Pharrell (feat. Travis Scott) – Down In Atlanta
Adding Pharrell’s commercially savvy, upbeat production combines with Travis Scott’s distinctive, autotuned flow for the biggest tune announcement of the day. Neither artist of course are from Atlanta, which has become a production factory for hip-hop in recent years. However, Pharrell has announced that in his hometown of Virginia Beach, he’ll be hosting a 2023 edition of the Something in the Water festival.
BROCKHAMPTON – ANIMAL
Just when you thought it was all over, BROCKHAMPTON go and drop another album. The Family was billed as the final release from the Kevin Abstract-led hip-hop group, but then they go and drop TM, which in my view is even better. It’s a clever finale, giving the impression of lasting output – as if they’re saying, ‘Yeah, we know we can drop an album at will, but we’re calling it a day. So what?’. Or, as Kevin Abstract sings on ‘ANIMAL’, “don’t act like you know me”.
Weyes Blood – It’s Not Just Me, It’s Everybody
Described in our review as “a lyrical masterpiece”, ‘It’s Not Just Me, It’s Everybody’ has a Joni Mitchell-esque level of picture-painting detail, setting the scene for an album which provides “a eulogy for the times”. It’s also a beautifully brutal play on the old adage, ‘it’s not you, it’s me’. Sometimes it really is everybody – and myself, of course.
Dea Matrona – Red Button
In a week where we came close to yet another near-apocalyptic incident, it seems fitting that Irish rock duo Dea Matrona end the week with the release of their moody single ‘Red Button’. That’s not just me making that assertion. The band, consisting of mates Mollie McGinn and Orlaith Forsythe, have described the track has “written from the perspective of observing the world tearing itself apart and being brought to a self-inflicted end in an apocalyptic state. It’s dark, it’s serious and it’s probably our favourite song we’ve written yet.”
Kai Kwasi – ventolin
23-year-old South Londoner, Kai Kwasi, drops his debut EP today, jalilah. The track ‘ventolin’ is named after the medication used for people who suffer from asthma, who feel “winded”, in Kwasi’s words – which is how the emerging artist felt after the passing of his grandmother, who the track is dedicated to.
Roddy Ricch – Letter To My Son
In one of the only moments of introspection on Roddy Ricch’s new album, Feed Tha Streets 3, the Compton rapper vows to provide an upbringing for his son whilst simultaneously reflecting on how having a child has changed him to be a better version of himself. It is not a perfect attempt at showing the rapper’s more emotional side, but it is certainly the highlight on an all-in-all underwhelming project.
38 Spesh (feat. Benny The Butcher & Ransom) – Band of Brothers
Three of the best rappers in the game right now link up to create a streets anthem of brotherhood. 38 Spesh delivers an excellent four syllable rhyme scheme throughout the entirety of his verse, comparing his crew to “The Wayans and the Isleys.” Benny come through with his signature flow sounding as technically excellent as ever, before ransom continues his 2022 hot streak, including a funny Johnny Depp/Amber Heard reference amongst several clever puns. The track comes off of Spesh’s Beyond Belief, his superb second release in three months.
Overmono – Walk Thru Water
Overmono are one of those hard-to-pin-down production duo, and their latest ‘Walk Thru Water’ doesn’t make this any easier. Rounding off the year with a track that samples the voice of St. Panther, ‘Walk Thru Water’ is a track devised for the comedown.
The Murder Capital – Ether
The music coming out of Ireland this year is second-to-none – and five-piece The Murder Capital are certainly aiding that sentiment. The third single from their forthcoming sophomore album, ‘Ether’ starts softly enough for a post-punk outfit, before a raucous, unleash-all finish, with exactly the kind of release that’s befitting of a Friday
Manga Saint Hilare (feat. D Double E) – Together
Manga Saint Hilare’s ‘Together’ doesn’t just feature East London grime MC legend D Double E, but was produced by none other than JME. As its title states, it’s the kind of track that makes you want to get together with your mates before a huge weekend ahead.
And on that note, happy Friday, folks.