James Blake is no stranger when it comes to dabbling in the realms of hip hop, especially after his (Mercury Prize nominated) Overgrown cut ‘Take a Fall For Me‘ with RZA went down a storm. So it’s no surprise the electronic maestro would dabble once again, only this time enlisting Chicago’s Chance the Rapper to add some bars to ‘Life Round Here’. The enticing rework sees a refreshing arrangement as Blake croons in his defining melancholic way, whilst his American associate adds a certain haughtiness to the songs delicate frame. Take a listen.
Kelela’s powerful presence is felt all over her Nguzunguzu-produced new single ‘Enemy’. Taken off her forthcoming debut release CUT 4 ME, the song sees the Los Angeles based songstress wrapping her vocals around a 90′s, Kelis-style melody, brilliantly juxtaposed against Nguzunguzu imposing and uncompromising beat which eventually switches up to be a bit of a bass monster. You hearing Kelela’s harmonies and BV’s? Oouff.
Earlier today Willow Smith’s debut performance of her single ‘Summer Fling‘ on The Queen Latifah Show sparked a pretty interesting debate on our Facebook page. Smith’s breezy ballad is a pretty impressive offering, it’s got a sweet melody and a brilliantly catchy hook. And perhaps surprisingly (or maybe unsurprisingly given her gene pool) she performs it with a genuine conviction and firmly controlled, albeit limited, vocals. Everything is good until you’re reminded that Smith is 12 years and is singing about a summer fling. For some (many of whom commented on our FB post) that isn’t an issue – merely a result of Generation Cyrus. But for others it sits a little too close to an uncomfortable edge. Either way, and faux British accent aside, it’s been obvious since her ‘Whip My Hair’ debut (aged just 9) Miss Smith is out to take some spots and if I were Rihanna, I’d be keeping a close eye on her movements.
On paper, seeing Pusha T alongside King of New York, Kendrick Lamar, on the same track is enough to make any hip hop head knees wobble; so it’s no surprise that the finished product is, as you’d expect, pretty darn special. The lyrical duo spit flames about their past and expressing their views on drugs over a fierce Nottz-produced bubbling, jazzy beat. ‘Nosetalgia’ will appear on Pusha’s highly anticipated debut album, My Name is My Name out October 8.
Our girl Katy B pays ode to the magic hour with this sensually charged new banger titled ’5 AM’. In typical Miss Brien fashion the song is a perfect soundtrack for the dance, specifically that moment at end of the dance – you know the one. ’5 AM’ is lifted off Katy’s forthcoming sophomore album currently being produced with Geeneus, it follows her single ‘What Love Is Made Of’ and last years excellent Danger EP.
Daft Punk are at it again, in their shimmering jackets, they share the video to Random Access Memories cut ‘Lose Yourself to Dance’. It’s an extended version of the clip they aired at this years Cyrus-centric VMA’s on August 25th featuring a rad crowd losing themselves to dance, whilst those crafty robots are accompanied by the legendary Nile Rodgers and iconic Pharrell Williams on a raised platform in some kind of retro-futuristic setting. Oh how I want one of those jackets.
Just when we thought Stubborn Heart had seduced us enough with their charming glitches, tonal twitches and smooth vocals, this stellar new remix arrives at our door. Working his magic their single ‘Penetrate‘, Leo from The Invisible propels the song with a sweeping beat and tingling rhythms which coincide beautifully with the mellow vocals penned by Ben Fitzgerald, giving the track a dynamic edge whilst preserving that effortless futuristic soul we’ve come to enjoy. Taken off their self-titled album, ‘Penetrate’ will be rebundled as an EP and released on October 30.
MNEK is a badman. But then we already knew that. Aside from being a great songwriter and an incredible singer, his ear as a producer is really quite something too. Here he blends Aaliyah’s version of ’At Your Best’ and George Michael’s ‘Fast Love’, two songs seemingly worlds apart and from them creates one of his (now infamous) refixes – perhaps one of his best yet. Vocally what he does on this is nothing short of remarkable – very few singers (in the world) are able to riff as elegantly and as controlled as this guy. MNEK for the world.
Following the massive success of his debut album, masked producer SBTRKT returns with a stellar new single titled ‘IMO’. Dedicated to the memory of his of his brother, the winding and motional track is lifted from his “album recordings” – it’s unclear whether or not it will feature on his forthcoming (as yet untitled) album. The multilayered song feels a more refined and emotive than his previous releases, hopefully more of this to come on that new LP.
Soon after Kanye’s ’Bound 2′ performance on the same stage, Drake premiered a brand new track titled ‘Too Much’ last night on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. Accompanied by Sampha (our boy’s still killing it) this track shows Drizzy getting more personal and deep than ever before. Driven by the soft but powerful piano beat of Sampha (who also, quite beautifully, sings the hook) Drake addresses that the fame and fortune he’s gained through his successful career has distanced him from friends and family with whom he was close to before. The performance comes one day after the release of the hyped-about track ‘Wu-Tang Forever‘ his homage to the legendary Clan – who don’t seem too happy about the joint. Sampha was previously featured on ‘The Motion‘ which came out back in June.
Prior to his performance on the show, Drake was interviewed by Jimmy Fallon, speaking about the Nothing Was The Samecover art, the collaborators he worked with and the tour that will follow. Watch the full interview above and skip to 5:20 for the performance.