Songs of the Week: R. Kelly Returns to Sex, Serena Williams Raps, and Azealia Banks Plays Jumanji

Serena Williams, “I Win” (?)

This song does not exist. It does not contain the lyric “I ball harder / no tennis racket.” It does not contain the lyric “Swag out this world, you should call me Venus / that’s my sister, my name is Serena.” Those aren’t real lyrics. This song does not exist.

Danny Brown, “Jay Dee’s Revenge”

If you’ve ever spent any significant amount of time in Michigan, you know worshiping the late hip-hop producer J. Dilla is practically written into the state constitution over there. Which, if you’ve ever spent any significant amount of time driving around a mind-numbingly freezing Michigan winter in a decrepit Mercury Sable blasting his bass monster beat for Frank n’ Dank’s “Marajuana” over and over again, you understand why. (This Danny Brown track comes off the latest posthumous Dilla release, Rebirth of Detroit.)

Icona Pop, “I Love It”

With all due respect to excellent sad sack Justin Vernon and his ilk, every once in a while those slow-drone acoustic singer-songwriter types must listen to stuff like this and just be like, “Ugh, whyyyyy are we so depressing.”

Passion Pit, “Take a Walk”

This song is about a lot of things: carnations being sold, boats being rocked, board games being played, love being made, accounts being overdrawn. It is also, at least partially, as far as I can tell, literally about taking a walk. If the next Pashy Pit single is about cleaning out the garage, I quit.

Animal Collective, “Honeycomb”

You’d think writing about music professionally would require one to know about music, right? Well, I’m going to keep it 100 with you guys: Other than Merriweather Post Pavilion, which doesn’t really count because everyone basically had to check out Merriweather Post Pavilion, I have never really listened to undisputed Pitchfork Hall of Famers Animal Collective. Oh, hey, here’s a new Animal Collective song!

Azealia Banks, “Jumanji”

  1. I don’t want to curb anyone’s creative license or anything, but sometimes I feel like it’d be a good idea to make every new rapper put out a song where they rap as hard as they can over a crazy-ass beat, just so we know for sure what they sound like doing that.
  2. Does Azealia kind of sound like Nicki here? Like, her actual voice?
  3. For the record, all-time, the universe is now two-for-two on “Things Named Jumanji” being rad.

Bonnie “Prince” Billy, “I See a Darkness”

The original “I See a Darkness” is just gut-wrenchingly depressing (and also more than a decade old), so of course famed R. Kelly fan Bonnie “Prince” Billy, a.k.a. Will Oldham, has gone and remade it as a totally happy-go-lucky little ditty, complete with a goofy video. Says director Ben Berman of Will, “He’s the perfect amount of weird.” That is tombstone-epithet perfect. “Here lies Will Oldham. He was the perfect amount of weird.”

R. Kelly, “It’s On”

Thank the heavens, R. Kelly is back to singing about sex. And there was evening and there was morning, and God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. (Like, in general. This song is kind of boring, though).

The Hives, “Go Right Ahead”

So The Hives are back and folks seem to be excited about it, which is a good reminder that leaving once the masses are getting bored of you and then coming back after a while — even if you come back exactly the same — is always a good way to get people to still like you. And that, my dear friends, is why I mysteriously disappear and don’t answer any of your texts between February and May every year.

Filed Under: Azealia Banks, R. Kelly, Songs of the Week

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Amos Barshad has written for New York Magazine, Spin, GQ, XXL, and the Arkansas Times. He is a staff writer for Grantland.

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