Happy April Fool’s Day, SOTB Faithful. Today, we’re at #38 on our voyage through Quickies. The best #38 I can think of is C**t Schilling. Unfortunately, dude’s a right-wing pro-Insurrectionist. He’s gone on record saying that Orioles great Adam Jones should’ve just shut up and catch fly balls instead of stand up to racism. Given that I’m a Black man from Baltimore, eff that guy and his beliefs. Look, you can be conservative all you want. However, when you’re up here supporting stuff like Schilling has, I can’t rock with it.
With that out the way, let’s get into today’s Quickies. This week’s been a bit rougher than usual (RIP Mama Young). Apologies if these Quickies are, in fact, quicker than normal.
Proper Einstein – “The Assignment”
I like this one because it reminds me of early Weeknd tracks, down to the haunting beat and the falsetto. Brother’s singing his heart out about moving up and moving on, even in the face of adversities. He cannot be stopped, regardless of what’s in his way. I also like the simplicity of the video. He’s in the middle of an empty street, struggling to keep going–but does because he can’t do anything but keep pressing on.
Kennyjonez – “My”
Kenny’s “My” reminds me a bit of Bryson Tiller, so if you like your R&B to have some trapsoul to it, this one’s for you. It’s a bit on the short side (song’s only about 2-and-a-half minutes long), but it stays right where it needs to. I like the vibe of this one, for sure. The second verse is sensual and, again, reminds me of a Bryson Tiller deep cut.
Devwiththebev – “A World in Need”
The second single from Dev’s upcoming Two Legged Soul Talking project, the song reminds me of a mix between Cole and Blu. It’s a biting critique on capitalistic endeavors and our constant need of money. However, it’s soulful to the point where it doesn’t beat you over the head with negative vibes. In fact, it’s still quite celebratory of Black culture and our ability to survive almost anything.
Phenawn – “Good Love”
A mix between afrobeats and contemporary R&B, “Good Love” is a feelgood song about, well, getting the love you’re looking for. It’s got a real mid-spring/early-summer feel to it. It’s in the vein of Wizkid and artists like him, but also manages to become its own thing without sounding too much like his contemporaries.
The HP’s – “Hope to See You Again”
A retro funk soul track named after bandleader Mike Renaud’s last words to the late great Sharon Jones, “Hope” is a smooth, funky track that steps up and says “we’re going to be alright, even if it takes a while to meet again.” There’s a bit of a bittersweetness to the song, though, considering the origin of its title. However, like Jones, the song is a tour de force and doesn’t back down at all.
Kar – “Season”
The best way to describe “Season” is mix Cole and Meek together. There’s a heavy dope dose of boombap hip-hop with a healthy helping of “I’m going to make it regardless of what comes up to my face” for good measure. This one caused me to check out some of his other cuts. To tell you the truth, I didn’t know what to expect. Sometimes, you find an artist who has one good song and the rest are just middle of the road. In Kar’s case, that’s far from the truth because everything he’s got is charged up. It’s emotionally in-depth, sonically pleasing and lets listeners know more and more about him and his life with each track.
Emil James and Sam Ellwood – “Memory Lane”
A song about nostalgia and revisiting the past, “Memory Lane” is also firmly planted in the present. That is, it uses the past to inform the present and the future. James’ flows are old-school, but still feel fresh. Meanwhile, the production by Ellwood reminds me of Dilla in the best way possible (it’s vibrant and keeps you nodding your head, but still deep). I like the chorus on this one, because that’s where all the elements of the song come together and just vibe out.
Sara Diamond – “Lovin’ From You”
Featuring Nick Grant, Sara Diamond’s “Lovin'” is a bit sexual and sensual than some of her other tracks. However, it’s still not crass or vulgar. Instead, it’s a sweet song about just getting her lover’s affection and attention. It’s openly honest and in-your-face about love and what it means to Diamond. I like this one because it blurs the lines between poppy-R&B and more-sensual pop. In other words, it’s a bop, plain and simple.
Lu’ginnae – “Xpensive”
Cali R&B singer/songwriter Lu’ginnae’s “Xpensive” is, like, Diamond’s track, sensual and sexual and speaks on empowerment as much as it does falling with someone. She says that her love is expensive, but it only costs someone love to experience it. I like that mantra because sometimes, we get caught up in the material or the physical and forget about the mental. Love is free and usually more appreciated than glitz and glamour.
CEL$ – “Fruits of My Labor”
Kansas City artist CEL$ hit my line a little while ago with this one. I like the lyrical aspect of “Fruits of My Labor” and like the production as well. It’s definitely a track that’ll get you in your zone. That’s because it’s lyrical, but also just a bop. Over a soul sample, CEL$ talks about a lot of topics, ranging from getting up in the world and also being a young Black man in the Midwest. I like the visuals, as they’re simple but poignant.
Miss Kam – “We$tside”
An abrasively and distinctly Baltimore track, “We$tside” features Kam gruffly and grittily establishing where she’s from, the type of time she’s on and the BS that she’s not going to take. She also makes it known that what a hater won’t do is test her or her team. I’m here for this sort of track, mainly because it reminds me a bit of Nicki Minaj back when she used to be on her rappity-rap tip. It’s timely because that’s also something we’ve seen Nicki try to get back to in recent months and years. This is one of the first releases we’ve seen from Kam since 2020’s Tew Faced and is slated to appear on her Tew Be Continued EP that’s dropping soon. Check it out.
unocoolbro – “cant.fly”
The third installment of 12 from unocoolbro’s Out Da Pot series, “cant.fly” reminds me of a mix between Anderson.Paak and Chance the Rapper. I mean, sonically and lyrically, that is. The song is about taking a leap of faith and wondering about what may happen if uno can’t reach his goals and aspirations. However, he casts aside fear and just goes for it. We need that sort of philosophy in music and life more than you know. We need to go with our guts and shoot for the stars.
These are but a few of the songs I’m listening to this weekend. I’m also playing DAR Elite’s Welcome to the Playoffs EP.
That’s a given, though, because I always play my team’s music when new music drops. That’s just how we go. Plus, and this is tooting my own horn, I can run through most Elite projects without skipping a single track. That’s good, considering after a while, I usually skip at least one or two tracks on every album. Check all these songs and projects out and remember to support dope music in all its forms.