Sweet baby Jesus! It's practically mid-December, which means only two more Might Have Missed's left in 2014, which means that's fucking crazy! Hard to believe we've been doing these features since June; that's seven months of dope music! If you are ever in need of something new, I highly suggest going back through the Might Have Missed archive. There is plenty of dopeness in there, even if I do say so myself. However, let's focus on the here and now...well, the here and now from last week.
But first, for those who are new to my weekly column, here's a quick breakdown. Every week, we feature a lot of new music. Like, so much music that even the hardest of hardcore music lovers may have trouble listening to everything. As a result there inevitably will be some joints that passed you by, and that is a damn shame. A great song unlistened to is like a non-alcoholic beer - what's the point?
So here's some of the particularly fresh DJBooth-featured material from the past seven days or so that you might have missed, with an emphasis on the indie and underground (because it's a lot harder to miss the superstars). As the kids definitely don't say, leggoo...
Maiday - "Wish You'd Met Me First"
Yo, this shit knocks louder than the big bad wolf delivering pizza! I have a soft spot for pop-driven female vocalists and it's gotten to the point where, whenever we feature one, Z gives me a heads up e-mail or IM, because he knows I'll be obsessed. Case and point, Maiday. When that beat kicks in, I was hooked; incredible, boisterous production from Jimmy Hogarth & ARRWS! The thing I love most about this cut, though, is Maiday's power. She has a unique voice that has a floating, shimmery vibe to it, but she is still so damn potent. With many of my female pop star crushes, I find myself ignoring an overwhelmingly poppy foundation, but here there is some serious bite to go with the freshness of this tune. Including J. Cole, Ghost, Wu, and all the other great songs released last week, "Wish You'd Metr Me First" got the most spins and it's not even close.
Allan Rayman - "Interlude (Barry Moves)"
At first I was hesitant to pick this record, not for a lack of freshness, but because I spotlighted "Beverly" a few weeks ago. Then I thought, "who the fuck cares?!" Shit, I mean "Interlude (Barry Moves)" is better than "Beverly" and if I didn't include it, the sacred ritual of Might Have Missed would be forever tarnished. Dope music is dope music no matter who it comes from or how often it is delivered; Allan could release five songs next week and they'd all likely end up here. Anyway, this dude is really onto something here. "Interlude (Barry Moves)" has a completely different vibe than his last work - "Beverly" is the song you play while dancing at the club with that girl, while this is the song you play when you bring her back to your apartment that you forgot to clean -- but it's just as effective and memorable. It's always Rayman's voice that does it for me. He has such a steady, raspy voice, but it fits so many different production styles so well; here it's perfect for the sultry, love 'em and leave 'em theme. With an album on the way, and two stellar efforts already in the can, Allan is primed to have a great 2015. Bet on this cat.
Raz Simone - "Street Lights"
The thing I love most about Raz Simone is that each and every song he releases is so well done and every detail is given painstaking attention. When I want to turn up, I can focus on the production, when I want a cool flow, I can listen for his voice, and when I want to hear something significant, I can pay close attention to the lyrics; his approach is so complete. For example, his latest effort, "Street Lights." The first time I listened, Rex Kudo, Edon and Raz' production took center stage. I love the foggy atmoshphere cut by those powerful drums. Then I focused on his flow; it's amazing he can be so raspy and emotional yet so stalwart. For a while, it was all about the flow, but the more spins I went through, the more my attention shifted to what he was saying, not just how he was saying it; Raz really makes you think. Now, when I listen, I hear it all as one complete, thoughtful, and striking effort; his music has power and grit, but it also has emotion. Long after the song stops, you'll be hearing this one. It sticks with you.
YGTUT - "Hangin'"
You only get one shot at a first impression, but sometimes a first impression isn't enough. Case in point, Booth newcomer, YGTUT. Though I'm really diggin' his new single, "Hangin," I get the sense he's the kind of emcee with about 5,000 different approaches. He has a gravelly, leaning flow which screams trap, but here he sounds so at home atop a cool, jazzy beat from D. Sanders. I love the way his flow and the beat juxtapose each other; it's like two sides of the same coin. The best Booth debuts make you want to hear more and this definitely has me interested in peepin' more from this Tennessee newcomer.
Stik Figa X Leonard Dstroy - "Tell 'Em That"
When I hear the name Mello Music Group (AKA the realMMG) attached to a record, I brace for a dope, soul/boom-bap beat and some expert bars. Which is why Stik Figa's "Tell Em That" caught me off guard. The MMG affiliate diverted from the label's "usual" sound that I have come to know and love, but the result is still just as enjoyable. Instead of a smooth soul production, Stik recruits Leonard Dstroy to cook up a wavy, punching, electronically-twinged beat. It has a nice bounce to it, but still punches and it's perfect for Stik's flawless delivery. Stik really goes in with a brash, knifing flow. He is cut-throat, but still charismatic and energetic; great vibe! If you are a fan of hearing emcees rip unconventional beats this is your cut. Stik takes a traditional style that longtime MMG fans love and he gives it a fresh, unconventional upgrade.
[Lucas Garrison is a writer for DJBooth.net. His favorite album is “College Dropout,” but you can also tweet him your favorite Migos songs at @LucasDJBooth.]