King Krule – “Alone, Omen 3”
Archy Marshall finds himself in a new place in life with the release of his upcoming third studio album MAN ALIVE! due out February 21. While the first King Krule video from his project, “(Don’t Let The Dragon)Draag On” featured the singer-songwriter-producer burning at the stake in an ominous black and white visual, the follow-up, “Alone, Omen 3” shows a sliver of optimism. Themes of interconnectivity and loneliness are displayed throughout with unanswered phone calls, surreal oversized ears, and yelling into a void of endless mirrors. It ends on a hopeful note though, as the 25-year-old goes for an evening stroll on a beach’s shore holding his infant daughter beside his partner with the refrain “you’re not alone” fading into the background.
Denzel Curry & Kenny Beats – UNLOCKED
Prolific producer and YouTube star Kenny Beats grew his episode of The Cave with Denzel Curry into a full-fledged collaboration. The surprising UNLOCKED animated short film found the duo at their most experimental, digitizing themselves into Kenny’s desktop computer in search of their missing song stems in fear that the unfinished album leaked to the internet. Over ten different animators were recruited to produce highly stylized cut-scenes for each of the eight tracks. As for the music, the manic three-day recording session blossomed into an expansive half-hour offering that sees Kenny and Denzel in complete “iron-sharpens-iron” mode.
H.E.R. – “Comfortable”
H.E.R. has been as busy as ever in the early goings of 2020. After debuting “Sometimes” at the GRAMMYs, the R&B superstar offered up a stripped down, acoustic guitar-based “Comfortable” assisted by DJ Camper and Anthony Clemons, Jr. H.E.R.’s ability to infuse hip-hop production and melodies into her songwriting creates an undeniably smooth track and she delivers it at the perfect moment: right before Valentine’s Day. Stay tuned for more singles from the reclusive artist as she ramps up the release of her next studio project.
Joji – “Run”
88rising star Joji continues to show his immense growth as a recording artist with his latest performance in “Run.” Shot by Aisultan Seitov, the Japanese-Australian creative tries to maneuver through an endless stretch limousine that’s filled with people in search of fame, parties and the need to be noticed, all trying to hold him back (sometimes literally) from getting to his destination. The track pays tribute to some serious heavy rock power ballads from the 1980s while his acting performance shows some new depth to the overall creative direction of his next major project release. Guitar solos, flashing lights, barren deserts and echoing vocals all create an emotional piece that should leave you excited for what’s next.
Kamaiyah – “Set It Up”
Oakland, California rapper Kamaiyah is back for revenge with “Set It Up,” her latest collaboration with Trina from her upcoming album Got It Made due out February 21. Kenny Produced It and DJ Banks provide a G-Funk heavy instrumental that adds a furious pace to match Kamaiyah’s rush to tear down her cheating partner’s credit score by going on a shopping spree. “Run up all his cards, run up all his credit/ I’ma spend a rack for every b*tch that he been textin’.”
Quelle Chris – “Sudden Death”
Quelle Chris is a renaissance man. Not only did he release Guns, an incredibly ambitious politically-charged full-length that examined America’s obsession with firearms, but he also made a self-animated visual for his hit single “Obamacare.” Now he’s returned to usher in 2020 with “Sudden Death” featuring Chris Keys. The Mello Music Group offering employs some emotional piano in the background while Quelle Chris continues to alter the pitch of his voice for a sing-songy flow that preaches patience in the never-ending information battle of modern life. “It can’t all be all sudden death/ We’re so much different than the rest/ Just clear that desktop, start fresh/ Just let your seat back take a breath/ You’ll find it’s worth it, ’cause life ain’t perfect.”
Navy Blue – Àdá Irin
Sage Elsesser released his debut album as Navy Blue earlier this week with the 11-track 30-minute sonic experience Àdá Irin. The entire project showed poise, patience and the ability to pack each bar with thoughtful consideration. Soul samples linger throughout with chopped up high-pitched vocals laying the foundation, but Navy skips over the lo-fi noisiness for clarity in both the instrumentation and his vocals. Brownsville, Brooklyn rapper Ka is the only feature on the LP. Late last year Navy also offered up the music video for his stand alone single “Higher Self” which hinted at this larger volume of work. Stay tuned for more from Navy Blue in the near future whether it’s through his production on friends like Earl Sweatshirt, Mavi, Medhane and MIKE‘s work or his own.
Khalid & Disclosure – “Know Your Worth”
Khalid and Disclosure‘s “Talk” was enough to be career-defining for all parties involved. Last year’s international hit wasn’t enough though, as the electronic music duo comprised of brothers Howard and Guy Lawrence ran it back with Khalid once more for “Know Your Worth”. The song tells the story of staying true to yourself and accepting a more positive outlook to increase your self-worth. Khalid’s upcoming third studio album has already brought two other singles to streaming services too, with “Up All Night” and “Eleven”.
Griselda – “Cruiser Weight Coke”
Griselda Records had a banner year in 2019 that culminated in the crew’s first compilation release with the critically-acclaimed WWCD. After releasing the Hype Williams-directed “Dr. Bird’s” music video, the Buffalo trio honors fallen member Chinegun with “Cruiser Weight Coke” directed by Rodney Passé. The gritty black and white visual is intercut with voiceovers and shots of Conway The Machine, Benny The Butcher and Westside Gunn together in their childhood.
Sada Baby – “Slide”
If Bartier Bounty proved anything, it was that you can’t predict what Detroit rapper Sada Baby will do next. The Jerry Production-directed “Slide” finds Sada hopping out of the back of an ambience after some self-reviving liquor and delivering his take on a dance record. It’s high energy, addicting instrumental is matched by some truly gruesome bars. Earlier this year, Sada Baby kicked off 2020 with his new mixtape Brolik and the announcement that he was no longer signed to Tee Grizzley’s Grizzly Gang imprint.
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