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2021 : Week Eight

KAYTRANADA’s ‘Caution’ is Reminiscence in a Single for his Festival-Frequenting Fans
 

 Evan Dale | Feb 18, 2021 

Everyone loves KAYTRANADA for their own reasons. Some look towards his fusion for featuring rappers to lay down bars in an element outside of their general comfort zone; other look towards his beats and their perfect framework for the great Neo-Soul and R&B vocalists of our time to draw out their crystalline registers overtop an experimental house underline. But everyone who loves KAYTRANADA loves him at the end of the day for his production, and for just how wide-ranging, applicable, and just downright danceable they always are. His is a unique wave of enigmatic tropical house spanning – like his own roots – the rangy breadth of Haiti to Montreal, and much, much further. Because, you see, KAYTRANADA’s language is a global one touting good vibes, dance parties, and music festivals. And his latest – like several oft-overlooked inclusions from his two acclaimed studio albums – is a raw exhibition of the simple beauty in beats.

 

Caution is a slow-progression, low-fi house anthem inspiring memories of the beauty in live shows, and making his festival-frequenting audience reminisce on the good days, and – hopefully – the not so distant return to more concert fueled good days in the near future. For now, at least, we have Caution to throw caution to the wind to, so we can turn up the home stereo and live through the power of great house music.

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Leo Pastel & Muwosi Link Up for Confectionary R&B Single, ‘Candy Heart'
 

 Evan Dale | Feb 19, 2021 

From the confectionary bassline on which its sticky sweet keystrokes dance, Ohio-rooted soulchildren, Leo Pastel & Muwosi - who last collaborated with 2018 springtime romance anthem, Woah - return with the equally emotional albeit strikingly funk nuanced Candy Heart. The single breathes of its Valentine’s thematics and also calls to reminiscence the underwater synth dynamism of 90’s R&B where slow and eternal progressions shine both vocalists in a light as genial dueters.

 

As with every rare single Pastel has granted his loyal SoundCloud base through the years, Candy Heart puts on a clinic of his timeless soul aesthetic playing effortlessly with the R&B era of his choosing. And next to the crystalline register of Muwosi and the silky bounce of its bass, Candy Heart gleams of the golden era, where artists like he and Devin Morrison are rekindling what it was that made the late 90’s so special, but with a modern twist.

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Still Woozy Delivers Expectedly Good Vibes Anthem with New Single, ‘Rocky’
 

 Evan Dale | Feb 19, 2021 

The silky summertime texture of Still Woozy’s sound is a constant. From track to track and project to project, the mellow pop experimentalist can really only be referred to as such because his unique auditory flavors are as impressionistic and one-of-a-kind as the watercolor prints that invariably play cover art to his releases. There’s no comparing his music to that of someone else, only to the bedroom underline that plays host to so many unique, all-in-one creatives forging fun-loving and quirky nuances from the comfort of their own home studios. Of them, Still Woozy’s sound is particularly refined and undoubtedly his own.

 

And of his releases, his latest single, Rocky, is another expected positivist creation. The good vibes are built in. It’s just something in his beachy instrumentation, in his at this point formulaic composition of beats, and in his mastery of using silky vocals to play an instrument in their own right. With Rocky, it’s just another example of why regardless of someone’s listening habits, those looking for a vibe to highlight the good times, or for those looking forward to Springtime, will find their new favorite track in Still Woozy’s Rocky.

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JID's Return is Marked by a Poetic Black History Performance | 'Skegee'
 

 Evan Dale | Feb 23, 2021 

JID has been more than one of the most flow-proficient rappers in hip-hop since long before he was discovered by Dreamville. The Atlanta rapper has also always been a dynamic tour de conscious force, lyrically addressing the strife of society’s marginalized communities, and in particular detailing the struggles he has faced as a Black person in the American South – in the United States at large – since the onset of his career with singles and videos like he and EARTHGANG’s 2017 Mediate. With his new single, Skegee – a Black History Month anthem that, like Black history itself, is a cultural mosaic spanning much more than February – he’s black history in the making, detailing the shame in the United States’ past while putting on a clinic of cultural and educational dynamism with the simple tool of a single (and an accompanying music video).

 

The single itself ties his own experiences learning about the lopsided workings of the world, to the oft overlooked details of the not-so-distant past, and the all too present present. Most prominent in Skegee, JID divulges a memory of his youth speaking to a university in Tuskegee, Alabama where his dad opened his eyes to experiments performed on the black community there during the post-slavery sharecropping era. A microcosm of the black experience at large, the Tuskegee experiments, tied to his own experience allows JID to use the pain of his own struggles – the pain of black America – and the pedestal of his career as a cultural figurehead, to educate the masses, open eyes, and bob heads in one fell swoop. And that is an homage to the power not only of hip-hop music, but of his own brand of rap, that JID continues to furnish and further.

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