It’s the last week of March. Madness. This month flew by, a bit like the last 12 months did without the anguish and uncertainty. This week marks a year since we entered lockdown. But we’re almost free now. This week’s 5 is a mix and blend of the freshest sounds from the US and UK shores. So freshen up, grab a drink and let the vibes fill the room.
DC Feat. Knucks – Bobby & Rowdy
Just released this morning, ‘In The Loop’ is DC’s first project in two years, and he’s made his intent clear. With rising star producer TSB on the boards and Knucks supporting, ‘Bobby & Rowdy’ is a wavy B2B, a salvo of bars and storytelling. DC’s smooth drawl, carries the track, opening up laying out his purpose “I just deal with the pressure / chilling in the wings with the fam / taking an L / we’re losing together / gotta come through for my genna’s…”. This is when frequent Knucks collaborator Venna’s melodic saxophone kicks in and Knucks taps in with a subtle flex “passenger side shorty wanna roll with me / she still phoning me / I’m the number than she won’t delete”. The title is a reference to the newly-freed Bobby Shmurda and his co-defendant Rowdy Rebel. And like those two, DC and Knucks cook up an energetic synergy that makes you think a collaborative project has to be round the corner. In the meantime, enjoy DC’s latest.
BINA. – Just A Sec
South London-based R&B/neo-soul singer-songwriter BINA. releases her new EP ‘This Is Not A Film’. All over the EP is smoky, sultry production, that tells a story in its own right. But, the narratives really begin to unfurl when BINA’s vocals shine through. Which is, immediately. On ‘Just A Sec’ over synthy keys, with digitised hits in the backdrop, it sounds like a soft focus, intimate scene from Blade Runner. She speaks about a lover, a situation, which might’ve been lost in lockdown “don’t know what I’ll say when we finally meet / I just need a second to get my head right…”. The production and vocals mesh perfectly here, tuning down for gentler moments, turning up for more declarative moments, simmering for the bits where she speaks “my pride and ego are burning / I’ve been playing with fire…”. The EP is called This Is Not A Film. Yet, it really sounds like one.
BROCKHAMPTON Feat. Danny Brown – BUZZCUT
It feels like ages since self-proclaimed boyband BROCKHAMPTON dropped their last project GINGER back in August 2019. Oh how we’ve missed their creative direction and approach to music! The boys are back with a vibe as they bring in this Spring season with ‘BUZZCUT’, a high energy record with trippy visuals and personality to boot. “Who let the dope boys out?” indeed as Detroit’s very own Danny Brown comes along for the ride. Creatively, Kevin Abstract can take a bow for one of the best videos to drop this month as his creative direction finds the group riding around in a car, only for us to see the world as they depict it morphing around them as they embark on their frantic cruise. All in all, this collaboration is a match made in heaven as both worlds co-exist with a twisted harmony to their schtik. More please
UMI – Bet Reimagined
Ethereal, neo-soul singer UMI releases a ‘Reimagined’ version of her Introspection album which released in 2020. ‘Reimagined’ features more acoustics, a stripped-down version of her original release. ‘Bet Reimagined’ features some smooth Spanish guitar strings to carry UMI’s laid-back vocals, which sound a bit like the opening segment of D’Angelo’s ‘Really Love’ (D’Angelo happens to be a big inspiration for UMI). Once the strings hit their stride, She asks “why you gotta talk so tough / be honest” in her declarations, aiming to get to the root of a quarrel. In a running commentary, she goes back and forth, asking herself questions directed at somebody else, centred around dishonesty. I kept thinking as I played this – hearing a voice like UMI’s – would make it hard to lie.
Rejjie Snow Feat. Cam O’bi & grouptherapy – Relax
Irish alternative rapper Rejjie Snow has been on a bit of a hiatus since 2018’s warmly received Dear Annie. Aside from two releases last year – ‘Mirrors’ featuring Snoh Aalegra and frequent collaborator Cam O’bi as well as Cookie Chips which features Cam O’bi once again and the late legend MF DOOM – Rejjie has been relatively quiet. Until earlier today when he released ‘Relax’, a spacey sounding record featuring Cam O’bi and LA based pop-rap group, grouptherapy. To those who are familiar with Rejjie’s music, this effort on a Dee Lilly instrumental is on brand for Rejjie, who may qualify as a rapper but his spectrum of music taste ultimately means that he is a hard act to box in. His chemistry with Cam O’bi is clear to see given their storied history, while the addition of grouptherapy is an interesting one that gives the song texture. For the lo-fi/alt crew, this is rigth up your street. In the meantime, ‘relax’ to this as we anticipate more drops from Rejjie.