Black Hippy, “UOENO (Black Hippy remix)”
In 1865, a druggist from Waterloo, New York, named Henry C. Wells proposed a day to commemorate the massive loss of life in the Civil War. By the next year, with the support of General John B. Murray, the very first Memorial Day was held; by last century, Memorial Day had become a day to honor all members of the armed services who lost their lives in combat. But you were planning on commemorating the occasion by dragging a beach chair up to your friend’s neighbor’s roof and drinking Corona Lights all day, weren’t you? Well, look, that’s all fine and good. But maybe we can take this opportunity to remember some stuff, too. For example, here’s Kendrick Lamar’s crew Black Hippy giving Rocko’s radio hit yet another makeover. The original featured the Rick Ross verse, in which he alluded to providing women with Molly without her consent, got him in hot water and dropped by Reebok. On the Hippy version, it’s Schoolboy Q addressing the situation: “Molly in her drink … but she asked me for it.” Talk about learning from others’ mistakes! See, remembering stuff is fun.
The xx and Jessie Ware, “Lady/Music Sounds Better Than You”
While in Berlin, the mopey baby geniuses got their ascendant country-mate/chanteuse Jessie Ware to pop up onstage for bits of Modjo’s “Lady (Hear Me Tonight)” and Stardust’s “Music Sounds Better With You,” (THEME: remembering old stuff), and all of a sudden you’re like “Those songs aren’t corny! Those songs are the greatest songs ever written!” Man, the xx probably make the best mixtapes.
L.E.P. Bogus Boys feat. Lil Wayne and Ma$e, “Commas”
The middle part of the video is standard balls-out procedure, and a credited Murda Ma$e never actually shows up. But the framing device here is so “Why didn’t I think of that?” perfect that you won’t even care for a second. Also, Ma$e! What’s up, dude?! Where you been?
Boards of Canada, “Reach for the Dead”
Grantland’s resident Boards of Canadaologist Emily Yoshida has already broken down for you exactly what we’re dealing with here with the new BOC album, Tomorrow’s Harvest. But now we get an actual, real-deal studio track (and video!), and it’s ominous and epic and pretty major. By the way, these dudes are from Scotland, not up north. Hey, uh, remember Braveheart?
Daft Punk, “Horizon”
If you haven’t had enough from the funky robots yet, here’s a Japanese edition of the Random Access Memories bonus cut. Hey, uh, remember the 1905 Russo-Japanese war?
Earl Sweatshirt feat. Mac Miller, “Guild”
Midway through his verse, Mac Miller begins to enumerate one of his manners of seduction: He communicates with the lady on Twitter, then meets her in person and says something mean to her. The rest is easy: “Somewhere getting high reading Juxtapoz / I hit her up, she come through and watch Adjustment Bureau.” Then, in the back, someone, possibly Earl, goes, “That’s a good movie.” I mean, seriously: shout-out to 2011 Matt Damon. Shout-out to magic hats.
Charli XCX, “I Want It That Way” (Backstreet Boys cover)
Whatever else you think of this version, know this: There is no irony in Charli XCX’s intentions here. She loves the Backstreet Boys, and she will pay them homage whenever and however she sees fit. Long live the memory of BSB (yes, I am aware they’re still touring and recording. But I’d rather focus on the Boys’ golden era, you know?).
Kanye West, 2005 freestyle
Throwback! London radio DJ Tim Westwood had been holding on to this one for seven years, which sounds pretty crazy, except then you watch it and you’re like “HMMM YES MAYBE NOT MR. KANYE WEST AT HIS BEST HERE.” A must-have for the true Kanye completist, of course, but also a reminder that real freestyling is at least as hard as trigonometry and definitely as hard as parallel parking. Now can everyone get off RiFF RAFF’s back?
Mariah Carey feat. Miguel, “#Beautiful”
Earlier this morning, Mariah Carey had an instantly infamous train wreck of an appearance on Good Morning America. She said “shit” on TV, her dress broke, and when she tried to effectively lip-synch, it sounded like this monstrosity above you. (On the plus side: Miguel did not leg-drop anyone. Not even a single person.) Remember today. It is a very important day. Because of Mariah Carey.
Ciara feat. Nicki Minaj, “I’m Out”
I can’t pretend like this one fits the theme, so let’s just take it very literally, and all of us go be “out.” Happy Memorial Day weekend!