Here we are again, counting down the hours until we can peel out of wherever we are and into the weekend.
In terms of music, this week has obviously been a fruitful and newsworthy one. Saturday night saw the highly anticipated drop of Drake’s stacked “More Life” playlist, while the rest of the week brought new One Direction solo efforts and Nicki Minaj collaborations into our lives. Bless.
Today, though—oh, today—has been even more exciting. See below for why (and maybe make a game out of how many different things I can call Kendrick Lamar).
After Kendrick wiped his entire Instagram account yesterday, leaving only one photo with the roman numerals “IV” emblazoned across it—we knew things were about to get real. While Cornrow Kenny released his untitled.unmastered mixtape around this time last year, album-wise he was due for a follow-up to 2015’s game-changing To Pimp A Butterfly. And, last night while we all slept soundly and dreamed of this possibility, Kendrick went ahead and dropped the first single “The Heart Part Four”—which climaxes (after nearly five minutes of wickedly diminishing any and all competitors) with the line, “Y’all got till April the 7th to get y’all shit together.” So, there it is: Kendrick is (re) confirmed as the greatest rapper alive, and we get that long-awaited new new in two weeks. Sorry, Drizzy—but this is some highly warranted thunder-stealing.
Weekend feels are almost always guaranteed when London Grammar is at the helm. “Truth Is A Beautiful Thing” remains fairly typical for the British trio, but it still works. Frontwoman Hannah Reid’s haunting vocals over a sombre piano never really get old, and we’ll bet a pretty penny that their just-announced sophomore album of the same name is going to tap into that tried and tested formula.
One more Kendrick for all the cheap seats in the back! No, but really, there’s no such thing as too much Kendrick. Or Gucci or Sremmurd, for that matter. On “Perfect Pint,” maybe the most impressive collab off the Atlanta producer’s Ransom 2 LP, the Sremmurd brothers coo the hook while Gucci adds bars and Kendrick brings it home. The 17-track Ransom 2 is stacked to the brim with big features—no surprise considering WiLL Made-It’s resume to date—but any “Kung Fu Kenny” addition is undoubtedly going to stand out from the crowd.
1996, that you? If you remember Donna Lewis’ euphoric pop hit from your playground days, you’ll be happy to know that Australian pop artist Betty Who has revived it and spun it into her own starry ballad. Nothing much about the original is altered here, making the nostalgic new single just as much of an earworm as it was 20 years ago.
Argentina-born, Brooklyn-based indie pop songstress Tei Shi is back with another sharp, sultry effort that flexes her vocal ability beyond the usual whispers we’ve grown to know and love. “Justify” is loaded with confidence, so, just the ticket for a Friday night pre-party (or post-party) jam.