You can never be too sure of how your plans will play out. A few days ago, I might have taken the Cavs as my NBA Finals pick. Now, with Lil B calling out LeBron for his arrogance, I feel more inclined to take the Warriors in a sweep. Just moments ago, I thought I was diving in to a beautiful feast of a breakfast, before realizing I had walked four blocks only to come home and unwrap what appeared to have once been food, but now more closely resembles a burnt fossil. And just weeks ago, I surely thought that it wouldn't be too difficult to keep with a simple selection of four songs per seven days. That was before last week's "Essentials," when Jazz Cartier's album was so good it had forced me to audible and include it in my piece in lieu of a song. Let's try to get things back to normal this week, sound good?
What is normal, first time readers might ask? Well, more music came out this week than I'm sure you have time to listen. Fresh musical selections must be bestowed upon those without time to filter through the noise, which is why you come to DJBooth and visit our charts, and why I'm here to give you the best of the best. These are the four most essential songs that you need to hear this week.
Do you have a subwoofer? If so, please turn it all the way up. If not, what are you doing with your life? Go buy one right now, then turn it all they way up, then press play on the fifth entry in UniFi Records' VII Days series. Mammyth is the producer here, who I'm admittedly not too familiar with, but goooooodlawwwwwwd I love this beat. When the bass hits doubly hard around 0:34 and then again when it breaks down at 3:11 it's hard not to just fall to my knees and beg for mercy. The beat slows down, speeds up, chops and screws and adjusts volume enough through the nearly five minutes to keep things consistenly interesting in addition to all three emcees pitching in quality verses. Let's get to the point though, can more songs make use of seagull samples? Nothing like a flock of birds to get you in the mood for a banger.
There have been many, many attempts to bridge rock and rap, sadly most of them fall very, very short. For every "Walk This Way," you have 10 collaborations like Metallica and Ja Rule, but this song already ranks in my top five of rock-rap collaborations. Spoon makes alternative, psychedelic rock and "Inside Out" was already begging for someone to rhyme over it. The fact that DJ Quik took that and added some characteristic funk on top just sweetens the deal tenfold. The sound will transport you to another world, while verses from generations of California emcees remind you this is now a hip-hop song. Boogie kills his verse, as we're quickly becoming aware is standard from him, Kurupt reminds you why he's a legend and IAMSU! adds a touch of melody to his half-sung verse. Even with all the added rhymes, I keep coming back to this hook though. Oh man, this sounds good.
Is this a dream come true? Chance and Migos (albeit 1/3 of the Migos) on the same track? King Louie is here as well? Does he officially go by King L still, or is he back to Louie? I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS. Thankfully, I have answers to all but the last question, as this collaboration blessed my ears with the release of Surf. Truthfully, I haven't been able to listen to the entirety of the album yet and jumped straight into "Familiar" when I saw the line-up, but this right here is just too damn sweet. Though I'm much more partial to the soothing sounds of a sax, Donnie Trumpet is actually making me rethink my preferred brass instrument with his every note. Chance and Nico together can do no wrong, and the fact that Quavo and King L join the party, breaking down the barriers of rap elitism and marrying the varied but beloved sounds of trap, drill and acid rap, means I just can't help but smile. If you can be in a shitty mood while listening to this song, I hope we never meet.
Ok, so I lied. We did not return to a regular dose of four songs for the week. Maybe the power got to my head last week, or maybe I just wasn't too blown away with the week's releases, but I'm going to have to cut it short this time rather than force myself to run with a song I didn't think was amazing enough to warrant a feature. Quality over quantity everytime. So enjoy these THREE essential songs, and thanks for rocking with DJBooth for another week. All praise due to the Based God.
[By Brendan Varan. He can't help but wonder why he's so drawn to the phenomenon of The Based God Curse, but hopes LeBron can repent in time. Follow him on Twitter.]