In yet another stacked week of releases, there is simply not enough time to listen to everything.
Let us do the work for you. Let us filter through thousands, perhaps even millions of songs every week, to curate what is essentially a cultural timestamp at this exact moment in history. Let 10 Songs You Need This Week be your guide to the wonders of music. You like wonder, don't you? Yes, you do. I bet you love it. Nerd.
Smino — “SPINZ”
“It was gruesome, what we grew from / But we grew some in the end / Ain't enough to be where you from.” “Sour, you can smell that from across the way / Smokin' Hadouken, yeah, on that Kamehameha.” “Lost in the sauce like the chip broke.” Smino is a master wordsmith able to paint vivid verbal portraits and mold words and lingo to his St. Louis liking like putty in his hand, Monte Booker’s "SPINZ" production somehow actually makes you feel drunk, and NOIR must be heard in all of its 59-minute glory.
Earl Sweatshirt — “Nowhere2go”
Earl’s first new single in three years—produced by NYC’s [sLUms]. collective cohorts Booliemane and Adé Hakim—sounds like a whirlwind of warmth caught midway between our analog world and some digital realm. MIKE, Bronx rapper and the most prominent [sLUms]. figure, is present in both direct mention and spirit, as Earl’s bars toe the line between matter-of-fact streams of consciousness enlightened wisdom.
Lil Peep — “Sex With My Ex”
I had a really hard time deciding between “Sex with My Ex” and “Life Is Beautiful,” as they are two Come Over When You're Sober, Pt. 2 highlights are great and different examples of what made Peep such a singular talent. So listen to both of them. “Sex With My Ex” turns a hook that starts with “Fuck me like we’re lying on our deathbed” into a pop punk anthem, while “Life is Beautiful” is haunting and absolutely gorgeous.
Saba — “Stay Right Here” ft. Xavier Omär & Mick Jenkins
Saba follows up his masterful album from April with a new loose single featuring soulful singer Xavier Omär and fellow Chicago lyricist Mick Jenkins. "Stay Right Here" actually sounds like a fitting transition out of the darkened gray hues of CARE FOR ME, like opening the window to let some sunshine flood in after a long, lonely night spent pondering life and death. It sounds like a triumph.
Key!, Jay Critch & Kenny Beats — “Cable Guy”
If you gave me 20 choices to construct the perfect song in November 2018, one of my 20 requests would be Key! and Kenny Beats making a song with Jay Critch about Jim Carrey in the 1996 masterpiece The Cable Guy.
JPEGMAFIA & Kenny Beats — “Puff Daddy”
Yup, more Kenny. In fact, it's starting to feel like, in any given week, multiple Kenny Beats credits deserve mention. And while it’s obvious he is operating at a prolific level right now, it’s even more impressive how he manages to tailor his sound to every artist with whom he works while remaining undeniably his own force. Case in point: the glitchy, desensitized womp crafted perfectly for JPEGMAFIA’s combative cynicism.
Lil Gotit — “Blue Slimes” ft. Skooly, Gunna, Dolly & Lil Keed
Young Thug’s influence is so apparent in every artist in this video it’s scary. The low-budget, in-studio music video really drives home the communal feel, too.
CupcakKe — “Cereal and Water”
“That's funny when abusers ain't locked away / They in the crib giving more beats than Dr. Dre.” Please, listen to everything CupcakKe is saying, as she's much more than the sexual novelty to which she's often attributed, especially on “Cereal and Water,” the energized, politically charged standout to her second album of 2018, Eden.
PeeWee Longway — “On Dat Freestyle”
The first single to Peewee Longway's State of the Art is somehow better than the mask he sports in the music video, and I think I speak for everyone when I say the mask sets a pretty high bar.
Juice WRLD — “Armed and Dangerous”
A few weeks ago, when the “Armed and Dangerous” music video went public for a brief few hours, I said, “This might be Juice WRLD’s best song.” A few weeks later, the song is out officially and I can verify it's number two, right after "All Girls Are the Same."
Album of the Week:
Smino — NOIR
Meme of the Week:
Not really a meme but an important historical artifact nonetheless.
Click here to find more songs you need from last week from Curren$y and Freddie Gibbs, Vince Staples, Jay Critch, and more.
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