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2021 : Week Five

Brent Faiyaz & Tyler, the Creator Team Up for Psychedelic Bravado in the From of ‘Gravity’ 
 

 Released: Jan 29, 2021 

The elusive presence and quiet demeanor of Baltimore’s sensuality-soaked R&B lovechild, Brent Faiyaz feels at constant odds with his music’s vulnerability and subject matter. That dichotomy creates mystère and intrigue, so though his music is of rare release, it – like the few and far between offerings from a handful of other modern creatives who largely avoid the limelight, like Kendrick Lamar, SZA, and Frank Ocean – is always worth the wait. Uniquely dark, spellbinding, emotionally evocative, and thought provoking, Faiyaz’s particular brand of R&B is like nothing to come before it, instead feeling like it comes from a future where his influence has changed R&B music for the moodier and more experimental.

 

From that experimental space, and with another of our time’s most experimentally driven creative powerhouses, Tyler, the Creator, comes Gravity. The single is worth the weight in its title. Born from the oft overlooked Songs From Scratch series that has provided the world with a mosaic of dynamic collaborations in the past, Faiyaz, Tyler, and DJ Dahi come together on a psychedelically founded blendalline hip-hop and Neo-Soul tale of lustful bravado. And as expected, it’s a hit, no matter which of its starry protagonists draw a given listener Gravity’s way.

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With Second Solo Single, Big Trip Continues Anthemic Hip-Hop Lane | ‘INTL’
 

 Released: Jan 29, 2021 

Hard-hitting bass, harder-hitting punchlines, and a slow and steady flow give Big Trip his recipe for addicting hip-hop. Half of (and when taking into account production, really a third of) Colorado hip-hop collective, Low Hanging Fruit, the last couple of months are seeing a solo campaign shine the New York native in a new light.

 

With Pack at the tail end of 2020, and now with INTL (Sleep When You’re Dead), his aesthetic seems primed for the solo stage. Boasting a deadpan delivery, a deep voice, and an even deeper understanding of putting together the kind of spoon-fed, trunk-rattling tracks that can entertain true hip-hop heads and at the same time, a more pop-oriented audience looking for party anthems, Big Trip is crafting digestible hip-hop with a unique edge.

 

For its part, INTL ticks all of those boxes. A bass and keystroke beat, a meditative flow, an addicting hook, and a consistent barrage of quotable and classic braggadocio give Big Trip his second hit in two solo attempts. So, when looking for music to sound track the kickback or inspire the workout, head over to his catalogue, and check out Low Hanging Fruit’s while you’re at it.

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Curtis Williams Hops on a Sango Beat for Short but Sweet Swim Upstream, ‘Salmon’
 

 Released: Jan 29, 2021 

Curtis Williams – the Two-9 alum whose spoon-fed wordplay has long given the Atlanta collective some of their most standout punchlines – is always a rapper whose every word is worth listening to. With his latest, teaming up with Sango and Palette, his cheeky, melodic flow shares the stage with the collaborative beat, making for a short but sweet swim upstream. Salmon is a one-verse cut that doesn’t put on display how much Williams is capable of, but does show how bright he can shine when his limited space – in this case, a 2-minute, mostly instrumental bout – is decorated by the mastery of Sango’s keystrokes and otherworldly ambience. It’s the classic kind of quick rap joint that makes anyone listening – whether a fan of Two-9 or of Williams himself, reminiscence on the beauty in the simple things in hip-hop, where a few well-placed bars and a beat from a legend can easily join in on any playlist rotation.

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Kito, VanJess, and Channel Tres Drop Star-Studded, Good Vibes Electro-Pop Single, ‘Recap’
 

 Released: Feb 2, 2021 

Kito is an Australian-born, LA-based, electro-poppy dynamo whose flare for the effervescent and affinity for collaborations that pull her aesthetic in myriad directions is giving birth to a new wave of multi-collaborative electronically nuanced dynamism à la KAYTRANADA. For her latest – and her first of 2021 – Kito is calling on the unparalleled, timeless vocalism of Nigerian-born duo, VanJess, and the bass-heavy house baritone of Channel Tres.

 

Recap is a fun-loving beat brimming with chimes, keystrokes, and a whole lot of bass that allows VanJess, and a subsequent segueing verse from Channel Tres himself to recount relatable stories of the desires for simplicity in a relationship. And in as many ways that it’s a relatable tale of love and desire, it’s also just a damn danceable track perfect for sunshiny backyard kickbacks with friends, and the forthcoming Summer months.

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The BlackSon Continues Prolific, Lyrical Run with new Single, ‘Thanking God in Advance’
 

 Released: Feb 2, 2021 

The BlackSon is making a statement with his current run of lyrically ferocious tracks. Dating back to the tail end of last year, he’s dropped four concurrent singles – all unique, but all tied together by his undeniable penmanship; all fast-paced, but all deeper than a string of poetically audacious bars.

 

His latest, Thanking God in Advance, lives up to just that description, seeing the Nashville emcee attack a spacey, distorted A.B. Eastwood beat with the no-holds-barred attitude we’ve come to expect. With a vibrant knack for switching up his flow and infusing his hook with a dark and echoey melody, the single is one of his most dynamic and rangy to date, taking that exceptionality for rapping to no end, and mixing in the rest of his creative well-roundedness, proving that his current prolificity is seeing him taking more risks with his sound; and seeing those risks be incredibly successful in accounting for some of his most unique work to date.

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