For our Barry Bonds edition of SOTBMusic Quickies, we’ve got some heavy hitters and some SOTBMusic rookies making their debut on the site. Just like Barry Bonds, minus the steroids. On that note, just about everyone in the 90s and 2000s MLB probably used steroids at least once, if we’re being real. Yes, probably even your favorite player. It’s like wrestling in that regard. Anywho, before I go any further on my “Barry should be in the HOF at some point in the history of this planet” soapbox, let’s get into today’s Quickies.
LSA – “Razr”
LSA hit my line with this one with the hook of “this is what Kanye and Conway would sound like together.” I can’t really deny that, because it’s gritty hip-hop that has a bit of early Kanye’s flow and swagger. I’m a fan of the production on this one, because it’s equally hard but soulful. Then the Gil Scott-Heron clip at the end about opening one’s mind and preparing for the revolution in the age of more modern technology? Yes, give me more lyrical sustenance. Please, if you will.
Papa Shawn Boo – “Howcome? (Mike Mincey Remix)”
You may’ve heard the original version of “Howcome?” last month. The basic story stays the same here, but the Mike Mincey remix features a beat that’s a bit more emotional, held together by synths and a choir chant. I prefer the original, but this version is also solid and has more of that old-school feel to it. I want to hear more from Papa Shawn Boo, so when he drops more, I hope to feature it on the site.
Damone Tyrell – Take It There
“T.I.T” finds its origin in a saying in Buffalo that indicates that someone’s become nostalgic or simply that something got taken to its highest point. I think that fits Tyrell’s track because it’s lyrically sound and finds the Buffalo artist flowing over a soul sample and gives a decent-enough insight on who Tyrell is as an artist and man, one who’s seen his fair share of losses, but won’t lose. The visuals also add to this aspect of the song.
just_omalley – “Miracles”
The best way to describe this one is that imagine Mac’s beat selection meshing with Jack Harlow’s lyrics. It seems like it’d be a trainwreck to the not-so-astute among us. However, it works because omalley’s got bars and he’s also very emotionally invested in the track and what he’s putting down. He’s also looking for the little miracles in life, not just the big ones. That makes this track that much sweeter to me.
UglyFace – “Oxtails”
“Oxtails” feels like summer, feels like a reunion and feels like California all at once. The group of UglyFace seems destined to blend old-school-ish West Coast vibes and newer lyrical leanings. It just sounds like a ride through the city while you and a woman are trying to figure out what you’re getting into (either for the night or the long haul). The beat here is what ties everything together, as it sounds a bit like an early Nipsey track but also sounds a bit like 90s West Coast rap at once. It’s got that timeless sort of vibe to it.
Yo, Kodiak – “Stephen The Great”
This one hit me hard as hell, mainly because of Kodiak’s storytelling abilities. He explains, in great detail, an encounter with a houseless person. They chop it up and have a great conversation about life and its intricacies. In a twist, the houseless man, Stephen, is a guy Kodiak treated like dirt when they were both younger. I’ve never been in that predicament, but it seems like one that’d be uncomfortable as hell. I mean, especially when you think you’ve done better with your life than your earlier a-hole days would make it seem. It’s an experience unlike no other and one that Kodiak puts us in the car for. It’s an interesting twist on the “I’ve come across a houseless person and we chop it up” stories that I’ve come across.
Anomalie and Masego – “Memory Leaves”
Canada and the DMV link on “Memory Leaves,” a jazzy song from producer Anomalie and multifaceted artist Masego. I love the production on this one because it reminds me of a mix between Dilla and Flying Lotus. As those are two of my favorite producers (Dilla especially), I took notice immediately at its cues.
Masego’s vocals focus on the life of a constantly-moving artist and how they’re not really the type that can set up roots anywhere because they’re always on the go. I love this one because it’s darker than its instrumentation would lead you to believe, but not dark in a “grit and death” sort of way. If you’re looking for your soul to have some emotional oomph and your jazzy, rap-like R&B to have a lot of potency to it on that same emotional level, this one’s for you.
Emes – “Close”
This one is a love song on one side and a song about pushing people away on the other. Emes’ “Close” features the vocalist discussing this double entendre of being so close to someone, you’re not that close to them at all. It’s one of those tracks that requires a few listens to get everything he’s putting down. That said, his vocals will make you want to come back over and over, maybe in hopes of becoming close(r).
Freedom Fry x A-F-R-O – “Mr. Nobody”
A song about the last man on Earth, this one is a bouncy-but-sad-AF song about isolation. Even those who aren’t destined to be the last man standing can empathize with the feelings of loneliness and “let’s fake like we’re okay until it’s all over” that A-F-R-O raps about here. It’s a dark as hell song that’s made palatable by the indie pop stylings of Freedom Fry. This is definitely one worth checking out, if you can visualize what that last man on Earth must be going through.
Just Super – “My Name”
Our final Quickie of the week comes from LA-based artist Just Super. It’s a jazzy song about a man and the dog he once had. Due to a breakup, Super and his canine friend were separated, which left Super missing the fuzzball. Even if dogs don’t know our names and only know their own (along with a few commands), they’re awesome creatures and I like this take on a breakup, as it’s fresh and a bit out of the ordinary. If you’re a dog person (or even a pet person), you’ll feel what Just Super’s putting down here.