SOTBMusic Quickies Vol. 45, 4/25/22

Hi everyone. Twitter is slated to approve Elon Musk’s $43B offer for the social media site. Like my bro Big Sto always says “[it’s time to] get a damn website” if you don’t have one already. Social media is great, don’t get me wrong. But a website is damn near forever. Thankfully, your favorite No-Fi King will be here until the day I put the keyboard away (which isn’t coming anytime soon–unless something catastrophic happens). That said, I am taking about a week off from SOTB from this Thursday through Cinco de Mayo to enjoy some well-deserved family time. That’s probably why this one’s so damn late in the day (usually Quickies drop anywhere between 1-4PM). This one’s the “I’m Back” Jordan edition. It’s about a month and a week late (the actual notice came through March 18th, 1995), but we’re here. Let’s get into it.

Cashus King x Jeff Johnson II x M.Waisome – “Sit Calm”

Cashus King’s been on my radar since Solomon discussed his HeavenManEarth project earlier this month. His latest track also features Jeff Johnson II while trading bars about television. This song could go left in an instant (in other words, get corny). However, King and Johnson rap their asses off over this boombap-friendly beat from M.Waisome and it comes off in that sweet spot. It’s lyrical as hell, chockful of references and still manages to tell a story versus just being a bunch of references. There’s nothing later season-era Family Guy about this one–at all. I’d love to see a visual for this song, just because of the fun that could be had throughout the video.

Belzar – “A Fresh Start (2022 Remix)”

Originally released in 2014, Belzar’s “A Fresh Start” received a new coat of paint recently. That’s the version I’m familiar with and it’s definitely a solid track. It’s one of those “one thing ’bout music, when it hits you feel no pain” sort of songs that’s set up to give us a look into the artist’s life. This is also while presenting us with options on how to keep pushing and keep going in life. Produced by Seattle producer Tyler Dopps, “Start” gives listeners a good starting point in our efforts to keep pushing onward and upward.

888moment x SG SLAV – “Like a Guru”

I love that 888moment’s been consistently putting out good music. He understands that we, as a society, have a small attention span–even with music as genre-blending as his. “Like a Guru” keeps the frenetic-but-stable vibes we’ve gotten from 888 and SG SLAV over the last few months but finetunes them in a way that I personally haven’t heard yet from the duo–until now. This is the first song off their collaborative effort @Gh0sts, which also saw another release on SOTB a little while ago. Check this one out if you want a mix between boombap, chiptune and electronica. I think that’s a good way to describe this one without giving too much away.

Hubert Hoodie – “AWAY”

A song that’s equal parts a mix between Tyler and blackbear with a bit of Corbin in for good measure, “AWAY” is one of those slow-burners that pleads with its target to let them move on and move up. I like the production here, as it lets the vocals float and just exist in a place that’s both vintage and new at the same time. Plus, who hasn’t been in a situation where they wanted better for themselves, a “place that’s real,” so to speak?

D’Sound x Autumn Rowe – “Right Now”

Funk-neo-soul group D’Sound collaborated with singer Autumn Rowe (co-writer of Jon Batiste’s WE ARE album) on “Right Now.” The song is bouncy and reminds me of classic neo-soul mixed with modern sensibilities. Rowe’s vocals are great here, as they remind me of a mix between some of my favorite singers. Plus, the video is a fun romp through the city. This song also will appear on D’Sound’s 25th anniversary album, the aptly-named 25.

Muncy – “Stranger to these Modern Times”

I like this song because it reminds me of F&L Lupe, plain and simple. The “clean addict living in the solution” gives us a lot of bars that detail how he’s continuously trying to improve himself and those around him–even if that makes him “strange” in some ways according to modern eyes. I applaud his openness and, well, his ability to make an emotional song that speaks to quite a few situations in life. Sonically, this one also reminds me of Mac at his best and Logic (when he gets introspective with topics that aren’t situated within his Blackness).

Mecca of Stank x Rebecca Noelle – “Dopamine Dreams”

There’s no one way to describe this one. That’s because it’s a genre-bending track that deals with fakeness and (potentially) fake news that has funk and jazzy roots. Sonically, imagine Prince in the ’90s manning a neo-soul group that also blends hip-hop and funk. “Dopamine Dreams” is one of those sorts of songs that has a lot to say and manages to speak on most of its topics with the svelteness of auteurs like the aforementioned Prince.

Trippij – “Bounty (FTNF)”

In a few words, “Bounty (or “F*** That N**** Freestyle”) is a futuristic-sounding song about toxic relationships and building oneself up after dealing with BS. Trippij’s track is simply about getting “shit off your chest while parting ways with trauma and baggage.” Sonically, think Tierra Whack meets Kendrick Lamar with the house-y vibes of an Azealia Banks. I also love the fact that the track becomes frantic as it goes on, meshing the anger Trippij feels while also discussing the pain that he’s letting going of.

Kaution Mr.700 x Jah Born – “Locals”

You might (read: should) recognize Jah Born’s name from his hand in Erykah Badu’s career, specifically the production on songs like “On and On.” His creative valleys run deep and his latest production, Kaution Mr.700’s “Locals,” continues some of those same hip-hop-heavy neo-soul leanings that we first experienced 25 years ago. It’s boombap at its purest, but doesn’t come off dated like some hip-hop-head-heavy beats–and bars, for that matter–can come off as. Instead, it feels as new as something you’d hear on the radio or streaming in 2022. I also enjoyed the laidback nature of the flow. It’s like Kaution’s speaking to his audience, not at them (which is definitely important when spitting knowledge of any sort).

iamespo – “Change”

The song starts off with the line “the only thing that’s constant is change.” I feel that because, over the last year or two, I’ve gone through a lot of changes on a personal and creative level. One thing remained true: I was always going to keep pushing and never stay stagnant. espo’s song deals with that possible stagnation and what it caused the artist to do (get up and make use of their abilities to not “do what they’re used to”). I love the production on this song as well, as it reminds me of a neo-soul track that lets its listeners become one with the sound and the mood espo’s putting out.

Matt Nye – “Nosferatu”

I enjoyed listening to this one because it’s an honest look at a man who’s seen death up close and personal. From speaking on people he used to run with to people he didn’t run from, “Nosferatu” is one of those songs that’ll stick with you because of its brutal honesty and realism. Matt Nye’s been on a roll recently and this is another one to add to the collection. I’m curious to see how a full body of work will come out for the rhymesmith, but I know it’ll probably be great.

LenaMarie – “Do You”

I think that the best way to describe this one is that it’s like Summer Walker had a song written by the homie Carter Marie. It’s got that throwback sort of vibe to it, possibly because of the production. However, the approach to the subject matter is pretty new-school, sort of like a Cardi-meets-Walker sort of feel. With that in mind, it also sounds like an R&B songwriter raised on Mary J. Blige and Total writing for someone born in the shiny suit era. It’s these mashups of styles that make this song about knowing one’s worth stick out.

Bolder Biggs – “Get U Up”

I think the best way to describe this one is “think early Wayne meets TI meets KRIT WUZ HERE-era KRIT.” It’s a bop, but it’s also one that’ll get you to think about what he’s saying. It’s a feelgood song, but one that’s lyrically dope as well as being great production-wise. Overall, it’s the perfect way to close out this edition of Quickies because it somewhat reflects my own progression as a writer and an artist.

This song should be on streaming in the coming days.

Check out these songs and support dope music in all its forms.

Speed on the Beat

Whatever you need to know about me, you can find out on speedonthebeat.com

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