Today, we’re at the 36th volume of Quickies. For the Jerome Bettis edition, we’ve got some heavy-hitters and some smooth jams as well. Like #36, we won’t stop until we reach our goals. So, let’s get on the SOTBMusic Quickies Bus and plow through ignorance and stagnation together.
Randy Mason and Ganesboro – “One & Two”
I like “One & Two” because it takes me back to the boombap days of my youth. The song itself is equal parts self-affirmation and smooth rap vibes. The flows feel vintage without sounding old, same with the beat. I also enjoyed the fact that the song was mostly clean, so you could blast it with the older folks and the kids around if you vibe with it.
Chase Iyan and KY – “Notice”
I enjoyed this one because of the modern R&B stylings from KY. I also loved the production. It’s hard-hitting, like the lyrics, but also sleek. I wish there was another verse, though. However, I’ve come to realize that not every song’s going to be 3-4 minutes long.
Tiny Anthem and Juice Bruns – “Gotta Move”
Denmark and Baltimore link up on “Gotta Move,” featuring production from Tiny Anthem and raps from Baltimore-area artist Juice Bruns. It’s got a silky upbeat element about it that does, in fact, make you want to move. It’s perfect for the early-spring gatherings people are no doubt having because of restrictions being lifted.
If I had to give a “this sounds like” recommendation, I’d say it sounds like Mac Miller and Pharrell got in the booth together. It’s funky and soulful, but still a bit playful and lyrically sound. I also like that Bruns has his own unique take on the “Baltimore flow.” That is, he doesn’t exactly sound like your typical Baltimore rapper but still has elements to his style that scream “I’m from Baltimore.”
Broken Brass – “Problem”
Broken Brass is a funk-soul group from The Netherlands. Their latest song, “Problem,” finds the group combining a lot of genres (specifically brass, rock, funk and hip-hop) to get their point across. And it works–and works well. If you need some neo-soul with an edge, check this one out and be on the look out for their album, BROKE, which will release in April 2022.
Sophia Lili and Feux – “Only One”
Sonically, this song sounds like late-era Sade mixed with Pip Millett with a bit of The Weeknd’s sound as well. That is, it’s soulful and a bit mournful. However, there’s also a cutting truthfulness to the song as well. Featuring Feux, “Only One” discusses what goes on during a relationship that seems somewhat one-sided. I’m also a huge fan of the production on this song as well.
MOAN – “Holy Son”
This one hits me hard because it talks in-depth about staying sober, maintaining a sense of normalcy and reaching high peaks without drugs or alcohol. I also liked the me against myself elements in the video, as MOAN is the only person present in the song, as if it’s only a battle he can understand truly.
NTHN – “Storms”
On “Storms,” you get another song among today’s Quickies that deals with mental health struggles and battles within. This one’s a bit more sad than “Holy Son,” but it works just as well. The production adds to the “tidal nature of dealing with mental health issues” people who battle them deal with. Sometimes, things get heavy. However, it’s up to each and every one of us to say “things aren’t that bad, even if they seem pretty messed up.”
Long Lost Vibes – “Cough Cough”
I liked “Cough Cough” because it’s a laidback sort of track that just deals with life being crazy and just taking a hit to chill out. I know it’s a bit different than the last two songs. In fact, it’s kind of a 180. However, the song, even in its “I’m going to smoke and chill” vibes, it has some darker elements and mental health awareness lyricism as well.
Kent Danger – “Naked Truth”
I don’t really know how to describe this one except it’s a track about a night going wrong mixed in with some “let’s sit and discuss real-life issues.” The flows are sleek, the bars are hard-hitting and the visuals are stunning. I like that this one’s got some distinct lo-fi elements attached–and not just the beat. The song itself has a hard-hitting but muddled sound that works for the overall vibe Danger’s trying to put out there for the track. I mean, not too many songs’ll combine real-life, commercialism, racial commentary and the impact social media has on us all into one slightly-dark song.
Sega Charlton – “All Work No Play”
This one reminds me heavily of my 2018 track “Office Space,” in that both tracks detail the struggles of being a 9-5er. And like “Office Space,” it shows that Sega is worth more than regular 9-5 work space mishaps. Even if he’s sticking with it, he wants more and knows he needs to get it–for himself and those who came before him. I love the instrumentation on this song, as it reminds me a bit of a Mac track from the KIDS era. I also just love the honesty on this one. Sega’s been consistently putting out dope ish since I came in contact with him last year. The Georgia native’s bars consistently improve and his ability to tell stories with his bars has also improved. In other words, he’s becoming even more of a complete artist. Check out “All Work No Play” if you understand the plight of a 9-5er (or want to understand the plight).
