Smack a good beat, it’s tracks of the week. Less source material to work with this week as I’ve moved the segment to Fridays. So you’ll have to forgive me if this edition is somewhat bereft of newly released tunes, but I’ll have more to work with next time. These are the four tracks that caught my attention over the past five days. I’ll also add whether or not the track is a single release or album track, and links will be in the track description.
Pusha T – “H.G.T.V.” [Single]
It can’t be long until King Push, the eagerly anticipated full-length from Pusha T, eventually drops. The previous single “Drug Dealers Anonymous” with Jay Z was released way back in June, and as of today a third single has also appeared – “Circles” featuring Desiigner & Ty Dolla $ign. “H.G.T.V.” continues Pusha’s love affair with acronyms (if someone could decrypt what H.G.T.V. means I’d love to know) with an unusually low-key, dark and brooding beat from Mike Will Made It that allows Pusha’s single verse (no hook necessary!) to take center stage, full of typically witty punchlines and politically-charged comparisons toward his drug dealer status. Last year he was Kim Jong of the crack song, now he’s Blowbama.
Solange – Cranes in the Sky (Kaytranada DJ Edit) [Single]
In Kaytranada we trust. “Cranes in the Sky” is definitely one of the songs of the year, and this remix has simply enhanced it. Kaytranada’s mix is only 40 seconds longer than the original, but somehow the track’s presence and palette has expanded, amongst the clapping kick-beats and blissful harp arpeggios. This remix was played live during a DJ set, and subsequently released due to popular demand. He also shared his remix of Chance the Rapper’s “All Night”, pulled from the 0.001% mixtape – I’d love to see more of Kaytranada’s DJ edits and remixes surface in the future, maybe as some type of compilation.
Blank Banshee – “My Machine” [Album Track]
Bear with me as I try to describe this track. MEGA is the third release by vaporwave artist Blank Banshee, but sees a shift away from an established aesthetic towards a tighter concept, coherent vocal samples and a wider array of influences, ranging from Trap, IDM and Electro. “My Machine” sticks out among MEGA’s 14 other tracks, notably because it’s a non-stop paranoid roller-coaster through a synthetic virtual reality, accompanied by pulsating electro beats and repeated yelps that are distorted and chopped relentlessly. Check out the entire album for an immersive and chaotic electro-wave experience.
Yelawolf ft. Bubba Sparxxx – “Be Yourself” [EP Track]
Hotel is the latest EP release by Alabama’s Yelawolf, and to be frankly honest, I didn’t find much to like about it in the slightest. But I was surprised by this track “Be Yourself” featuring Bubba Sparxxx , it has an abundance of flair and energy that was sorely missing from the rest of Hotel. Even though Mr. Sparxxx goes completely off-topic during his verse, his attitude and flow brings plenty of substance. And even though this reference is kinda stale by this point in the year, I still think it’s a great line – “Spillin’ so much ink on the paper I could have filled up Drake’s pool, yeah” Download Hotel for free via HotNewHipHop.