Despite 070 Shake’s Modus Vivendi being my very favourite album of 2020, the fact that she released the follow up, You Can’t Kill Me, last week completely passed me by. You would have thought that sitting in front of a computer and hunting for new music for hours every single day would prevent this kind of glaring oversight, but apparently not. Anyway, it’s here, and it’s fucking great. I could have picked any one of at least half a dozen tracks to highlight, but let’s go for Purple Walls as it has that perfect balance of crushingly hard production and plaintive vocals. Peerlessly brilliant, as ever.
I find myself in the minority whenever the subject of Kendrick Lamar is raised. Either people have never heard of him (legitimate) or they are somewhere on the scale between quietly impressed to completely and utterly obsessed. Like, no-one says “Yeah, he’s decent. Some bangers, but I’m not actually that into him”. That’s pretty much exactly how I feel. And with every album that comes out, that feeling increases, like I’m just missing something. Obviously it’s good, but I don’t quite understand the complete reverence in which he’s held by a large percentage of the musical community, professional or otherwise.
Anyway having said all that this song is amazing. Also he’s headlining Glastonbury, and the only headliner I’m even vaguely interested in, so I better get on board, I guess.
I really liked Syd’s 2017 album Fin, so it’s great that’s she’s back releasing new music this year after a fairly extended hiatus. Broken Hearts Club came out last week, and seems a lot less angsty than Fin, with delicate melodies and sparky drums replacing the often moody, introspective atmosphere of her previous work. Tie The Knot is a real standout, reminiscent of the jaunty bounce of someone like Tierra Whack’s, in her lighter moments.
This is an absolute banger. The drums hit outrageously hard and… that bass! Insane enough on headphones, so fuck knows how much it would wallop you on a decent system, my chest hurts just thinking about it. Taken from Conway The Machine’s new LP God Don’t Make Mistakes which came out last week, which is pepping me right up on this grey Monday.
It’s been a while since I featured a big ‘ol trappy banger on the blog, so here you go! Yung Kayo’s debut album DFTK landed last week packed full of punchy drums, crispy hats and bravado, so if that sounds like something you’re in the mood for, who you gon call won’t disappoint.
At time of writing Californian artist Theo Troy has zero followers on Soundcloud – the only place his music currently seems to be available – which is puzzling, as he’s making some really great records, not least of Cyberhoes which is lo-fi (but not annoyingly, druggily so) hip-hop/trap that boasts not only some really intriguing textures and woozy beats, but a memorable vocal performance which stays just the right side of indecipherable drone, the combined effect of which makes this stand head and shoulders above the constant tide of similarly DIY rap fare.
Arriving sandwiched between the two of the most hyped rap releases of the year, Little Simz’s new LP Sometimes I Might Be Introvert completely and utterly blows both Kanye and Drake out of the water. Packed full of joy, creativity, energy and a genuine and unashamed passion for what she’s doing, it’s everything they failed to deliver, and shows that it’s completely possible to be reflective, but not morose, bombastic but not overblown, and to deliver an album which pushes above the hour mark without collapsing under the weight of its own self-importance. Speed isn’t one of the singles but it easily could be, like pretty much every other track on here. An absolute pleasure from start to finish and a towering achievement.
Produced by Platnume and DJ Jaden, the intention behind Romans was to make a fun but still impactful rap cut without the use of profanity: an admirable aim, and one that pays off. The Queens duo have cited artists like Kid N Play and Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, the influence of whom aren’t immediately obvious as Romans is significantly moodier than the vast majority of these 90s icons’ output. However, there is A LOT of autotune rap out there and this definitely cuts through the crowd, so they must be doing something right.
Moody rap for you today, elevated way above the crowd thanks to highly distinctive vocal performances from both Mezraa and Kris the $pirit, alongside subdued but beautiful production and drum programming that doesn’t just follow the usual trappy patterns. Sad, addictive and as atmospheric as it gets.
BLACK METAL 2 arrived pretty much out of nowhere today, and I’m already completely obsessed. The follow up to 2014’s BLACK METAL, it immediately transports you back into that heady, dreamlike world, pulling you into its thick, fuggy atmosphere and sounding like nothing else out there. People will write far longer, vastly more eloquent reviews of this over the coming days and weeks: all I can say for now is that it’s in a class of its own and deserves all the plaudits its inevitably going to get.