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.
Chance The Rapper — "Untitled" ft. Daniel Caesar
When Chance The Rapper allows his background in poetry to influence his rapping with a spoken word flow the results are always spectacular. The untitled song he premiered alongside Daniel Caesar on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert is an excellent example of his uncanny way of piecing together stories with poetic imagery, introspective musing, and candid snapshots. This is the Chance I’ve championed as one of the best. Daniel and choir add soul, a soft beauty that lifts your spirit as if wings had suddenly latched upon your back. Flawless excellence. (A)
TJ Mizell — "Seasons" ft. A$AP Ferg, JNTHN STEIN & Sebastian Mikael
Don’t you miss the days of R&B/rap collabs like Lil Wayne and Lloyd, Chris Brown and Juelz Santana, Fabolous and Ne-Yo? The chemistry was always balanced, an enjoyable mix of two worlds. Producer TJ Mizell reminds us how good rap and R&B can sound when they come together without overlapping each other. Sebastian Mikael sings, A$AP Ferg raps, and it all works together in smooth harmony. (B)
Joe Fox — "What's The Word" ft. Nas
From meeting A$AP Rocky outside a London studio while being homeless to having Nas breath new life into his single, Joe Fox's story is an amazing one. "What's The Word" is an interesting tune, his voice reminds me of Bob Dylan (even though I don’t know many Dylan songs.) “What’s The Word” feels vintage, full of charming horns, rattling drums, and soft, strumming guitars—far from a rap foundation but Nas is such a poet his words can find a home over anything. I need him to finish the album already. (B)
Caleborate — "Bankrobber"
There’s an art to having the very first bar of a song be so grabbing that you're immediately swept into the world. Caleborate's first line is, “My daddy was a bankrobber” and he had me, wherever the song would go I had to follow just to know more. He doesn’t let down, either. The entire record is full of self-reflection and self-revealing, a bouncy passage out of an autobiography. The flow is fire, the beat is lively, and Caleb’s story is one you won’t stop until “Bankrobber” ends. (B)
Rich The Kid — "New Freezer" ft. Kendrick Lamar
I'm unsure how Rich The Kid and Kendrick Lamar were brought together, their union is like Taco Bell and Cheesecake Factory collaborating on a cheesecake taco. There are just too many trap rappers who have all the swagger, sauce, and style that Rich lacks. Kendrick, of course, has more than enough flavor to make the collab interesting once his verse begins. It’s a thrill to hear how many ways he can bend his flows and suddenly switch. Still, not even Dot’s acrobatics can make this one more than a flavor of the moment. (C)
By Yoh, aka Yoh The Kid, aka @Yoh31