Last weekend, Kendrick Lamar finally dropped his highly anticipated fourth studio album, which gave us a lot to feast on. However, there’s been plenty of other dope tracks to ease us out of our post-Easter chocolate coma. Lana Del Rey and The Weeknd are here to ethereally seduce you, Perfume Genius hits another oddball out of the park, and Big Boi, Killer Mike and Jeezy come together and go hard on “Kill Jill.”
Check out these all-stars and more in our latest edition of Best Tracks of the Week below.
Aside from a well-meaning (but ill-advised) collaborative EP with Phantogram, it has been a long time since we’ve heard anything from Big Boi. That all changed this week with the announcement of his new album Boomiverse, along with two new tracks. “Mic Jack” featuring Adam Levine is cute, but we are here for “Kill Jill,” a track with his fellow Atlantans Killer Mike and Jeezy that is filthily hard. Built around a sample of Japanese pop so staccato it’s jagged-edged, the track is a wonderful reminder of Big Boi’s unparalleled prowess in the rap game. He has literally been doing this longer than some rappers have been alive.
It’d be difficult to recruit two more appropriate artists to ride with you on over a 808-heavy trap instrumental than A$AP Rocky and Juicy J, and that’s exactly who D.R.A.M has drawn for to join him on his new heater “Gilligan.” With a bassline as hard-hitting as his hit track “Broccoli,” this one catches Big Baby in a much more crunked-up mood – and we ain’t complaining.
“What this translates to in a musical context is a showcase for Lamar’s lyrical dexterity that is nothing short of jaw-dropping. The song’s second half, built around an ominous, industrial beat reminiscent of another rapper’s game-changing opus, makes you question whether or not Lamar even needs to breathe; there are a full 37 seconds of sustained rapping in which there is no discernible point where he stops for air.”
Read our full track review.
Hollywood songstress Lana Del Rey finally presented us with another track from her highly anticipated forthcoming album Lust For Life. Featuring none other than the Starboy himself, The Weeknd, the title track has all the delicious melodrama you’d expect from a collab between two of the moodiest pop stars on the planet.
Berlin’s Laurel Halo is back with “Jelly,” one of the best lyric videos we’ve seen. It’s the first single from her upcoming Dust full-length, due out June 23 on Hyperdub, featuring echoing, harmonizing vocals by Klein, Lafawndah and Halo herself, with layers of lush synths, cascading piano and percussion.
The Detroit don and FXHE label-head unveiled his first release of 2017 this week and it catches Omar S in classic, body-pumping form. Getting Nite Jewel on the vocals, “Confess To U” is also a masterstroke, providing a silky smooth, summertime touch to the track that is accompanied by a video in a similar vein.
It was clear that Perfume Genius was rapidly expanding his sonic palette when he dropped “Slip Away,” the lead single from his highly-anticipated new album No Shape, last month. And in case there was any doubt that the rest of the full-length wouldn’t deliver on that promise, “Go Ahead” is here to dispel that notion immediately. The beat is a lurking, living thing, hammering beneath the vocals like a giant waking from slumber. And the vocals in question are (as usual) exquisite.
Dropping your tape the same day as Kendrick might seem ludicrous. Though Carti’s self-titled tape lacks some of Kendrick’s depth, it’s obviously a lot of fun – and as our recent op-ed attests, shouldn’t be written off alongside “woke rapper” albums. The ATL rapper’s debut is just downright enjoyable, turn-up music, rich with jovial trap beats. “Magnolia,” the choice cut from the tape, is as bass-heavy as it is utterly infectious. Certified trunk-rattler.
Ahead of the third installment of his Beautiful Pimp EP series, Rome Fortune dropped the project’s lead single “WOOPS” a bit early. The world music-influenced track is Rome’s honest dissection of the music industry and his place in it as a staunchly independent artist. “‘WOOPS’ is me saying I already know what your song sounds like before I click play. I already know the subject matter and I’m tired of it. Why aren’t you? How many songs about fucking somebody’s bitch or how much money you have can you make over a knockoff Metro Boomin’ beat,” Fortune told us of the single.
“Hubris” opens with droning chords and filtered percussion, with Sevdaliza’s vocals soon soaring over piano, becoming distorted at times as she sings about a failed relationship. Yet another hauntingly sublime banger from the Iranian-Dutch singer-songwriter, who announced her debut album ISON with this track.
Catch up on last week’s best tracks right here.