Sky Ferreira – “I Blame Myself” Apr17

Sky Ferreira – “I Blame Myself”...

From the very time I heard of Sky Ferreira on the “Everything Is Embarrassing” record, I figured her management was trying to position her as a young “Borderline“-era Madonna. The processed blonde with the hard-scrabbled tough urban white chick look all seemed a bit forced. Sky has a much stronger voice and has a earnest ability in her storytelling and lyricism. In fact, her songwriting focuses much more on loss, failure, and tragedy. This is not pop-friendly fare, but some of it is wrapped in the bacon-y goodness of sunny melody such as this record, “I Blame Myself.” So the video’s storyline is that Sky is a gang leader in Los Angeles. Sure, that’s artistic in some way. I have no qualms with that. It’s a weird juxtaposition like Lily Allen’s video for “Hard Out Here.” Sky Ferreira's new video is a #racist mess. She, white woman, dances in Compton in front of #POC: http://t.co/ef1dPjQcwz H/T @noahmichelson — Alex Berg (@AlexfromPhilly) April 16, 2014 OH CRAP! Somebody on Twitter cried “RACIST!” And it didn’t even come from Black Twitter. BTW I fucking hate this new PC term I’ve only seen on Twitter: #POC, which means “person/people of color,” a new reappropriation to talk about not-white people. This above tweet is almost as ridiculous as #NotYourAsianSidekick or #CancelColbert. There are real racists shooting up Jews and racist mayors who agree with the shooter. Let art be art, folks. Anyways, I like the song. The album, Night Time, My Time by Sky Ferreira is available on iTunes. Cop that shit! Until the exclusivity runs out, you can check the video out at SSENSE....

Jaded Incorporated (Mayer Hawthorne and 14KT) – “Cocount Sofa” Apr15

Jaded Incorporated (Mayer Hawthorne and 14KT) – “Cocount Sofa”...

I keep playing “Coconut Sofa” over and over again because it’s so damn catchy yet so puzzling. It’s a 80s tribute like some lost Cars song but with some hip hop sensibility courtesy of 14KT. What I try not doing is watching the video because the fake tattoos are hella creepy. Especially when the rendering makes the “tattoos” look like brands in the models’ skin. Anyways I was going to write about this record last month, but they pulled the video. Now with the release of their second single, “People Change,” I felt I had to go back to the superior lead single. Jaded Incorporated’s album, The Big Knock, will be available on...

Lana Del Rey – “West Coast” Apr14

Lana Del Rey – “West Coast”...

Back in February Lana Del Rey tweeted about her upcoming album, Ultraviolence, and working with Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. Me and Dan Auerbach are excited to present you Ultraviolence pic.twitter.com/aRAZYscwYd — Lana Del Rey (@LanaDelRey) February 20, 2014 Today Lana released the first single, “West Coast,” a slight departure from her 60s-styled pained ballads from last album and stepping away from the torchy soundtrack songs she has recently released. Now that she’s a bonafide hitmaker, Lana is bravely and adeptly taking the right artistic steps to become a complete artist. While many wrote her off a beautifully crafted vessel for breathy out-of-love songs, Lana has found a lane. I’m a big fan of “West Coast” because it feels comfortable but very original in a turns and fits of musicality....

Alicia Keys feat. Kendrick Lamar – “It’s On Again” (video) (prod. by Pharrell Williams) Apr14

Alicia Keys feat. Kendrick Lamar – “It’s On Again” (video) (prod. by Pharrell Williams)...

Katy Perry tries with “Roar” and fails. Shakira tries with “Empire” and makes barely a ripple. Alicia Keys attempts with “It’s On Again” and ensures her indelible mark by enlisting the hottest Black rapper in the game and the hottest producer in the game today. Granted Alicia has made a career belting out torch songs straddling pop and R&B crossover sensibilities for over a decade. So when she made “Girl On Fire” a couple years ago, making a pop theme for a movie franchise seemed like a natural step. Here we are with Alicia’s 80s-influenced anthem featuring a needlessly aggressive 16 bars from Kendrick Lamar....

Ed Sheeran feat. Pharrell Williams – “Sing” Apr07

Ed Sheeran feat. Pharrell Williams – “Sing”...

Allegedly this dude is supposed to be the future of pop songwriting or some shit! This sounds like another Justin Timberlake reference track Pharrell prepared for the 20/20 sessions. Per his interview with Zane Lowe on BBC 1 Radio, Sheeran already knows people are going to “love it or hate it.” Yeah, Eddie, that’s how pop music works. It sounds catchy enough. The acoustic guitar jangles are nice. I’m just having a hard time believing this ginger doughboy is singing anything worth listening to, says me the book cover judger. Maybe if he gets big enough, I’ll stop pronouncing his name “SHE-han” in a completely mocking manner....

