Happy Friday, Happy Memorial Day Weekend and Happy 50th Edition of Quickies. When I started Quickies about six months ago, I thought it’d be a monthly thing, maybe a biweekly thing. Then, people started reading and I had to supply more quickform thoughts. 49 Volumes of Quickies later and I can say I’ve found some of my favorite artists through these shorter write-ups. I say all that to say “just because you make a Quickies list doesn’t mean I think less of your music.” Actually, I place the same level of importance on all posts, thus most of them ending with “support dope music in all its forms.”
Nevertheless, let’s get into Volume 50 and let’s see if we can make it to Vol. 100 by the end of the year/early 2023. As long as SOTB’s kicking, Quickies’ll have a place. This is a long one, so bear with me. I may start just making playlists and writing about them–but I always found that a cheap way out. Sorry, not sorry.
Cozmic Avenue – “This Far”
I like this song because of its early Drake vibes, down to the beat. Plus, Cozmic Avenue’s got bars for days. “This Far” is one of those motivational tracks that’ll fit in well on any workout playlist, but also any “I’ve just got to make it” playlist. The Fresno native’s got another one that’ll make you want to do better while vibing with the lyrics.
007Bonez – “Don’t Get Me Wrong”
The best way to describe “Don’t Get Me Wrong” is “it sounds like early Spitta with some KRIT and Smoke DZA in there as well.” So, it’s early-2010s Southern flavored hip-hop that’s got bars and swagger (without wasting the swagger on foolishness). It, like Cozmic’s track above, could fit into your “I’ve got to make it” playlists as well.
Grey Davies – “By Chance”
This one is a Jill-of-all-trades offering by singer/songwriter Grey Davies, as she handles the production and the vocals/writing here. It’s a soulful song that asks “when do we let go” from relationships which no longer serve us. I’ve been there and let me tell you: it’s not easy to walk away, especially if you’ve got a long complicated history. That’s the energy I get from “By Chance” as well; Davies knows that things won’t be easy, but she’s ready to embark on her new journey. This song appears on her new two-song EP of a similar name. If you like “By Chance,” I recommend also checking out “I’m Sorry.”
Geno Five – “NIGHTMARE!”
I’m always here for hip-hop that exists solely to battle demons and take back one’s narrative. That’s what we get on Geno Five’s “NIGHTMARE!,” a booming track about mental health issues and taking back control of what the demons took from you. I like the vocals employed on the chorus, because they’re in-your-face but also smooth. They say “hey, I’m not running. I’m fighting for me” while also acknowledging the battle won’t be an easy one. That said, it’ll be a manageable one as long as he fights with “no fear” of losing to the demons of his past.
Neela – “Tease”
Another track about being free to be the best you you can be, “Tease” encourages its listeners to love how they feel is best and be comfortable with their choices. I like the somewhat whispered vocals Neela sings here, as they kind of remind me of a mix between Jhene Aiko and Janet Jackson. Love how you love and love who you love and you should be a-okay, “Tease” offers up as solace.
Yung Wacho x Tony Rashad – “That’s That”
I’d be lying if I said that the beat didn’t grab me as the first part of this song I rocked with. Produced by Argentinean producer Imanol Oeschger, “That’s That” is a jazzy track that finds its wordsmiths capturing that old-school ATCQ vibe while also presenting it in a way that feels new and fresh. Multisyllabic rhymes are dropped throughout the track and help make the song feel modern even though it’s an older sound. This is Wacho’s first release since Wey of the Wacho, which dropped earlier this year.
Mathematik – “Know”
You want your boombap with a side of throwback vibes from a legend-in-their-own-right? Yeah, “Know” from Canadian rapper Mathematik is for you. Lyrically, it’s impressive. Flow-wise, it’s got some old-school vibes while still sounding modern. Sonically, it’s just good music about trying to keep things moving and knowing your worth.
UMI – “wish that i could”
I like that this song reminds me of a mix between Janelle Monae and Jhene Aiko. “wish” appears on UMI’s Forest in the City project, which recently dropped. Sonically, it’s a beautiful song, one that’s buoyed by the songwriting on display and the vocals. Overall, if you like your neo-soul with a bit of environmentally-conscious vibes and a healthy dose of pro-women energy, check out “wish that i could.”
Emily C. Browning – “Andy”
An autobiographical song of sorts, “Andy” is the real story of a real date with a real person who was named Andy. The song details this date, which seems to be one slightly from Hell, and the women Andy used to date (most of which were famous). It reminds me of a mix between Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo with a bit of Lana Del Rey as well. I also love the way that this one build up and up to this big crescendo of emotion and energy, distorting itself to examine whether Emily liked Andy or just the people he surrounded himself with.
Estella Dawn – “Orange”
A prelude of sorts to officially being in love, “Orange” tells the tantalizing tale of a date that results in instant chemistry. I love the vocals here, but also the guitar-heavy instrumentation. Overall, it kind of reminds me of Amy Winehouse meets Adele; there’s a long-form narrative in the song, but then the vocals are the chef’s kiss for the whole thing. If you’ve ever been in love, you know the vibes that come with that “dang, this person is awesome” feeling. It’s magnetic, hypnotizing even.
