I’m cheating a little bit on this one, since it’s been a minute since I’ve done one of these lol. But would you really have known that if I didn’t say anything? That’s called loyalty, folks! Anyway, some of these tracks are ones that I favorited on my Spotify “Liked Tracks” playlist a monthish ago (that’s how I keep up with doing these), but most of them (3 of them) are new! Let’s get into it.
“The Neverending Story” – Jay Electronica & “That Way” – Lil Uzi Vert
I’m putting the two of these together, because I’ve already done First Listens for both projects that these songs are from (you can view Uzi’s here and Jay’s here), so I don’t have much to say about them that I haven’t already said. But I just needed to give both of these songs their own flowers, separate from their home projects. They both stood out for me and showed both artists in their BAGS. I liked both Eternal Atake and A Written Testimony, but I also had some songs on both that I didn’t enjoy. I think if both of these projects were filled with songs like the two of these, the whole of both projects would have been a win for me. But again, both really good projects.
“Crush” – Duckwrth
I’ve been a fan of Duck’s for a couple of years now; my listening has gotten a little bit more sporadic over the years though. I love how he puts funk and R&B sounds together – not just making both present on his project, but actively working to fuse the two together in his projects, as well as some VERY heavy rock and punk influences. “Crush” gives me that same music-fusing vibe; it’s funky with strong notes of R&B. This song also gives me Pharrell/Neptunes vibes, which I really love. I could see Pharrell on this track either in place of Duck or as a feature. So I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some strong and purposeful P influence on Duck’s part as he prepared this track for our ears. So good. I love him.
Also, he ALWAYS gives us fire visuals!
“FLICK IT UP'” – REASON (ft. Ab-Soul)
I’m really including this song because Ab-Soul ATE on this track. REASON did as well, but I had been a little bit disappointed in the bars that we had been getting from Ab-Soul the past couple of years. It seemed like he wasn’t putting as much thought into his rhymes as he had been and was trying to adopt a style of rapping that was foreign to him. I’m all for an artist exploring their sound, but Soulo was kind of flopping on These Days…(2014) and Do What Thou Wilt(2016). His verses were sounding weak and borrowed (Schoolboy Q was coming into the mainstream (heavily!) around this time with Oxymoron(2014) – that project had “Man of the Year,” and “Collard Greens” – so I was getting some real strive to do something similar to Q that was coming off a little inauthentic). But I think Soulo really does redeem himself on this track. He’s not really spitting food for thought, but he is serving is BARS. I literally could not believe my ears the first time I listened to it. REASON was fine (he was good actually lol but I’m a hater), but he’s said some unsavory things in past about black men always being attacked (which true, but he completely missed the point of the article he used as proof), so I don’t really have anything strong feelings towards him music-wise.
EDIT: I was going to link the tweet, but I couldn’t find it, and I didn’t screenshot because I don’t know him or his music enough to really invest that much attention into it, but he reposted an article from Damon Young called “Straight Black Men are the White People of Black People,” and considered that article an attack on black men and he felt like the world is always trying to tear black men apart…but it was a straight black man that wrote the article….critiquing straight black men….and a straight black man….felt attacked….in an article that was proving just that…………….you see why I was frustrated? If I can find the tweet at some point, I’ll add it. But again, unsavory.
“Lightning” – Orion Sun
Tiffany has really done it AGAIN! I’m so excited for her new album to come out in a couple of weeks. She posted a sneak peek of this song the day before he came out on YouTube, and I almost started crying because I COULDN’T BELIEVE SHE COULD GET MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN SHE ALREADY WAS! BUT SHE COULD! The clip was only 30 seconds, and she only sung in the last 3 seconds of it, but it was so beautiful and so perfect that I had to replay it again because I was shook. The song is just *chef’s kiss*, but I’m not really surprised. There is a part in the song where she says “what’s going on?” and the way the production and her voice sound on that part is a little weird to me – I liked it more on the “live” version in the music video – but I’m sure after a couple more listens, I’ll feel better about it. It’s one of those songs that makes you feel like you’re in love (lol like all her songs do), but you’re not. It’s both romantic, yearning, and unsure all at the same time. She’s so amazing and wonderful!!!
here’s something else you might like:
I love Lil Uzi Vert. I’m not even really referring to his music – I’ve only heard many 5 or 6 of his songs (plus a bunch of features), so I can’t really fully call myself a fan of his music – I just love him as a person. He really is in his own … Continue reading First Listen #7: Lil Uzi Vert’s ‘Eternal Atake’