Chris Brown feat. Lil Wayne and Tyga – “Loyal” (video) Mar24

Chris Brown feat. Lil Wayne and Tyga – “Loyal” (video)...

What do you do when you have a very hot single with two versions for either coast and you need to film a video to keep the promotion train rolling? You install a different and weaker rapper for the visuals. Enter YMCMB’s resident Memphis Bleek, Tyga. And your social media team needs to keep chugging along, so send out a message via your Twitter handle. #LOYAL video dropping 3/24!!! let the countdown begin!!! — Chris Brown (@chrisbrown) March 22, 2014 I love how idiots are like “WTF! He’s in jail and he’s still tweeting!” or “How is LA County allowing Breezy to use social media in jail?” Think those quotes are stupid… here are some real tweets from idiots who don’t know how marketing works. Yes, Chris Brown is still in jail. Good luck, Mark Geragos. All that aside, it’s got all the trappings of a Chris Brown video. Colors, dancing, bad lip syncing, more dancing, 4th wall leering, even more dancing, shameless plugs, and did I mention he can dance? Plus his dancers. And that body (((pause))). And his dancers. And Usher!...

Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX – “Fancy” Mar06

Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX – “Fancy”...

This is how I learned about the new video from Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX via normal ass vanilla Twitter. Iggy Azalea honors "Clueless" with new music video: https://t.co/dPEHn988Hr (best if watched on mute) — Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) March 4, 2014 …followed by this Iggy Azalea making her music video out of scenes from Clueless is my favorite thing ever: http://t.co/MgBajo5erx (via @Olivianuzzi) #90s — Amy K. Nelson (@AmyKNelson) March 4, 2014 These are my thoughts while listening to the song. I tried to not watch the shameless Clueless callback. My notes as punctuation and capitalization optional. “First things first, I’m the realest.” If you have to tell me, you ain’t that. female French Montana rooftop like we bringing ’88 back – Nas homage or bite? Charli XCX’s voice is a shrill counterpoint to Iggy Azalea’s contralto rapping voice Shrill has a bad connotation. I can’t think of a better word for Charli. Her voice just cuts through the jerk beat. And I really like Charli XCX as an artist. Iggy Azalea is the best white girl rapper Charli XCX has worked with so far. I hate the beat drop threat of “Tipsy” in the first verse. Chingy’s career should stay dead and buried. (Jacked from MTV Buzzworthy…go there for more animated...

DJ Cassidy feat. Jessie J and Robin Thicke – “Calling All Hearts” Mar05

DJ Cassidy feat. Jessie J and Robin Thicke – “Calling All Hearts”...

When I first saw DJ Cassidy at the 2013 MTV VMAs, I thought he was a cornball hipster DJ in a straw boater hat. Then I find out he’s been DJing for every major American celebrity and the president. He’s Obama’s fucking DJ! DJ Cassidy was Jay Z and Justin Timberlake’s choice for the Legends of Summer Tour. And on top of all this, he’s been working on an album of original material based on the disco-funk-R&B sounds of the 70s and 80s called Paradise Royale. Cassidy recruited the actually session musicians from his favorite records of yore and gathered them up to make new dance hits for the 21st century. “Calling All Hearts” has the leadoff single for quite awhile, and it finally got a video to see the light of day. Cassidy also mythologizes the origin of his signature boater hat by acquiring it from a Geoffrey-doppleganger haberdasher. Everything about this track and video are laughable. Jessie J is apparently a big deal in the UK, but in the US I know her as the chubby British chick with a broken foot and bootleg Aeon Flux haircut. So, excuse me if my brain can’t register that the P!nk wannabe in this video was a brunette chick with a goofy accent. Robin Thicke, regardless of when he actually filmed his part, is suffering through a brutal separation with his wife, Paula Patton. So seeing Robin mug for the camera or pulling Jessie closer to do the 2-step are just ways for haters to keep lowering Thicke’s popularity. But the worst part of the video is still DJ Cassidy. Because like other DJs who fashion themselves as tastemakers and musical gatekeepers, Cassidy seems like a whole lotta flash or very little substance. At his...

Lykke Li – “Love Me Like I’m Not Made Of Stone” Mar04

Lykke Li – “Love Me Like I’m Not Made Of Stone”...

