Club Kuru – “All The Days”...

I tried digging up a picture of who makes up Club Kuru, a musical project from producer Laurie Erskine. This is what I found on my background check. ‘ku·ru’ – an incurable neurological disorder transmitted among members of the Fore tribe of Papua New Guinea via cannibalism. Hot damn! Communicable brain disease spread by cannibalism. Well, let’s see what the music tells me. It’s a little James Blake but a bit more sunny melodically. That, of course, belies the sobering lyrics about the pitfalls of love, freedom, the choices we make, and the options not considered. And all this comes to a cracking crescendo of stuttering drums. BTW the video, directed by Danny Sangra, is an incredible visual experience. Sublime storytelling. A picturesque setting. The video matches the tremulous energy of the track beautifully. (Okayplayer/Clash/Nowness) Club Kuru: All the Days on...

The Roots feat. Raheem DeVaughn – “Tomorrow” Apr28

The Roots feat. Raheem DeVaughn – “Tomorrow”...

I have seem some strange criticism in various C-sections about this track and the current trajectory of The Roots. “Tomorrow” likely fits cohesively into the storyline of The Roots’ concept album, …and then you shoot your cousin. On its own, the jawn is a poignant R&B track with the underrated (Radio) Raheem DeVaughn on vocals. But what the people want are Black Thought’s lyrical gymnastics over a rollicking boom bap orchestrated by Questlove. That sounds like shit you can find on their old albums. If you want that, you should heed Jay Z’s advice. Besides if you haven’t read Questlove’s essay on the failure of hip-hop’s promise to Black America, do yourself and read it now. One read will enlighten on you on The Roots’s new purpose in the musical landscape....

Raury – “God’s Whisper” Apr28

Raury – “God’s Whisper”

In another multiverse this record from Raury could be the Millennial anthem with all its bravado and conceit. But this is our world rife with the pitfalls of business plans, pisspoor marketing schemes, and miscellaneous industry bullshit. “God’s Whisper” is considered genre-less by its author, but because of his skin color (Black), his hometown (Atlanta), and his age (17), he must be a “rapper” of some sort. No, he does not rap. Not on “God’s Whisper.” Not on his excellent follow-up male/female duet record, “Sunshine,” which reminds me of a sanded down version of Shlohmo and Jeremih’s “No More.” On his first release, “Bloom,” in fact Raury initially croons effortlessly over a mellow acoustic guitar riff then busts into a stream-of-consciousness spoken chatter that sounds a lot like rapping. “The very essence of romance is uncertainty,” is the quote attached to the song. So he must be an R&B singer because he’s Black and sings. No, he’s a hybrid like Chris Br…man, I don’t think there’s a real way to box this dude into a genre. “God’s Whisper” is Raury at his full power. Spare lyrics emphasizing his freedom credo. He will not pinned down. Raury’s music is everything you love and none of the shit you don’t want. Just don’t call him a rapper or a singer or some folk hero. It is clear to me in the visuals of “God’s Whisper” that he wants to just be Raury....

BANKS – “Goddess”...

New NEW BANKS. The title track of her debut album, Goddess. Just hit play and luxuriate in the downtempo harmony and sensuality of BANKS’s voice and Lil Silva’s production. (NPR) (Ed. note – pls secret token work for me! if the shit below is missing or doesn’t work, click here to...

Blood Orange feat. Robert Owens – “Uncle ACE” (Kindness Remix) Apr25

Blood Orange feat. Robert Owens – “Uncle ACE” (Kindness Remix)...

Dev Hynes released his album, Cupid Deluxe, last November on the strength of three excellent singles (You’re Not Good Enough, Chamakay, Time Will Tell). For his latest single, he has had it reworked by producer and video director Adam Bainbridge aka Kindness and added house music singer, Robert Owens, add some vocals. The result is a track that starts as a throwback R&B funk track that gets polished down into a very modern chillwave movement....

BOOTS feat. Beyoncé – “Dreams” Apr25

BOOTS feat. Beyoncé – “Dreams”...

BOOTS is the mysterious (read: unknown) producer/songwriter who worked with Beyonce on her smash self-titled album released last Christmas. Rather than picking up more producing gigs, BOOTS is determined to make his own path as a complete artist. For the balance of 2014, he has been leaking excellent track after track of his projected WinterSpringSummerFall mixtape. This ethereal record in particular also has a special cause attached to it. By purchasing this track, you can support DayOneNY.org, an organization “working with youth to end dating abuse.” All around good...

Devonté Hynes – “Palo Alto” Apr25

Devonté Hynes – “Palo Alto”...

When the bassline and melody kicked in, I immediately thought of another soundtrack record from a Coppola-helmed movie about dysfunctional white kids. Not to disparage Air, I am definitely a fan of their music and style. Hell, “La Femme d’Argent” is my go-to mood music. ahem…I digress, while not as rhythmically driven and sinuous as his Blood Orange work, Dev Hynes has created a lush canvas of melody and groove to set the stage for his soundtrack work on the upcoming movie, Palo Alto. Apparently the soundtrack is already on sale. The movie…I may watch it....

Kid Art feat. V.Cha$e – “Imperial” Apr25

Kid Art feat. V.Cha$e – “Imperial”...

