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.

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!!!!!!”.

Songs I Like This Week! (Vol. 2)

I took way too long to put this together.

So I had to really think hard and not put too many songs on this.

Anyways!

Key! ft. Retro Jace (Of Two 9) – No Where

First off, Jace SHREDS this shit. SHREDS. Mike Will has an eye for talent, man. I’m a huge Key! fan, so I recommend you check out this EP period (“No One Is Ready 3”). The song itself is very catchy and dark which….pretty much describes Key!’s (DONT FORGET THE EXCLAMATION POINT!) entire discography. That piano is crazy too.

Hil Holla – Backseat

Full disclosure: Hil is a good friend of mine. With that said….this shit is smooooooth. Hil walks you through the steps of a good night and does so with the confidence of someone who has actually lived it and details it so believably. He meets a fly woman, goes to a party, and shows you how to say things a bad one might wanna hear. Just hit “play” and try to talk to that girl that’s slightly out of your league (there is no league, I will expound on this later though)!

Nef The Pharaoh – Big Tymin’

The song is just….fun. Fun as hell. So Oakland but still has a bounce you can’t ignore, regardless of where you come from. I really enjoy rap from regions that just has an authentic feel. Nef is part of the wave of younger Bay rappers; I like his style. If you say “BALLIN LIKE BAYBEEEEHHHHHHHH” and don’t automatically feel a wave of happiness, you are worthless and probably lying. Very smooth tribute to Ca$h Money too. There’s also a remix with TY$ and YG, but I had to show Nef his proper shine for the song he made.

Fetty Wap ft. Shy Glizzy – Why U Mad

This song is HARD. Much better than I expected….which doesn’t make sense, because I’m a really big fan of Fetty AND Glizzy. I guess I was just concerned as to how their styles would fit. Fetty’s versatility really shines here. Zaytoven shows up and I honestly believe Gucci (whenever he gets out) would really appreciate this one. Glizzy closes the show really well too. This ain’t “cook crack with bae” Fetty, this is “riddle your body with bullets for being short a few bucks” Fetty!

Makonnen – Leave It There

Now, I was a big fan of Makonnen maybe a year ago. Felt he got a bad rap. Then, he started to decline pretty quickly. In the Internet Age, if you put out 3-4 stinkers in a row, thats yo ass. After Drink More Water 5 dropped, I kinda gave up. Nonetheless, this song snuck onto my Soundcloud feed and….Makonnen might be getting it back together. This is a slow, emotional tune about trying to restart a damaged romantic relationship, and subsequently giving up on it. While one would think this is NOT the subject matter of a banger, you would be wrong. Very wrong.

Mélat – If Its Gold I Love

This song is just….wonderful. My man @YOUNGSAFE (FOLLOW HIM!) sent me her Soundcloud and her EP (“It Happens So Fast”) is really great. She has a good voice, her tone is wonderful, her ear for production is fantastic; I’m just very impressed. This song might totally be about some subtle filth (I’m not even sure yet), but use it as you will. Light and airy; feels like she’s singing to me in a dream.

Sevyn Streeter – Consistent

I am a huge fan of Sevyn’s music, I think she’s really talented. I also have a crush on Sevyn; she’s pretty damn hot, BRO. Her EP’s are consistently good, and “Shoulda Been There Pt. 1” is no exception. This song is about a dude who doesn’t treat her well emotionally, but he is dropping off that #pipe in them #draws. It’s fire, its sonically the best song I’ve posted here. I tweeted that all of her songs are about bad relationships, she tweeted me “not true”. Then followed me. She must’ve felt the thirst coming through my veins. No disrespect to B.o.B., thou shall not covet the next man’s bae, thats what the Bible says…or something.

Until next week, friends.

Songs I like this week! (Vol. 1)

Lets get right to business, shall we?

Chris Brown – Ghetto Tales

Forever in my “Talented Shitbags” list (its extensive…..Tyson, Rick James, KELLZ!, you get the picture), I find myself never TOTALLY counting Chris Brown out. He literally does some disappointingly dumb shit every year, but he keeps churing out good music. IN COMES “GHETTO TALES”. He’s basically telling whatever girl hates him this week to cut that pride shit out and hit him up so they can smooth it out and he can take her to the Bone Zone. I would say I can relate but I don’t beg for shit but an extra BBQ sauce at Popeye’s…FOR THE FREE. Chris eventually gets his wish by the last verse, where he tells you about delivering the #meat and doing drugs with the world famous Migos flow. He’s also getting A LOT better at rapping.

