Childish Gambino – Redbone
The second single for Childish Gambino’s album “Awaken, My Love!” is the biggest musical risk he’s taken so far. Drawing obvious inspiration from past greats such as D’Angelo, Prince, and George Clinton, Gambino trades in rapping for a raw falsetto voice, singing about a past heartthrob. The instrumental is light and spacey, with a simple drum and piano loop, allowing Gambino to show off his vocal chops. If this song is any indication, his forthcoming album will be oozing with soul and funk.
A Tribe Called Quest – Dis Generation
Almost a year after the early death of frontman Phife Dawg, the alternative hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest released their final album We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service, showing that they haven’t fell off, even 26 years after the release of their first album. One of the standout tracks is Dis Generation, featuring bars traded back and forth from Jarobi, Q-Tip, the late Phife, and Busta Rhymes over a maximalist guitar-infused beat. Q-Tip states that through the new generation of hip-hop (specifically shouting out Joey Bada$$, J. Cole, Earl Sweatshirt, and Kendrick Lamar,) Tribe’s “instinctual soul” will live on, even with the end of the group.
Love$ick – Mura Masa (ft. A$AP Rocky)
The music video for Love$ick by Mura Musa ft. A$AP Rocky beautifully captures the spirits of what it means to be a kid. Filmed in the east side of London, the music video follows three boys pulling all sorts of mischief. The song, with its tropical inspired beat, can’t help but put you in a good mood. A$AP Rocky recently has collabed with many artists in the UK scene, working on new music at the London Red Bull Studio.
The Weeknd – Party Monster/I Feel it Coming
There has been much hype and excitement around The Weeknd’s third studio album Starboy, with the tracklist and two singles recently released. Party Monster is a slight return to Trilogy-era Weeknd, with a dark instrumental and lyrics about his drug-infused party style. However, the lyrics also show a level of maturity, and desire to move on and settle down. I Feel it Coming is another collaboration with the iconic electronic duo Daft Punk. Of the two tracks, I Feel it Coming will definitely be the chart topping radio single, with a more marketable and pop sound.
John Legend – Penthouse Floor (ft. Chance the Rapper)
John Legend’s very sensual single is the second from his new anticipated album Darkness and Light. The new track features his typical smooth R&B vocals with soul influences. Legend is joined on Penthouse Floor by Chicago artist Chance the Rapper, who brings his trademark charmingly sloppy flow, battling with the upbeat instrumental.
words by Jason Arroyo and Kimberly Zhong