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.
Westside Gunn x Conway — "RIP Bobby"
Westside Gunn and Conway are the unfiltered, grimy, lyrical illustrators that make you feel like you’re listening to two hitmen re-tell war stories. There are no drums on "RIP Bobby," just soft keys and soulful loops supplied by Alchemist and Daringer. This is pull out a bazooka and send the burning missile in the direction of your enemy's hideout music. Raw storytelling rap still has a pulse. (B)
“None of It Makes Sense”: An Interview With JELEEL!
Rapper JELEEL! has enough viral energy to power a city block. He breaks down the process of finding his voice for Audiomack.
Jorja Smith x Preditah — "On My Mind"
I’m a few weeks late on "On My Mind," but Jorja Smith and Preditah’s union is too good for tardiness to get in the way of such an infectious bop. The bubbly, bouncing production draws inspiration from UK’s garage sound, while Jorja’s voice is beautiful. She has the vocals and range that could exist in any era of music. (B)
Hi-Tone — "Voice"
Monstrous production! The tremendous horns and boisterous bass remind me of JAY-Z’s “U Don’t Know,” almost certain it’s sampled. Hi-Tone uses this behemoth of a beat to plant his flag as a voice in modern rap for Mexican-Americans. If he can keep the beats sounding like 300 Spartans marching to war and rapping with such a passionate purpose, he’ll be a voice many will root for. (B)
Danny Watts — "Pill"
In just the first few seconds, “Pill” makes listeners aware they’re going somewhere somber, as a melancholy mood washes over the body as the soft horn blows. Death is on the mind, but the heaviness is entrancing. “Pill” is a song that draws you in until the very last second. I'm impressed by Danny’s imagery, the rawness of his realism truly brings you into his world where innocence is dead and death continues taking life. (B)
Macklemore — "Good Old Days" ft. Kesha
Macklemore is at his best when his pen is moved by stories, memories, and honest self-reflection. “Good Old Days” has the Seattle emcee staring in the rearview, reaching an age where it’s so easy to be lost in the nostalgia of what life was. It’s enjoyable listening to him come to the conclusion that the growing wrinkles aren’t so bad. Kesha sounds good riding shotgun upon the pop-esque foundation, I just wish we could get Macklemore on something more in the realm of hip-hop, some soul samples underneath this soul-searching... (C+)
By Yoh, aka Mackleyohmore, aka @Yoh31