Happy Drake Week, where even if you’d prefer not to look at Aubrey Graham’s bearded mug, corporate titans will shove it in your face with uninhibited glee like Tim Cook and Bono tandem parachuting a shitty U2 album into your iTunes. Welcome to our streaming utopia.
For those unrepentant Drake haters, Scorpion and its surrounding conversation render the rest of the week’s hip-hop-adjacent release calendar mostly dry outside of new releases from Yung Bans, 03 Greedo, and Gorillaz. At 25 tracks, Scorpion doesn’t really allow for much non-Drake listening time, so those who did tune in had plenty to occupy earbuds.
Is Scorpion good? At 10-12 tracks, it could have been outstanding, but then again you can say that for pretty much every Drake album. I do think it's interesting that we criticize Drake for keeping his child a secret, and praise Pusha for making that child the butt of a national joke, but I'm getting off track.
Here are the 10 New Songs You Need This Week, just in time for your Fourth of July festivities. Play these at your family barbecue and wish America a ratchet happy birthday for me. (Spotify friends, here is your playlist.)
Drake — “Emotionless”
Your favorite Twitter cynic might criticize Drake’s shallow bars about people being on social media too much, but they are probably also on social media too much. Maybe I’m just too beholden to this gorgeous Mariah Carey sample, but “Emotionless” is gold.
03 Greedo — "Conscience"
03 Greedo recently wrapped up his final few days of freedom by following up March’s Wolf of Grape Street with the 27-track God Level. Like Key!, Rico Nasty, and Freddie Gibbs before him, Greedo’s work with Kenny Beats turned out to be some of his very best, from “Basehead”’s controlled chaos to the tight melodic polish of “Conscience.”
Yung Bans — “So Long My Friend”
I’ve got this enduring feeling that Yung Bans doesn’t really give a fuck. But with “Bag,” “Easter Pink,” and the icy, indifferent bounce of the new, Bowie-nodding fifth volume of his self-titled project series, he’s won me over.
Even if I didn't necessarily support the man or his actions while he was alive, I understand XXXTentacion tributes from those who knew him personally. “So Long My Friend” is a touching, and above all else, maddeningly catchy homage.
dijon — “WILD”
“WILD” sounds boundless, a far cry from the fenced-in cover art, like no idea is too grand. The latest from LA singer-songwriter dijon, of the R&B duo Abhi//Dijon, is smooth, syrupy, and will have you deeply in your feels.
Gorillaz — “Lake Zurich”
In honor of Gorillaz’ new album The Now Now and in spite of Damon Albarn’s sample-hating ass, press play on the winding, hypnotic, Toro y Moi-esque psychedelia of “Lake Zurich,” the highlight of the LP.
Rome Fortune — “HOODRICH DISCO”
Speaking of Toro Y Moi, he and Rome Fortune are apparently linking up for a full mixtape that could drop as soon as tomorrow. I’m not sure what Rome has been up to recently but this is welcome news—let the vibrant funk of “HOODRICH DISCO” be proof. (Reminder: Samantha, on which Rome guested on two tracks, remains the most underrated album of 2015.)
Bad Bunny — “Estamos Bien"
I don’t really know what Bad Bunny is saying, but it sounds like a great time. Might as well jump on the Latin trap wave before its inevitable takeover.
IDK — “Trippie Redd’s Freestyle”
I couldn’t care less about the politics of XXL's Freshman Class, but if they inspire IDK to unleash this heat, I’ll take it.
JMSN — “Talk Is Cheap”
JMSN has a new album named Velvet coming in September, and as an artist who seems to reinvent himself with every project, “Talk Is Cheap” is an intoxicating preview of what’s to come. Also, Joey Fatts provides ad-libs.
Roc Marciano — “In Case You Forgot”
It is impossible for Roc Marciano and The Alchemist to make bad music.
Album of the Week:
Drake — Scorpion
Meme of the Week:
Honorable Mention: The current state of the NBA.