Cutting through the concrete cracks of the city, the sun has been gracious to us this week. The faux rays of light shine bright from above and tease lukewarm heatwaves to a lacklustre effect. This week’s rotation of artist supply some heat and slow sedatives in the form of moody songs. If you take a gander downwards you’ll catch Dreamville’s first lady Ari Lennox deliver a motion picture to ‘Shea Butter Baby’ featuring J. Cole. In addition, to the amorous collection you’ll catch two releases from two distinct rappers who make some noise after an extended period of silence.
Ady Suleiman – Strange Roses
Nottingham’s Ady Suleiman shares the lyric video to his new song ‘Strange Roses’, a track which finds the singer gloss over the possibility of a lost love. Under the spotlight, he lays wistful words in this live set-up with a light instrumentation which makes you feel like you’re watching him performing on stage.
Piano keys form the spine of this track which gradually progresses into a harmonious arrangement. The monotony of drum beats add layers to the once nude composition, while horns flutter in tune to the slow rhythm that house Suleiman’s raw croons. What begins as a gentle cabaret showcase, arrives at a jazzy climax, and ends on a rather sober note leaving us the same way we entered. Hanging on to the glum tones and brooding strikes of the grand piano.
Snoh Aalegra – I Want You Around
On ‘I Want You Around’ you dance to the mellow vibrations of the Swedish born singer Snoh Aalegra. Her latest release finds her running laps in her mind, but giving herself away to the engulfing fumes of love.
A singer who flirts with nothing but the smoothest set of beats. ‘I Want You Around’ panders from rhythmic drum and hi-hat combos and blends into a sleek selection that make you feel as if you’re floating on board an inflatable raft. Strips of the bass guitar drive a slinky touch which blur the the call-and-response chimes that merge with Aalegra’s melody. A$AP Twelvyy makes an onscreen appearance and lovingly accompanies Aalegra who seems to be consumed by wanderlust. Together they flick through picture perfect scenarios and bask in a passionate exchange.
Ari Lennox – Shea Butter Baby feat. J Cole
In addition to the barrage of soppy love songs, Ari Lennox switches up the mood with a passionate cut from the Mike Will produced Creed II soundtrack. ‘Shea Butter Baby’ is newest cut from the Dreamville camp and it features J. Cole feature on this strong, sultry song.
On ‘Shea Butter Baby’ she reveals her inner goddess and drips with a rich flow of divine feminine energy. Her choice of words cut deep and exhibit her wit producing a seductiveness with her vivacious wordplay. The electrifying strums conduct the burning sensations of the sonic, Shea butter baby, fuckin’ up your pillow, Shea butter baby, fuckin’ up your sheets, Ari sings on the chorus. At the same time, J. Cole slows the pace down and crafts rhymes of a sensual nature on this Mike Will, Shroom and Elite production.
M Lo – Be Somebody
The £R camp are making their return to the music with some more releases. It’s been a long time since the scene has heard from M Lo and this week he drops ‘Be Somebody’. It’s a back to basic cut which finds his energetic rap inject sweeping cadence onto bouncy sonics.
To put into words how M Lo attacks this beat is no easy task, his time away finds him shoot a frenzy of short and catchy lyrics over a uptempo medley. He sits up in the fold of artists subverting the usual UK order with the likes of D-Block Europe and Nafe Smallz. ‘Be Somebody’ patches mythic flutes and hats which ring off with an immediacy. If this is one of the many songs coming from her locker then we’re all in for a treat.
Knucks – Rice & Stew
Time and time again Knucks continues to impress us with his distinct take on rap. The North West rapper and producer drops his first single from the long-awaited project ‘No Days Off’. He moves to his own beat and sinks slinky shots with the grace of Steph Curry on this soulful sample. A few familiar face such as Kadiata, Charlie Mase and Not3s make an appearances in the visual.
The production goes down a funk inspired route and churns a rhythm-driven chorus which bounces against spongey chords. If this was the 70s ‘Rice & Stew’ could soundtrack an episode of Starsky & Hutch, but don’t play yourself because Knucks brings it back home. Bearing the beat down to a pulp with kick drums that shudder across the sharp screeches that slide across the stream of vibrations. Picking up on the ‘Rice & Stew’ analogy, Knucks reminds us that it isn’t always the end of the world when you find stew in an ice cream tub.