Drake – On A Wave (ft. TInashe)

This shit amazing. And leaked. And extremely unfinished. This ain’t IF YOURE READING THIS ITS REPETITIVE Drake, this is “Club Paradise” , lobster tails, butter sauce, and soft weeping Drake. He’s saving girls from his busy life (a change from his regular “saving girls”), Tinashe sounds like 2015 Aaliyah (AND ITS A GOOD THING) ; everything fits together. I’m pretty critical of Tinashe (I still don’t like Aquarius/she has the personality of a crushed Cooler Ranch Dorito) but she did well here. And Amethyst is multiple fire emojis. She may just be turning turning the corner. Here’s to hoping this song gets finished (it won’t).

Beatking – I Got Hoez

I really listened to this Beatking tape for a week straight, pretty much. Pure ignorance. He says so much shit thats in poor taste but guess what, he reminds me of OLD Houston. Great voice, great ear for beats, obscure ass references, misogyny….WHAT ELSE COULD YOU WANT! Outside of how funny he is, Beatking is actually a pretty clever rapper. Short Dawg’s verse is pretty damn good too. Please check out the tape ( “Houston 3AM“).

RJ – Hoes Come Easy

“Beach fulla sand WHY I GOTTA BRING MINE???” sets the tone. Song makes me feel like I’m in a gang in LA, doing my corresponding gang walk, yelling into my cell phone to whatever girl I’m treating terribly that week. I’m also off the Henny and I have no shirt on. I would be an ultimate goon. Just hit play and tell me you didn’t nod your head AT LEAST A LITTLE. He also references choosing to bring his gun to the club instead of his girlfriend; how could you not love this?

Trey Songz – Flick

Best song about having sex and recording it since….I dunno. Melody, hook, beat…all perfect. Trey Songz is quietly putting out better music nowadays. And instead of boning your girlfriend, he is boning your EX girlfriend and telling her he is better at sex than you. It’s somewhat predictable fare but guess what, “I wanna make a MOO-VIE!” is too easy to sing and remember…so I don’t care. The song also manages to avoid cornballery, which is very easy to tread into with this type of subject matter.

Vince Staples – Get Paid

I saw some people saying they weren’t digging this song because it was “too commercial” for Vince. I don’t particularly agree. It’s just a fully formed song that’s kinda catchy with Vince getting his usual underlying point/message across. It’s gritty, its visceral….but it has that bounce! There were some other songs I coulda tossed in here from “Summertime ’06”, but this is the one that hits on all cylinders.

Stay tuned. More to come. Soon. Or never. 0_0!

EDIT: follow me on Soundcloud.

Rav Report Live: Kelela @ Rough Trade.

If you know me, or follow me on Twitter *points to sidebar*, you know that I am a Kelela stan on the low.

I listened to her album , CUT 4 ME on a whim sometime last year and I was SUPER impressed. For an alleged music snob who hates everything (I don’t!), this was big. I ran this album into the ground for months until I got tired, didn’t think about it, then bought it back to life.

I was lucky enough to catch her in October at the CMJ edition of Fader Fort out in Brooklyn. The Internet was also on that bill. Needless to say, crazy show. I also wanna put this out here, I was pretty drunk off of Captain Morgan Black by the end of this, so that was probably why I was in the front row, turned into pure putty while Kelela was singing. Yeah. The drinks. It’s not because I’m soft and partial to women who sing. Nope.

Fast forward to last week, and I remember that Kelela is doing 2 shows in Brooklyn. I HAD to attend at least one. I kinda had a lot going on that weekend (COOL GUY ALERT!!!!) so I saw that there were still tickets on Friday and took the plunge. I was flip flopping between this and the Natural History Museum party with Machinedrum , but an industry buddy (who I actually met at CMJ, and is a pretty nifty DJ) told me “IM GOING TO KELELA!”. I go to plenty shows alone, but if you have the chance to go with other people…you should take that. Plus she’s is also a stan, so it works out.

So that was that. I set out into a semi crappy weathered night and head to Williamsburg for the show. I step in and my first thought is “wow, there are a lot of bad, weird black girls in here, right now”. I move around a lil’ bit and hit the bar and get a rum and Coke, because I’m a cool guy who drinks boring shit. I’m drinking and watching the stage, which has a DJ duo just going to WORK. I wasn’t a huge fan of some of the transitions but they seemed to get better as the night went on. It’s a guy and a girl, who I later recognized were Shayne and Venus X of GHE20G0TH1K fame (if you know, you know). They were really playing some daring stuff (BMore club) and songs that will at least make you smile if you arent a lame (Aaliyah – One In A Million). Everything was working. The people were beautiful, the energy was good, I was starting to get into it (AND INTO MY RUM!).

