It’s Friday, you know what that means. We’re about 7 hours away from a three-day weekend. Monday is MLK Day, so be thankful for the sacrifices Civil Rights activists and revolutionaries like him gave. It’d be wise to not just spend the weekend getting trashed (even though, if you do, no judgement here). With that in mind, we’ve got a slew of new music to get to today, and there’s no time like the present, so let’s break into Vol. 12 of SOTBMusic Quickies.
Holiday – “Who Am I”
From the beginning of this one through the ending, it’s giving me Weeknd vibes. But not coke pop Weeknd, more so the dark haunted strip club music we got on Trilogy. There’s love within it, but there’s also a feeling of “I don’t want to keep doing this.” The production is solid and also reminiscent of old-school Weeknd. Overall, I love the song and wish we got another verse from Holiday. This song appears on Holiday’s Toxic Adulations EP, so check it out if you feel like “Who Am I” is a track you love.
G Versa – “Crazy”
From Weeknd vibes to gritty NYC-colored hip-hop, G Versa’s latest track takes me back to Dipset days. The beat’s high-energy and sample-heavy, the bars remind me of Juelz and Cam and the lyricism is solid AF. I love the way the track switches up towards the middle of the song. If you need barred-up rappity rap with substance, this one’s for you.
Sunstone – “Hide N Sneak”
In the age of sneaky links, we sometimes don’t think about the repercussions of cheating (at least not in our music). Sunstone’s “Hide N Sneak” talks about a couple who’ve been cheating on each other, essentially because the man started it. It’s a bluesy track, one that’s dark in its approach to cheating. Sonically, the song reminds me of a mix between Alicia Keys and Amy Winehouse. If that piques your interest, check it out below.
Ana November – “Still Think About You”
From cheating and sneaking to thinking about the what ifs, Ana November’s “Still Think About You” is a track that reminds me a bit of Mary J. Blige mixed with Jordin Sparks. She’s got beautiful vocals and you get the emotions throughout them. However, she’s also got an airiness to her singing that transports the listener into her dream. She also kind of reminds me a bit of the homie Carter Marie, so I’m definitely here for Ana’s vocals.
PLYTME – “Sad & Lonely”
If you want your Tory Lanez fix without actually having to support Tory for any reason, PLYTME’s “Sad & Lonely” is perfect for you. A bass-heavy track about moving on from someone who passed up on him, PLYTME’s vocals cut through the beat and accentuate his anti-BS stylings. I wish there was more than the verse and the hook, because it sets you up for more but doesn’t give us that second verse. Even without it, it’s a helluva track, one that’s against BS in relationships.
Avery Raquel – “All Up to You”
Heartbreak makes for some beautiful music, and Avery Raquel’s “All Up to You” is a perfect example of that. Throughout the song, she wonders if her relationship is worth saving. Ultimately she thinks there’s a need for a second chance. That is, if her partner decides to change their ways. I love the production on this one, as it’s got a real 70s soul sort of feel to it while also being modern (something like a Solange, if you’re looking for a comparison). Check it out and fall in love with Avery’s voice.
Kollin Reynolds – “Pack Light”
Texas-centered artist Kollin Reynolds’ “Pack Light” takes Erykah Badu’s advice on “Bag Lady” and lets go of the past and the things that held him back. At least that’s the vibe I get from it. His vocals remind me of a mix between Frank Ocean and Anderson.Paak, in that they’re full of those late-2000s “let’s lay it out there for the world to hear” vibes but also have a mature and throwback feel to them. I love the fact that he dismisses the idea of “forever,” mainly because for something to last “forever,” you’d have to deny yourself the chance to grow and mature. That’s not life, that’s probably closer to death if we’re being honest.
Gregory David Roberts – “Good Morning Morning”
This one reminds me of a Motown-meets-Prince song. It’s funky and upbeat and deals with some darkness, but defies that darkness with a healthy helping of positivity. It’s even got a bit of a spiritual element to it. In year three of the pandemic (wow!), that’s needed now more than ever. I love the production and the vocals on this one, as they’re positive and pro-living life while also giving the right amount of praise to the Almighty. As secular as some of my musings are, I come from a pretty religious background. So anything that can blend Biblical teachings and a funky groove, I’m here for.
Rick Smoove – “Pandemic Love”
This is an anthem for those who found love during the pandemic. The best way to describe it is “imagine Cole doing a love song about the pandemic while mixing it with early Bryson Tiller energies.” It’s sexy AF and even has a bit of a funny twist (ex: he gets seasick from the way his woman’s bottom bounces during backshots). That said, it does this while still being realistic and honest. I love the beat on this one as well. It manages to discuss pandemic love and pandemic loving without being cheesy. That’s a win in my book.
Gretchen and Chase Williams – “Bluffin”
Gretchen‘s been on my radar for a minute. Her latest track is just as sleek and multilayered as the previous one I featured on SOTB. However, instead of condemning industry foolishness, “Bluffin” speaks on the balance between wanting to stay by oneself and engaging with the world. It’s sexy without being sexual, classy without being stuffy. That’s partly because the song isn’t just about relationships; it’s also about dealing a bit with one’s mental health and acknowledging their worth.
Check out these tracks and remember to do the thing and support dope music in all its forms. You never know when you’ll find that new song for your playlist.