Jeb Ross and SEJJJA – “Venomous”
A track that’s seemingly inspired by Madvillainy and the rapid-fire flow of an Eminem, “Venomous” finds the rapper/producer duo of Jeb Ross and SEJJJA battling. Battling what, you ask? Well, in a few words, it appears they’re going toe-to-toe with succubi and demons who seem hellbent on taking Ross’s talent as their own. It’s a very vivid song (made even more so by the dizzying rhyme schemes employed here). It’s one of those cuts that grabs you by the throat and swings you into the middle of the action. If you like your storytelling rap with an edge, this one’s for you.
Moguido – “The Beginning of the End”
Dutch rapper Moguido also has a bit of a storytelling song with “Beginning,” but it’s a lot less dangerous than Jeb Ross’ track. Instead, this one’s about trying to find an escape from the darkness through music. What Moguido eventually finds out/rediscovers is that everything (regardless of how dark it is) eventually comes to pass. Things are never as bad as they initially seem. This is the second single from his upcoming My Fantasy Infinity album and features smooth neo-soul vibes from Shishani. If you need a pick-me-up in the form of some boombap-esque hip-hop, check this one out. The beat’s smooth and the lyricism washes over you and puts you in a zone.
bayamo. – “Tailwind”
I usually stay away from posting instrumentals. That is, I stay away unless they move me in a way that’s besides “oh, snap this is a dope beat.” bayamo.’s “Tailwind” takes you on a ride and doesn’t stop until the beat’s over. I like this one because it’s a bit of a focus track but also one that feels like a journey through funky rhythms and sounds–kind of like a ’70s instrumental bridge during a funk/soul song. Plus, it doesn’t overstay its welcome, clocking in at two minutes. This appears on bayamo.’s Slow is Fast EP. If you’re feeling this one, I recommend checking out the parent project as well.
Marlene Dae – “luv me”
“luv me” blends alt-pop lyrics, house production and a bit of soulful delivery for good measure. The end result is a song that is about femininity and being confident with your sexuality, beauty and self-worth. I like this song because it reminds me of a mix between PinkPantheress and Doja Cat. The NYC-born, Germany-residing artist does it all and the vibe of this one is just “hey, accept me because I accept myself and I’m friggin’ awesome.”
Lloyd Haines – “Matrix”
This one’s admittedly a bit poppier than I’d typically cover on the hip-hop side of things. However, the lyrics won me over, as they tell the story of a young man who wants to get away from the humdrum nature of his hometown and spread his wings. I also like Lloyd’s vocals, as they remind me of a blend of Post Malone and 6LACK with a dash of Mike Posner. It’s an interesting mix, but one that works well on “Matrix.” This song will appear on Haines’ upcoming project. I’ll be on the lookout for it because of this song.
FBG Goat and O.T. Genasis – “Spring Bling Diamonds”
FBG Goat has been on my radar for the last few months. On “Spring Bling Diamonds,” the melodic rapper teams with O.T. Genasis to create a summer anthem. That’s really the gist of this one. It’s a summer anthem about getting it out the mud and enjoying the highs of life. Lyrically, it’s also pretty solid and showcases both artists at a high point in their inventiveness (read: lots of punchlines and quotable lyrics). If you want to turn TF up this weekend, I recommend this one, truth be told. It just screams “summer” and “getting the most out of life.”
Tuition – “window”
A song that reminds me of a Glass Animals cut, Tuition’s “window” is a smooth cut, a “day dreamer’s anthem,” if you will. We’ve all been there: wanting to get away (mentally) from the day-to-day and escaping to our personal happy place. Mine is typically music, being out with friends or my kids. Whatever your happy place is, this one is for you. This is the focus track off the group’s debut EP, so I recommend giving the whole thing a spin as well. These are the type of alt-pop tracks I love; they’re airy, but also have a depth to them.
Metri Christ – “Tables”
A track from Metri’s Before I Wake album, “Tables” is an introspective cut that also speaks to those who’ve been through tough times in their lives. I like the production and the flow especially, as combined, I get IDK and Cole vibes. Lyrically, the young brother’s on point as well, but it’s that flow that grabs you and makes you want to hear the lyricism. I also had the chance to peep some of the Before I Wake album over on TIDAL; it’s worth a listen, because he’s got bars, he’s got beats and he’s got introspection that you typically only hear from older artists. In other words, it’s a damn near perfect album–to me, at least.
Nothing But a Nightmare – “Baggage Claim”
I love this one because it reminds me of Fall Out Boy or PATD! before Brendon Urie became a one-man show. Lyrically, “Baggage Claim” is one of those songs that dismisses people who try to unload their baggage onto new people they meet without getting over it first. Sonically, I love the neo-punk sounds of the track. It’s an entire vibe, for sure, but it’s also a lyrically in-depth song about toxicity and trying to avoid it.
