Tracks we can’t stop listening to no matter how hard we try.
1. “The Way”, Kehlani feat. Chance The Rapper
R&B/soul artist, Kehlani, an Oakland native, is about to blow up big time. Touted this generation’s Aaliyah, Kehlani’s soulful pipes and songwriting skills are certainly attention-grabbing. On Instagram (@kehlanimusic) she’s been teasing fans with previews and behind-the-scenes prep for her debut album “You Should Be Here” (YSBH), which dropped today and is now available on iTunes. Highlights of the album include “The Way” (featured above), “Down For You” feat. BJ The Chicago Kid, and “How That Taste”. Keep up with Kehlani’s music on her SoundCloud, she’s one to watch.
2. “Gotta Make a Killin”, NeguimBeats
NeguimBeats, only 22 and straight out of Brazil, is an artist on the ever-growing Darker Than Wax artist roster. His work, best described as “dreamy, soulful trap” (and much more, really), has been featured on Thump and Do Androids Dance. Hit up the Darker Than Wax SoundCloud for the NeguimBeats Highlights compilation – that should get you through the day.
3. “At Your Best (You Are Love)”, Frank Ocean, StarRo Version
StarRo (Shinya Mizoguchi), now based in LA by way of Japan, makes soulful electronic music. We had a taste of that while he embarked on his Let’s Get Emotional Tour 2015 around Asia, which saw him playing 13 shows across 10 cities in five countries. Frank Ocean’s cover of “At Your Best (You Are Love)” – originally an Isley Brothers ballad, also covered by Aaliyah – was amazing on its own, but then StarRo put his mystical, soulful touch to the thing and now his version has received more than a million plays on his SoundCloud.
4. “Kanye West’s First Beats (Disc 1)”, Jensen Karp
Two days ago, Jensen Karp, who used to be signed to Interscope as a rapper, released the full contents of one of two CDs he found in his garage on YouTube. Both discs bore the name Kanye West on them and were given to him in 2001. Karp wrote, “I think this collection of early Kanye beats shows you where he came from, even if it doesn’t necessarily sound like ‘Kanye’ now. He kept at it and became the incredible producer he is today. I remember he even had to leave the studio sessions early, so he could make the last train back to his mom’s house. He’s come a long way, and I’m proud to have been around, even if for just a second at the start.”
5. “Best Friend”, Yelawolf feat. Eminem
Yelawolf (Michael Wayne Atha) and Eminem collaborated on “Best Friend”, a song which lyrics tell the story of Yelawolf’s journey including his personal struggles and inner demons. Following Yelawolf’s verses that paint vivid imagery of heaven and hell dichotomies, Eminem bursts forth with a rap verse that’s fast and furious against a backdrop of strings. If it sounds dramatic, wait till you watch the music video.