Top 5 from the Week #2 (ft. Gal Costa, Hot Chocolate, YG, Latrell James, and Lupe Fiasco)

Another week of some really good music. Some old faves, plus some new ones. I also have GOT to listen to that new Denzel Curry and Kenny Beats project that came out a couple days ago. I’m ready for bars and production being ATE. For now, here’s what this week sounded like:

“Que Pena” – Gal Costa

So there’s this one person that I follow on Tumblr that is always posting music. I’ve never talked to this person before, but I have dubbed them my Tumblr music guru. During my weekly browse into the music they reblogged, “Que Pena” came through as a very bright gem. I had gotten into bossa nova around mid-July of last year, so I was super excited to hear some of the familiar brightness of bossa nova from “Que Pena.” Gal Costa’s voice is angelic as she and Caetano Veloso trade vocals about the want and loss of love (per an English translation from musixmatch lol). I think the thing I’ve liked the most about digging into bossa nova more is that everything sounds so fresh that it doesn’t even sound like a song like this is 50 years old. It’s absolutely gorgeous. My Tumblr music guru has never steered me wrong!

“Mary-Anne” – Hot Chocolate

The first song I listened to from Hot Chocolate was “Emma,” and I was surprised to learn, while spreading teriyaki sauce on my mushrooms and broccoli while making dinner last Saturday and listening intently to the song, that the song was about a woman named Emma that the protagonist of the song was in love with since childhood. During the course of their growing love, Emma wanted to be a movie star – she dreamed of seeing her name in bright lights. She kept that dream with her into adulthood, where she was forced with the inescapable realization that she could not and would not be a movie star. So she decided to kill herself, the protagonist of the song finding Emma’s last letter to him next to her body in the room they shared together. It’s such a tragic song, but part of me really fell in love with it, and that, coupled with the lack of lyrics for the rest of the songs on the Cicero Park(1974), led me into a multi-day process of transcribing the album’s lyrics. In the midst of that work, and my journey to finally having 5,000 IQ points on Genius, I found another gem in “Mary-Anne,” which is less of a tragic song compared to “Emma.” There’s a 70s boy band quality to the song – lots of drums and guitars a la the Beatles. The song recounts a dream where the protagonist is being RAN DOWN by a wolf pack, his love, Mary-Anne, running away from him, laughing as he begs her to not let him die. Among other dream-like sequences of fleeting love. Luckily it’s all just a dream and Mary-Anne is actually laying next to him, and so I feel less bad about liking such tragic songs 🙂

“Stop Snitchin'” – YG (feat. DaBaby)

I don’t remember where “Stop Snitchin'” came from, but I LOVE IT. This is what Lucius Lyon WISHES he could have made, but all we got was “Snitch Bitch” (which is also a bop lol, but less so). I was also very excited to see YG and DaBaby on song together, especially on this particular instrumental, though the DaBaby didn’t rap nearly as fast as I hoped he would. I haven’t listened to a lot of YG, and I am a newly-minted DaBaby fan, but there’s something I really love about both of them. They’re both guys that I would LOVE to see smack up a couple folks I can’t stand, but they also are two of the goofiest rappers out right now. So I appreciate hearing them eat a beat in tandem. I also, at the time of me writing this sentence, realized that there’s a video for this song, so I WILL be watching it and offering my thoughts at the end of this article lol. It’s linked here if you wanna watch it before I give my thoughts.

“Grateful” – Latrell James

I’ve already talked about “Grateful” in my Album Look Back for Latrell James’s Still. So I’ll just quote that here:

It would be rude of me to not openly appreciate the absolute beauty that is “Grateful.” And I was raised better than that. So allow me a few seconds to give “Grateful” its flowers: The instrumental? GREAT. The harmony in the chorus? PERFECT. LJ in the second verse sticking up for women who speak out about violence done to them or other women by (famous) men a la Bill Cosby?? ICONIC. The way Latrell ATE the production on this?? FIRE. I really don’t have anything else to say about this song. It’s wonderful.

Album Look Back: Latrell James’s ‘Still’

Lol it really just needed to be recognized again for how BEAUTIFUL it is. Also Latrell LIKES MY ARTICLE. GIRL, WHEN I TELL YOU I SCREAMED.

“American Terrorist” – Lupe Fiasco

I’ve been listening to Lupe for longer than I’ve been listening to most of the people I currently listen to. A proud fan of about 15 years. I didn’t discover Food and Liquor (2006) until I had already heard The Cool (2007), but “American Terrorist” was a QUICK favorite. I don’t wanna say too much now ’cause there’s an upcoming Food and Liquor Album Look Back (in celebration of me going to see Lupe perform the album next month). But I’ve had “American Terrorist” on repeat a lot the past couple of days. You may hear me shouting lyrics again at some point today.

My thoughts on the “Stop Snitchin'” video: LOL THE BEST THING I’VE EVER SEEN. I LOVE THEM. I LOVE IT.

here’s something else you might like:

Album Look Back #2: Latrell James’s ‘Still’

My Spotify Discover Weekly Playlist doesn’t always hit, but when it does, it does. On December 2, 2018, I was introduced to some amazing songs like “Pink and Blue” by JULiA LEWiS, “egyptian pools” by Jinsang and JUICEBOX, “Sleeep” by Kayo Genesis, and “Okay” by Latrell James. Unfortunately for me, I wouldn’t listen to Latrell … Continue reading Album Look Back #2: Latrell James’s ‘Still’

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