Songs I Like This Week! (Vol. 8)

And, just like that, I have returned.

Onto the songs.

Rich Homie Quan – Money Fold

 

At one point in my life, I was a RHQ stan. You can say it was due to RICH GANGGGGG running my life at the time or something else, but the guy was talented. He had a weird stretch where I just wasn’t feeling him, but 2017’s Back To The Basics is a nice comeback play. “Money Fold” reminds me of a previous song of his (“Real”) but it’s also good in its own right. Any song where Quan can kick it off with some outrageous shit (“I GOT ME LIKE….FIFTEEN HOES!!!) is gonna get me on board. The keys and the overall boisterousness of the beat harkens back to a looser, more confident Quan; back when things were all good between him and Young Thug.

The Boy Illinois – Dancing Like Diddy

 

I’ve known Illi for a long time now, thanks to Twitter and Niketalk (tap tap pull for my real ones). He’s always been talented and had a feel for making catchy music while still making it very clear he can rap. “Dancing Like Diddy” is no exception. The song is fun as hell, that looped vocal sample and Illi’s energy really make it an enjoyable listen. You can also tell he’s acutally going to dance in the video. He just signed to Priority Records, so you will certainly see and hear more of his work.

Gunna – Another Wave (ft. Duke and Shad Da God)

 

The first time I heard Gunna rap was on “Floyd Mayweather,” the song off of Young Thug’s Jeffery that was fire when it didn’t have Travis Scott yodeling on it. He really stood out, and didn’t sound ridiculous rapping next to Thug at all. I checked out his most recent tape Drip Season 2 this week, and its not bad at all. “Another Wave” sticks out to me; beat is great and Duke and Gunna have excellent chemistry. It’s just a good (semi) posse cut; “I just want some knees!” makes me laugh every time. The beat sounding like a Sonic The Hedgehog level with 808s seals the deal.

A.Chal – Perdóname

 

I interviewed A.CHAL about a year ago and have been a big fan since. His music is unique, he blends his Peruvian heritage/spiritual growth into his work; managing to stand out in the glut of moody alt-R&B singers is tough, but he has done it. “Perdóname” means “forgive me” in Spanish, so you can guess what the song is about. It’s a very syrupy, pained take on not having the same goals as a woman in your life. From the first verse, he expresses remorse over things falling apart because she wants more than he can give. By the second verse, he’s spinning out of control over the prospect of losing her. Dating is tough; no matter how smooth you are, your emotions will get tied up at some point. Check out A.CHAL’s latest project, ON GAZ.

Jealousy, also a male trait.

 

How would you feel  if someone you were dating and really liked, had a crush on someone famous, and that person was….accessible? I don’t mean “he retweeted her once”, I mean, they’ve met, or he frequents the same clubs she does, or even lives in your city. Would you care, or would you just brush it off?

Let me just save you some time: I cared. I cared for a very long time.

From about the time I was 19, I wanted to be in the music industry. I was always into music, but I couldn’t rap, sing, make beats, or play any instruments. Thus, I always wondered where and how I would fit in. I eventually found my way.

Working towards this dream, and talking all over the internet about being in the industry, thrusts you into different circles. Now I’m amongst like minded individuals, who want to do things in entertainment, in journalism, who like being in those scenes. And some of them are hot girls. A LOT OF THEM, ARE HOT GIRLS.

One would think that if you’re dating women who are constantly amongst famous and handsome dudes as part of their careers, maybe you’d have your jealousy under control beforehand.

LOL.

 

About 4 years ago, my girlfriend and I were talking about when she interviewed A$AP Rocky. She started giggling and talking about how he dresses and my jealousy switch flipped to ON. She saw me tensing up and she said “Oh Robby, come on. He was just really nice to me. Ferg is the one who made me blush!” She laughed at me, at how ridiculous I was being over all of this. She kept teasing me then gave me a kiss, so I would stop being so jealous. I immediately thought “WOWWWWWW I gotta give up A$AP now?? This love shit is COSTLY!” This was just the beginning.

In the summer of 2014, me and my relatively new date were walking around LES, trying to get a drink or 3. We end up bumping into her friends and they all decide to go to Beauty and Essex. If you’ve never been, it’s pretty nice in there, and I had only heard of it up to that point, so why not? We get in, we talk and drink a little, everything is cool. We go in the back to the couches and sit down, and there is where things went left.

In walks Mack Wilds. You know who Mack Wilds is (or you should). He’s an actor, singer, and most relevant of all to this story, he’s from NYC. Now I knew beforehand that my date had a tremendous crush on him, but I didn’t know how deep it went.

When she saw him, I kid you not, she started reapplying her lip gloss and checking her make up and hair. She was also hyperventilating. This situation is now in the red, and I don’t know what to do. I legit remember the sweat forming on my brow, and me thinking “AM I ABOUT TO GET MY DATE STOLEN BY SON FROM THE WIRE???”. I strongly thought about just leaving her ass in there, but I didn’t feel like that was a real way to go about it. I let it play out; he didn’t come over or say anything. We eventually left, I told her bye, and I got up outta there. She apologized soon after, and we even kept dating after that, surprise! Still, that shit was harrowing. I really don’t feel threatened by other dudes, but I felt threatened as HELL that night. I also liked his album! And The Wire! And The Breaks!

There was the girl who just LOVED Jesse Boykins III. Not to trivialize her as just some girl who was obsessed with a singer; I liked her a lot, and that feeling was mutual. I’m also a fan, but her tendency to constantly bring him up started to rub me the wrong way. On one date, she just went off on this tangent about how he just moved to Brooklyn, and how she hoped they’d cross paths. I mentally checked out and let her go on…until I just decided I had enough. She tried to make it seem like she wasn’t doing too much, and I was kind of uncomfortable for the next half hour or so. Now that I think of it, I’m starting to wonder if she was trying to make me feel….jealous? If so, she succeeded. After we stopped dating (it ended poorly), I kind of avoided his music for a while, because I actually couldn’t deal with it.

