These days we’re hit with an excessive amount of music. Naturally, it becomes difficult to keep up. I’ve rummaged through what Jan-Feb have offered and came up with seven of my top-rated picks. Decided I wouldn’t follow a laid out criteria. After all, good music is felt.
(Note: Songs are in order from oldest to most recently released.)
1. Grow – Cozz ft. Correy C
The Dreamville signee said it best in a tweet, “If u lookin for a bunch of content and deep shit listen to Cozz and Effect, if u wanna vibe n have fun then bump Nothin Personal. Simple.” While the majority of Nothin Personal coincides with Cody Mac’s view, “Grow” is the exception. The track takes on a more reflective approach, as the L.A. native recalls his humble beginnings and his journey leading him to his present state of mind.
2. Smile – Isaiah Rashad
TDE member Isaiah Rashad breaks the silence with his latest “Smile.” The single samples Brazilian singer, Wanderlea’s “Lindo.” How that came about is beside me, but damn does it feel right. On the slow jam, Rashad spits about returning to his overjoyed hometown in Tennessee. If we’ve learned anything, it’s that young Zaywop sure knows how to build anticipation, but with results like this, man is the wait worthwhile.
3. The Waters – Anderson .Paak ft. BJ the Chicago Kid
Anderson .Paak’s sophomore album Malibu is gaining much acclaim and for good reason. If you haven’t caught on by now, then you’re late to the game. The West Coast artist captured considerable attention after making a handful of appearances on Dre’s Compton. “The Waters” has a jazzy and soulful influence, complimented by .Paak’s singsong raps and backed by BJ the Chicago Kid on the chorus. Your ears will be pleased. Promise.
4. Mercury Rising – The Mind ft. Donnie Trumpet
For those familiar with Chicago’s newest wave of artists, the name The Mind should ring a bell. Most recently he was featured on Kirk Knight’s Late Knight Special and Mick Jenkins’ two-song EP, Sip! The single, which features instrumentals from Chicago natives Donnie Trumpet and Sylvie Grace (cellist), gives us a taste of what’s to come on his upcoming project Summer Camp. The tender and melancholic mood to the song along with The Mind’s entrancing voice makes for a beautifully laced trip.
5. Beauty-Child – Audio Push
Audio Push rack up brownie points with the ladies on the charming and mellow “Beauty-Child.” The track comes from the Cali duo’s surprise nine-track mixtape titled, Inside the Vibe. Throughout the song we hear Price and Oktane describe the qualities that make up the ideal woman, their verses equally matched, and Price’s serene voice on the chorus. As the title elicits, it’s one big ode to their beauty child. Very smooth boys!
6. Work a Lil Harder – Dizzy Wright
This the type of bumpy shiz I like to hear — a banger with substance. Dizzy Hippy gives us a joint to bob our heads to, all the while keeping it 100. He comes extra hard reminding doubters that he’s a main contender in the rap game, “Malcom X with the pen.” The motivating track also invites listeners to ‘work a lil harder.’
7. Skipping Stones – Gallant ft. Jhene Aiko
I have to admit it was Jhene’s feature that prompted me to give this a listen. Having said that, I feel a little guilty, given the talent that is Alt-R&B singer Gallant. The indie recording artist’s vocals will have you absolutely mesmerized, while Jhene’s soft tone adds a delicate component to the emotional number. It can’t be disputed that the two compliment each other, but it’s Gallant’s impressive falsetto that leaves a lasting impression.