David Bowie, "The Next Day"
Bowie's new video depicts, among other things, priests partying and a touch of stigmata; as you might have expected, the Catholic League was not amused. Writes the League's prez Bill Donohue, "The switch-hitting, bisexual, senior citizen from London has resurfaced, this time playing a Jesus-like character who hangs out in a nightclub dump frequented by priests, cardinals and half-naked women ... in short, the video reflects the artist — it is a mess." I might be reading this wrong, but is it at all possible — considering the strangely jovial and florid word choices above — that Bill Donohue is all aggy right now because his MP3 blog never took off?
French Montana feat. Snoop Dogg, Mavado, Ace Hood, Scarface, and DJ Khaled, "Fuck What Happens Tonight"
Youth of America: You have your new YOLO. Please, use FWHT responsibly.
Blue Sky Black Death/SAS feat. Cam’ron and P.A.P.I. (N.O.R.E.), "Valley of Kings"
Indie rap today is chock full of kids who grew up worshiping Cam'ron, which is perfect because, now, in his latter days, Killa's actually available for them to employ; at the same time, of course, there's very little hope Cam will actually listen to your beats before rapping over them. Here, he seems to pretend like BSBD's creepy, jagged beat is just a vintage Just Blaze heater, and goes about his business of dismissing all foes, via rental-car-company shrug-offs: "Cars we order in flavors / you order from Avis." Delightful, as always.
The Orwells, “Other Voices"
Everyone agrees genres are more or less meaningless these days, so we could really go ahead and start classifying music by abstract concepts. I'd file this under "Effortlessly Cool" (along with the Strokes' first two albums and wide swaths of, but not the entirety of, the respective discographies of Nas and Damon Albarn). The only problem is then, in like 16 months, when the Orwells have inexplicably lost the swag, this newly minted genre name will force us to face the inexorable passing of time. Anyway, let's listen to "Our Voices" 17 more times!
The-Dream feat. Jay-Z, "High Art"
The chorus of this song is "I make love to my girls, I get high with my n----s," and is repeated like something of a mantra. Understandable that Terius would want to make dutiful note of this: If he ever got the order wrong, he'd have some emotionally confused best friends on his hands!
Ace Hood feat. T.I., Wiz Khalifa, Future, 2 Chainz, and Riff Raff, "Bugatti"
An important thing to note here is that Riff Raff wasn't actually invited onto the star-studded remix of the greatest song of all time, but decided to slap a verse on here all the same. Oh, but what a verse it is: In 30 seconds' time, the "White Tyler Perry" rides through a food court on a white horse and somehow rhymes "everywhere" with "February." Next time, guys, maybe call Riff Raff and tell him you're going out to play? Don't make him bike around from park to park to figure out where you dudes are?
Lee Bannon, "Rellahmatic"
Lee Bannon is a young producer from Sacramento who has made beats for Joey Bada$$ and Ab-Soul. Here, though, he's just making beats for your nightmares.
The Child of Lov feat DOOM, "Owl"
"One Day" feat. Damon Albarn
I don't know who the Child of Lov is, but he managed to get DOOM and Damon on some tracks. Either he's an ascendant new musical genius, duly recognized as such by his peers, or he's got the goddamn greatest hash in Amsterdam.
Thundercat, "Oh Sheit It’s X"
Some people spend way too much time on the correct spelling of the word "shit" and not nearly enough time crafting interstellar sex jams. Thundercat is not one of those people.
Gucci Mane feat. Chief Keef, "Darker"
Gucci just got out of prison for his latest assault charge, moved right on to signing young maniac Chief Keef to Brick Squad, and now the two are already dropping tracks together. And, yes, "Darker" has the exact kind of plodding griminess we crave and need — but should we really be letting these two hang out together?!