Report Card: Rapsody Brings the Funk, Post Malone Remains a Rockstar, Steve Lacy is Loud

And Lorde forms a star-studded, worthwhile musical alliance.

There is simply too much music and not enough hours.

Attempting to cover every notable and great album is difficult enough, but reviewing every notable and great song is simply impossible.

Instead of a futile attempt at covering everything, then, we’ve come up with the DJBooth Report Card: a simple, daily review of five recently-released records, using an A (incredible) to F (make it stop) letter grade system.

Along with a grade, each song will be accompanied by a brief sentence or two. Report Card isn't meant to be a deep dive nor profound analysis, but a daily appetizer for music scavengers seeking great recommendations and the newest, most notable songs to either bump or avoid.

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Rapsody— "Pay Up" 

Rapsody’s “Pay Up” is an explosion of vibrant funk that will make your heart tingle. The bassline is the kind of groove that shouldn't be heard while sitting down; the body must be in motion. Love the storytelling, love the production, and vocalist Heather Victoria is so soulful you might mistake her for Erykah Badu. In a new interview, Rapsody toldDJBooth her upcoming album, Laila’s Wisdom, is a colorful project inspired by Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly. On “Pay Up,” she encapsulates both proclamations. (B)



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Lorde — "Homemade Dynamite" ft. Khalid, Post Malone & SZA

Harmony was not expected. With four distinctly different vocalists, the lineup on "Homemade Dynamite" could’ve been a big name disaster for the dumpster but Lorde and friends deliver a worthwhile musical alliance. The highlight—or highlights—of the song comes at the end of each verse, as Khalid, Post, and SZA all perform the hook duet style with Lorde, making the song feel more like a collaboration and not just a famous gathering of notable newcomers. (B)

The Game — "Heaven 4 A Gangster" 

His antics and constant online dustups tend to overshadow how well The Game can rap when he's motivated. Inspired by the anniversary of Tupac’s death, the Compton OG turns in two strong verses, a spoken word poem, and a horrendous hook. Overall, the song is good, bordering on very good. When Game delivers bars like, “I been on little yachts, shot crips with little uzis, got bricks from the Migos, and my bitches bad and boujee,” it’s a nice reminder that he's still got some gas left in the tank. (B)

Post Malone— "Rockstar" ft. 21 Savage

“Rockstar” is another minimalistic trap record about living the cliché lifestyle of a cliché rockstar despite not having a rock band. It’s a bit boring, but it's also hard to deny its strength as an infectious single. Bringing along 21 Savage and his hilarious one-liners should help Post continue his Billboard dominance and score yet another hit, Barry Bonds. (C)

Steve Lacy— "4real" 

“4real” is LOUD. Obnoxiously loud. Just like with Tyler, The Creator’s Cherry Bomb, within this maelstrom of dynamite drums and frantic chords there’s something fascinatingly weird about the madness. “4real” is like if Prince and David Bowie decided to have a musical, punk nervous breakdown and release the results on SoundCloud. I want to hate it, but there’s something compelling about the potential curveball Steve Lacy might throw next. If he can harness this madness, he might have something more fascinating than overbearing. (D)

By Yoh, aka Heaven 4 A Yoh, aka @Yoh31