But why am I like this? What was I afraid of? Is my ego set so that I couldn’t deal with losing a girl to someone famous? Maybe I didn’t really believe in myself. I think once your self esteem gets to the right place, you tend to not move so fearfully. Crushes are crushes; this doesn’t mean they’ll be acted on. I feel like a part of it can even be an inferiority complex, where you feel you can’t match up. In my experience, those girls liked me enough to not just choose someone else over me, and maybe I shouldn’t have sweated it so much.

I shouldn’t have let jealousy get to me. I never acted out, but I spent a lot of time behind the scenes, quietly upset and fearful that I’d lose out to someone who was just more….everything, than me. I think what I had trouble grasping, was that women can sometimes see you as much more than you appear; you can be more than your outward appearance, your job, your social status. If a woman really feels strongly about you, it’s not as likely that she’ll just discard you for a famous dude. I feel like that’s a lot of guys’ worst nightmare, but I’ve looked it in the eyes a few times, and I’ve come out better for it. Don’t be afraid of her celeb crush sending a tweet and sweeping her off her feet while you’re at your regular ass job; she probably really likes you and values you more than him. Just treat her right, listen, and don’t answer her questions with a question; you’ll be ok.

The Return of #AskRobby.

It’s been 3 years since I’ve done #AskRobby. Three whole years. A lot has happened since. I will use this time to answer random questions I fielded off of #TheTwitter.

Grew up in Brooklyn, live in Queens, if y’all dont know.

Brooklyn was the shit growing up. Brooklyn is now a gentrified shell of itself, that I am complicit in, because I still hang out there and spend money there. It’s still beautiful out there, and definitely safer than it was when I was a kid, but its still very jarring, and I feel like shit if I really think about it. I really do wanna move back next year, but I don’t wanna be on the outskirts.

Queens is nice and quiet and mostly safe. But it’s far as shit from everything. It has, however, retained more of its soul than Brooklyn has; this won’t be true for long, as Astoria and LIC have become destinations. I love both places but its crystal clear where my heart lies. I really do have a thing for NYC, but I sometimes think I really need to leave it behind. With that said, the things that are happening with my writing career, I pretty much benefit from staying here. Conundrum!

First off, this shit ain’t happening.

 

But if it does, I’m gonna be somewhere biting a hard copy of Keef’s “Finally Rich” in half. Right down the middle. Like a Hungry Hungry Hippo who’s a fan of a mediocre team that causes him lots of emotional pain. I think we’ll be good this year, but even if we aren’t, Odell will likely unveil lots of #urban #youth dances.

 

It’s gotta be spastically dancing to  Crystal Water’s “Gypsy Woman” as a kid (my parents were way into House, this is the song that sticks out in my childhood memories) or playing with my MC Hammer doll and watching the 2 Legit To Quit video. I pretty much every “Gypsy Woman” flip is hard (and there are TONS). As a little Robby, I wanted to be Hammer. I remember holding the doll in my hand and staring at the haircut like “I WANT A CUT LIKE THAT!”. It also came with a cassette….I definitely made my parents play the hell out of the tape. Now, my shirt is never really closed, just like Hammer. Those repeated listens of Crystal Water’s biggest hit has to have lead to me thinking Broke With Expensive Taste is a GREAT album.

I was MAYBE six years old, and my mom gave me a notebook to write in. Just to write whatever I wanted. It was night time in Williamsburg, and the sky was kind of always purple in the dead of night over there. It started raining, so  sat my bedroom window and watched the rain hit the glass. Next thing you know, I’m writing shitty poetry about raindrops. BOOM. WRITER IS BORN.

I highkey did not like writing until I was damn near…..17? My favorite English teacher convinced me I was good and I kept at it. Tons of random personal blogs later and it became real. Also, I never really went back to poetry, I might’ve written all of 4-5 poems in my entire life, it’s not really my medium. I put 2 poems on IG a few years ago to pretty good reception; I might go back to it soon, ya never know. I’m a romantic poem guy, I can’t help it.

You ever had one of those Big Bites from 7-11?

Ok, so, I sorta don’t understand what exactly this tweet is asking. I could ask for clarity but, no, clarity is not what we do here. I’m gonna guess this is a “how many women have you recklessly  let it off in” question. The answer to that would be 0, I am way too paranoid about my skeet to just let my meat Uzi off sans any sort of birth safeguard. I don’t have time for kids, that would really cut into my “lying on Twitter/eating buffalo wings” schedule. You Twitter people are #too #wild.

(Naw deadass, how do you people just leave it in women then go to sleep peacefully??? My nerves are too bad for that shit, the hell wrong with y’all)

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I don’t really expect either team to end the season in the upper half of the Western Conference (what a mild ass take this was). I am not of the belief that Russ is just gonna go bonkers and turn into even more of a monster because now he’s “free” of the “burden” of the best scorer in the got damn NBA. I think the Thunder will have an ok season, but this “RUSS MVP!” shit is terribly overblown.

The Rockets have D’Antoni, Harden, Back From The Dead Eric Gordon, and Ryan Anderson. A lot of 3’s are getting a shot, a lot of running will be gunning, and no one is playing any defense. They GOTTA be a top 3 League Pass team off the strength. I don’t think they are gonna win a ton of games, but they are gonna beat more asses thank people think.

