Happy Friday everyone. It’s been a while since we dropped a Quickies post, so I’ve got a lot of new music to get through. The most-famous 46 I can think of (with a little help from Google) is Tim McDonald, who played on the Cardinals and 49ers in the 1980s and 1990s. He’s a six-time Pro Bowler who recorded 40 interceptions, 16 fumble recoveries and over 1,200 tackles over a 13-season career. Some of you may also remember him as a DB coach for the Jets and Bills in the mid-2010s. Check out some of these songs and remember to support dope music in all its forms.
Harmony Haze – “Sorry 4 Ur Loss”
An R&B song in the vein of SZA, H.E.R. and Summer Walker, “Loss” finds Harmony speaking on a toxic relationship and how she’s better than it and the other person. She’s moving upward and outward beyond the grasps of the toxicity. I also like her vocals because they remind me a bit of an Amy Winehouse a bit too, because of their smoothness and slight raspiness.
laidbackshel – “On My Mind”
“Mind” is shel’s second-ever release. You wouldn’t be able to tell it, in my opinion, because the song sounds like it’s been done by someone who has a long history of creation. Sonically, it reminds me of Giveon with a mix of Brent Faiyaz. Lyrically, the song is about how sometimes, we find ourselves just thinking about a certain someone. It’s a subjective look at what goes on in one’s head while thinking about that someone. I know what it’s like, so I’m here for this sort of song.
Matt Nye and Rittz – “Moon Fall”
Matt Nye is dope. That’s really all you need to know. He’s become one of my favorite artists to discuss on SOTB, mainly because he’s lyrical and also heartfelt. His latest song with Rittz is called “Moon Fall” (which I covered initially as “Gator Tummy,” a great song in its own right). Gaffes on my part aside, “Fall” finds Nye speaking about how we’ve got to make the most of what we’re given. That’s especially considering we’re just hurtling through time and space on a giant rock when you think about it. It’s a powerful, thought-provoking song, one that’ll make you say “damn, eff the BS. Let’s look at our darkness and become better than it.”
Jackson Lundy – “Times I Miss You Most”
This is a genre-blending song that, well, speaks on a relationship that’s been over for some time. I like the way that it blends R&B, pop, jazz and a bit of boombap to make its soundscape. Sonically, it reminds me of a blend between Frank Ocean and Daniel Caesar with a bit of Internet in there as well.
Myles Brando – “You Got It”
This song is like a mix between Vedo’s “You Got It” and Miguel with a smidge of GoldLink on “Crew.” That’s really all I can tell you without oversimplifying the song. I like the driving nature of the production as it’s danceable but also lets the harmonies wash over you. I also like the visuals (below) as they find the teenager creating a visual that’s a bit reminiscent of Wayne’s “Prom Queen” meets Abbott Elementary, but less awkward or critical.
D’Nairo – “Bless the Child”
Want some boombap that sounds like it’s Maybach Music with a bit of a Nipsey Hussle edge? D’Nairo’s latest is for you, for sure. The song finds its roots in the quote “God bless the child…,” and speaks on keeping it moving even when things get hectic and chaotic.
Otis Mensah – “Old Boy”
The latest single from Mensah’s things I should have said a year ago EP, “Old Boy” finds Mensah harmonizing about inner turmoil and relationships falling apart to create “poetic beauty.” I like how laidback the vocals and bars are, as it helps them hit you in the face that much harder.
Naomi Wild and Tempest – “Whose Love”
This is a song that reminds me of a mix between The Weeknd, SZA and Doja Cat. The song itself is about how sometimes things just don’t work out–regardless of how much we want them to. We go through cycles after the situation dissolves, in an attempt to grieve and process what went down. It’s a “drifty ode to heartbreak” that’s also boppable. I like this song because it covers a lot of area–and a lot of genres.
Clockwork – “In Your Brain”
I appreciate this song because it’s about the struggles of witnessing addiction–specifically within the people who we care the most about. It’s a tough listen for me, because I’ve been friends with people who’ve become addicted to hard drugs. Even if it’s just alcohol, I’ve seen the negative effects of addiction. It’s not a pretty sight to behold. Instead, it’s one where you feel a bit powerless because you’re wondering when the other shoe’ll drop. You’re hoping it doesn’t but know that it can at any time. Clockwork’s song delves into many of the feelings the friends and families of addicts may experience.
Karla Lee – “New Chapter”
“Chapter” is about the growth and evolution people go through when dealing with negative situations. I also like the production here, as Lee sampled her own vocals to create an even-more personal vibe to the song. Lyrically, the tender vocals speak on all of those “painful processes [we] complete” to fully grow after a negative. It’s heartfelt and also quite relatable.