The biggest problem I have writing this post is not writing “Ink” when typing Kid Art’s name. Art. Ink. Fuck. I will say this. Kid Art and V(inny) Cha$e wreck the “Long Red“-based production....

Timeflies feat. Katie Sky – “Monsters” Apr23

Timeflies feat. Katie Sky – “Monsters”...

A few hours I never heard of Timeflies. I think I saw the name here and there. Looked like 2 JewBros built for pop music. After a quick Google search and some listening, I’m impressed as fuck. Their website header says, “Electro Hip Pop Dub-Something” which is damn accurate. You really need to listen to a lot of their songs to get a real sense of their pop alchemy. Here I’ll help you out. The Warning Sign EP is a good start. (link) Then their two lead singles off the After Hours album, “I Choose U” and “All The Way,” are compelling Millennial pop records. OH SHIT they worked with Fabolous on this “Fall” track. FYAH! They might be legit. Actually folks…maybe you should start with the track below. At first blush I pegged this dude as the evolution of Drake, but this is really polished work. Forget what I said, start with “Monsters” below then listen to everything above. Then consider buying the album, After Hours, when they drop it on April...

Duck Sauce – “NRG”...

This “NRG” video is fucking amazing. It’s almost as good as “Turn Down For What” but still witty and…energizing! Quack is available on iTunes. “NRG” remixes available as well on iTunes. (OnSmash/Fool’s Gold/Buzzfeed) Buy #NRG for $19.95 now! IT CURES EVERYTHING! @DuckSauceNYC http://t.co/e5gBlxSZ83 pic.twitter.com/9lvIHN8FN6 — OnSMASH (@OnSMASH) April 23,...

Lily Allen – “Sheezus” Apr23

Lily Allen – “Sheezus”...

Lily Allen has bounced back from miscarriages, terrible boyfriends, assaults, shaky claims of racism, and body image bullies to come back with a new album, Sheezus. She’s already pushed out 3 singles for promotion: the rollicking “Hard Out Here,” the terrible “Air Balloon” (my thoughts natch), and the already forgotten “Our Time.” I didn’t even know there was a 3rd single. (ed. note – I did go back and listen to “Our Time,” and it’s…slipped my mind.) Well, here’s the 4th single and title track which name drops like an early (The) Game record and has the production level and vocal honesty of two female artists she didn’t name, M.I.A. and Santigold. Lily definitely falls somewhere in the middle between the tiers of female pop stardom, and that’s the point of the song. She just wants to write REAL songs with good music. But her handlers are (rightly) concerned about release dates, public perception, and all the other bits that make the money flow. The irony is she co-opts the name of her record and album off another recent album (hint) and mentions a slew of her more successful contemporaries. Both of these are great clickbait and basis for many articles to be written. Hell, look how long this article is. And I’m not even a big fan of the song. I highly recommend listening to “Sheezus” first before watching the video. The blacklight/neon shit is visually stimulating and you’ll miss the goddamn point of the song which is already bacon-wrapped in pop melody....

Kool A.D. feat. Lakutis and Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire – “Tight” Apr23

Kool A.D. feat. Lakutis and Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire – “Tight”...

Over some mesmerizing production by Toro Y Moi, Kool A.D., Lakutis, and Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire spit some unorthodox rhymes showcasing each rapper’s unique style. Kool A.D. from alleged defunct group Das Racist is big on wordplay. Lakutis is definitely energy over precision. And personal favorite (((pause))) eXquire kills his verse although it was far from focused or his best work. From Kool A.D.’s Word O.K. mixtape available on Bandcamp....

Ab-Soul – “Tree of Life” (prod. by Curtiss King) Apr22

Ab-Soul – “Tree of Life” (prod. by Curtiss King)...

I knew from the first few notes of this record that it was built from a Golden Era state of mind. Who in 2014 is really laying a musical foundation using the overused but still classic “Ashley’s Roachclip” drum break? I don’t really know Ab-Soul’s work other than the jazzy interludes he has contributed to his other TDE labelmates, Kendrick Lamar and ScHoolboy Q. But “Tree of Life” feels like a track I would’ve listened to back in the 90s as an alternative to the boom bap on the era. Props to the producer, Curtiss King. Ab-Soul shouts out LT3 at the beginning. Hopefully this track will be part of his Long Term mixtape series....

Prince – “The Breakdown” Apr22

Prince – “The Breakdown”...

Last week Prince signed a new distribution deal with Warner Bros. ending his 18-year strife with the record label. Prince will regain ownership of all his music created during his prime and start releasing remastered versions of his classic albums starting with Purple Rain. Adding to all that Prince drops a new single and announces a new album upcoming. That’s just way too much Prince good news! So sit back, relax, and listen to the new single, “The Breakdown.” It sounds like instructions to other R&B singers on how to make an R&B song. “The Breakdown” is available on iTunes now! (Okayplayer) P.S. Do not stare directly at Prince’s face. You will turn ghey. Ask Tracy...

Flatbush ZOMBiES feat. Bodega BAMZ – “My Team Supreme 2.0” Apr22

Flatbush ZOMBiES feat. Bodega BAMZ – “My Team Supreme 2.0”...

More of that hallucinogenic drug talk that yall love. From their Better Off DEAD mixtape....