This week’s music picks sees some newcomers to the scene getting a leg up, whether intentionally or not, from established artistes.
1) Bastille ft. Ella, “No Angels”
A mashup of “Angels” from The xx and “No Scrubs” from TLC, this emotionally-charged track is interlaced with lines from the 1960 horror-slasher film Psycho. What seems like a strange move on Bastille’s part actually resulted in an addictive mix that’s nothing short of spellbinding.
2) Roy Woods ft. Drake, “Drama”
Roy Woods is in prime position to be the next breakout singer, with his smooth vocals having generated plenty of buzz. It helps that he’s now part of Drake’s record label, OVO, and Drizzy’s involvement in this track will go a long way in showing what Woods is capable of in due time.
3) The Game ft. Skrillex, “El Chapo”
Inspired by Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, The Game and Skrillex team up for a song that’s heavy on South American bass and trumpet horns. While not exactly a tribute to the recently re-captured mafia boss or his exploits, this track is true blue gangsta rap with fitting lyrics.
4) J. Cole, “Black Friday”
While the world was busy shopping on Black Friday, Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole took the opportunity to drop new tracks that were remixes of each others’ songs. Lamar tweaked “A Tale of 2 Citiez”, while Cole reworked “Alright” to perfection. Now, where’s that Kendrick Lamar x J. Cole mixtape that fans have been waiting for?
5) Rory Fresco, “Lowkey”
Little-known Missouri-based rapper Rory Fresco can thank Kanye West for his newfound success. It seems that whenever West’s new song “Real Friends” is played on SoundCloud, the streaming platform would autoplay Fresco’s “Lowkey” next. This caused the once-obscure song to jump from 5,000 hits to over 150,000 in just one day. By itself, the track sounds great; the boost from Yeezy (no pun intended) just made it better.