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Songs of the Week: Jeezy Cooks Up the Rap Equivalent of an Onion Griddle Volcano, M.I.A. Lives Again

Jeezy feat. Rocko, 2 Chainz, “Benihana”

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Jeezy has decided to name this song “Benihana” as an homage to the fantastic circus of a restaurant chain. The song is chock-full of food references from all three rappers, and the hook contains both Paula Deen and Greg Maddox references. So yes, listen to this. Loudly.

Run The Jewels feat. Big Boi, “Banana Clipper”

Run The Jewels (Killer Mike and El-P) released their fantastic debut album this summer, and one of the standout tracks was “Banana Clipper,” which features Killer Mike’s mentor, Big Boi. The video finally came out this week, which involves the three men in a parking lot rapping, with cars that refuse to stop hitting doughnuts. It’s really all you need.

M.I.A., “Y.A.L.A.”

Yes, “Y.A.L.A.” is a play on YOLO, meaning “You always live again,” which on paper is corny. But the song, thankfully, makes up for that by being a jam. And that’s only amplified by this colorful, pulsating video. Also, as she’s the female Benjamin Button counterpart of the 40-year-old Pharrell, sometimes you have to smack yourself and remember that Maya is 38 years old.

Sampha, “Happens”

A friend of mine tweeted the other day, “I’m pretty sure Sampha has never made a bad song.” So far, between the singer’s EP and his feature on Drake’s “Too Much,” it seems like that sentiment rings true. This video for “Happens” is no different, continuing his 2013 hot streak, one that will most certainly go into 2014 as he helps Solange with her next album.

Disclosure feat. Nile Rodgers, Sam Smith, and Jimmy Napes, “Together”

Don’t waste time reading what I have to say about this, just listen to this bag of funk over and over again. Any piece of music with a byline combining Disclosure, Nile, and Sam Smith should never be bad. And it’s not. It’s gold.

Blood Orange, “Time Will Tell”

The only thing more enjoyable than watching Blood Orange (Dev Hynes) sing and play the keys is watching him dance in all white. There’s a lot of both in the one-take video for “Time Will Tell,” a song off his new album, Cupid Deluxe. So enjoy this.

India Shawn, “I’m Alive”

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Solange’s label Saint Records released a compilation album this week, Saint Heron, complete with 12 R&B tracks from popular artists (Solange, Cassie, Jhene Aiko) and those up-and-coming (Sampha, Kelela). One of the best is a Badu-channeling track from India Shawn called “I’m Alive.” It stands out, but the entire compilation is a good listen from start to finish. Stream it here.

Lily Allen, “Hard Out Here”

This new song from Lily Allen is not that great, but the video got a lot of people’s attention for 48 hours earlier this week. So there’s that.

Drake, “Worst Behavior (Edited)”

Don’t worry, there’s still swearing in here. What’s gone, however, is the five-minute skit in the middle that is only useful if you have to go to the bathroom and run to the mailbox in the middle of watching a music video. Thanks go to FreshMusic for this public service.

Mariah Carey feat. Boyz II Men, “One Sweet Day” (1996 Grammys)”

Mariah Carey recently released a new song, “The Art of Letting Go.” She followed that by stating that the wrong version of “The Art of Letting Go” was released. This is some of what Mrs. Carey-Cannon had to say:

To cut to the chase, a mistake was made by a brand new sound engineer whose only task was to press the space bar and upload the song to Facebook, while my team, and an incredible group of people from Facebook, partied while listening to the properly mixed & mastered version of “The Art of Letting Go” on repeat from my iPod on my home speakers. Clearly, I was focused on answering your questions during the Q&A. There was no reason for me to wonder if the final mix we were listening to in that room together was different than what you were listening to!!!!! Like I always say, I am involved with every record I make, from the inception to the completion of the song. Every nuance of the beat or vocal matters to me. Even if the differences may seem slight to you, I had put time, effort and emotions into “The Art of Letting Go” and the real mix is how I intended for you to hear the song.”

Neither of these songs, the wrong or “right” version, matters. Because neither is that great. So just watch Mariah simultaneously channel Athena, Dionysus, and Aphrodite in this amazing performance of “One Sweet Day” alongside Boyz II Men at the 1996 Grammys.

Have a nice weekend.