Our Favorite Tracks Of The Week: Ari Lennox, Kanye West, Doja Cat & More
This week the wait continues for Kanye’s new album, we vibe out with GoldLink and WSTRN’s Haile on “Yard”, and keep it pimpin’ with Doja Cat on “Bottom Bitch”. Check out our top ten tracks below!
Kanye West – Ghost Town
We anticipated Kanye’s new album this week, but we have been waiting for months – no need to get impatient now. Kanye’s latest album, ye, features one of our favorite tracks -“Ghost Town”. The organ along with tambourine and hi-hat centered percussion creates the perfect formula for a modern gospel sound. Kanye managed to get PartyNextDoor out of hiding for this track. Kid Cudi’s music is proven to soothe the anxiety-ridden and 070 Shake’s stacked harmonies are unreal. This track is ultimately about freedom and there is no surprise that West’s Sunday Service and supposed departure from secular music were follow-ups.
Favorite Line: “And nothing hurts anymore I feel kind of free/ We’re still the kids we used to be”
Ari Lennox – Facetime
NPR Music featured Ari Lennox on their Tiny Desk concert series this week. Dreamville’s first lady performed four songs off of her album Shea Butter Baby. Our pick from the album is entitled “Facetime”. Where would modern romance be without this beloved iPhone feature? Lennox sings of sexual tension, getting down to business in her online relationship, and keeping that same energy in person, as through the phone.
Favorite Line: “Bet you wanna cop a feel/ Bet you wonder if it’s real”
GoldLink ft. Haile – Yard
Off of GoldLink’s latest album, Diaspora, “Yard” is a track that explicitly wards off all bad vibes. The Washington D.C. native and Haile, from the West London collective WSTRN, link up to create this track. The album is rightfully entitled Diaspora, as GoldLink taps into various sounds from the African diaspora. In “Yard” we get an r&b, dancehall, and reggae medley where GoldLink proclaims his love of self and what he wants out of life.
Favorite Line: “I just need a boat and a tan /And a black girl with a five year plan … And she drive a good kid, m.A.A.d city minivan”
Key! – HARD SOFT
Key! speaks of his duality, being “tough and sentimental”, in his aptly titled track “Hard Soft”. The two-minute track off of his project, So Emotional, touches on his sexual and romantic relations, violent exchanges, collection of brand name suitcases, and more. The Atlanta rapper is always experimenting sonically, and this flute heavy beat is a testament to that.
Favorite Line: “Choppa cutting onions make yo momma cry“
Usher – Say What U Want
Usher paired up with Zaytoven to create this album “A” (this whole sentence screams Atlanta). The instrumental is decorated with Zaytoven’s signature keyboard sound. Reminiscent of his “Confessions”, Usher introduces the song with him speaking to the woman he hurt. He sings of letting her do whatever she needs in order to heal, on the condition that she doesn’t “say its over” – men. This song highlights the struggle between leaving someone or making it work. Usher is the king of R&B and songs about complicated relationships. The track sounds like classic Usher with a modern twist, courtesy of Zaytoven.
Favorite Line: “You tripping on me off a photo/ You staying with me and you know that sh*t”
Gorillaz feat. Popcaan – Saturnz Barz
“Saturnz Barz” is a song off of the Gorrillaz’s fifth album, Humanz. Over intense bass, Popcaan raps and sings of his humble upcoming, the journey to fame, and the common misconceptions about himself. Although the Gorillaz have an extensive list of collaborations (on this album alone), the surprising Popcaan feature produced a fusion of futuristic, spacey reggae sound with a spooky choir vocalizing at the end. The first line in the song “Press the button to begin”, or even the title should let you know this track sonically takes you to another place. Even further, knowing the Gorrillaz, the accompanying visual has to be otherworldly.
Favorite Line: “Mi ever have mi gun so mi haffi move sharp like mi knife“
Travis Scott – Highest In The Room
Iconic Travis Scott drums, autotune, and ad-libs are all present in his latest single, “Highest in the Room”, along with some acoustic guitar melodies. The title is correct in assuming the song is about being high. Scott makes sure to distinguish his intoxication of choice – weed, and alcohol. However, it does liken love and being in a relationship to being under the influence as well. Is this the tone of the new music that will follow? This track seems rather somber than the usual songs about drugs, almost always dedicated to the turn-up. It has only been a year since Astroworld but, we are always ready to hear more.
Favorite Line: “You say you love me don’t you lie/ Don’t cut my heart don’t want to die“
Doja Cat – Bottom Bitch
Doja takes us back to our collective early 2000’s soft punk, emo phase with her new single and video for “Bottom Bitch”. The video is comprised of clips of skateparks, cameos from Rico Nasty, an array of women skating, breakdancing, smoking, drinking, wreaking havoc across town, and just being pretty. The song sounds like female camaraderie, even though she sings in playful autotune “That’s my trick/I’m her pimp”. We are confident Doja is not actually pimping. Just another reclamation and play on words.
Favorite Line: “On a boat like I’m Noah”
Ama Lou – Northside
Ama Lou dropped her single, “Northside”, and an accompanying visual this week. The nineteen-year-old sings over a conversation with drummer Femi Koleoso of homesickness. With undoubted pride for her hometown of North London, she is trying to find her balance between home and the states. In her life and relationships, things have become difficult on her rise to stardom, but she is determined to not let it break her.
Favorite Line: “Cant cut me off I won’t obey”
Greentea Peng – Mr. Sun (miss da sun)
Spooky season is among us and Greentea Peng sings of its arch-nemesis, the sun, in her song,” Mr. Sun”. The Londoner released this song along with the that announcement her upcoming EP, Rising, is dropping November 1st. In this track, Peng personifies the sun and sings of her relationship with him. Identifying with all of the seasonally depressed, Peng sings of being only happy when the sun is around and longing for him to come back when he is away. Her bluesy, Neo-soul sound is paired with soulful saxophone sections sprinkled all throughout this track.
Favorite Line: “I have got to show you the dark so you can really see the light you know”