This week has been eventful. I missed Monday’s Quickies because of events going on this week. Without further ado, let’s get into the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar edition of Quickies.
Pip Millett – “Ride With Me”
A graceful song about cutting off the non-serving relationships around you, “Ride With Me” finds Millett reaching a mix between Sade and Jhene Aiko. The 24-year-old singer’s vocals also have a touch of Amy Winehouse to them. That’s to say, they’re rich and smooth–like a perfect drink. However, they also have a bite to them that makes the lyrics hit that much harder. When she says on the chorus that “you don’t get to ride” with her [anymore], I felt that one, as I’ve been in the process of shaking off some relationships that no longer serve me. The visuals for the song are equally smooth-but-hard-hitting.
TweezDaSwaggyGawd – “Ready for Me” (feat. Sean Carson)
I like “Ready” because it’s got a neo-soul vibe to it. Add that to solid lyrics and some good mood-setting through the vocals, and you’ve got a track that’s great for those late-night kickbacks. However, Tweez’s lyrics can be played during the rest of the day because of their content. I would’ve liked to hear another verse from either Carson or Tweez, though. However, the best songs leave you wanting more–at least, they do for me.
Jonathan Cloud and Levi Watson – “I Told You”
Produced by the legendary Jake One, the sample-heavy “I Told You” finds Cloud and Watson trading bars about moving up in the world and spitting truthful, soulful lyrics. The chorus also lends itself well to chanting the lyrics out. I mean, who hasn’t felt like they’re reaching their top levels? Exactly. But the clincher about this one is that Cloud and Watson sound like one of the many legendary duos of hip-hop with their chemistry on the song.
Sam Opoku – “83 Classic”
A wavy song that features lines like “not all skinfolk is kinfolk,” Opoku’s “83 Classic” hits those Khalid-esque levels of angsty-but-feel-good music. That’s really the gist of the song, which has a video that finds the artist at a cabin with friends and family enjoying life. It kind of plays like Euphoria if Rue wasn’t a drug addict and the show itself was more of a positive Degrassi sort of vibe.
Doni-B – “On Rode (1of1)”
Doni-B’s SOTBMusic debut is impressive. It could be because he handled everything himself (from recording to mixing and mastering). It could just also be that the vibe on it is reflective but also inspirational in some ways. He states that he wants to understand everything about hip-hop before he jumps in full-force. I think that this one helps hammer home that point, mainly because he’s doing damn near everything on his own.
Al Merlot – “Smooth Like” (feat. Fredii Belaire)
There’s really not much I can say about this one besides it’s smooth like a tasty adult beverage. Merlot and Belaire’s lyricism is top-notch and the flows here are silky. Additionally, I love the beat as it’s simple but also distinctly boombappy. It’s one of those tracks that’ll stick with you like a stiff drink.
Manic – “5AM Freestyle”
Another jack-of-all-trades sort of trades, Manic’s “5AM Freestyle” is a two-minute tour de force. Lyrically, it’s impressive and sonically, it’s a sound track as well, acting as a soundtrack to Manic’s state of mind during the early morning. I’m a fan of artists like this because they always seem to want it more. That’s not to say that artists who only record or produce don’t want it, but artists who know a lot about their trade? They’re great to me.
Eliy Orcko – “We Good!” (feat. S I M)
The outro to Orcko’s HOOLIGAN EP, “We Good!” is one that’s short and sweet, but definitely doesn’t skimp on vibes, emotion or lyrics. I would’ve loved to hear another verse from the artist, but it’s definitely worth checking out. If you liked this one and “WHATEVER,” you should be on the lookout for what Orcko has coming next.
James Aris – “Little More”
A track that feels like early-era Kanye mixed with Drake’s boombap legacy packs, “Little More” is an emotional track that details his desire to get more out of a relationship. I like this one because it’s emotionally-charged but never really comes off as sappy. It wears its heart on its sleeve, but doesn’t just leave it out there for anyone and everyone to scar and break. It’s the rare mix of vulnerable and confident at the same time.