Back at it again with the weekly roundups! I hope your bellies are full from all that stuffing and family drama (I know mine is). I’ve got some all-around GREAT music for you this week and I’m proud to say I’m only disappointed with one song on the roundup. Among the highlights, we’ve got some new music from Earl Sweatshirt, Leikeli47, Narcy and more!
P.S The blog will be slowing down on the frequency & length of posts in the near future. I’m applying to grad-school and the deadlines are very fricking soon. So, bare with me while I panic and apply. Toodle-oo!
Oooooh, Earl is up to something. Indeed, after three-years of silence, Earl announced Some Rap Songs set to drop on November 30th! This track is a great single to tease the album, and it points to Earl’s ever-changing sound. This particular track is produced by detroit-based producer Black Noi$e, and features New York rapper Navy Blue. It dropped on November 20th via his own label Tan Cressida and Columbia Records. He also released another excellent track with The Alchemist titled E-Coli. which will be featured on his Bread EP, set to be released on the same day as Some Rap Songs.
Leikeli47’s sound is a whole new approach to dancehall and hip hop, I’d almost describe it as experimental. Yes, we have the formulaic dancehall drum pattern, but the synth/noise elements pushes this track out of that box. Tic Boom is the 3rd song off Leikeli47’s lengthy album Acrylic, dropped via RCA records. Leikeli47 is a Brooklyn born-and-raised vocalist and describes her sound as ‘noise-rap’. She’s also notorious for never having revealed her face, birth date or name—piquing both mine and the internet’s interest. I chose this track because it was a good example of ‘noise-rap’, although it’s overwhelming for me personally. Other tracks I like from this project are: CIAA, Girl Blunt, and Roll Call (which you can listen to through the link to your left).
This is the second song on Jaden’s third album The Sunset Tapes: A Cool Tape Story dropped on Roc Nation Records earlier this month. So far, the album hasn’t received the best feedback, mainly you’ll find that many of the tracks are obviously copying other hits. This, and possibly “SOHO”, are the only tracks I find worthy of putting on the roundup. “A Calabasas Freestyle” is produced by Ayo the Producer and Keyz & Keanu. Jaden Smith is working with some of the hottest producers and has all the promotional power behind him, yet his music sounds like it’s following a formula for streaming sales.
I’ve been following Narcy (previously known as The Narcycist) since he released “Hamdulillah” with Shadia Mansour. This Canadian-Iraqi rapper is at the center of today’s Arab hip-hop scene, and he recently released his SpaceTime album via his own label, WTAM. This track features Ana Tijoux, a french-chilean singer who’s worked with both Shadia and Narcy in the past. This track may be the most ‘old-school’ song on the album; Narcy raps about his unconditional love for his lady. On my first listen of this track, I thought that Narcy sounded like Action Bronson—especially with the opening and overall production choices of the song.
This year alone, New York-based rapper Dave East has dropped two mixtapes and a joint album with The LOX’s Styles P titled Beloved and continues to release more music. Dropped via FTD Records and produced by Pat Beats, this track takes us back to an older era of hip-hop—one with sharper lyricism, R&B samples and lofi drums. On this cut, East raps about his roots, achievements, and ambitions. It also tackles the weighty topic of his depression stemming from East’s decision to stop using Xanax, a subject he touches on in this track.
Dwayne Parris, known simply as Parris, has just released a three-track EP titled Puro Rosaceaes via Idle Hands. The genre that most closely describes his sound is sub-bass, and with that, the word ‘heavy’ comes to mind. Although, the soft drums and plush pads on “Soft Touch” add a whole new dimension to this track. I’d listen to this while writing a roundup, or reading—I truly appreciate a simple house beat to keep me focused. Plus, the production on this is squeaky-clean, and pleasant to the ear.
Ahmadou Madassane is the protagonist in the documentary Zerzura —it follows Ahmoudou, a young man from Niger, who leaves home in search of an enchanted oasis. This piece is the documentary’s soundtrack, presumably performed by the same Ahmoudou, though there is very little information about him online. I did, however, find a video of him playing a similar piece, which leads me to assume we’re talking about the same man.
This piece is spiritual for me, I’m drawn to the modal tones of his melodies, the blues, and the overall mysticism of the piece. It reminds me of Ali Farka Touré’s album with Ry Cooder: Talking Timbuktu— I’d be listening to this too if I was searching for a mythical oasis in Libya.