Holidays in the middle of the week are always weird, right? Like, you either got Monday and Tuesday off and then had a three-day workweek, which barely feels like a workweek at all, or you went to work Monday and didn’t do shit, then had Tuesday off, then worked for three days and now it’s the weekend. It’s weird, man!
Meanwhile, I’m a freelance writer, which means I have every day sort of off, but also I have to sort of work every day, which is both better and worse than having a real job. Anyways, here’s some music that is good. The tunes aren’t quite right for a barbecue, and I wouldn’t say they’re perfect to listen to while working, so yeah — these picks are sort of a fit with this strange-ass half-week.
Natia - “The Wrong Way Pt. II”
There’s something a bit unnerving about Natia’s performance in his video for “The Wrong Way Pt. II.” He’s rapping about luxury brands and Möet, but he’s shirtless in a dirty kitchen, empties of shitty beer in the background, his eyes a little too wide and his smile a little bit too plastered-on to not be chemically induced. The raps are clever and hilarious, and if you look behind him to the counter you can see a can of PBR wedged in a Timberland. It’s half Max B, half David Lynch.
Livid - “The Fire”
The Minneapolis metal band Livid’s new track blares like hell and pounds like death, ten minutes of riffs and wails to give you plenty of time to think about the futility of life. Look at that lil skeleton guy on their album cover. He wants to give you a hug.
Riff 3x - “Oh Yea”
The Rae Sremmurd affiliate Riff 3x’s new track is a hypnotic banger, the sort of thing you can put on after you’ve smoked all the weed in the county and get lost in for what seems like hours.
Qari - “mdblmnm”
First off, you pronounce his name “Carl.” Second off, “mdblmnm” is a perfect slab of sad-bastard drunken jazz-rap that would make both Young Thug and Butterfly from Digable Planets proud. For better or worse, the track’s art is a drawing of Xxxtentacion’s mug shot in the style of the infamous leprechaun illustration.
Lil Durk - “Nobody Know”
Of all the rappers to emerge from the Chicago drill scene, Lil Durk might be my favorite. He can sing, he can rap, he can get hype, he can hit you with an emotional gutpunch. On his newest track, he doubles down on the pathos over a Chopsquad DJ production that slows down the city’s usually frenetic Bop sound until the space between the keyboard flourishes feels lonely and cavernous.
Karen & the Sorrows - “Back Down to the Dirt”
Is it just me, or has indie-country been super badass lately? Or has indie-country always been badass and we all just haven’t been cool enough to pay attention? Either way, Karen & the Sorrows’s newest track is wistful and cathartic and if you’re not their new biggest fan, you probably have an ego problem or bad taste, plain and simple.
Will Butler - “Anything You Want / 4 July 17”
Will Butler is in the Arcade Fire and is the brother of Win Butler, who is the main guy in the Arcade Fire. I’m pretty meh about that band overall, but Will Butler released a Randy Newman-esque, Roy Orbison-sampling piano-dude song about George Washington, which he put out on the Fourth of July because obviously. The song is great, and it reminds me of the fact that I’ve got a friend named Will Butler who writes about music and was one time quoted in the New York Times as Arcade Fire Will Butler.
Lul Bear - “Get Ya Roll On”
Over a beat that’s barely there, the Oakland rapper Lul Bear raps a bunch of explicit stuff about fucking and it’s sort of amazing. His voice is breathy and not particularly sexy, and actually the way he raps about having sex it doesn’t sound like it would be very fun to have sex with Lul Bear. Thankfully, you don’t have to fuck Lul Bear to like his song.
Lil Wayne f. Gudda Guddy and HoodyBaby - “Loyalty”
Earlier this week, Lil Wayne dropped four new songs on YouTube. The best of them is “Loyalty,” which features motherfucking GUDDA GUDDA, baby!!! There is a small but loyal faction of Gudda-to-the-second-power superfans, and I will tell you right here, on this website about weed, that I will protect Gudda Gudda at all costs from any and all negative comments about him I come across. Oh also, Lil Wayne kills it.
GMane - 'Texas Bama' (Mixtape)
GMane is a product of Hustville, Alabama, but his musical heart lies in Houston. So, if you’re GMane, you probably want to name your mixtape Texas Bama. No matter where he’s from, though, GMane’s honey-dipped baritone flows over a set of beats that feel indebted to mid-2000s Houston rap, which now that I think about it was an extremely good era for Houston rap.
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