Songs of the Week: DOOM, Thom Yorke, and Jonny Greenwood Walk Into a Recording Studio…
DOOM feat. Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood, “Retarded Fren”
When official word came down that underground rap’s king weirdo DOOM was actually teaming up with Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood (for a track on Complex, Lex Records’ 10th Anniversary compilation), it was tough not to geek out a little bit. Which means the end result — a perfectly adequate DOOM track for which Yorkey and Greeny provide a beat that sounds like the score for a chase scene in a stylized neo-noir movie — is, through no fault of its own, just a touch disappointing. But what were we expecting? For Thom to throw down some bars? The best part is when DOOM shouts out the Lex anniversary show he’s playing with Ghostface tomorrow. That plug will age well.
Lady Gaga, “Marry the Night” (The Weeknd and Illangelo Remix)
For the Born This Way remix album, Lady Gaga got Drake’s druggie pals The Weeknd and their fellow Canuck Illangelo to get drowsy on this sorely underrated BTW jam. Hopefully, these guys are doing something irresponsible with their presumably massive remix fee as we speak.
Pusha T feat. Diddy, “Changing of the Guards”
Pusha T’s Fear of God II: Let Us Pray, an official re-release of his awesome EP from March, leaked this week, and this is the monstrous first track. By the way, do not be alarmed by the words “feat. Diddy” — in a real best-case scenario, Sean Combs’ appearance here consists entirely of him yelling stuff (“you n—– heads is too light!”) on the intro.
Big Sean feat. Nicki Minaj, “A$$” (Remix)
The new Big Sean video starts off perfectly well — Fresh Prince of Bel-Air opening credit homages, robes with leopard print interior — all on its own. And then Nicki Minaj shows up and goes nuts. The Union Jack/Fifth Element get-ups are commendable; the fact that just about the only words of her verse that don’t specifically delineate the particulars of a graphic sexual encounter are “wobbledy wobbledy” is even better. Are we crazy, or is this the most entertaining thing Nicki Minaj has ever done? Before you answer, stare at this gif for 45 minutes.
High Places, “Sonora”
Oddly enough, Kid Cudi and Shia LaBeouf also released a video this week in which a lot of people get gorily murdered for no particular reason. And with all due respect to Chris Palko’s French, High Places did it better.
Panda Bear, “You Can Count On Me” A Capella
Animal Collective’s Panda Bear drops a reverb-drenched, vocals-only version of his Tomboy standout, and accidentally provides the soundtrack for hipster heaven.
Justin Bieber, “Otis” Freestyle
In the very same week that a dastardly paternity suit threatened to turn his world upside down, a calm collected Justin Bieber managed to winningly
memorize and recite a ghostwritten verse freestyle on hip-hop radio. This is a level of unflappability you just cannot purchase.
Yelawolf, “Hard White” (Remix feat. T.I. and Slaughterhouse)
Yelawolf nabs his Shady Records mates, and an increasingly ubiquitous T.I., for the remix to his latest single. It’s pretty massive all on its own, but, sadly, only way for ‘Wolf to make sure this is the proper breakout? Biebs verse.
The Drums, “I Can’t Save Your Life”
The Drums – “I Can’t Save Your Life” (B-side) by Some Kind of Awesome
This moody, bass-heavy banger was clicking along just fine. And then we got to the lazer wooshes on the outro, and things really came together.
Superchunk, “Where Eagles Dare”
Much like the Misfit’s Danzing, Superchunk’s Mac McCaughan ain’t no goddamn son of a bitch. You better think about it, baby.