Thunder will have the better season as a team, but Harden will have the superior individual season. He finally has people to pass to who will actually make jumpers, as opposed to clanging the absolute shit out of them on national TV.

Biggest lesson I learned this year is that patience actually works. I frequently feel urges to make impulsive and poorly thought out decisions, to get what I want. In reality, just waiting, working towards something, and believing everything will align is enough. The point is: you have to do all 3. I wasn’t doing all three until late 2015. There are aspects of my life that are extremely aggravating, but I personally feel like I’m living the dream. I am well on the way to having whatever I want, and I have found most of the things/feelings/situations I sought after, because I was patient. I also recognized the important of improving yourself for the journey that lies ahead; there is a magic in getting ready for goals you can’t really see yet. Being ready so you don’t have to get ready is very very important.

This was fun. Let’s do it in another 3 years.

Songs I Like This Week! (Vol. 7)

I know, I know, it’s been a long time. *WEAK ASS EXCUSE HERE*. Onward to the jams.

Travis Mendes – How Close (Closure Edit)

 

Travis is a singer-songwriter, most recently known for his work within Jon Bellion’s band/collective. I also, went to elementary school with Travis! Seeing him on the road with Jon, and becoming more of a success by the day is a real inspiration. Travis recently dropped an EP of his own (“Closure”) and this is surely my favorite song on it. How Close is about the familiar feeling of knowing someone is perfect for you, but feeling that urge to pull away. Being wrapped up in them is inevitable; Travis captures that emotion perfectly here.

Bricc Baby ft. Ty Dolla $ign & Kid Ink – Lie 2 Kick It

 

This is pure ignorance. Dolla $iiiggggnnn kicks it off with a smooth body shaming/”you BROKE and wear fake clothes” combo and Bricc Baby accuses you of not letting your gun off, for starters. The beat is Mustard at his most menacing in years, and dare I say it, Kid Ink kinda snapped (#KidInkTrutherGang, more on this later). The minute I heard this song, I KNEW. I just KNEW. I feel like Mustard over-saturated rap with his sound; he definitely benefitted from laying low a little bit. I’ve listened to this song every day since I stumbled across it, because I enjoy shit that sounds like an unsafe neighborhood in California.

VanJess – Adore

 

Adore describes a perfect night of sex and related filth, from a woman’s perspective.  A really sultry rnb song, thats just perfect for this time of the year. Their voices are perfect for the subject matter, and there’s some quality lyricism, hinting at roleplay and rough sex, without hitting you over the head with it. There’s magic in a little subtlety.

PNB Rock ft. Fetty Wap – Spend The Night

 

I decided to check out the Fetty Wap & PNB Rock collab tape that dropped this week (Money, Hoes & Flows) and its a pretty fun listen; they have really good chemistry and seem to enjoy working with each other. “Spend The Night” is an overture to convince that special girl to stay over and let you slap your meat off inside her. I swear half of the hook is inaudible, but Fetty’s melody game is ridiculous, as always. The production also sounds like riding a carousel on Mars, perfectly tying Fetty’s off kilter singing and PNB Rock’s abrasive lyrics together perfectly.

Kid Ink ft. Jeremih & Spice – Nasty

 

First off, shoutout to my man David Drake. He put me on via his monthly column. I LOVE THIS SONG. It has everything I look for in fun ass songs: filth, steelpans, a simple hook that can be yelled while drunk, and extreme catchiness. I can’t wait to embarrass myself to this after Dark And Stormy number 4. I am also a Kid Ink truther, it’s not lost on me that he always finds a way to get to a hit….and he’s done it again. I listen to this song every day, and I am not exaggerating. This is a super fun, dancehall-tinged (ok it’s an American ass take on dancehall that gets away with it via Spice’s involvement) song that should definitely light the summer up.

Maxwell – The Fall

 

I grew up on Maxwell. My mother loved (and still loves) him; his music has always ben a special, nostalgic thing for me. As he has matured in his subject matter, I’ve grown as a man. What gets me most about him is his vulnerability, his unwavering commitment to singing about his difficulties. The Fall is about the interplay of feeling like someone loves you when they are with you, but not knowing where you stand when they aren’t. While being aware of the inconsistency of things, you’re also waiting for the other shoe to drop, for things to “Fall” apart. I’ve been there, it’s real, it’s very real. The song is just extremely well written and the fullness of the percussion is incredible; I have to see this live.

“yall aint having SEX?”

Sex is important.

Sex is really important. But guess what?

I dated someone and did not have sex with them for almost 3 months. I didn’t regret it. I didn’t plan to wait 3 months. She didn’t ask me to wait 3 months. I just did it. Allow me to set the scene.

It’s the wonderful summer of 2014. The birds were chirping, my skin was LIT, my natural hair journey was just kind of warming up, it was a good time. I won’t say girls ALWAYS liked me, but something about that particular summer was a turning point. I was happy, I was meeting good women with regularity (perhaps because I was becoming a better man), I wasn’t as uptight anymore; everything was different.

One day on Twitter, I was just freely talking about music, as I usually do, and found myself in agreement with a very pretty, very brown, very tall young woman. I kind of knew who she was, since mutual friends of hers always spoke about her to me like she was a local celebrity; just far enough that you can’t touch, but just close enough that you could fantasize. Anyways, our convo is interrupted by a retweet that says….

Why don’t you two go on a date???

The person who wrote it was one of our mutual friends. I was with it, but I was patient enough to get a read on it first. I’m quietly watching it unfold on my computer and she makes some remark about my skin, with the chocolate bar emoji.

 

IT’S LIT.

