Is there anything worse than being sick? When I woke up last Sunday, I expected the mild headache and nausea that I've grown accustomed to after a night out. Thinking back, I would have killed for a hangover. Instead, I was stuck with the flu. The sun burned my eyes and forced me into a Bane-like existence in the darkness. My throat turned into sandpaper; every word I uttered sounded like DMX after 40 dehydrated days in the desert. My very zest for life was taken as I rotated through a constant cycle of chills and sweats throughout my body. And those are just the highlights.
...there was music, glorious music, to take my mind off my debilitating illness and bring me away from my sweatpants and Dayquil. Way too much music, though, which is why we in the DJBooth are always so selective when it comes to the music that we select for feature, why we have our charts, and why even in the wake of my near-death state, I'm happy to give you the best of the best, the "if you missed this you might as well have caught the flu" music. These are the four essential songs that you need to hear this week.
Let's get to it.
First up is maybe my most anticipated new artist. Every song Bryson Tiller has dropped over the last six months has been straight fire, and the latest two (the other one being Been That Way) are no different. Ease is easily the most played song of my week so far, the wave singlehandedly bringing me out of my illness. OVO picking up Tiller would rival my excitement for Pusha signing to G.O.O.D., which may be an extreme overstatement now that I type it out, but I'll stand by it. It would definitely make up for Makonnen, at the least. One request: Can we please get a track with Bryson, Drake and PND immediately? Anyway, this SykSense beat is too good, and while I have no idea who WunTayk Timmy is, I want him to know that his verse goes in and his name is awesome. Bonus points for those who listen until the very end and witness the brain melting breakdown that is the last 15 seconds.
I see you, Los. Listen, I've always had a special place in my heart (or iTunes, really) for the Baltimore spitter. I've been following him since 2009, when my ears were first blessed with the intro to his Welcome To Swaggsville mixtape. Never mind the now hilarious title, as soon as he said, "I'm so good I climb mountains in my downtime, I write my newfound rhymes on the down climb" I had to call my mom and tell her I love her. I'm embarrased to admit I've probably spent hours of my life watching his 10 minute freestyle for Diddy. And yet, I could never really get into his music as music and not just exercises in lyrical dominance. That changed earlier this week when I heard War. This is the finest beat I've heard Los rap on, serious congratulations to Anomaly and Da Internz for their work here. This beat and Los' second verse are so good, that Marsha Ambrosius' beautiful voice almost goes unnoticed. As a longtime fan, I'm finally as excited as I should be for a King Los project.
Good thing Fashawn dropped the video for this, as it gives me a chance to talk about one of my favorite tracks off of his excellent The Ecology album. Really, I'm just a sucker for heartfelt songs about family. Kanye's Family Business is one of my favorite songs from an artist that has at times strayed so far from that sound. Styles P's My Brotherstill gives me the chills. At the end of the day, family is what's really important. Fashawn has been through a lot in his career, just read our feature about how it could have gone much differently, but through this you understand why and who he's doing it for. His daughter is what really matters and that's exactly how it should be. Higheris an amazing song, perfectly uplifting thanks to Exile's production and the chorus. Side note: Exile is way too underrated. There's only so much time for music about senseless fun before you have to get back to shit with real meaning behind it. Just watch the video.
I'd be doing myself an injustice if I didn't slot Post Malone in the last spot. White Iverson is probably my favorite song of 2015, and judging by everything he's put out this year he can do no wrong in my book. If you haven't noticed by now from my previous weekly features, I'm a huge fan of this drugged out rapping/singing style that's blowing up, and Malone is hitting every one of the necessary criteria at the moment. Talk about dope shit? Check. Incredible production? Check. Ability to shift into actually respectable singing? I think Too Young proves this one to also be true for me. Even though I might have thought it was a song about Kylie Jenner at first, it makes sense that Post doesn't want to die too young. I don't want him to die too young either, as I need to see him live up to this buzz he's building for himself. Wait, did he just say, "and I got my nut off and she washed my nuts off"? I guess I'll have to let that one go...
And so we've come to the end once more. Put these in your playlists and tell your friends to hand you the goddamn aux cord, 'cause now you got that juice. Thanks for rocking with DJBooth for another week.
[By Brendan Varan. He would like to give a shout out to Nyquil. And sweatpants. Follow him on Twitter.]