This week is all about breaking rules. You want 10 songs? You're getting 11. You want only new songs? One of them might be two months old. You want a long, drawn-out intro where I bullshit about current events until I've reached my word count? Write your own intro.
Blood Orange — “Chewing Gum” ft. A$AP Rocky & Project Pat
Negro Swan, Dev Hynes’ fourth album under his Blood Orange moniker, is a sonic collage that flutters across the spectrum of blackness, dealing with anxieties way too relevant right now for people of color and queerness in the age of MAGA. “Chewing Gum,” his pairing with A$AP Rocky and Project Pat, is an unlikely gem; a gentle pop ballad over drum programming that cedes Hynes’ airy vocals to A$AP Rocky’s raps about “the type of chick… to ride on the dick” and chopped-and-screwed Project Pat.
Doe Boy — “10 Piece” ft. Future & Young Thug
Doe Boy has had a rough ride. After signing to Future’s Freebandz imprint in 2012, the Cleveland native was arrested in 2013 and ended up serving over two years in prison on charges of aggravated armed robbery before his eventual release in 2016.
Fast forward two more years and Doe Boy has made his biggest, most assured statement with 88 Birdz, a hard-hitting collab mixtape with TM88 that is executive produced by Young Thug and also has one of the best covers of the year. “10 Piece” pairs him with both of his SUPER SLIMEY mentors for one of all three artists’ best efforts of the year.
Mick Jenkins — “What Am I To Do”
“What’s a n**** to do, when you call the police but the trigger’s on you?” Mick follows up the underwhelming “Bruce Banner” with an absolute gem, his winding flow floating over gorgeous production from KAYTRANADA.
Bas — “Tribe” ft. J. Cole
Bas’ claim on the first track of his new album that he’s "giving New York a whole new sound" might sound far-fetched, but finding a whole new sound for himself means the sleepy seriousness of Too High to Riot has been upgraded to the breezier, more enjoyable soundscapes of Milky Way. Like Yoh wrote, it's an album crafted for return visits, "Tribe" especially.
Jimothy Lacoste — “I Can Speak Spanish”
When I recently received an email about a rising 18-year-old London artist named Jimothy Lacoste, I thought, His name is Jimothy? I already hate him. I still pressed play. Twenty seconds into the music video for “I Can Speak Spanish,” I won’t lie—part of me wanted to punch him in the face. But by the time the chorus dropped the second time, I was hooked. I am now waiting patiently for the Jimothy Lacoste takeover, and you should be too.
KAMI & Smoko Ono — “Reboot” ft. Chance The Rapper & Joey Purp
KAMI taps the other half of Leather Corduroys, a carefree-sounding Chance, and Smoko Ono for a SaveMoney party.
Leon Thomas — “Sunken Place”
Leon Thomas is being mentored by Babyface, is a GRAMMY-winning songwriter, plays Eddie on Insecure, and that’s only the short list of his accomplishments. You need to listen to his new EP, Genesis, now.
Saweetie & London On Da Track “Up Now” ft. G-Eazy & Rich The Kid
Even if this might have been better as a Saweetie solo effort, it screams hit potential from the Bay Area rising star.
E-40 — “Ain’t Talkin Bout Nothing” ft. G Perico & Vince Staples
At the ripe age of 50, E-40 continues to churn out albums with the graceful ease of polishing his glasses. On his latest, The Gift of Gab, which is the first of a three-part series (of course it is), the Bay Area paragon links up with two of the strongest young voices from his state’s southern half.
Miguel — “Python”
All warped funk and sun-bleached seduction, “Python” would have been a welcome psychedelic addition to War & Leisure.
Brasstracks — “Improv #2 (Intro)” ft. Robert Glasper, Thirdstory & S’natra
The intro to Brasstracks’ new For Those Who Know, Pt. II EP packs the warm feeling of the city sunrise on project’s cover into just over two minutes.
Album of the Week:
Blood Orange — Negro Swan