Mariah Carey feat. Miguel – #Beautiful
Mariah Carey’s new effort is quite possibly the most 21st century pop song to date (the title is a fucking hashtag). Miguel’s production borrows from the lo-fi indie crowd for Carey’s single, perhaps owing more to Frank Ocean than Beach Fossils, but regardless it’s a charming new direction and probably the best piece of pop I’ve heard in months. Summer jam.
Rich Gang (Birdman, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, Future & Mack Maine) – Tapout
Rich Gang is the new supergroup formed from Young Money’s cream of the crop, and if their line up ain’t enough for you, this video got cameos from Paris Hilton (you know), Kimora Lee Simmons (she was on America’s Next Top Model?) and Christina Milian (ok I don’t know who she is either). Alright, there might not be anything particularly ground-breaking about this, but it is a banger and Future has some stellar auto-tuning in it. I also really dig the leather skirt he wears in the video. And boasting about being “the only rap bitch on the Forbes list” (at 3:45) has to be one of Minaj’s best lines.
Is Tropical – Dancing Anymore
This isn’t exactly new, but at least the video is. And despite the lack of nudity, it is somewhat risqué, so bear that in mind before watching it in the Rad Cam. The song itself is pretty basic guitar-pop, I just sort of felt it needed inclusion on the merit of the visuals alone. Whilst not exactly reinventing the wheel, Is Tropical do what they do just fine – make moderately catchy guitar music with that comfortingly clean Kitsuné sound to it so it seems far more current than it actually is. Which I don’t think is necessarily such a bad thing. At least the three guys that still read the NME have something to listen to.
Twigs – How’s That
New material from Twigs, produced by DIS favourite Arca, and apparently they feel like the modern ballad needs to get in touch with polyrhythms. And I’m not sure I’m about to argue. Despite the incredibly dope production and visuals, I can’t help but feel that this is lacking in some pop sensibilities that I believe could only work in its favour. But it does sound like the future, so maybe I should just move with the times. Yeah, I’m moving with the times. This slays.
Cee Gee – Wine (Prod. Douster)
Cee Gee’s producer Douster isn’t exactly the first cultural import for Jamaican lyricists, and he brings with him a lot of the aspects of contemporary stripped-down US hip-hop. That said, his Parisian roots are still plain to see, with the track relying on a somewhat continental synth-lead hook, but the whole ‘glitchy dancehall’ thing kinda works. I especially appreciate the way it makes the noise that speakers make by active phones, invoking dancehall salesmen themselves, Major Lazer.
Chronik – Deepest Darkest
“We will destroy your livestock. We will destroy any means you have of survival. SLEW DEM. SLEW DEM. SLEW DEM.” I don’t think David Starkey’s most xenophobic wet dream would be half as ridiculous as this. The new Chronik vid literally has him pretending to be an African dictator. Check it. It’s pretty great.