Big Boi featuring UGK and Big K.R.I.T., “Gossip”
In November, Big Boi returns with Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, his first album since 2010’s often sublime Sir Lucious Left Foot, and by the sounds of the compressed funk of “Gossip,” dude hasn’t lost a mile on his fastball. By the way, I know Big’s way too down for the team to do this in public, but do you think maybe he ever holes up in his bathroom screaming stuff at the mirror like, "I’m making classics and people out here whining about no Three Stacks tracks! I can’t believe you don’t own my goddamn records!"
DJ Khaled featuring Kanye West and Rick Ross, “I Wish You Would”
For all of the perfectly contrived posse-cut anthems DJ Khaled has whipped up over the years, my favorite’s still his first, 2006’s “Holla at Me,” a massive repurposing of Afrika Bambaataa and Soulsonic Force’s “Looking for the Perfect Beat.” And maybe Khaled got nostalgic for “Holla at Me” too, because “I Wish You Would” sounds like it brings back the “Perfect Beat” line, albeit in less effective molasses form. I guess what I’m trying to say is, let’s all listen to “Holla at Me” on repeat for the rest of the day?
Break the band down to its basic elements and WHY? sounds like an indie-rock abomination: So, front man Yoni Wolf kind of talk-raps and also kind of warble-sings, and the whole thing is stitched together with all manner of precious instrumentation? But it’s great, though. It’s really great.
The Antlers, “Drift Dive”
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, re-scored with the anthemic swells of Brooklyn’s mope-rockers The Antlers? Somebody get me Vin Diesel on the phone!
Best Coast, “Rhiannon”
Back in 2010, Taylor Swift dueted with Stevie Nicks on Fleetwood Mac’s “Rhiannon,” and was roundly jeered for her off-key delivery. Later, Swift would channel those negative vibes into a delightful track on her last album called “Mean,” in which she takes shots at any and all haters who say she “can’t sing.” Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino ignores all that recent history on her own new cover of “Rhiannon,” and the results are ... well, I guess what I’m saying is I’m looking forward to Best Coast’s song about people being mean to her.
Alicia Keys, “New Day”
So Alicia Keys’s first single since wifing up Swizz Beatz was produced by Swizzy himself, which really goes without saying because, well, just listen to this thing — the military drums, the random background "oh"s, the general non–Alicia Keys ramped-up rap radio feel ... the dude made his chick make a Swizz Beatz song. I just have one question: Did they have a marital spat about whether or not Swizz would be allowed to yell “Showtime” all over this?
Little Dragon, “Sunshine”
I think Hall & Oates would approve of this one. Do with that information what you will.
Cat Power, “Cherokee”
First Fiona Apple returns to us, and now Chan Marshall is back with a new album, Sun, her first collection of original material since 2006’s The Greatest. It’s been a really good year for comebacks from crazily talented, and also just crazy crazy female musicians from the '90s!
Now that Andy Samberg is off SNL, do you think he maybe spends more time hanging out around the house joking around with his girl Joanna? Like maybe he comes out in a diaper one day and starts plucking her harp and pretending he’s an angel? Or maybe he invites Justin Timberlake and Fred Armisen over so the four of them can play doubles backgammon? I don’t know, just theorizing here.
A$AP Rocky and Lana Del Rey, “Ridin”
Two things you should know here: (1) This isn’t a completed track. As A$AP tweeted, “MY BARZ ARE WACK AF ON THAT SONG BRUH, THAT WAZ A FREESTYLE REFERENCE AND THEY KNOW DAT, FUCK THE [producers of the track] KICK DRUMS!!!” (2) A$AP has squeezed on Lana Del Rey’s buns: “[During the video shoot for “National Anthem”] I was like squeezing on her buns and all that shit. Doing all that perverted shit.” OK, continue with your day.