DJ Khaled featuring Chris Brown, Rick Ross, Lil Kim, and Nicki Minaj, “Take It to the Head”
DJ Khaled’s talent at collecting all-star posse cuts is directly inversely to his talent at making promo videos where he looks badass. Exhibit A: To push his new single, he got a speedboat and headed out into the ocean and filmed himself, but the swaggiest thing he does is ask some lady offscreen to hand him a Gatorade. Then he dives into the ocean with his shoes on. Those are ruined now!
Justin Bieber, “Boyfriend”
Years and years from now, when Justin Bieber is purchasing taxidermied elephants and wearing glitter suits and living on Mars with a harem of future-space-sex-robots and we all wonder exactly when it was that megafame made him lose his mind — remember “Boyfriend,” his first “adult” single, and the beginning of the end. It’s not too late to turn around, Justin. Just go back to Ontario. Live the easy life. Maybe open a Hot Dog on a Stick stand.
Iggy Azalea featuring T.I., “Murder Business”
In the same week that Iggy Azalea released a new single about how her clothes are so sharp and her attitude is so grandiose that they figuratively kill people ...
Azealia Banks, “Fuck Up the Fun”
... her nemesis Azealia Banks dropped a new track where she threatens anonymous competition by saying she’ll “smack all ya’ll n***** in the face. All in the mouth.” Meanwhile, A$AP Rocky tried to make peace: “They gotta cut it out. That's bullshit. Iggy is not racist. Trust me — truuusst me.” (Banks took offense to an Iggy line where she calls herself a “slave master.” Explanation here.) “That's some bullshit. I think that's petty for Azealia because — come on, don't pick on her because she's white. That's a low blow.” And I pass all this information along just in case you were worried hip-hop was getting normal again.
The Flaming Lips/Bon Iver, “Ashes in the Air”
Bonny Bear and the Lips get spacey and jokey and weird: “We’re both so fucked up / you’re fucked up in a good way / I’m fucked up in a bad way.” Maybe a little too on-the-nose here, guys?
Japandroids, “The House That Heaven Built”
Name me one song, ever, in the history of recorded music, that hasn’t been improved by someone in the background going, “woah-oh-oh-oh-oh, woah-oh-oh-oh-oh, woah-oh-oh-oh-oh.” Name one.
Death Grips, “The Fever (Aye Aye)”
How awesome is it that insane Sacramento rap group Death Grips’ album is called The Money Store? Phil Rizzuto approves.
Chromatics, “Kill for Love”
As Stereogum explains, “[Drive] director Nicolas Winding Refn might not have used the score that [Johnny] Jewel and Chromatics bandmate Nat Walker put together for the movie, but he did use a ton of tracks from the Chromatics and other Jewel-associated groups on the soundtrack, as well as a synth-pulsing Cliff Martinez score that probably owed Jewel some aesthetic debt.” So if this song makes you want to hammer a bullet into some mob goon’s skull, there's a reason why.
The-Dream featuring Casha, “Kill the Lights”
Hey, uh — you know what Dream’s gonna do after he kills the lights, right? You know. You know.
The Streets, “Weak Become Heroes” (King Krule Remix)
It’s been 10 years since Original Pirate Material, the album “Weak Become Heroes” first appeared on, and these days The Streets is retired and Mike Skinner is hawking his memoir. The Observer has a lot of good excerpts, but here’s a particularly crucial part: “There are disadvantages to getting fucked up on a regular basis when you're touring [but] what people want is something where they can genuinely feel that 'this only happened in Liverpool — Manchester didn't get it.' Of course there are risks attached, but I still feel both sides of the human equation — performer and audience — are being truer to themselves and each other if they aim for that. Even if it goes horribly wrong, I still think it's way better than that grimly ritualised: 'Good evening, Liverpool!' kind of thing ... I've seen a lot of bands who don't just play the same set every night, they also say the same things between songs, and in that context I stand by the proposition that getting fucked up is honest.” Happy weekend, everyone!