 

I DM’d her, we exchanged info, we text for a little bit and then meet up a few weeks later. We had chicken….because if you ever went on a date with me, you ate chicken with me. We’re in the restaurant talking about what we’re into, she’s regaling me with tales of punching girls in the club, I’m thinking “her butt wasn’t that big on IG, and I didn’t know her cheekbones were this perfect”; it was a fun night. I couldn’t really get a read on if she was into me or not, she seemed sort of passive, like her mind wasn’t there. We hugged and went our separate ways, and I just decided to let things play out.

She texts me a few days later “we can go on another date, if you want, I had fun”, which was such an out of the ordinary “test the waters” move that I was sort of…intrigued? Most women are really forward with me and don’t leave anything up to chance. She proposed the idea of another date to me almost as if she wanted to say “I mean, I wanna do it, but if you don’t, whatever!”, and I was very intrigued by this. Of course, we went on a second date. And a date after that. Then like 4 more after that. Then some more.

With the passage of all of this dating time, you are probably wondering “Robby, where’s the filth?? What’s this sappy bullshit??”. We went on a bunch of dates and I was very attracted to her, but I didn’t feel the need to try and run a 40 yard dash into THE COOTIE. I barely even mentioned sex. I made a few suggestive comments here and there, but nothing crazy. I was….really enjoying the courtship aspect of dating her, totally outside of the realm of getting my meat moistened.

Look. I really like sex and filth, and all that comes with that. But in that summer, the summer of 2014, I felt a bit…..waterlogged by the filth. Whether it was women already in my life or women who were about to be, somewhere along the line, I just kind of stopped thinking about sex so much. Sex permeated enough of my life that I started to see it as more like an option, as opposed to something I NEEDED to have. Sexual contact became iced tea, as opposed to OXYGEN. Sex always feels like oxygen when you’re not having it (or not having enough). When you’ve had your fill of it, your perspective on it changes.

Of course I was curious as to how sex between us would unfold, I’m no saint. But, I learned a lot about myself. The inner peace I felt when I didn’t feel so wrapped up in sex with her (and I eased off the filth with other women, too). I figured out that I really do like and appreciate the wholesome aspects of getting to know someone, just making her laugh, trying to figure out who she was. I wasn’t doing things with wanting to have sex in the back of my mind. I knew it would happen eventually, I just wasn’t ultra-concerned with needing it immediately. I felt…free. I only needed to focus on her as a person, not how she could possibly pleasure me.

Unsurprisingly, this whole not having sex thing definitely had an effect on her. I wasn’t outright saying “NO, DON’T TOUCH MY WEE WEE!” or anything, but I wasnt forcing the issue. We hung out maybe every other week or week and a half, we texted often, we were in good standing. We were both clearly happy with each other’s presence, but we weren’t having sex. I could tell she was getting a little antsy, because one day she called me when she was out with her friends, and asked me in a super serious voice:

DO YOU LIKE ME?

At this point, we were dating for about 2 months, I pretty damn clearly liked her, but considering my intimacy hadn’t gone past kissing her hi and goodbye and a few drunken makeout fests, she was questioning things. She asked if I was I bored (I wasn’t), or if I was playing with her (nope, and don’t play with a black woman’s emotions). We hashed that out and got off the phone. Everything was ok. She didn’t outright ask me “Why havent we clapped genitalia?” but I felt it in her voice, the way she let her words hang in her hybrid northern/southern lilt.

But why did she feel that way? Why did I feel like sex was kind of the thing that confirmed you at least liked me past “concert buddy/pizza partner/inappropriate text sender?” I feel that we both had kind of been taught that sexual contact consummates how you feel about someone, if you actually like them in the first place. This isn’t necessarily true; my feelings at the time were real, before the sex. I even kind of questioned if she liked me, because we hadn’t had sex and she wasn’t pushy about it. Strange how that worked.

One day she told me “come over, I’m making tacos, I’m gonna have tequila, don’t bring anything”. I wasn’t rushing to have sex with her, but I’m not a rookie: tacos??? tequila???? You want me to dine on the #other taco, more than likely. Once I started to feel “sex may be on the table tonight”(maybe literally HEH HEH HEH), I REALLY wanted it. So, I put on one of my finest tiny shirts, put on the perfect amount of cologne and went over there. As I walked down the block, I felt something I hadn’t in a while.

I was nervous. I was anxious, which is typical before having sex with a new girl, but I was NERVOUS. What if I’m terrible after all this time? What if we don’t have sex (I’d be fine with this, its always the woman’s choice)? What if we aren’t sexually compatible? WHAT IF THE TACOS AIN’T FIRE???

Luckily for us both, none of my worries came to fruition. The tacos were fire, the sex was fire, I tequila’d myself until my forehead was damp and my eyes were blurry, it all went smoothly. I felt a sweeping sense of relief, and the easygoing energy in the room was refreshing.We were both happy to finally have that experience; all of that tension was eased. I really like sexual tension, but relieving it is great too. We kept dating and having sex after, even got into a relationship (that I am no longer in). All in all, we had many good times.

She then used the afterglow to reveal that she had been talking to her friends about me, trying to figure out why I was taking my time to have sex with her.

“Maybe he has a really small dick, and he’s trying to make sure you really like him before he lets you see it!”

 

girl pls.

 

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By Robby Rav.

Songs I Like This Week! (Vol. 6)

 

 

 

WASSUP, DOE???????

I had a grand week, hope you did too. Onward to the tunes.

Skepta – Ladies Hit Squad (ft. Double E & A$AP Nast)

I watched this well done documentary about Skepta not too long ago, which really helped me understand his motivations and how serious he is about his career. I’ve been paying attention to his new output and this song/video dropped on Valentines Day.  The video is really beautiful, and the visuals match perfectly with the otherworldly feel of the song. There’s a dormant horror movie/dream sequence aspect, sonically,  which was a large part of early A$AP music. The Double E verse accurately sets the tone, but Skepta’s verse is fantastic; he’s clever, funny, and manages to catch the beat at the EXACT perfect spot. Nast’s hook is really good, and is extremely hard to forget. I want him to re-record the hook with more energy/clarity, but it really may be perfect this way.