Kid Travis – “Talk to Me Nicely”
This one is another Kid Travis track that grabs your attention because of his mastery of the sing-rap flow. However, it also because of the subject matter. We all want to be acknowledged as great at what we do, even if it’s just making a dope track. I also like the swagger Travis has here, as it lends itself well to a dope early-summer jam. When you see me this summer, talk to me nicely or don’t talk to me at all (unless we’re fam, then you can call me an a-hole and get away with it).
Tone D – “Gotta Get That Bag”
This is a bit different from what we’ve typically gotten from Tone D. It’s a bit more mainstream-friendly and the subject matter is more about “missing your significant other due to working.” I get it, though, because I’ve been in that situation. Tone’s lyrics are solid and that’s what keeps this one from being just another song about a beautiful woman. It kind of reminds me of a mix between mid-2000s Twista and Big KRIT. In other words, it’s in that sweet spot between mainstream and underground.
Kitt- “State of Mind”
A song that speaks on mental health and trying to figure out where one who deals with those issues belongs in the world, “State of Mind” is a beautifully introspective song. I love that she describes this one as sounding “like her inner child wrote [it],” because it speaks on a long-term concern and trying to grow up in spite of it. I also love Kitt’s vocals, as they’ve got a neo-soul tinge to them while also sounding rich and a bit darker than most.
young saab and Blessing – “DAY N NIGHT”
Featuring Houston-based artist Blessing, “DAY N NIGHT” is a melancholy song with powerful vocals about trying to keep pushing even when things seem to be against you. I love it, plain and simple. It’s got a pop feel to it, but the lyrics and the vocals aren’t really poppy at all; instead, they’ve got a great deal of soul to them.
Sunny Cowell – “Touch Me Now”
Baltimore’s in the house! Okay, I had to do that. However, Sunny Cowell’s latest has a lot of Baltimore Club sensibilities blended in with Janet Jackson-esque vocals. If you need a throwback-esque song about love–and a bit of lust–this one’s for you. Sunny’s become one of my favorite vocalists out of Baltimore because of the way she blends Baltimore Club Music with R&B tuneage. This one features a TT The Artist sample (yes, the one from Chloe Bailey’s “Have Mercy”) and just feels like love and summer. If this is part of the future of Baltimore-area R&B, I feel that the subgenre’s in good hands with people like Sunny manning the front. She’s got amazing vocals, great songwriting and just captures what it’s like to be a Baltimorean in love.
Steven Malcolm, Snoop Dogg and Jay-Way – “Summertime”
Steven Malcolm’s been on my radar for the past couple months since he first popped up on my site. Since then, the brother’s been busy cooking up a mix of conscious, clean hip-hop with some Christian hip-hop undertones. His latest, “Summertime,” features Snoop and Jay-Way and just feels like I assume summer on the West Coast feels like. This one features on Steven’s Tree album, which is due out soon. If you like this one (which I think you should), give the project a listen when it drops.
Reverse Mechanic – “I Want You”
I love this song because it reminds me of a mix between RATM and The Beastie Boys. It’s rap metal with a funky vibe to it, a bit revolutionary while also prompting you to shake your hips to the rhythm. It must be the Minneapolis in him; we all know that those brothers are built different–and artistic as heck (like Prince, for instance).
Breadcouch and Colton Cherry – “Chanel Freak”
This is another upbeat summer jam (expect more of those on SOTB in the coming weeks) which also doubles as an upbeat love song about an alien girl. It’s trippy, but it works. I love the production. That’s mainly because it’s spacey as heck, but also feels grounded–kind of like a mix between Majid Jordan, GIVEON and a bit of DVSN in there as well. It’s a solid track, especially the way that the sound’s deconstructed and reconstructed as an alt-R&B track on the outro.
Meaghan Maples – “1763”
The title track from her EP of the same name, “1763” is a throwback (both in its subject matter being about her youth) and its sound. I like this song because it’s dreamy while still being grounded (just like “Chanel Freak” above). It blends pop feels, R&B rhythms and the introspection of a singer/songwriter. The project proper is definitely worth a listen (below) because it also showcases those feels while also giving us a window view into who Meaghan is as an artist and a woman.
Das Loes – “My Word, Your Word”
Actions speak louder than words, Das Loes says on his latest song (and accompanying visuals). “My Word Your Word” is one of those hip-hop tracks that has a load of feel-good vibes along with a message of acceptance and showcasing humanity and humility. I love the accompanying visuals and the overall message of the song–which is, “if we can work together we can do anything.”
Mitch Felito – “Above Water”
This one’s one of those songs that blends a sparse production with a solid bunch of lyrics about trying to keep things going, even in the face of adversity. I also love the storytelling elements on this one, as it tells several stories at once–all focused on making it in a world that doesn’t seem that friendly to Black and brown people.
I may be back online between now and Tuesday, but if not? Support these songs like you’d support me and support dope music in all its forms.