As November begins, we decided to look at our favorite releases from the past few weeks.
Willow Smith – Cares
Best known as Will Smith’s daughter, Willow Smith has begun to make a name for herself as a burgeoning musician. Her most recent release, “Cares,” combines the youth and talent that makes her such a promising artist. Unquestionably unique, “Cares” offers a raw look at her musical potential. Her voice, accompanied with only a minimal drum beat, doesn’t hide behind the music and instead allows us to see what she can do, which is a lot.
T-Pain (Acoustic Performance)
Yes, an acoustic performance by T-Pain may seem like an oxymoron. Having only known him as the King of Autotune, I seriously doubted how worthwhile the performance could be. But it is. Singing a variety of his club hits including “Buy U A Drank (Shawty Snappin’),” “Up Down (Do This All Day),” and “Drankin’ Patna,” the contrast between his lyrics and his soulful voice makes for an entertaining song, but it also forces you to appreciate his brilliant voice.
Nas – The Season
Featuring a previously released beat from J. Dilla’s iconic EP, Donuts, Nas’s “The Season” offers an unrelenting set of rhymes over a brilliantly simple beat. An ode to Dilla and everything classic, Nas’s lyrics say it better than I could: “The soulful sample compliments my rhymes so well.”
Baauer – One Touch
Philadelphia-born Trap producer Baauer dropped his most recent track, “One Touch,” which is considerably more stripped down compared to his other tracks, but equally as powerful. Featuring the anxious raps of Rae Sremmurd and the silky smooth voice of Aluna George, the song combines the best of two worlds over a simple, echoing melody.
E Noon – Rain Coat
Rain Coat is a supremely funky track with big bass riffs and baritone raps. E Noon’s combination of classic production and slow raps have yet to be get much attention, but it can’t take much longer. Kick back to this one.
Marian Hill – Got It
Marian Hill’s sinewy voice accompanies a fierce saxophone melody in “Got It.” If the song’s mix of electronic and jazz sounds win you over, be sure to listen to the rest of Marian Hill’s work.
Freddie Gibbs – Knicks Remix
Freddie Gibbs’s most recent release is an understated salute to his and Madlib’s upcoming project, Knicks Remix. The duo recently released Pinata which contains the same jazzy production, Madlib’s characteristic sound, as “Knicks Remix,” which creates a nice contrast with Gibbs’s unforgiving tone. Also featured on “Knicks Remix”: Action Bronson, Joey Bada$$ and Ransom.
Pivot Gang – Don’t Talk
Coming off of Saba’s release of ComfortZone, Chicago collective Pivot Gang has become one of the ‘must-watch’ groups in Chicago. Their release of “Don’t Talk” imbues the same sensitivity to melody and lyricism as Saba’s most recent release and the rest of their work. “Don’t Talk” is a subtle yet infectious track.
Bombay Bicycle Club – From Eden remix
Jack Steadman, lead singer of Bombay Bicycle Club, released an anthemic remix of an already anthemic song, “From Eden,” by Hozier. Called the “Hallelujah edit,” the remix infuses choir-like yells with a drum and organ combination that injects the song with massive amounts of soul.