Welcome back to another week in music. Forgive the slight delay in our regularly scheduled Friday post, but this past week had some late releases that were crucial for the playlist. So here we are on Monday morning ready to get into this new playlist. Speaking of which, last week music writer Liz Pelly explored the business model of “curated” playlists that should be required reading.
Track 1. SZA – “Drew Barrymore”
SZA is super calculated, so let’s break down the Drew Barrymore music video to appreciate it a bit more. The video dropped on June 20, the day before the solstice/first day of summer, coinciding with the main chorus that asks the listener, “warm enough for ya?” However, the music video, directed by the Dave Meyers, was filmed during winter in New York City. During her snowy stroll, SZA starts defying gravity–a subtle homage to Pharcyde. Then, the cherry on top of it all, Drew Barrymore herself makes a cameo. It’s the little details that make this video worthy of a view.
Track 2. Vince Staples – “Party People”
Vince Staples dropped his new album Big Fish Theory on Friday. This is technically his second studio album, but Staples has released a couple of EPs and has been active since 2010. The stand out track on Big Fish Theory is easily “Party People,” which encapsulates the record’s message in these lyrics…
Move your body if you came here to party
If not then pardon me
How I’m supposed to have a good time
When death and destruction’s all I see?
The beats and production for the album has an EDM vibe, and the lyrics are very dark and realistic–not a far cry from the mood we’re living through these dark days. It’s as if Vince is saying once you stop and realize what is actually happening, the party is over.
Track 3. Haim – “Want You Back”
Haim’s newest music video falls in line with director Jake Schreier’s one-take artistry. Haim’s forthcoming album Something To Tell You is due July 7.
Track 4. DJ Khaled, Travis Scott, Rick Ross, and Big Sean – “On Everything”
In the early hours of Thursday morning, DJ Khaled’s collaboration album Grateful finally dropped–followed a day later by the music video for “On Everything,” featuring Rick Ross, Travis Scott, and Big Sean.
Track 5. dvsn – “Don’t Choose”
dvsn, the duo from Drake’s OVO Sound label, dropped a surprise single for us. “Don’t Choose” features a possible sample that’s practically Google-proof! The unknown sample kicks in during the chorus and it goes . . .
I love you and I want to be loved
But I just don’t know how to tell you, oh no no
Five points to the music-savvy person who can track down this sample.
Track 6. Mobb Deep – “Shook Ones, Part II”
Rapper Prodigy passed away earlier this week at the too-young age of 42. For anyone who grew up in Queens, New York, these songs were vital to your hip-hop foundation. The rapper is immortalized as part of the duo Mobb Deep and is credited with coining the phrase:
Queens Get The Money.
Bonus Track. Kevin Garrett – Pulling Me Under
The singer-songwriter Kevin Garrett cannot be recommended enough. Garrett’s highest praise to date is being the writer behind Beyoncé’s Lemonade intro track “Pray You Catch Me.” For the past couple of weeks, Garrett has been releasing videos exclusively on Jay Z’s platform Tidal. This week’s release, “Pulling Me Under,” is from Kevin Garrett’s second EP False Hope. His First EP Mellow Drama is worth your time as well. Next week, we’ve been promised a new album release from Jay Z. With moves like these, let’s expect to see more value from Tidal.
Hidden Gems. Majid Jordan – “Gave Your Love Away,” and Drake – “Signs” (from the Louis Vuitton SS 2018 Fashion Show)
Let’s bring it back to the fall of 2015, when the fashion show turned music video was born from Kanye West’s Adidas debut of Yeezy Season 1 in New York City. That same concept with a different approach just happened again–this time during the 2017 Paris Fashion Week. Louis Vuitton tapped Drake to curate the soundtrack for their spring-summer 2018 showcase. The runway show starts off with Drake’s OVO labelmates Majid Jordan with their new track “Gave Your Love Away.” At the four-minute mark, the new song from Drake titled “Signs” is heard. The track was cut and extended to fit the remaining time of the 11-minute presentation. The single version of “Signs” was released late Friday evening, which leads us to believe the single version of Majid Jordan’s new song should be out any day now.
…Take it with you. – Allman Brothers Band