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Super Tasty Music – January Edition

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Super Tasty Music – January Edition

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OLIVIA’S PICKS

“Don’t Don’t Do It!” – N.E.R.D. ft. Kendrick Lamar

Equal parts punchy hip-hop song and political message, “Don’t Don’t Do It!”

comes from N.E.R.D.’s 2017 album, “NO ONE EVER REALLY DIES.” The song’s peppy nature contrasts with the message: it offers an inside look at the internal struggle of a black man communicating with police, a topical interaction that can quickly go south. “Wait, is that police? / Get out for what? / I’m not your guy / But you know, they’re gonna do it anyway,” cries Pharrell on the first verse. Then, Lamar flies in with an impossibly fast verse as the song builds to its crescendo, asking, “how many more of us gotta see the coroner? / Slain by the same badge, stop, wait, brake, fast!”

“Mrs.” – Leon Bridges

It’s hard to believe this song is from 2018 upon first listen. Leon Bridges, a 29-year-old singer-songwriter, epitomizes the neo-soul genre, reflecting the styles of Otis Redding and Sam Cooke. “Mrs.” sounds like it fits right into the classic soul vibe of the 1960’s. Over a slow, swaying tempo, Bridges expresses bittersweet sentiment towards his lover (“You know that I think you’re the love of my life / But lovin’ and hatin’ is such a fine line”), but ultimately ends on a romantic note: “When you say them things I like, I know it’s all worth the fight.”

“Brooklyn Love” – Lolo Zouaï

With vocals soft as silk, Parisian-Californian singer Lolo Zouaï fawns over her “Brooklyn Love” on an aptly-named single. Her lyrics are homemade and genuine: “Walk me to the deli for late night candy runs / What we have is good, so fun.” Zouaï even tips a hat (a hot pink beret, of course) to her French upbringing: “Ooh la la / Pourquoi je suis comme ça?” The track’s production is immaculate, polished, and sugary sweet–just as bubblegum pop should be–but with an EDM-inspired twist.

“Stranger” – 070 Shake

070 Shake, or Danielle Balbuena, a Jersey-born rapper and singer, has one of the more unique voices in today’s alternative hip-hop scene. Marked by an androgynous rasp and passionate, wailing belts, this voice may be familiar to Kanye West listeners; she was featured on “Violent Crimes” and “Ghost Town.” As an independent artist, however, Balbuena flaunts her versatility on “Stranger.” Between the pressing cries of the chorus (“How do you know? How you know, how you know, how you know, how?”) and the slow flows over a gritty beat, 070 Shake creates a more emotional piece of what would have been a simple rap song.

“Excited” – Saba

Chicago rapper Saba, whose talent has been featured alongside Chance the Rapper and Noname, spits some upbeat verses over a snappy, alternative beat on “Excited.” “I do not need no diamonds / She do not need no vices / We do not wait, not righteous, yeah, I get so excited,” he sings as an unexpected guitar strums in the background. The tune is nothing short of catchy, though his faster rhymes keep you on your toes towards the end of the track.

ALESSANDRA’S PICKS

“REDMERCEDES” – Aminé

Now I know my mom’s Nissan Altima is nowhere close to the iconic, classic red Mercedes Aminé is used to whipping around in, but blasting this through the 2008 speakers in the back makes me feel pretty dang cool. Besides a beat you’ll want to rev your engine to, the control Amine has over his flow and delivery make this song stand out of all of his others. The locked car and alarm sound effect throughout the song continuously reminds you he’s flexing his Benz all day, and even when you try to make him feel bad, he’ll just skrrrt away:  “Looking out my rearview, all I see is haters (hatin’).”

“Deep End” – THEY.

THEY., the R&B duo hailing from Los Angeles, California, has remained pretty under the radar since the inception of their career in 2015. In this four year period, however, they have released a critically acclaimed studio album and worked with accomplished artists like Skrillex, Ty Dolla $ign, and many others. BUT ENOUGH ABOUT THEM—I need to talk about the song. This song is a good crossover between R&B and rap, but I just can’t say it fits exactly into the hip hop category. The melody of the song is captivating and the repetitive set of the same notes doesn’t actually seem to get on my nerves. The beat goes hard, and I can only imagine the mosh pits of alt-rap and alt-R&B this song must instigate at concerts.

“Hands Down” – Brandyn Burnette, Dwilly, Kayo Genesis

This is a fun, disco-y song with the most enticing saxophone trilling in the back. Along with its soothing yet energizing vibe, it is such a sweet song! Boca Raton native Brandyn Burnette recounts how his lover is “Hands down / my mind’s made up / you’re the best I’ve ever had.” Dwilly, the electronic dance pop DJ on this track, pairs the retro saxophone sound so well with the club beats, making for an ear pleaser, and Kayo Genesis, the resident rapper on the track ties in that beat-hitting funk vibe this song continues to serve.

“do u even miss me at all?” – gianni & kyle

Words cannot describe how much I want you to listen to this song. I mean this is a music review, so I guess I’m going to have to find a way to do that, but this song is just superb. Both Gianni and Kyle (or gianni & kyle) exhibit strong voices, and despite the slight auto-tune effect, their voices shine through. The song is catchy, and the melody holds a contemporary edge. Lyrically, the Maryland natives ponder whether their ex-lover even misses the times the couple once shared, even wondering if their ex misses them “when [they] post that video of women on [their] Snapchat.” The ironic thing, however, is wondering if the other person misses you means that you still miss them yourself. What are you trying to say, gianni & kyle? While the duo is still on the come-up, they show potential to hold their own spot in the hip hop world. This song reminds me of, like, a Tory Lanez song, but the lite version.

“As I Am” – H.E.R

A nominee for Best New Artist in this year’s Grammys, H.E.R really worked for her title, with five studio albums released so far. On her fourth album, I Used to Know Her: The Prelude, she lays down this subdued, sublime beat that marries loving someone else and yourself so gracefully together: “Promise you’ll never let go / I don’t want no one else / I’ll be feelin’ like, yes, I am, I am / You know I’m the best, I am / You’d be a fool to not take me as I am.” While solidifying her spot in the R&B world, H.E.R, aka Gabrielle “Gabi” Wilson, shows off her vocal control as she colors the song with vocal trills and ad-libs. I’d suggest this song for when you’re not ready for a complete wind-down, but more like a three-fifths wind-down.

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About the Writers
Alessandra Bontia, Staff Writer

Alessandra Bontia (’19) is a staff writer for The Echo. She enjoys listening to and discovering new music, learning more about pop culture, and being...

Olivia Westfield, Staff Writer

Olivia Westfield ('19) is a Staff Writer for The Echo. Her hobbies, in addition to writing, include serving as the Class of 2019 secretary as well as secretary...

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Super Tasty Music – January Edition