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A little later, she texts me that she’s in Rough Trade, so I set out to find her and her friends. I start to walk over and I look up and see…Dev Hynes. Now as someone who loves Solange and pretty much followed Dev from his work on “True”, this was kind of a big deal. Dude’s a real talent and I had basically a few seconds to decide “Am I gonna walk over and say what up or am I just gonna drift over to my destination.” I opt to not be a bitch and quickly show my appreciation to Dev (very gracious and humble guy) and head over. FULL DISCLOSURE: I was guzzling Rum and Coke number 2 so I’d bet money I shook his hand too quickly and was probably talking too loud. SO WHAT. Also, someone on Twitter linked me to this. Dev is wild, son.

I get to her and her friends, introduce myself, and Kelela takes the stage immediately.

Let me be frank.

Kelela is fine.

Anyways, here’s some footage cause I’m tired of typing.

I hate when people post show footage but…#100happydays Day 82 #roughtrade #roughtradenyc @kelelam

A post shared by Robby. (@robbyrav) on

When I go to shows to see singers, I’m specifically trying to see can they recreate records live. If I found out Kelela was CB4, I might not have recovered. LUCKILY FOR US, she is not. Not at all. Her song “Send Me Out” is one of those test your vocal chops tunes, and she killed it. There were actually a group of girls next to us were just standing there dissing Kelela the whole show. While that shit is kinda weird, Send Me Out shut them the fuck up. So thanks Kelela, good lookin’. She’s powering through basically all of the songs you’d want to hear off of her album, including reworking a few with different edits (such as “Keep it Cool”).

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While doing this song, the j appears. Now mind you, this is an alt r&B show, of COURSE there’s weed right? But I’m gonna tell you something about me.

I am a rookie smoker. Possibly less than rookie. I could count on my hands the amount of times I’ve burned and still have enough fingers left to shoot a jumper. Or toss a frisbee, for our shoes off in the grass buddies. I’ve never really put time into learning the intricacies of smoking, because its just too ill. It literally feels too good; I feel like if I learn to roll, smoke in any situation and light roaches etc, I’m going to become Redman. I’m just gonna keep doing it. So, I stick to rare recreational settings where I don’t have to do too much but pull.

Anyone who’s been in the presence of weed will tell you, you got about a split second to decide are you gonna hit or not. I hastily said yes.

“Yo, you gotta relight it.”

 

I don’t know how to relight this shit, man. I’m in the dark, cant even see my fingers, trying to open the lighter, light the j, and pull in one smooth ass motion. I failed, almost burnt my upper lip off, and inhaled wild weed flakes into my mouth. Was like chewing mesquite wood chips. I’m so fucking wack. I got away with this with only one person peeping me PLAYING myself. I’m now in the dark, watching Kelela, constantly touching my possibly singed lip. If I fuck my lip up, my sex appeal gon’ be on E, and I can’t afford that. Luckily I was ok.

 

A little after this, Kelela walks into the crowd.

 

This is how close I was.

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I did not walk over there, because…well I don’t know. Seeing her up close confirmed my “Kelela is bad” thought, word to dude who was less than 5 feet away who refused to make eye contact. SHOOK!!!!! (As I notice this 10 feet away.) She thanks us, goes backstage for few, and comes back to encore a bit then close with “Do It Again” , which is a favorite of mine.

Show ends, I linger a lil bit, say my goodbyes, and skate up outta there.

It was a good night, Shayne and Venus did their thing and Kelela was very crisp and has a good feel for the stage. Most fun I’ve EVER had while trying to burn my face off with a lighter.

To summarize it all:

Drunk Levels: Low to Moderate (2 Rum and Cokes)

Bae Levels : A lot of weird brown/black baes who definitely talk about the eco system and co-washing in the same breath…..and thats my type of scene

Show quality: 8/10 -9/10

Venue : First time being at Rough Trade, and I loved it. I’ll be back.

 

If you guys like, I’ll keep doing Rav Report Live for events I go to. Any shows in NYC you think I’d like (even ones I wouldn’t), let me know!