 

Nyemiah Supreme – Clickin

 

I’ve been a fan of Nyemiah’s for a while. Her older music had an edge that I feel she lacked in recent times; on her new project ALPHA, that aggression has returned. She really sounds clear and refreshed, her self-esteem is through the roof. On “Clickin”, its good ol’ rap braggadocio that we don’t hear from women enough. It’s just fly as hell, from the Japanese influence, the falling keys to Nyemiah’s perfect rap voice. Made me wanna hop on a flight and flex for no reason whatsoever; good songs produce action. And she’s from Queens!!!

Rome Fortune – Love

 

Rome has been making music for quite some time now, and is currently reinventing himself. I wasn’t really into the music he made as he got to this point, but I think he’s really found himself now. Rome sounds very comfortable rapping (and singing!) over a beat that sounds like a party in Ibiza got teleported to Atlanta. He mentions some pretty heavy things, such as his financial situation, supporting his children, and thoughts of suicide. Overall, the song is passionate and very sincere, which will always matter to me.

 

Jane Handcock – LA Nigga

 

I stumbled across this song because an RnB blog tweeted her tape Truth Be Told. Jane is a well-decorated songwriter who decided to release a project of her own. “LA Nigga” is a story of her struggles with a current lover, when things were once great. While things arent going well, she still acknowledges that she’d rather be with this person more than anyone else. Jane is literally pleading with herself, as she tries to reassure the man in her life that he’s the one, and also convince herself that she can’t help but stay. The rawness of Jane’s voice really sells the song; you can feel the doubt and vulnerability in every word. The production wails and creeps in the night, turning the feeling of trying to hold it all together into sound. I’m really enamored with this, and interested in Jane’s future.

Azealia Banks – The Big Big Beat

 

Yes, #MyProblematicBae has done it again.Azealia says a lot of toxic shit on Twitter and is rather out of control offline, but this music shit is definitely her calling. “The Big Big Beat” marks Azealia going right back to her house roots, except she’s vocally better now, and just as slick of a rapper as ever. The song just soars, it feels like a 90s house era that I was much too young to be involved in. The production is incredible (as always); Azealia’s ear is CRAZY, and pretty much always has been. I really want 2016 to be the year that Azealia just works and doesn’t say (too much) crazy shit, but I now understand that’s just part of the package. Her antics become increasingly difficult to look past, but the music is great. What’s a guy to do?

 

 

 

Songs I Like This Week! (Vol. 5)

Hellooooooooooo buddies.

Hope all is well. Strongly considering doing this every week and dropping it on the same day every week (Thursday is likely).

Onto the SONGS.

Rich The Kid – Who Dab Is That Ft. Migos & SKIPPA!!!!

 

I was openly opposed to listening to a tape called “Dabbin Fever”, because I’m pretty sure I’m dabbed out. Alas, we are here. This tape has a couple tunes on it and Rich is becoming a better rapper before our very eyes. This is pretty much a QC posse cut, with everyone going to work. Migos have made a TON of songs where they complain about wanting credit for dabbing (ugh) but this one is PRETTY damn good. Offset opens it (and he really hasn’t lost a step since he’s been free) but Takeoff is the star Migo of this one. Rich and Takeoff close the song off perfectly. See what happens when you channel your anger over your dance getting stolen into something productive???
 

SIDENOTE: Skippa is probably the best dabber in the universe.

 

Nef The Pharoah ft. Philthy Rich – #Saydaat

 

Nef has certainly been on my weekly list before, and he worked his way back there again. #Saydaat really sounds like Bay rap finding a sort of middle ground; the shit is hard (and very accessible) regardless of where you’re from. Nef is doing very interesting things with a distinctly regional sound that is pushing him higher and higher by the week. I love this song, I love the beat, I love Philthy Rich’s feature voice. Nef has a huge 2016 ahead, and I don’t ever have to have been to Vallejo to know that.

 

Jacquees – Hot Girl

 

Jacquees’ latest tape Mood is VERY good. Picking one song was a difficult choice, as I would’ve been comfortable picking nearly any thing on the project. Jacquees’ tone is interesting as always, the lyrics are very fun. He’s really got a young guy’s perspective to women, it feels natural and isn’t really overly graphic (well most of the time). The hook also passes the public singing test: I was singing the entire HELL out of it while I was waiting for the A train last weekend. GIRL SAY MY NAME I AINT JUST ANYBODDDAAYYYYY.

 

2 Chainz – Not Invited

 

I’ve been a 2 Chainz stan for a long time, now. He always finds a way to keep himself fresh, and usually has at least one tape a year that really impresses. Feel Like Cappin is that tape, so far. Not Invited is really simple: 2 Chainz’ girls are fine, yours are lackluster and can’t attend his party. While all of the praising of #foreigns and #exotics is kinda problematic, it is what it is, the shit is smooth. Btw, I highly recommend clicking play on every 2016 TM88 beat you come across. He is a contender for the best beat on a 6 song tape with Zaytoven, Cardo, Mike Will and Timbaland on it. Craziness.  The end of the song is also pretty hard too, 2 Chainz traphouse descriptors are second to none.

