SOTBMusic Quickies Vol. 48, 5/16/22

Happy Monday everyone. If you’re like me, you’re amazed that both NBA Finals participants from last season lost in Game 7s by at least 20 points. I don’t think that means that Giannis, Devin Booker and company were flukes last year. I just think it means that other teams were prepared a bit better for their tendencies and were able to shut them down. That said, it’s time for Volume 48 of Quickies. The only number 48 I can think of readily, besides MLB legend Torii Hunter, is NASCAR legend Jimmie Johnson. And they say that I don’t keep knowledge about all things random.

Anyway, let’s get volume 48 under way and do the thing that we do: support dope music in all its forms.

SAID. – “Ready4U”

The second single of a three single release prior to his upcoming EP, SAID.’s “Ready4U” sounds like early Weeknd, down to the falsetto and slightly haunted strip club production. However, what makes this one stand out versus other Weeknd-ish tracks is this. “Ready” is more of a slow jam about wanting to be with this one person, instead of being about just wanting to sex them and discard their feelings because you’re not emotionally ready for that sort of thing.

The 20-something singer/songwriter also released “Work of Art,” which I’d assume is the first single of the rotation. That song’s a bit softer than “Ready,” sonically, but gives some of the same energies. The artistry here is solid and makes you want more from him. Check out these two tracks and be on the lookout for his EP. If it sounds anything like “Ready” and “Work of Art,” you’ll find it on SOTB as well.

Brooklynn Skye – “Take You There”

A more neo-soul offering, “Take You There” finds Skye stating that she’s not the type to chase, but there’s this one person who makes her want to do that–even if he’s on some other ish at times. I love the production because it’s airy but also allows Skye the space to paint a picture with her vocals. This feels like a mix between that coffeehouse neo-soul from back in the day and more modern offerings.

One Reek – “Keep Glowing” (On Behalf of Brown’s Organix)

Natural skin care and beauty brand owner Eugene Brown collaborated with a few artists to help brand the products he offers with Brown’s Organix. This song in particular features artist One Reek channeling his inner Meek, KRIT and Cole to deliver a song that’s pro-Black woman and pro-good vibes. This is the first song off the Brown’s Organix-helmed EP Butters, Balms and More which is slated to drop soon. I love the positivity of this song–and the production as well.

Apollo Lovely – “Catch Me”

I can’t lie. I like this one because it’s like a mix between Prince and Silk Sonic. I think it’s because Apollo sings about a relationship that keeps going back and forth. Even though it’s not all that healthy, it’s one of those things neither person can really walk away from. It’s soulful and pretty airy and upbeat as well. Apollo Lovely is the brainchild of artist Kim Ho, formerly of the band Creature, and seems to be readying for a solo release as well. I love the playfulness on this song, but also appreciate the effort put out.

Rosewood Swing and Premo Rice – “Life Is P”

The best way to describe this one is as follows. Imagine Gunna channeling his inner Curren$y. It’s like a Spitta-centric version of “Pushin P,” down to the production sounding like something you’d hear Curren$y or Larry June on (minus some of the other connotations of “pushing P”). This one’s featured on Rosewood’s Raptor project, which drops this Friday. I’ll be giving that project a listen for sure, just based off this song.

Leavv – “Caramel”

“Caramel” is one of those lo-fi beats that makes you sit there, contemplate your life and want to write to it all in the same few minutes. It’s a rare track for me, especially since I’m not the biggest lo-fi beat fan. That’s more so because there’re so many sites who specialize in talking about lo-fi beats–plus some of the whitewashing that goes into modern lo-fi rubs me the wrong way. Anywho, the song is sweet like caramel but also syrupy to the point it’ll make you just chill out and vibe.

Dr. Duru – “Wait”

I typically would pass on this one–only because it’s one of those songs that you’d find on other sites. However, it’s something about the grittiness that Duru provides on “Wait” that made me take notice and just vibe with the lyrics and the song as a whole. It’s a callout to all the people who want to see him fall–and lets them know that he’s not going anywhere.

Mark Vasquez – “New Day”

You may know Mark from his works with Matt Nye over the last few weeks, when he went by the name Rebellion. “New Day” is simple in its subject: it’s about moving upward and onward after reaching a low in your life (and bringing some around you with you on this path to greatness). However, the song itself is so melodic, so well put-together, that you’ll find yourself singing along to it before you know it. It’s one of those songs that reminds me of a mix between Maxwell, Lenny Kravitz and Wyclef Jean in some ways.

Vic Spencer and Small Professor – “Pitfall Music (feat. Flee Lord and DJ Revolution)”

If you’re a fan of Griselda, Guilty Simpson or Sean Price, you’ll love this one. It’s gritty, abrasive, in-your-face and tells you to be on your guard when stepping up to legends. Small Professor handles the production while Vic and Flee rip the beat just as much as the beat stomps around like some sort of Godzilla monster. Yeah, this one is fire. That’s really all I need to say about this one.

Calvin The II and Scotty LVX – “Keepa”

This one’s a bit different than some of the other tracks here because it’s more of a neo-pop-soul sort of vibe. Calvin The II appeared in the “This is America” video (he’s the guitarist who gets shot). Recently, he’s started to record and release his own material. “Keepa” is a song that’s, simply put, about a beautiful woman who Calvin and Scotty want to keep by their side. I like that this one’s also got a danceability to it as well, like you can two-step along with it or grind up with your special someone.

Lea the Leox – “Pricey”

This is like a mix between Doja Cat and Kehlani. It’s got a bit of a blunt pop-R&B vibe to it, but also has a bit of a neo-soul feel to it. The song itself is about having that belief in yourself that you’re worth everything you dream about. It’s one of those “even if I’m in a 9-5, I’m going to make something bigger and better out of myself” sorts of songs. I appreciate that, as you all know I’ve got a 9-5 on top of my dealings as SOTB. That said, I empathize with artists and artists who work to help support their artistic endeavors.

Phrase Frazier – “Again” (featuring The Only Jordan G)

I like the bounciness of the beat, as it adds another level to the lyrics which are about trying to make the best out of one’s situation. I love the vocals here and I love the lyricism. It’s one of those songs that’ll get in your head and say “keep going” when things get tough. I’m curious to see where Phrase goes after this one, because his last song before this was the track “Cheesecake” that I liked but didn’t exactly love. This one, however, I definitely love and want to see more of this throughout his work this year.

Namir Blade – “Mephisto”

Our last Quickie for today’s a doozy–but in a good way.

About a month back, during Volume 44 of Quickies, I spoke on Namir Blade’s “Ride” from his upcoming Metropolis album. As is the case with “Mephisto,” I was a fan of the layered lyricism and the nerdy-but-not-dorky references. “Mephisto” takes its name from the German folklore demon Mephistopheles, who is, essentially, a debt collector for Lucifer; he plays a major role in Faustian literature. The folklore’s interpretation these days goes that Mephisto is not an entity who corrupted. Instead, he is one who collects the souls of those who are already damned to their fate.

This ties back into Blade’s song because he’s speaking on those who’ll sell their souls to mortgage a bit of fame or popularity. He’s saying that he’s not like them at all. However, he still somewhat empathizes with their plight as well. We’ve all been there, that point where you consider doing unscrupulous things to gain a quick advantage. Those who turn away from that temptation, in my experiences, have been rewarded handsomely in the long run. With that in mind, all I’ve got to say about Namir Blade is this: Metropolis may be a dark horse for one of the best albums to drop this year if he keeps this energy up.

Speed on the Beat

Whatever you need to know about me, you can find out on Dad of two, cat dad (of two), mental health advocate, Team Support Dope Music in All Its Forms.

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