It’s all hip hop this week. Rapping to accompany your Christmas wrapping. There were so many gems to choose from this week, so no worst tracks either.
'Boogie' - Brockhampton
The California collective just released their third album this year, Saturation III, and this is their latest single from it. The track is set to a groovy beat made up of loopy sax and a vocal sample that I’m pretty sure was on my old Yamaha keyboard, whilst various members of the group trade wacky verses. It’s a track worthy of its title.
‘Steph Curry’ – Higher Brothers
After listening to this single, I feel like I need more Chinese trap rap in my life. Over some smooth ass vibraphone chords and 808s, the group lay some energetic bars in Mandarin. The video offers some handy subtitles – not that the band are trying to be lyrical (it’s a song about a basketball player after all). Their magic is all in the flow and energy.
‘EA Sports’ – Frshrz ft. Mas Law
I wouldn’t have thought a song titled EA sports could be this good. The snarled ‘I’m in the game’ hook is very catchy and there’s some witty rhyming going on (e.g. rhyming ‘oxymoron’ with ‘poxy moron’). It’s also got some unique production. It’s an all-round banger.
‘Stitched Up’ – DGA
DGA stands for Dopest Gringo Alive. Sporting some lo-fi gritty production that’s somewhere between early EL-p and Death Grips, this Latino-American experimental rapper lays some manic bars accompanied by a creepy music video with an almost black metal aesthetic. He describes his eccentric sound as ‘noise rap queer trap old school grungey’. I can’t think of a better genre label. It’s best to just listen for yourself.
N.E.R.D – Don’t Don’t Do It ft. Kendrick Lamar
Pharrell delivers some politically-charged bars over a neon soulful beat, whilst calling upon Kendrick to drop a reliably ace verse. The whole ‘don’t don’t do it’ hook struck me as a bit clunky at first, but it does a great job of representing the complex lose-lose situation that many black people face when wrongly pulled over by the police. Comply or don’t comply with cops – either way you’re screwed.
‘I’m Not Racist’ – Joyner Lucas
For the first few seconds I genuinely thought Joyner Lucas was the white dude with the ‘Make America Great Again’ cap, and I was pretty shocked. This is an excellent dissection of what it means to be racist that examines both sides of the coin. I know a lot of rappers confront this topic, but few have really delved this deep whilst still crafting an entertaining song.