Today, we’re out (and about) like (Mike) Trout on Vol. 27 of SOTBMusic Quickies. That was a somewhat reaching reference to a famous #27–and the Death by Tapioca song of a similar name. I hope you’ve enjoyed your week thus far and hope that your weekend is setting up to be pretty awesome as well. We’ve got some fire tracks, but it’s Quickies. We always have fire tracks here. Check the below out and support dope music in all its forms.
Freedust – “Heat”
A song that brings to mind Janelle Monae’s “Tightrope,” “Heat” is a funky vibe that showcases why the group grabbed my attention. The song is about the sunny days of summer and how they can, while hot, be cool at the same time. The video is equally good-natured, as it features dancers from all over the world getting into the vibe of the song, showcasing a wide variety of moves and styles (just like the song itself). If you need something upbeat to kick off your weekend, just turn this one on and play at the highest volume possible.
BUKHARI – “4 Quarters”
“4 Quarters” is upbeat-ish song about dealing with fake people and pushing them out your circle. BUKHARI’s SOTBMusic debut features the wrestling fan/rapper turn a Jon Moxley quote into a banger that’s kicking the bad apples out the batch. He grabbed me because he said he’s a wrestling fan (and we know that I’m also a wrestling fan), but kept me attentive because of the vibe of this one. It reminds me a bit of a Big Sean song–in a good way, of course.
Keepitinside – “someone i’m supposed to miss”
Keepitinside first made his SOTBMusic debut with “gotta deal.” The West Coast producer/artist hits notes about dealing with attachment issues and “longing [for a person who’s no good for you anymore].” He’s trying to get his feelings out, as he used to think breakups weren’t big deals and then started hating himself afterwards. He’s trying to say “hey, it’s okay to process your breakup as something monumental in your life.” Sonically, the young artist has an awesome voice, somewhere along the lines of Frank Ocean and Joji.
Sara Diamond – “You’re It”
A shorter song than most, Diamond’s “You’re It” talks strongly about those initial feelings of attraction to someone. It’s almost hypnotizing and mesmerizing, truthfully. Both falling in love and the song. She lets it be known that she wants this person and wants to explore a lot with them, be it romantically or a bit more sensually. I like her voice, as it reminds me a bit of Muni Long.
deadmen x Frida Touray – “no ill”
Somewhere between Sade and Lianne La Havas is where “no ill” resides. The neo-soul track finds the group and Touray singing and writing about a breakup and the vulnerability it can leave us with. The song seemingly came together out of thin air, as it came to be over one afternoon. The song focuses on the fact that even though a relationship’s over, it doesn’t mean you can’t respect and honor them and the memory of the relationship. There’s, as Touray says, “a quiet hopefulness” to the track as well.
OurGlassZoo – “Free”
Vancouver-based band OurGlassZoo links with rapper Prevail to talk about equality and a desire to bring more love and positivity in an era that seems darker than most. Instead of saying that things’ll never get better, the group and rapper instead say that equality and true freedom will come, as long as we’re able to all open our hears and minds. I like the driving guitars in this song as well.
JOZEM – “Goderich”
The first thing I noticed is that JOZEM’s got a sort of Weeknd thing to him. And no, that’s not just because they’re both Canadian-centric artists who came from African backgrounds (with Weeknd coming from Ethiopian roots and JOZEM from Kenyan and Rwandan roots). Down to the minimalistic production and eclectic range, JOZEM brings to mind my favorite Canadian artist. This song is more about letting go and just becoming one with your sense of inspiration to bring something great out of it. This is slated to appear on JOZEM’s it came to me in a dream project, which’ll serve as his sophomore project.
