Stop stands out a bit more personally though. I love the way he was flowing here…
Racking the list we were stacking the grip
To give back to the crib
Like Colin Kaepernick on a knee
In the midst of being from where you have to get rich
Whether passing assist or grabbing a
Sack and a stick to attack were you live
Overall I think the song is dope as hell. The writing is fantastic, the production is top notch, and the melodic performance sounds great. Check it out.
Thursday, March 18th
Pyrex Poppin’ by Gunplay featuring Rick Ross
Gunplay is an artist I’ve always kind of avoided due to his questionable morals, but I never thought he was actually a bad musician. I of course love his feature on Cartoons & Cereal, and none of his songs ever stood out in an especially terrible way. This latest track here is dope. The loud ass beat is so stupidly hard that it’s almost funny. I just wish I knew who produced it. That’s really the main reason I like the song. The way the beat drops during the hook is just ridiculous. I really fuck with it. The first verse from Gunplay wasn’t really anything special to me, but it served its purpose well enough. I actually thought the verse from Rick Ross was a lot better.
I'm from the city where they kill you for your phone
Make you unlock the screen and then they do you wrong
Dig in your pockets after bullets break your bones
Detectives know who did it, but it go unsolved
This is definitely far from my favorite track of the week, but I enjoyed it. Again, I mainly dig it due to the production, but the verses are fine, and I like the hook. It’s a pretty good track. Apparently it comes from Gunplay’s upcoming album, which is supposed to drop some time in April. I honestly probably won’t listen, but maybe I will. I don’t know. We’ll see. I definitely won’t review it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Friday, March 19th
Lazy Sunday by Kooley High produced by Synopsis
Kooley High are a group that I somehow hadn’t familiarized myself with until fairly recently. You’d think that I would be more into their work since they’re from my hometown, but I’ve thankfully rectified that issue, and I’m no longer sleeping on them. They remind me a lot of Tanya Morgan. Anyway, this latest track here is fire. I love how chill it is. It really lives up to the song title. Charlie Smarts & Tab-One killed both of the verses, and I love the record scratches here. The melodic hook is great as well. I really have no issues with this song at all. I actually think it’s one of the better songs I’ve ever heard from Kooley High. Check it out and let me know how you feel about it. I think it’s dope as hell. A remix produced by Statik Selektah is apparently dropping in the near future, so be on the lookout for that.
The Quiet One by GOTHAM featuring Busta Rhymes
Earlier this year, Talib Kweli & Diamond D announced that they were forming a group entitled GOTHAM. They’ve released a few singles over the course of the year, but I have to say this is my favorite one. I think Diamond’s production here is great, and Talib Kweli of course did his thing. It’s really the Busta Rhymes verse that pushed it to the next level for me though. Busta spazzed the fuck out here. Definitely make sure you listen to this song because there really aren’t any aspects of it that I dislike. I think it’s dope as hell.
sigils & segues by BLESSEDASSISTANT
BLESSEDASSISTANT is an artist I discovered through his work with Iceberg Theory. I think I’ve covered him in this Best Singles of the Week series before. Anyway, this latest track is fire. It’s just a super chill, meditative instrumental. It almost sounds like some ambient shit that I could meditate or do yoga to. It’s a bit more intricate and attention grabbing than most ambient music though. I’m just comparing it to ambient music due to how calm and relaxing it sounds. Give it a listen and let me know what you think. I love the way the electric guitar comes in after about half a minute. The song is dope as hell.
Gold Gloves by Mello Music Group featuring Open Mike Eagle produced by The Lasso
This is the fourth single from Mello Music Group’s upcoming Bushido album if I’m not mistaken. Open Mike Eagle is one of my favorite rappers ever, so I was really excited for this track, even though I still haven’t gotten around to his album from last year. I’ve also become a pretty big fan of The Lasso over the past few years. The production is really the main appeal of this song for me personally. I love the jazzy, kind of spacey beat. It’s very chill stuff. The rapping is pretty laidback, but it’s not bad. Overall, I think it’s a pretty good track. Give it a listen and let me know what you think.
CLIPSE FREESTYLE by Vic Mensa
This is the first single from Vic Mensa’s upcoming I TAPE project. It’s the sequel to V TAPE, which came out last year. I’m assuming there’ll eventually be a C TAPE at some point. Anyway, this track has a really straightforward structure; it’s pretty much just one long verse, but it’s very good. It kinda reminds me of old school Jay-Z to be honest.
Touched down in Havana just to holler at Assata
When they stop me at customs I know nada
Globetrotter, stove stopper, Rick Owens copper
Godfather, Francis Ford copper, the foreign shopper
Junya Watanabe in Osaka
I'm the boogieman, this is a Ducati monster
The beat kinda sounds like something Timbaland would make too. I think Vic killed this shit. People kinda write him off as a joke thanks to that horrific 93PUNX project he dropped a while ago, but he’s still a super talented MC. Check this shit out and let me know what you think.
GetVocal! by Control produced by Izze the Producer
This shit is fire. It kinda reminds me of something J.I.D would make. The beat from Izze the Producer is fast paced and kind of chaotic sounding, and Control absolutely blacked out over it. His flow, breath control, and rhyme schemes are top notch here.
I write from my soul Find my shine and heighten my pulse I'm told my mind's defined by my goals And so I strive to ride and find gold
I actually think this is one of the better songs I’ve heard from him. I love how aggressive he was on this track. The song is pretty short, so it hits you like a rush of blood to the head. Check it out. I think it’s dope as hell.
This was a pretty great week for music. I snubbed a couple tracks that I enjoyed because the artist in question either got #MeToo’d or is affiliated with a group that I’m boycotting, so that’s why some tracks appear to be missing from this list. Anyway, let me know what you think of these songs, as well as what you would have highlighted if you were doing what I do. Tell me what I missed. Peace.