Kendrick Lamar, "Poetic Justice"
No, Kendrick didn't get the Janet Jackson cameo he so rightly desired, but this clip is certainly still worth your time, at the very least as a chance to bask in the warm glory that is Kendrick's extended victory lap: This is either the third or fourth single (depending on if you count "The Recipe," which ended up being relegated to bonus cut status) off Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, and how can you be mad at one of the best albums of last year seeing this kind of long-lasting action? Also, this is a really good chance to reexamine the wondrously complete Drake-iness of Drake's verse: advocacy for improved relationship communication? Poems about "fun sex"? Sundresses?! Perfect.
Phoenix is back with the first single after the breakthrough album, and it's like either everything relies on this moment or nothing does. For the former: They've already established themselves as big, big dudes! For the latter: But can they sustain the upward trend, or will they forever be chasing the fleeting glory of Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix? I reached out to the band for comment, but they were too busy being effete French intellectuals to concern themselves with such prosaic matters.
Mariah Carey, "Almost Home"
This new MC joint is off the soundtrack to Oz the Great and Powerful, which stars James Franco and Michelle Williams and was directed by Sam Raimi. Put those four people in a room together, and what, exactly, do you think they end up talking about? Yeah, you're right. They probably do talk about Drumline.
The name of this band is pronounced "Star F---er," right? It's "Star F---er"? It looks like it's a polite way of writing "Star F---er" but I wasn't sure it was "Star F---er." Pretty sure it's "Star F---er," though. Yeah, definitely looks like "Star F---er."
Juicy J feat. The Weeknd, "One of Those Nights"
Pretty much every single syllable Juicy utters on this new one is pure gold, so to select one for your advance preview pleasure, I'll just go ahead and blindfold myself and throw a dart at a dartboard on which I've affixed a printout of the lyrics to "One of Those Nights." OK, one seeeecond, one second — OK, and the winner is "rolling blunts in a flying saucer." A flying saucer! The only people still using the phrase "flying saucer" are 9-year-olds in 1957 and Juicy J. Excellent.
Sean Price feat. Pharaohe Monch, "BBQ Sauce"
Sean P Forrest Gumps himself into a Rushmore-style roll call of academic, physical, and spiritual greatness. He's not only a biplane enthusaist, he's also a three-time Nobel Prize recipient. The last one, as you surely recall, was for Homicidal Treatment of Lyrical Content. That was the one he just barely beat out J.M Coetzee for.
Cass McCombs, "If You’ve Loved Me Before "
Cass, Cass, Cass — you don't get girls to be into you by reminding them about how they used to love you. You get them to be into you by wearing a big ol' top hat and ski goggles and a bunch of jewelry and in general looking like you dressed like Criss Angel for Halloween seven years ago and then refused to ever, ever take off the costume. Did you learn nothing from The Pickup Artist?
King Tuff, "Sun Medallion"
I don't know what a sun medallion is, but I'm still pretty sure the hunt for it will be a central plot point in Indiana Jones 6. Sample dialogue: "Their treasure wasn't gold, it was knowledge. Knowledge was their treasure and also this sun medallion. Can't forget about the sun medallion."
Gucci Mane feat. 2 Chainz, "Dirty Cup"
Just a heads-up: This is not a song in which the former Tity Boi and the once and forever Gucci Mane rap in character as an Odd Couple–style roommate pair embroiled in a feisty but ultimately loving argument about whose turn it is to do the dishes. Not that I wouldn't listen to a song like that; of course I would listen to a song like that. It's just not that kind of song.