When we first met Lykke Li, she was a coquettish dance-pop chick singing about yearnings, urges, love, and lost over bouncy production. Her second album dropped the bounce for a broader, mature sound. And for her third album, she has stripped the music down further leaving an uncluttered canvas for her ever vulnerable lyrics. Her willingness to put her love life on full display has to be her appeal. She had previewed her album by releasing a precursor video for the title track, “I Never Learn.” But “Love Me Like I’m Not Made Of Stone” is a whole new level of heartache. For someone who has proven so evocative in her songwriting, the girl she is writing about is distant and fragile. But I know from teh internets[sic] that she writes about her broken relationships like a Swedish Taylor Swift. In fact Lykke Li is the type of girl I hate, she can be emotional and passionate but displays a wall of discord when I’m trying to talk to her. I hate you so much right now! (Shout out to Kelis!) Arrrgh! Ahem. I Never Learn is set for release on March 25th. And if you’re still waiting for the liveliness of Youth Novels, no such luck. Every song on the album is a power ballad. Like one of those old radio stations. This is a slow dance; a slow burner. I wrote [“No Rest for the Wicked”] in Sweden when I was packing up my shit, and I’d just gotten out of a relationship and it was a horrible time. I just had the hurt, shame, sadness, guilt, longing. In the verse, I’m referring to myself pleading guilty but I’m referring to all of us. Damn, it’s all power ballads about her ex....

Black Atlass – “Paris” Feb26

Black Atlass – “Paris”...

Here at 10yravg, we aren’t at the point where we can break new music, but when we hear great music, we’ll tell you about it. Such is the case with Black Atlass and his single, “Paris.” Per the “legend” in Okayplayer, P-Thugg from Chromeo discovered Black Atlass at a Montreal club and alerted A-Trak (brother of his Chromeo partner, Dave1) about how great this kid is. A-Trak must’ve agreed and signed him to Fools Gold Records. This track came out 8 months ago. In that time, Fools Gold has nurtured him and recently released an EP, Young Bloods. The EP is a glitchy yet soulful R&B affair. I recommend it. “Paris” is not on the EP and shouldn’t be. The record is the artist at a nascent stage. Ebullient and emotional, Black Atlass coos and warbles his wanting love song. There’s power in his whispered vocals. No doubt I am now a fan of Black Atlass, but this is where you should start. Play the song below then go out and discover Black Atlass. (Okayplayer) BONUS ACOUSTIC...

Katy Perry feat. Juicy J – “Dark Horse” Feb21

Katy Perry feat. Juicy J – “Dark Horse”...

If music videos were supposed to make sense, then they should literally follow the lyrics of the song. But music is more than just the words, it’s the melody, harmony, mood, and the feeling it generates in you. Now, that’s out of the way. Here’s Katy Perry as the Alabaster Pharoah or some shit like that. Katy is turning suitors into sand. Katy is dancing with anthropomorphic kitties. She is conjuring storms and transforming pyramids. It’s the Illuminati, y’all! Obviously after the cries of occult worshipping from Katy’s 2014 Grammy performance (you try finding that video and link it to me. trust me if you haven’t seen it: fire, creep shit, brooms as poles for dancing, Juicy J. edit: hat tip to @theboujblog for helping me find a video), Katy decides to double down with this Technicolor Egyptian (read: Illuminati) mindfuck. It’s got everything: a talking sphinx, dancing blue strongmen, a headpiece that changes color with her mood, and Juicy J. It’s the Illuminati, y’all. I can’t be mad at it. This is her “Remember The Time.” This is her “POWER.” Meaning this video is a ridiculous callback to an antiquity era that couldn’t be as fabulous as its depiction. It’s the Illuminati, y’all. (OMG they are so many signs!) (iOS9) BONUS TRIPPY VIDEO: Art of Noise – “Moments of Love” Why? Obviously because “Dark Horse” sampled it. ANOTHER BONUS VIDEO: “Dark Horse” Grammy performance Katy Perry featuring Juicy J – Dark Horse – 2014 Grammy Awards from Ryan Amstad on...

Kenzie May – “Skeleton Key” Feb07

Kenzie May – “Skeleton Key”...

Ummmm this is a song about a girl (reluctantly) having sex for the first time. I mean sure Kenzie gives several “come hither” looks to the camera. And she’s naked in a pool of water. And she’s some kind swirly British mix so clearly she’s confused by her burgeoning sexuality. It’s a perfectly acceptable pop tune that doesn’t leave a bitter taste in my mouth unlike past British pop singers trying to reclaim the crown. Just so yall understand me… this is not a good song. Tired lyrical construction. Tepid Massive Attack-lite instrumentation. If this wasn’t such a personal song (pure assumption), I would prefer Jhene Aiko’s livelier voice....