They played slow. They played loud. They made smoking pot sound like an epic journey on par with Lord of the Rings. Close your eyes , they seem to say, There is a band playing in your head, and they are getting high. The lead single from the mega-selling breakup album 21 transformed her into a global star, and she has hardly made anything like it since.
Her vocal control, the way she allows melisma to curl around the edges of her voice, is like a superpower that needed this song to reveal it. The sampled guitars might be from a Modern Baseball song, or maybe another Lil Peep song entirely, and the first voices on the track are a half-buried sample of the California pop-punk band Better Luck Next Time; the echoes run together the same way that incoming headlights smear into one beam when you squint.
It has the lifespan of a soap bubble, this fleeting burst of euphoria. You feel the urge to protect it. The chorus, meanwhile, zooms out into the cosmos, as she pays homage to fallen musical heroes like David Bowie and Prince. Listen: St. Produced by L. Dissolution has never sounded so delicious. Schoolboy Q]. Simple tools are almost always the most effective, as the Detroit DJ proves here.
With its occasionally washed out vibe, it has the feel of being prewritten to play the way a great DJ would deploy it, teasing out its peaks. Every line is uttered with both mesmerizing cockiness and vulnerability.
In the back half of the s, Afropop exploded in popularity, with countless artists attempting to hop on the trend. I have more than there are states in America.
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Popcaan and Gaza Slim]. Katy is neither a belter nor a cooing soubrette but an everygirl, imbuing her vocals with relatable frankness and yearning. She moves back and forth between cool confidence and total surrender at the speed of a strobe light flicker, taking listeners along like a hand pulling them onto the dancefloor. The point is that this is all happening, all at once. The vocal: a mangled Auto-Tune yelp about paternity paranoia, cheating, and child support that includes a comparison between serial infidelity and apartheid.
The song is about as ugly a piece of music as was made this decade, and yet it was leeringly ugly, purposefully so. The music Kanye was cooking up to feed his overheated imagination was so lurid and tactile that, for this blazing moment and others, it held everything together. She lets her imagination run wild as she outlines the course of a hypothetical relationship, jumping from the quiet intimacy of a shared toothbrush to impromptu marriage.
Featuring a jangly guitar solo and propulsive backing vocals, the song is deliriously catchy—but with repeated listens, its upbeat surface begins to crack. Is Zauner singing about a new relationship, or is she desperately trying to breathe life into one that has grown stale? Is the repeated title phrase a genuine celebration of attraction, or a mockery of romantic idolization? More rap careers end at age 30 than begin at age In , Danny Brown was acutely aware of this fact, as he said goodbye to his 20s and made his final push towards rap stardom after spending years trapped in the industry spin cycle.
What begins as absurdist punchline rap quickly devolves into a catalog of personal chaos. Even listening to the song now, in the wake of eight years of triumphs for the Detroit MC, it still devastates. August 25, During her performance at the VMAs, Miley Cyrus mimes anilingus on another woman, pleasures herself with a foam finger, and twerks all over Robin Thicke.
The song is one of their many continuing tributes to late bandmate Nathan Maddox, who was struck by lightning on a Chinatown rooftop in , and a door to the next phase of their career. First comes a slow shift from spoken-word drift to full-on groove; then, synths that rain down with a classical sense of drama. In , Nicki Minaj was at the center of a burning debate about rap, pop, and credibility. Here was Nicki flipping bars over an alien beat as thrilling as the rapper herself, filled with synths and drums that buzz and bang and bubble.
It felt quietly ironic, then, that her best song of the era would plug into an emotional well older than time: heartbreak. Long after the summer breezes by, its anthems live on. Together, the trio turned out a track as catchy as it is charming, one that should go down as a memorable addition into the backyard barbecue canon. Brent Faiyaz and Shy Glizzy]. And then people heard it, and all those factors floated away, irrelevant.
If there is a sports analogy to be made, it is less Stockton and Malone , and more Stockton and Stockton : Gunna and Baby find each other in perfect position, then pass out of it, to an even more perfect position. Their dynamic has the same feel as Watch the Throne -era Kanye and Jay, not trying to make a mark by outdoing each other, just ruminating on the ever-evolving idea of hedonism, and emerging with no answers.
Lil Baby]. These lines about unbelonging also double as a metaphor for the constrictions she faces as a major-label artist who is expected to churn out chart hits but prefers to tweak and deconstruct them instead. Christine and the Queens].
Earned wisdom is a part of getting older; rarely does it sound this accomplished. You know those old monster movies, the ones where an almighty beast lumbers through a terrified city, toppling buildings and swatting planes out of the sky as bullets bounce off his torso?
At some point, Rick Ross must have leaned forward in his leather chair and thought to himself, What would it sound like if that monster were rapping right now? For four minutes, the rapper takes the form of an all-powerful, coke-fueled leviathan laughing with maniacal disdain as he demolishes any obstacle standing between him and his bottom line. All you can do is build a statue in his honor and marvel at the merciless efficiency of his wrath. Styles P].
Love Mommy. If I can help just one person, I think it would make him proud. Anti-Homophobe By Brutal Truth. I was happy with just looking up at those jerseys. By the fourth episode, Tony is mobile and fully aware, and has regained his voice. Strongest men.
It should feel normal, but it was thrilling to witness a woman governed only by her own rules, acting like a man. And why bother? Put to music with radio heavy-hitters DJ Mustard, Frank Dukes, and Starrah, the song is sexy and savage, a way for Rihanna to flex her unique ability to inhabit the tastes and feelings of both Gen Z and Gen X. It resonated massively but quietly, becoming her longest-charting hit without ever hitting the Top 5. Gil Scott-Heron had a love-hate relationship with the city he called home for most of his life.
The music is busy yet austere, prodding and cajoling Scott-Heron with jump-rope rhythms, disruptive clatter, and a bassline that pulsates like the jarring rumble of a subway car. The past tense hurt when the song was released in , and it only stung more when he died a year later. The two baby-faced brothers had a club anthem on their hands, though many were skeptical about their ability as rappers and wrote them off. As the Danish band kicked up a rockabilly storm, they showed that they have more to offer than clenched-fist angst. Her breakthrough single is clear in that affection; she roves over narcotic synths and trap drums with icy vocal tones, her gently libertine words delivered in an unhurried rap cadence.
Sending nudes of such high quality that the recipient uses up all their data.
Comparing a dick to the Statue of Liberty. The track also shows that she can spit better than anyone in the room, and is able to lace her verses with the wit, puns, and vivid imagery of an elite songwriter. CupcakKe delivers it all over an instrumental ready for an overstuffed, sweaty club—the perfect place to experience her brilliance. The song flows slowly, picking up rattling hi-hats and strobing synthesizer as it oozes along the dancefloor.
Each syllable is drawn out like taffy, and her voice hovers just above a whisper, as if she wants you to lean in a little closer. Kamasi Washington is an artist who needs room to meditate, sculpt, engineer. You know, king shit. The strategy should be nearly impossible to pull off, and yet the Atlanta star is one of the most gifted stylists in contemporary rap.
But still he rises to the occasion by plumbing the depths of drug abuse. Martin Luther King, Jr.