Lu Hound – “Lost In My Head”
I like the positivity that this one exudes from its very existence. It’s kind of like a Mac track in that it’s very upbeat and positive (even though Mac sometimes delves into the darker side of things as well). “Lost in My Head” is one of those tracks that talks about just surrounding yourself with love and loved ones. Here, he’s talking about his girlfriend. Even though he’s got things to do, he’d rather just chill and let them happen as they may. That is, as long as he gets time with his loved ones. I like that, because we often don’t spend as much time with our loved ones as we’d like to.
Amplified. – “On & On”
I think that the mix of this one now adds to the awesomeness of it. Originally I wasn’t the biggest fan of the mix, but I went back to it and said “okay, it’s warm where it needs to be.” “On and On” is about trying to keep on pushing, even when things get crazy and hectic. It also discusses what love and what to love truly means (both love of one person and love of a community). The beat is smooth and boombappy, with the right amount of jazzy vibes. Meanwhile, the lyrics are dedicated to just loving oneself and loving others. That’s the type of positivity I like.
S3LIM x Spvce Kid – “FREE”
The second “Free” of this volume of Quickies, “FREE” features producer S3LIM (a LA-residing, Sydney-originating producer) providing a sort of Kendrick-esque beat. Said beat is used for Spvce Kid to flow over about freedom and what it truly means to be free, both as with regards to the streets and just in general. I like Spvce Kid’s lyricism here, because it talks about a lot of darker topics in a matter-of-fact sort of way, because he still likes to dream.
Tenxx – “Hyatt Freestyle”
If you haven’t gotten familiar with Tenxx (pronounced “ten thousand”), please do so. And do so as soon as possible. The brother is one of my favorite new-to-me artists because of his flows and biting-but-witty lyricism. His “Hyatt Freestyle” is more of the same. If you need lyrics for days while actually talking about something besides just rapping words together because they sound nice, this one’s for you. He touches on racism, police brutality, his status in the game, his hunger for more and just a wide variety of topics. Check this one out for sure.
Lars Viola and Quelle Chris – “Evening News (Goin’ In)”
Lars Viola and Quelle Chris deliver an old-school vibe on this one with new-school lyricism. That could be where I leave it, but the beat! The beat feels like a mix of an evening news broadcast opening and some gritty boombap. Now, given that I’ve done three (!) projects based on Baltimore news and commercial jingles, this one grabbed my attention specifically because of the beat. Lars and Quelle give us lyrics for days as well, but I feel like the beat helped to make this song what it is.
Danny Fhantum and Darcy Winter – “Is It Bad?”
A rap/R&B collaboration between US rapper Danny Fhantum and UK Singer Darcy Winter, “Is It Bad?” is one of those tracks that’ll grab you because of its relatability. I mean, we’ve all been there, wondering if we should be a bit less in love with someone. That’s especially since the love’s still there, even though the relationship seems a bit toxic and doomed. I’ve personally been there and, truth be told, it’s a crazy feeling. It’s almost intoxicating, so I applaud Danny and Darcy for approaching this topic with a great deal of care.
KonQuest (VerseBorn and Flamingo Fred) – “Hate the Game”
A two-part track about relationships (and the games people can play within them), KonQuest’s “Hate the Game” discusses how love can be a game. It can be a game that doesn’t end well if we don’t play our cards right, or it can be one that leads to riches and rich relationships. Those failures can have an impact on our future relationships as well, as both artists discuss here. I like this one because it’s brutally honest; it doesn’t sugarcoat the games people play, nor does it sidestep the darkness that can come with some relationships.
The Ton3z and Miss Ai – “Tri Tonez”
A neo-soul sort of track of sorts, international trio The Ton3z link with Miss Ai to provide something that’s halfway between Nujabes and Dilla in production, Common in raps and Persona 5 vocalist Lyn and Corinne Bailey Rae in vocals. There’s a smoothness to Ai’s vocals, also a bit of playfulness as well. Both are greatly appreciated. I feel like I should be in a jazz lounge listening to the quartet of artists delivering their “tri tonez.”
This should be enough to start off any dope playlist, so check the songs out and support good music in all its forms.