 

Travis Porter – 187

 

I appreciate Travis Porter’s growth/slight change of direction, musically. Ali is definitely a better rapper now, Strap is as raw as ever, Quez holds it all together. But I also remember peak Travis Porter; when if they came on at a party, it turned into a SEA OF ROTATING BUTTS. 187 is bringing the rotating butt back. Its cold and miserable in NYC; this song makes me happy, makes me imagine warmer temps and better times. This is pure “locate the finest girl in here” music, like undergrad is back (SHOUTOUT TO 2008!). If this song doesn’t snake its way into parties up this summer, I will be rather disappointed!

 

GoldLink – Late Night (ft. Masego) & Chaz French Ft. GoldLink – Ready

 

These two songs are permanently tied together for me, because they LITERALLY happened to me, nearly verbatim, with the same girl.

Long story short, Late Night is a story about admitting you have other women that you entertain, but liking one girl more than the rest of the field. It’s just passionate and heartfelt, and real. The first time I heard this song, my stomach turned. I was literally coming home from her apartment and thought “this whole thing is going to end so poorly”. Not because I didn’t clearly lay out that I didn’t want to be exclusive yet (because I did, quite plainly, more than once), but because I knew behind that smile of hers, there was a sense of dread. Anytime you’re dating someone, there’s a chance they could up and leave you. She was aware, and I think it was something bubbling under the surface that she refused to confront. I felt the change in the waters, and bought it up to her.

Ready has Chaz and GoldLink trying to keep a woman around who can no longer tolerate whatever it is they currently have. She eventually told me she didn’t feel comfortable dating me because I had other women, which I respected. I didn’t fight, I didn’t argue, I don’t do shit like that. GoldLink talks about the girl in question basically ignoring when he says how much he cares, the belief that he has a bunch of women (but lets be honest, when a girl really likes you, one more girl is too many), her friends trying to tell her he wasn’t shit; ALL OF THIS HAPPENED. Chaz tries to play the middle and hope things work out while knowing that the situation would eventually go toxic; which is also a stage I went through. She tried to “un-dump” me twice, I wouldn’t go along with it, and now we’re done, as of 5 weeks ago. I’m at peace with it. The best choice isn’t always painless, but it is freeing. I wasn’t going to be ready in a timely fashion, and we both knew it.

 

 

Songs I Like This Week! (Vol. 4)

Happy new year and all that there. Hopefully your 2016 is going swell. ONTO THE TUNES!!

 

Ye Ali – Ring 4x

 

I’ve known of Ye Ali for quite some time now, first due to this song. I saw Ring 4x (aka RING RING RING RIIIIINGGGGG) all over my TL for the past two weeks or so, but I didn’t actually listen until I saw it reposted on Soundcloud timeline. Vocally, he sounds derivative of #SomeGuyFromSaugaCity here, but I cannot deny this tune.  The tempo and the subject matter are in complete synchrony. There are plenty of songs about women blowing up your line; this is an extremely catchy one. The hook is pretty much perfect and the song as a whole would make the lamest of lames feel like a ladies man.

 

Freddie Gibbs – Hot Boys

 

Pretty sure I was speechless off first listen. Had no idea what to expect, and got my head blown clean off. Pretty much Gibbs bringing the “Packages” flow back to life over one of the CRAZIEST beats he has rapped on in his entire career.  He is legit rapping over some goddamn late 90s RPG flute with 808s under it. Shit prolly shorted my headphones. Help.

 

Your Old Droog – Basketball & Seinfeld

 

First off, shout out to @NicholeGunz for retweeting this onto my timeline.

Now, I have never really been into Droog, I believe I got into a mini argument with him way back about that “IS HE NAS????” controversy (people had full blown “HE IS NASIR JONES” conspiracy theories, holy shit). HOWEVER, the guy can rap. He kills this song, which chops elements of the Seinfeld beat into a slick 80s jam. I barely watched Seinfeld, but all of the references I understood were great, the beat is fantastic, Droog’s obscure NBA player game is way up….everything is good. The very idea of the song is very cool, and the execution is even better.

 

K Camp – WCW

 

As you may know, I will pretty much listen to anything K Camp is tied to. He recently dropped K.I.S.S. 3, which is pretty good (and short, which I appreciate). WCW tiptoes between appreciating the woman you’re with and also just wanting sex from her (which isn’t exactly mutually exclusive). It sounds like a sweet love song but it isn’t. K Camp is spending whatever to put a smile on her face, and I support that.

 

Lil Uzi Vert – Enemies

 

I was avoiding Lil Uzi for a while because….. Imma come clean………I hate his name. Between that and that he reminds me of a couple guys who already exist, made me steer clear. His name kept popping up, so I gave Luv is Rage a shot.

I love this damn tape! He’s a better rapper than I originally gave him credit for and the tape is excellently produced. Enemies is a quickly paced and boisterous trap song about brushing off those against you. The production is attention grabbing to the point that it really does work me up into a good angry froth, as I think about people I hate. Songs that speak to the worst parts of my personality always win with me. Uzi’s use of empty space between the hook and verses is excellent; it really sends the emotion of the song home. It’s not a dark song about dwelling on the opposition; its more about why they don’t matter.

 

Kodak Black – Like Dat

 

I’ve kept an eye on Kodak’s output from afar over the last 5-6 months or so. Once he put out a full project after he got really popular (Institution, which I recommend), I jumped all over it. Like Dat has a really hypnotic hook, the beat is nuts (CHIMES!!!), and the flow he chose just fits perfectly. I also feel that Kodak has an excellent rap voice; the very overt grit of it with the sparkle of this beat are a match made in heaven. I also am extremely amused by “THATS A BORING CAR!!!!!!”.

Top 10 Albums of 2015. Top 10 Songs of 2015, too.

Top 10 Albums (1-10).

