It's safe to say that this week has been really fucking crazy in the wild world of dope music—Kanye finally having his Adidas show and putting out a new song with Vic Mensa, Drake dropping a mixtape in the middle of the night and also being treated like one of us common folk, and Lil Wayne dropping a new album today out of nowhere to possibly top Drake. Safe to say you could sum it up as another week proving that music is the dopest shit ever, and there really isn't anything that's better. Speaking of dope shit, check out our staff picks for the week.
Kendrick Lamar - "Blacker the Berry"
I like hip-hop but I can’t follow it as closely as my rap
nerd genius coworkers. I’m too busy being deeply invested in the goings-on of aging hardcore bands who are getting older and fatter by the day. Once in a while, they’ll be like, “Hey, Dan. Stop listening to that Iron Chic album for the 400th time and check out this mixtape that came out this week.” And usually it fucking sucks. It always sounds like a bunch of kids who ran into their parents’ bedroom to taddle on their brother. But this new Kendrick song. Holy shit. This is what hip-hop should sound like—a clever and forceful examination of generational racial hatred and black-on-black crime that is, coincidentally, a fucking banger. The last verse is a straight-up lyrical pummeling of self-indictment and frustration. If the rest of the album sounds like this, the dude is gunning for album of year, on top of being the biggest hypocrite of 2015.
Devontee - "Bare Tings"
Feeling left out of the new Toronto slang that Drake invented and is now forcing upon you? Good news, Devontee is here to cover all your bases. There's plenty of references to tings, woes, and "the six" on his new song, making it essentially a crib sheet for new Canadian slang. Y pree?
Slava Pastuk - Editor of Canada
Nile - "Cast Down the Heretic"
Yesterday I was revisiting some of my old favorite records from high school, and came upon this gem. I used to LOVE Nile, and still remember excitedly buying this CD at the Relapse Store (R.I.P.) on South Street when I was 17. Sure, I'm not really interested in technical death metal anymore (the follies of youth, amirite) but this song still rules, and I am 100 percent down with metal bands who base their lyrics and aesthetic on actual history as opposed to occult gobbledegook or fountains of gore. CASSSST DOWWWWN, THE HERETIIIIC!
Superheaven - "Sheltered"
If there was a band name from today I would totally scrawl into the cover of my high school composition notebook, it would definitely be Superheaven. They had to change their name from Daylight 'cause of legal shit, but honestly I think it was a wise decision. This track is probably one of the poppier ones on the album (it ranges from slowcore to shoegazey type stuff), and they're pretty fucking good at it. Just that intro riff, and line "all across the universe" has been crammed in my head for the past couple days. I've seen people be reductive and just call them 90s revival or whatever, but really the band rules and this song is too fun.
YFN Lucci - "Wish Me Well"
The first YFN Lucci song I heard was "I Wonder Why," on the Atlanta mix HXV made for us last week, and I've hardly listened to anything else since. Lucci is part of the same management roster as Rich Homie Quan, and he's kind of like Quan 2.0 with the whole emotional, melodic turn up thing. But he likes production that sounds like Drake songs, he uses Auto-Tune liberally, and his voice sounds kind of like Ja Rule, who might be the actual best comparison. Pretty much the whole tape is incredible, full of both great punchlines and disarmingly crushing moments of emotional clarity. "I Wonder Why" is an obvious highlight, but my favorite song is probably "Piped Dreams": There's something incredibly relatable about a rapper shit-talking about money before offhandedly moaning into Auto-Tune "I wonder how a million dollars really feels." That's basically me every day. Anyway, do yourself a favor and check this tape out right now.
Kanye West - "Wolves"
Here's Kanye's new song "Wolves." It's a shitty iPhone recording, but it's better than all the other shit kids listen to these days.
Eric Sundermann, Managing Editor
The Gaslight Anthem - "Rollin' and Tumblin'"
The Gaslight Anthem's recent album, Get Hurt, is like, really fucking good. Everything The Gaslight Anthem does is really fucking good, but you can feel lead singer Brian Fallon's heartaches out on this record. Knowing the guy went through a divorce and quit drugs and drinking makes the lyrics on this track absolutely bleed.
Drew Millard, Features Editor
Drake - If You're Reading This It's Too Late