Lead image via Doe Boy's "Shoot Em Up" video
Every week, I touch down from the real world to tell you people on the internet about the songs you should listen to in order to seem cool. You do want to be cool, don’t you? If not, I mean that’s cool, too. Some of the coolest people don’t want to be cool at all. In fact, maybe the coolest thing is just being yourself. In which case, you should listen to these songs and just not make a big deal about it if you don’t like them. Your own taste is your own taste, you know?
The Necessaries - “Driving and Talking at the Same Time”
Arthur Russell was truly a once-in-a-generation talent, a guy who could flit between contemporary classical, outré-disco, warped folk, and pop perfection seemingly effortlessly, only to die before his unique voice could be fully appreciated. On September 15, Be With Records will be reissuing Event Horizon, the 1982 album from The Necessaries, a power-pop band featuring Russell playing alongside members of lit-punk legends The Modern Lovers and freak-rock originators Red Crayola. If you ask me, the internet has rendered reissues kind of useless –– who needs a reissue of some famous record when everything’s online? –– but, given the rarity of the project and significance of Russell to modern music of all stripes, this is the exception that proves reissues can still rule like hell.
White Man Periwinkle - “Ghetto”
Both White Man Periwinkle’s “Ghetto” and its accompanying music video are completely joyful. The Lagosian singer –– who shares a manager with the Nigerian superstar Wizkid –– literally hunts periwinkles for his job, which seems like a pretty chill way to make money.
J Stalin and DJ Fresh f. Celly Ru - “Surprise Party”
DJ Fresh is one of those producers who’s really only got one trick, but that doesn’t really matter in this case because his one trick is making insanely catchy g-funk bangers. He’s probably best-known for his Tonite Show series of releases, each of which finds him teaming up with a different –– and always extremely solid –– rapper, lending his auteurial stank to the bars of everybody from Jacka to Freddie Gibbs to Raekwon. Real DJ Fresh heads, however, know that he saves some of his hottest shit for his frequent collaborator J. Stalin, whose Oakland rasp serves as the perfect complement to Fresh’s supremely smooth instrumentals.
Doe Boy - “Shoot ‘Em Up”
Affiliation with Future’s FreeBandz clique is tantamount to a stamp of quality, and so it comes as no surprise that Doe Boy’s “Shoot ‘Em Up” is an unrepentant banger. It’s sort of the trap-rap equivalent to a punk song that makes everybody start reflexively circle-pitting at the all-ages hardcore matinee, except again, it is a rap song.
Hype Williams - “Kathy goes 2 Haiti”
The main thing about Hype Williams, the duo consisting of experimental heavyweights Dean Blunt and Inga Copeland, is that they are inscrutable. Their found footage-heavy work spans dub, R&B, electronic music, spoken word, and hip-hop, and the levels of performance art and conceptual weirdness are so integral to the project that you’re sort of supposed to take all of their public statements as a lie.
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For example, despite the fact that they’ve got a new album, titled Rainbow Edition, coming out on August 25, the album announcement came with a press release claiming that Blunt and Copeland are no longer involved with the project and that they’ve been replaced by a pair of producers known as Slaughter and Silvermane. Despite that, this prelude to Rainbow Edition sounds a lot like something the old Hype Williams would have made, just a lonely bassline roving and crackling into the digital ether. Regardless of who actually produced the thing, this song is cool as hell.
Que Billah and Fat Boi - “Peace to the Godz”
In case you were worried about me not writing about any rap songs featuring a bunch of rappin-ass rapping this week, well, here’s a rap song with a bunch of rappin-ass rapping, and in fact, I’m about to write about three more rap songs featuring a bunch of rappin-ass rapping.
Simeon Viltz - “Prime of My Life”
Here’s the next one.
Don Q - “Oochie Wally (Hot 97 Freestyle)”
And here’s the third one, though you should note that this one is a freestyle over Nas’s “Oochie Wally” and not an original composition.
Oozing Wound - “Dammit”
Yes, this is the idiosyncratic thrash band Oozing Wound covering Blink-182’s “Dammit,” and it’s good as hell. Despite claiming to dislike the song, Oozing Wound’s ability to inject its hooky pessimism with punishing doom and shit-kicking gloom shows that no matter what you think of them, Blink-182 were some of the most airtight songwriters of the pop-punk era. And more importantly, it shows that everything Oozing Wound touches turns to gold.
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Jessica Lea Mayfield - “Sorry Is Gone”
Oh man, this song rules so hard, don’t act like you’re not here for some damn shoegaze-country. Much like Blink-182 (see above, also lol how did I get to a point in my life where I’m actively telling strangers on the internet my thoughts about Blink-182, in all sorts of ways), Mayfield can write the hell out of a song, and her upcoming album –– also titled Sorry Is Gone –– is set to find her stepping out from the shadow of frequent collaborators Dan Auerbach and Seth Avett, which is good because fuck both those dudes — they suck at music.
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