 

Freddie Gibbs – Shadow Of a Doubt

Gary, Indiana’s own Freddie Gibbs has delivered his darkest album to date. In a time where some may tell you street rap is in “dire straits”, Freddie shows up with Shadow Of A Doubt. Nearly every song on this project is a sonically brutal retelling of his time in the street, his paranoia, love…everything that comes with being an extremely talented rapper who wants to leave his checkered past behind. This album proves that Gibbs can rap on just about any type of beat, and not lose his flair for the technical. As Gibbs’ himself alluded to, moving with the times are a necessary part of a successful rap career. Freddie keeps pace with modern production and never sounds out of place or corny.

Kelela – Hallucinogen

Kelela has been making music for some time now. She kept feeding that dream from her parent’s basement, all the way to back to back sold out shows in NYC. While her music has transformed and evolved between projects (he previous work was the excellent Cut 4 Me), she has always managed to remain unique. Kelela’s current output has the feel of late 80s-early 90s pop, with the edge of a modern woman singing with raw emotion. Every lyric on Hallucinogen evokes familiar feelings, whether she’s singing about catching eyes with someone beautiful at a wild party, or the entrancing feeling of new and unexpected love. Her voice is strong, her taste in musical landscapes is incredible; this may be her true breakthrough moment.

 

Future – DS2

Future has had an excellent year, with or without all of the industry and personal life turmoil that he’s faced. Mid-year surprise release DS2 sees Future finally doing what he always wanted; making a major label album that was close to the heart of the type of music he is truly known for. Though the clear shots at his rather famous ex are jarring and in poor taste,  few other projects this year harness rage and confusion quite like DS2. Future is totally unbridled here; he’s truly rapping from his soul, no matter how ugly some of those feelings may be. There’s almost a vulnerability within how he sneaks the truth in between pained boasts of sexual trysts and the pleasures that money brings. This album is a man at wit’s end, channeling his emotions into the only thing that never betrayed him; the music itself.

 

Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly

POWERFUL. The only word that accurately describes Kendrick Lamar’s latest offering, To Pimp A Butterfly. Kendrick has always been somewhat socially aware; here, he parallels the realities of being black in America with his own personal demons. Kendrick is such a mercurial talent, that he was able to take a very complex idea and turn it into something that people from all walks of life can feel.  The middle of To Pimp A Butterfly is mired in pain, but just like life itself, brighter times lie ahead. Kendrick’s message is one of determination and knowledge of self, no matter what may be happening to or around you. That, is a message that I will always stand behind.

Disclosure – Caracal

Disclosure really broke through in 2014, with HUGE songs, accolades, headlining slots at festivals, and the like. So what’s next? How do you outdo that? You hone the very aspects of your music that shot you to the top, while going in a completely different direction subjectwise. While 2014’s Settle was brighter, with more of a focus on love and freedom, Caracal is darker, with more of a focus on the more painful aspects of love. The sound of the album matches the emotional weight of the lyrics, without losing any of the energy that Disclosure is known for. There are some very poopular vocalists on here, but they all play a role. To be invited to Disclosure’s party is to meld with their music, not to overshadow it. This is a dance music break up album, helmed by a duo of absolute stars within the genre. If only my split were this catchy.

 

Young Thug – Barter 6

Young Thug has rounded the corner, this year. With all of the attention placed on his clothes, or his terms of endearment for his friends, sometimes it gets lost that he’s a very skilled rapper. Barter 6 proves once and for all that Young Thug can excel in the framework of a structured project. His trademark strangeness and taste for bending the English language to its very brink aren’t lost here; instead, they are sharpened into one focused effort. The music here is less frenetic and Thugger is much more efficient with his words. The lyrics are extremely crisp and audible and he’s very comfortable here, no matter the subject matter. The project is concise, each song serves it’s purpose, and Thug further establishes himself as a rapper to take seriously in 2015 and beyond.

Robb Bank$ – Year Of The Savage (YOTS)

Year Of The Savage has been a long time coming for this Broward county rapper. While he’s been popular online since 2011, he announced this album 3 years ago. He’s released multiple projects, leaving his fanbase to almost believe they would never hear YOTS. Alas, he released it October of this year. Known for his hazy and unforgiving lyrics about his teenage experiences with family, drugs (using and selling), and women, most expected more of the same from him. On YOTS, Bank$ is happier; he’s a clever and lyrically adept young rapper, with an air of arrogance towards his past pains. He literally takes glee in showing his enemies little mercy, and no remorse with betraying those who had it coming to them. The album isn’t rife with misery at all; his youthful disregard for following the rules is refreshing. Expect special things from Robb.

 

Bankroll Fresh – Life Of A Hot Boy 2

Bankroll Fresh worked his way into relevance with 2014’s “Hot Boy“, a very catchy pseudo-tribute to the Cash Money legends of the same name. From there, Bankroll never stopped working. In comes Life Of A Hot Boy 2. He isn’t revolutionizing trap music, and some of the beats emulate peak Jeezy (purposefully), but he is very good at what he does. This is trap rap in its purest form; everything is about hustling, shooting, and women. Yet somehow, Bankroll is never stale or boring. He’s funny, his go-to flows are very entertaining, and he’s more technically sound than you think. You can tell that Bankroll really enjoys recording, and his personality shines through and more than makes up for his shortcomings. LOAHB2 is a very, very fun listen.

Abra – Rose

Abra is a R&B/pop singer from the well-known Atlanta collective Awful Records. The label itself contains a lot of varying talents, but Abra really adds something special to the team. Her pop sensibilities are 80s house, beefed up with a certain “beautiful darkness” to it. While she makes somewhat somber pop music, her singing abilities are no slouch. Every lyric comes out with legitimate confidence, the sound of someone who is very sure of her talent. Towards the end of Rose, the sounds become more minimal and Abra’s voice and lyricism take center stage. She soars here; her conviction and vulnerability really set her apart. Abra is a very special talent on a label that is a perfect fit for her. Greatness lies ahead.

