For the Easy Money Sniper edition of Quickies, we’ve got some tracks that cut to the proverbial hoop like KD. We’ve also got some that just take aim from beyond the arc and knock it in. And like the Nets forward and DMV native, we keep it cooking in the kitchen–regardless of the time of day. So, without further ado, let’s get into Volume 35 (!!!) of Quickies and support dope music in all its forms.
Shar’dai Gabrielle – “Swim”
“Swim” has a slow danceability to it that also has a bit of a 90s R&B feel to it. The song is about someone opening themselves up to love after being hurt in previous relationships. I love the layered vocals on the chorus as well as Gabrielle’s vocals, period. The way that the song breaks down to just have her vocals layered over gentle guitar licks reminds me of waves crashing against the shore. They almost seem to ask “can I really do this or will it be too much?” Thankfully for the narrator of the song, she allows her heart to be opened and love comes in.
Jackie’s Boy – “Recipe”
I absolutely love that the retro soul/funk era has started to return to music. I’m young, but my mom was a Boomer (in the good ways, not the “OK BOOMER HURDUR” memeable way). What that means is that I grew up with a respect for funk and retro soul. Man, there’s nothing quite like a full band playing while a singer/group lets it all hang out. On “Recipe,” Jackie’s Boy channels his Anderson.Paak while getting just as groovy as his funk forefathers. The song compares love–and loving–to cooking, while Jackie’s Boy is the patron of his lady’s “restaurant.”
P-Moneyy and B-Lucas – “Hold Up”
I like this one because it’s got a bit of an older rap feel to it. Think mid-2000s gangsta rap with the flows and a mix of that era and trap on the beat. P-Moneyy and his partner B-Lucas give us gritty lyricism and hard-hitting bars that tell listeners that they should be on the lookout for the moves P’s making. If you want trap with dope rhymes, this one’s for you.
Calvin Ryan and Dugotti – “High Stake Roller”
This one grabbed me because of its subject matter versus just its sound. The sound’s a bit poppier than I’m used to covering, but the subject matter is deeper than that. It’s about a woman who’s really about her money and her time that isn’t just your typical IG honey. Yes, she’s sexy AF but she’s deeper than just her looks. Y’all know me: I’m always about seeing what’s beyond a person’s persona. So this one’s right up my alley.
Die Lit Max – “Feelings Fade”
“Feelings Fade” is exactly what you’d think it’d be about. Die Lit Max’s latest finds the Austrian alt-R&B artist discussing a faltering relationship and how he’s trying to put the pieces back together–even as they’re starting to chip. Throughout the song, we see that he eventually gives up on the love because, well, feelings fade and people change (sometimes for the worst). He’s letting it all out there, that’s for certain.
PZMST – “GALLIANO”
Over a gritty instrumental, Australian rapper PZMST raps his ass off. That’s really the best way to describe this one. If you want bars on top of bars that have an edge to them, you’ll like this one. If you want your lyrics that are influenced by ’80s mobster movies, you’ll definitely like this one. Check it out, if only for the fire beat.
Ambrose Lucian – “Mistakes”
Did you wake up this morning not choosing violence, instead opting to choose heartache and heartbreak? I think Ambrose Lucian did as well, hence us getting the dark “Mistakes.” It’s emotionally-charged but also understanding in that he knows he’s “way too caught in [his ways],” even if they’re causing a divide in his relationship. It’s honest, blunt and a bit toxic on its Drake vibe.
Recet – “And Some”
Need something more upbeat after the last song? Well, check out Recet’s “And Some,” a bouncy anthem with some dope lyricism as well. I like the beat on this one just as much as the lyricism because it kept my head nodding throughout the track.
D’Marie – “Lit”
I love this one because it’s cute and lovey-dovey but also sexy AF. D’Marie’s vocals remind me of 1990s R&B groups in the best way possible. The visuals find the singer/songwriter talking to her lover and letting them know what she wants to get into with them. There’s a sexy playfulness in D’Marie’s vocals that also brings mid-’90s Janet Jackson to mind.
Cheese – “You (The Day After Valentine’s)”
Switching from Janet energies to Summer Walker vibes, Cheese’s “You” find the singer letting it be known she’s not going to fall for just any ol’ BS that her guy’s trying to throw out there. If he’s ready to be an adult about his feelings for her, she’s willing to do the same. I love the vocals on this one as well, as they float over the sparse instrumental.
Chief Yuya – “WonToo” and “A Giant Steps”
A twofer of sorts, Chief Yuya’s “WonToo” and “A Giant Steps” both feature similar vibes of self-discovery and self-improvement. Where “Giant” speaks on moving into a new phase of life (either because of parenting children or just a personal growth), “WonToo” focuses more on what happens once that growth and maturation starts to take place.
The artist who’s here to promote “healthy masculinity through music” manages to do so through these two songs, as he’s open with his wants, feelings and needs–while also establishing that he’s only as strong as the people he surrounds himself with. Sonically, I’d have to say he’s like a mix of Erykah Badu and D’Angelo, in that there’s that neo-soul vibe mixed in with the metaphysical. If you want some soul music that’s as good for the soul as it’s mind-opening, these two are definitely two you should add to your playlists.
TwonDon and Rob Markman – “Prize Fighter”
TwonDon‘s been one of my favorite indie artists over the last few years. He’s definitely made his mark on the site and elsewhere. When he raps, I shut up and listen to the brother’s bars. That’s because he’s lyrical AF, he’s got an old-school flow that balances well with his newer-school lyricism and he’s a student of the game.
On “Prize Fighter,” he links with Rob Markman, who’s been creating a pretty large catalogue on this side of things as much as he has on the non-artist side. This one’s been sitting in the wings since 2020. However, it shows no signs of old age. In fact, it feels fresh and brand-new. That’s what happens when you get timeless lyricism and hard-hitting beats. Twon never misses and this one’s another easy bucket for the UC artist.