Yasiin Bey, “Niggas In Poorest”
So apparently Yasiin Bey (a.k.a. the artist formerly known as Mos Def) has started series called Top 40 Underdog, in which he’ll drop his particular spin on the hits of the day. With “Niggas In Paris,” Bey doesn’t quite tack new verses over the steamrolling Hit Boy beat, choosing instead to riff earnestly off his buds Jay-Z and Kanye’s original lyrics: “What’s fifty grand to a young nigga like me? More than my annual salary.” Hopefully he does LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It” next!
Die Antwoord, “I Fink U Freaky”
What becomes of the forgotten internet curio? Die Antwoord, the South African “zef” rap crew, burst out onto the internet with the bizarre “Enter the Ninja” and promise of endless oddities to come; they even landed a deal, with Interscope. Surprise! It didn’t work out. In November, Die Antwoord released this statement: “So anyway…Interscope offered us a bunch of money again to release our new album TEN$ION. But this time, they also tried to get involved with our music, to try and make us sound like everyone else out there at the moment. So we said: ‘U know what, rather hang on to your money, buy yourself something nice…we gonna do our own thing. Bye bye.'” Now, with the initial burst of blog posts long behind them, Die Antwoord being the long slog toward non-“wow check it out these guys are mad weird” respectability. Good luck, guys.
Lana Del Rey, “Born to Die” (Clams Casino remix)
Guess who still likes Lana Del Rey (or produced this before she did SNL/was paid enough not to care who the hell he was remixing): cloud-rap-producer don Clams Casino!
Bruce Springsteen, “We Take Care Of Our Own”
For the most part I’m the kind of jerk who likes to make fun of olds who continue to churn out material in the latter-stages of their once legendary careers. It’s just a good way of keeping all these famous musicians’ egos down, you know? But my dude Springsteen always gets the exception. His last one, 2009’s Working On a Dream, wasn’t quite up to par with 2006’s baller Magic, but I’m pretty sure Bruce has now re-acquired the hot sauce. Listen to the first single from March’s Wrecking Ball, and dare to disagree.
Azealia Banks, “Bambi”
Earlier this week, Azealia Tweeted “I am now officially signed to Universal Music … Wow I just wanna drink a million bottles of champagne and do a million bell kicks right now.” Then I looked up what a bell kick was, and found out it’s just that thing where you jump in the air for joy and click your heels together. Azealia’s debut album isn’t even out yet (that’s coming this summer, they say) and I’m already learning things!
Heems feat. Action Bronson, Lakutis, and Kool A.D., “Yo What’s Good New York”
Another week, another solo mixtape from the fellows of Das Racist. Kool A.D. was up first, and he dropped The Palm Wine Drinkard, a mesmerizing collection of chants and incantations. Heems’ Nehru Jackets is a more straightforward affair, highlighted by the above action-packed number. Queens’ Action Bronson talks about sprinkling cheese on himself; DR extended crewmember Lakutis shouts out the Deep Blue Sea soundtrack and the three seashells from Demolition Man. In a related note, I am now co-producing a cheeky public access NYC tourism show called “Yo What’s Good New York.”
Ke$ha, “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright”
Ke$ha! Dylan! Let’s goooooo!!!!!!!!!!!! (This is terrible).
Santigold, “Big Mouth”
Santigold returns almost four years after dropping her self-titled debut (back when it was Santogold). Her new one, Master of My Make-Believe, has distribution via Roc Nation, a single called “Big Mouth,” and a Technicolor eyesore video that won’t not make people think of M.I.A., again. If you’re spending the rest of your Friday afternoon idly Googling new dance moves for this weekend, this right here is a good place to start.
Lower Dens, “Brains”
The Misfits must have a song named “Brains,” right? Hold on, let me check. What?! They don’t! The closest I can find is “Brain Eaters,” which is pretty great as far as alternatives go. What’s that? Oh, right, yeah, Lower Dens – they don’t sound like the Misfits at all, but they’re still quite dope.
Butch Walker and the Black Widows, “Synthesizers”
For the first time in nearly twenty years … Matthew McCoonaughey is … David “Woody” Wooderson: this is happening, people. Alright. Alright. Alright.