Foxfrd – “3005”
A cover of one of my favorite early Donald Glover songs, Foxfrd’s “3005” is timely (considering Atlanta just made its amazing return last night). However, what Foxfrd does with the track is give it a bit more of a vibe that’s sensual and sexy versus the original’s (minus the Abella Danger version of the video). It’s also a bit more aggressive in its approach, down to the instrumentation involving guitars and pianos versus just synthy sounds. On one hand, it makes me miss when Gambino would rap and sing. But nothing’s forever; enjoy the now is what the song seems to say on this cover. However, it also shows the growth both Gambino and Foxfrd have gone through over the years they’ve been active.
Anomalie – “Hummingbird” (featuring Bad Snacks)
I think the best way to describe this one would be something like “imagine if Dilla was a jazz composer instead of a multilayered hip-hop artist.” That’s still probably selling it a bit short, but that’s the best comparison I can think of. “Hummingbird” matches the frantic energy of its namesake while also getting your mind into a state of thought about the past, present and future. This one, like Anomalie’s collaboration with Masego, will appear on his upcoming album. If you liked those two, you should be excited for the album proper.
BUKHARI – “1:11”
BUKHARI’s been on my radar since the first time he hit SOTBMusic with a track. His latest album, 1:11 is a two-part album, one that deals with mental health and struggles while also dealing with turning up and living one’s best life. From the boisterous “SURPRISE” to the introspective “chase,” BUKHARI is staking his claim to “one of the dopest artists I’ve heard of,” because he’s got bars. That’s nothing to be debated. However, it’s also what he does with those bars is what grabs my attention. He, through 11 songs, presents a pretty vivid picture of who he is, who he wants to be and who he’s planning to become through hard work and perseverance.
Another thing about 1:11 is that his beat selection is fire. It’s like a mix between Big Sean, Drake and Mac. That is, there’re darker elements that lend themselves well to introspective bars. However, there’re also moments that’ll have you breaking your neck from the fire of the beats. He matches each beat with equally impressive bars. In other words, if you’re looking for a lyrically-impressive collection of songs that let you see who a young artist is and who they want to be, this one’s for you. Check it out and do the thing (support dope music in all its forms).
Jill Velentyne – “Don’t Panic”
I love Jill Valentyne’s take on mental health and self-affirmation. Her latest track, “Don’t Panic,” continues this trend. That’s because she just sings about ways to calm oneself down when things are going left. It feels like the downtempo sequel to “Don’t Lose Your Shit” in a lot of ways. I think that’s why I love it that much more, because it feels so in-tune with “DLYS.”
Anjali Asha – “War”
“War” is about overcoming things that’ve been in your way. Considering Asha’s history as being a survivor, this one is a beautiful song. It discusses her struggles after getting into a life-threatening car accident and the repercussions of what happened afterwards, including a Percocet addiction which she battled and overcame. This is one for those who feel like they’re at the end of their rope. Know that you’re not and keep going.
Kur – “Road to Riches”
Kur has been on my radar for the last year-plus. His latest, “Road to Riches,” is introspective and hard-hitting all at once. It’s one of those tracks that combines trap vibes (specifically the beat) and emotionally-heavy hip-hop to create a helluva song. I love the chorus and the second verse because of the emotions we’re given on them. If this is what his upcoming project is going to sound like, sign me up and expect some words about it on SOTB.
Kid Travis – “Replace Me”
It’s a bit poppier than I’m used to posting about, but the emotional levels Kid Travis hits on “Replace Me” grabbed me and said “Speed, post this one.” The young brother knows how to make a bop that also gets you in your feelings, thinking about the person who hurt you. That’s a great trait. So if you need some booming emotional R&B with rap vibes, this one’s for you.
Percieve – “Tomorrow”
New Zealand rapper Percieve’s “Tomorrow” is a gritty boombap track about trying to get by in a world that’s pretty dark and gloomy at times. I love the whistle on the beat, as it lets Percieve just rap his ass off about life and all the ups and downs that come with it. It’s a simple beat, but one that’s elevated by incredible lyricism about life.
Linqua Franqa – “Necessity”
A boombappy track that deals with breakup energies and a lot more, Linqua Franqa’s “Necessity” is one helluva track. I found about it on their IG, where they compared it to the scene in The Lion King where all the animals acknowledge Simba. That’s because it talks about dealing with sexual and gender identity, breakups, hookups and finding a bit of inner peace after effed-up situations come to a head and/or to an end. It sets out to do a lot in its three minutes and, to me, accomplishes everything.
It’s a bit different than some of Linqua’s other tracks in that it’s looking more inward than usual. However, that rebellious spirit we’ve seen on “WURK” and other songs is still there in full force. It’s pretty bouncy and reminds me, sonically, of a Queen Latifah track (in that there’s singing, boombap raps and lyrics that are all-encompassing). Franqa’s quickly becoming one of my favorite artists, so I’ll definitely be on the lookout when Bellringer drops in late April. I may be out of pocket during that time, but trust me. I’ll be blasting that one wherever I am at the time.
And now, I take a break until at least tomorrow. My fingers are tired. So check these songs out and remember to support dope music in its forms. Eventually, I may transition Quickies to a half-playlist, half-written form. I mean, it’s probably coming. But for now, check these out and vibe this weekend.