As July hurdles to its’ finish, we look back on this last week of music that’s brought about some of the best tunes we’ve heard in some time. Take a look at our picks for the best songs of the week below.
Nephew by Smokepurrp feat. Lil Pump
With “I’mma paint…on her face like I’m Doodle-Bob,” Smokepurrp sets the stage early for the frolicsome track that is “Nephew.” It’s all kicks and giggles here. The 21-year-old rapper’s jovial nature kicks in once the beat resets, the eclectic production, with its’ kicks and snaps, enabling him to channel Valee’s signature flow with ease. By no means a signature release, it can be read as a direct nod to the Chicago rapper’s unique style. Or, maybe it’s a direct appropriation, in the vein of 6ix9ine’s recent flow on “FeFe.” Lil Pump even gets in on the echo, copying Smokepurrp, who’s copying Valee. It’s hilarious as it’s happening. But what doesn’t change is that the song is gravitating enough to warrant inclusion in your next playlist.
“Potato Salad” by A$AP Rocky feat. Tyler The Creator
Camradarie in rap usually begets friendly competition to become the better of the other party, but that’s not the case with A$AP Rocky and Tyler The Creator’s unique friendship. The two realize their differences and play them to full effect. Their friendship feels genuine, being that the two are lovable goofballs in their own ways. Whenever they do collaborate, they respect each other’s lyrical spaces and just have, well, fun. “Potato Salad” is a new loose and jovial release that repurposes the production from Monica’s 2003 hit “Knock Knock” for a boisterous reimagining. This time, the life of luxe is analyzed and measured in the amount of Riverdale lead actors that can fit into a mansion. Or rather, Tyler the Creator defines his success by that; A$AP Rocky, on the other hand, pounds into your thick skull that, no, this bag isn’t a purse, but it is a satchel. While you’re watching the video for it, which comes from the recently release AWGE Vol. 3 video, play a rousing game of iSpy with the object of choice being Jaden Smith.
“Black Balloons” by Denzel Curry feat. Goldlink and Twelve’len
If you’ve watched the latest rendition of Stephen King’s IT, you’d know that Pennywise The Clown, the jester that has haunted your nightmares since you were no taller than a cereal box, is a true jackass. He assumes the fears of those he wishes to eat – in the novel from which the movie is based, he reveals that he does so because scaring children is like “salting the meat” – and he’ll also outdance you if you let him. But one thing that’s a constant about his character is his eldritch behavior that includes his oddly tantalizing smile and his tendency to always be seen clutching a single red balloon.
Denzel Curry references both Pennywise and the balloon in “Black Balloons,” a perplexing track with a foreboding tone at odds with the vibrant production that holds up its back end. Curry’s one of the most underrated lyrical presences in the game with the ability to breathe precious energy into well-beaten topics. The ways that he accurately describes the gloom that comes with depression and anxiety are some of the best that you’ll find in the game. Both GoldLink and Twelve’len add some much-needed depth that help to ground the track when it threatens to float off into space.
“Metaphysical” by Vic Mensa
Vic Mensa could have pushed for a violent encounter (I believe the proper contemporary term is “smoke,” right?) with 6ix9ine for dissing him earlier this week, but he quickly realized that there’d be nothing to gain from it. Smartly, he took to Twitter to broadcast his message of peace and prosperity to all, and, then, revealed the existence of a new track called “Metaphysical.” A clear push for a more pop-friendly sound that’ll bring his name into the public’s vernacular, Vic Mensa’s latest is the sultry record that he’s always needed. He’s been pursuing more aesthetically soothing records for some time now; last year’s The Autobiography featured his unique melodies on more than one occasion. The problem was that they never felt wholly authentic, more than often leaning on the side of forced. But now, he’s figured it out. On the sensual production, derived from African tribal music, that immediately could draw comparisons to “Guatemala” by Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi, he croons vulnerably. It reeks of worldly influence and the energy that he channels can be felt without much effort. Vic Mensa is finally coming to terms with his image and musical style so it looks like he’ll become a double-threat in the near future.
“Lovely” by Tony $antana
Tony Santana is one of the more obscure artists coming out of Santa Ana, CA. His melodies err on the side of sinister, even when he’s crooning about love or another of life’s beautiful mysteries. His new release “Lovely” is a mellow, relatable banger about managing the attention received from a loved one. It’s the kind of downtrodden, slightly gloomy release that’ll provide you with the means of relaxing at the end of the day. The way that he strums together notes between lines will keep you entranced throughout its’ run time.
“BILAP” by Trippie Redd and Chief Keef
While “BILAP” stands for “Bust It Like A Pistol,” it would have been much cooler to just hear Trippie and Keef yell “BILAP” over the despondent piano production that makes you want to drop one lone tear. But what we get in it’s place is equally magnetic – a somber promissory note detailing the violence that the duo will drop off at your door step. There’s a lot more singing on here than you’d initially expect; Trippie’s able to drop bars, but he elects for a more commercial approach instead. Keef sings his heart out like he tends to these days, with his future as an R & B stalwart all but confirmed at this point. In the near future, look for Keef to sing the national anthem at an NBA game.