Atom Eyes – “You Do You”
Sonically and lyrically, this is one of those soothing tracks that you’ll need to play when things get rough. It’s definitely one of those “don’t be so hard on yourself” songs that’s made that much better by the instrumentation. Featuring trumpets, guitars and piano keys, “You Do You” speaks on those overwhelming feelings we often go through–and why we need to remain grounded even when the ground feels like it’ll crumple beneath us. I also like the DIY/home video vibe of the visuals (below). This will appear on the group’s Blue into Gold album, which is due out June 3rd.
Kid Travis – “By The Way”
I like the summertime vibes on this song. I also like that the song’s a bit different than what I’ve come to expect from Travis. It reminds me of a mix of Post Malone’s production and The Weeknd’s vocals. Plus, I like to be shut up by a beautiful woman’s kiss too, so I like the energy on this one.
Tucker Nichol – “This is Why”
A tongue-in-cheek take on gaslighting and manipulative strategies, “This is Why” is a heavy song. However, the way it’s presented is fresh and real while still being listenable. You want to turn the tables and say “screw this manipulative a-hole” and keep it moving. I just like the vocals and the lyrics on this one as well, because I’ve been in situations where I’ve been gaslit. It’s not fun–at all–and I wouldn’t wish that crap on anyone. If you’re in a situation like that, know you’re not alone and that you do have the ability to flip the script.
Prof and Kevin Gates – “Devils Gate”
I like the Tech N9ne sort of vibe on this one. It’s a banger, for sure, but also showcases Gates in a way that I usually am not aware of him doing that often. It’s like a mix between Run the Jewels and Future (in other words, the collaboration is like a debaucherous hip-hop duo which blends two distinct styles together in a way that just works). It’s a helluva track, one that’s as bombastic as it is lyrical.
Ty Robinson – “Thinking About You”
A mood-setter down to the production, “Thinking About You” is bedroom music, plain and simple. I like that it doesn’t waste time setting a mood. Instead, it just dives in (no Trey Songz) and lets you know what time it is. It’s chill, but also very sexy.
Lo Artiz – “11:11”
A song that was written while Lo Artiz battled a depressive episode, this is one of those powerful songs that exists solely to make sure that you know you’re not along. It’s meant to save someone in the same way that writing it saved Artiz. Vocally, it reminds me of a mix of Lauryn Hill and mid-2000s neo-soul with a bit of a gospel vibe as well. To those who are going through it right now, know that you are appreciated and loved and you’re going to make it through your situation and become better because of it.
Al Merlot – “Me & Ms. Lu”
I don’t really know how to describe this song. It’s a neo-soul-esque song that also pulls influences from artists such as JID, Earthgang and OutKast. Instead, the song about Merlot’s ride-or-die is one of those ones you just need to hear and absorb (and maybe play for your own special someone).
just_omalley – “Baby Boo”
Another song about a special someone, omalley’s “Baby Boo” is a solid track. Sonically, it is more along the lines of a mix between Mac and Jack Harlow. It’s a bop, but it’s also poppy (in a good way, because it’s bouncy and airy). I also like the production on this one because it’s like a combination of boombap and pop-rap, which allows for the vocals and lyrics to hit that much harder. Check it out, for sure.
Rebellion and Matt Nye – “Outside in the Snow”
Matt’s in this volume of Quickies two times. This one’s like the perfect antithesis to “Moon Fall,” as it’s more of a vibey track that finds the duo speaking on trying to gather more love and happiness. It’s “about when your feet are dug deep in the snow but [one’s] heart is even colder.” I like the production, because it reminds me of a mix between Mac and 311 (a unique combo, but one that simply works well here).
Hardbody Jones – “Worst Enemy”
Hardbody Jones is a Montreal LGBTQ+ POC artist who’s very introspective with a very laidback flow. On “Worst Enemy,” Jones speaks about the “battle within after being hurt.” It’s full of quotable lyrics, but also full of heart and reality. I like that he’s letting these “demons” out in an effort to exorcise them and find a bit of peace amongst the negativity.
jonnychang – The Weather Inside EP
I came across jonnychang with his song “Plant” from the aforementioned EP. While I wasn’t a big fan of the production on that one song, I did like the lyricism. So, I decided to give the rest of the EP a listen.
When I tell you that I’m glad I did, I’m definitely glad I didn’t let a single beat deter me this time.
The songs here are beautiful in the sense that they’re about self-reflection, self-growth and trying to become a good person in a world that’d rather see you effed up and dependent on everyone else around you. Lyrically, jonny is on point here, as he floats over a variety of beats to discuss his plight and how he’s going to keep pushing. Sonically, he reminds me a bit of a mesh of Jack Harlow and IDK.
Im’peretiv, Mickey Factz and Chayna Ashley – “Gold Blooded”
This one’s for the folks who love bars on top of bars with a side of bars. Factz and Ashley spit their collective asses off and let it be known that they aren’t going to be taken under by petty BS. Im’peretiv’s production here is a sight to behold, because it’s sample-heavy but also menacing while still being headnod-friendly.
Check these out and support dope music in all its forms.