 

Tinashe – Amethyst

Tinashe released Aquarius to critical acclaim, and put her name on the map. I thought the album was fine for what it was, but I honestly wasn’t as impressed as others were. Then I gave Amethyst a chance. This mixtape that she released post-Aquarius is short, yet really gets it’s point across. Amethyst is Tinashe minus the starry gloss; it’s honest music that sounds like it came directly from her personal diary. This is a peek into the mind and emotions of someone who is becoming more famous by the moment,  but can still establish her humanity. There are some strong songs on here; I want Tinashe to have more creative freedom (on her albums) going forward and I’m sure she’ll get it. She is young (nearly 23) and surely has room to grow; she has a very good chance of finding her true direction and reaching grand heights.

Top 10 Songs (1-10).

Disclosure (ft. The Weeknd) – Nocturnal

Kelela – All The Way Down

Drake – Jungle

K Camp (Solo Version) – 1Hunnid

Jamie xx/ Thugger/Popcaan – I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)

Abra – Roses

Janet Jackson ft. J Cole – No Sleeep 

Sevyn Streeter – Consistent

Dej Loaf/Big Sean – Back Up

Snoop Dogg – R U A Freak

By Robby Rav.

Songs I Like This Week! (Vol. 3)

Hi! Hope all is well. The year is almost over with, so make sure you try to flirt with that person  who ignored you the other 11 months. Go out with a *puts on sunglasses* BANG. ONWARD TO THE MUSIC.

Robb Bank$ – Griffith

 

Bank$ up and decided to let 3 new songs free on Black Friday. Griffith may honestly be the standout. Typical fare from him, aggressive raps over a beat that sounds like a circus nightmare. Just a fun song to listen to. There’s also a VERY TASTELESS stretch on here from1:37-1:41. I gave you a heads up; this probably made you want to listen even more than you did before.

Kelela – All The Way Down

This song came out 2 months ago, on Kelela’s excellent EP Hallucinogen. She’s made a lot of really, really good songs but this one…is the ONE. All The Way Down is evidently about dating someone younger and the emotion of being wrapped up in that. Even if you aren’t aware of that, the All The Way Down is just…beautiful. Its the feeling of being completely swept up in someone’s very being, turned into audio. I’ve listened to this song nearly every day since I became aware of how good it is. Lyrically, its up there. Sonically, its incredible. I really think it’s her best song yet.

Curren$y – Superstar (ft. Ty Dolla $ign)

I think this is the song Spitta always wanted to make. Superstar is the major label version of his entire aesthetic: smooth, hazy tunes. For what it is, this is really a “song for the ladies” that is simply par for the course on rap albums. This one however, is very well done. The beat (that bass guitar..whew!) and hook are perfect, Spitta lays out the imagery perfectly, then Dolla $iiiggggnnnn slides in to tell you he’s going to relieve you of your girlfriend and bone her. Stuff like this is exactly what I want from Curren$y and I’m happy to see him get to this point.

Freddie Gibbs – McDuck (ft. Dana Williams)

This was extremely difficult for me.

There are SO many good songs on Shadow Of A Doubt. The first 6 songs are absolutely incredible.

I picked McDuck, a relatively underrated song on a quality album. First off, the keys are incredibly haunting. They also DIRECTLY remind me of the Resident Evil 2 save room keys. Now that I’ve got my bizarre yet extremely accurate comparison out of the way, back to the song. Gibbs raps about the paranoia that comes with success. He’s slowly distancing himself more and more from the street and is happier, but still has to protect himself. This very idea is approached in a really raw way, that can easily be masked by the tone of the song. Dana Williams is literally otherworldly on the hook. The song is really a treat, on an album full of them.

Jacquees – Ms Kathy (Make Up)

I saw Jacquees perform earlier this week. While i felt his presence needed some work, he definitely has talent. I immediately thought “he reminds me of Tevin Campbell”, which is certainly no diss. He went through a few songs, and I kept paying attention even though these girls in the front were yelling so loudly that me and my friends were concerned. He gets to this song, Ms. Kathy (Make Up) and my ears perked up.  Ms. Kathy is about winning over a girl’s mom, because you’re rough around the edges and she’s seen your type before. I can’t relate, because all the moms love me and tell me I am #beautiful, but I can dig the sentiment. Ms Kathy isn’t bad at all, but Make Up is really the highlight for me.  On Make Up, Jacquees tells of his plans to make things right with his special lady. He accepts blame (which doesn’t happen enough in RnB) and expresses how special she is to him. I like vulnerability in songs like this; it’s here in droves. There’s something very somber and serious about this song, something that forces you take Jacquees seriously. I believe in him, and I’m glad I got to see him live.

LNDN DRUGS – Fade ft. Mitchy Slick

 

I stumbled upon LNDN DRUGS on Soundcloud. Someone reposted the entire tape onto my timeline. LNDN DRUGS are a duo composed of rapper Jay Worthy and producer Sean House. They literally make G-Funk for 2015. I clicked play and skimmed through the songs and thought “holy shit, all of the songs sound like THIS?”. I LOVE 80s inspired stuff like this, so I was in heaven. Fade is about well….fades. Inviting people to come get their ass kicked. Jay Worthy sounds like what you hear in your head when you think “laid back LA street rap”. His voice and inflections are perfect for this type of production, and hes not bad at rapping either. Mitchy Slick (who my roommate in undergrad used to force us to listen to) has a nice verse here too. Such a fun listen. The whole project (Aktive) is enjoyable, do check it out.