3×3 Monday’s 6/24/19

Figure It Out – French Montana ft. Kanye West & Nas

I’ll be the first one to admit that I’m not a huge French Montana fan, however, “Figure It Out” is most likely his best song to date. The song is serious as it discusses topics of death, imprisonment, and honesty. While French Montana isn’t considered to be a deep and serious rapper, he really outdid himself with this song especially with the inclusion of Nas. Nas is another rapper I wasn’t a big fan of at first but after this song and NASIR, my opinion on the legendary rapper has changed. Add in Kanye West for bonus points and you get a solid sentimental track that invokes inner emotions.

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Slayerr – Tm88 ft. Lil Uzi Vert

This song is my second time being exposed to Tm88’s work with the first being “Been Thru a Lot” back in 2016. “Slayerr”, however, is my newest favorite song from Tm88 as Lil Uzi Vert takes the song and makes it his own. The song is very reminiscent of Luv Is Rage 2 and brings the colorful yet dark-toned sound that we’ve come to love and expect from Uzi. I really like Tm88’s production on this song too and their teamwork definitely brings the track to a new height.

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Cops Shot The Kid – Nas ft. Kanye West

As previously mentioned, I wasn’t a big fan of Nas for quite some time. I never understood the hype of Illmatic but I heavily enjoyed his songs “Hate Me Now” and “I Can”. I didn’t listen to NASIR when it came out last year but upon my first listen I fell in love with it. “Cops Shot The Kid” is my favorite song on the album and the Slick Rick sample completes the song in my opinion. I plan to listen to more of Nas’ discography down the road because if it’s anything like this song, I’m surely going to become a huge fan of Nas and his legendary status.

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Panini – Lil Nas X

“Panini” is Lil Nas X’s second single from his newest EP titled 7. This song is so simple and fun that it prompts me to bob my head and bounce with joy. I hope this song blows up like “Old Town Road” did because it truly deserves recognition for its addicting sound. I cannot wait to hear what Lil Nas X has to offer after and “Panini”.

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Soul Glo – B.o.B

I am a huge B.o.B stan and that will never change. Bobby Ray is one of my favorite musicians and has been since his commercial debut in 2010. Flat-Earth theories aside, he is one of the most creative, consistent, and unique rappers in the industry. The music video for “Soul Glo” serves as a homage to the classic Eddie Murphy film, Coming to America. This song is surely going to make one smile with happiness because of its infectious rhythm and beat that is complemented by a catchy chorus. I am still currently listening to his newest release “Southmatic”, but I can highly recommend this song as a place to start.

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Honey – 070 Shake

I have been a huge 070 Shake fan since her debut in 2016 and even got to see her in concert. Her voice is so unique that she can match pretty much every beat given to her and can switch from rapping to singing with ease. Her versatility is what makes Honey such a standout song from her discography. Honey is a great song to get you hype but can also be interpreted in a sad way if looked at from a different viewpoint. I think 070 Shake deserves way more credit than she’s gotten and I’m forever glad that Kanye West gave her a spot to shine in 2018.

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Ransom – Lil Tecca

I just heard this song for the first time last week and haven’t stopped listening to it since. Lil Tecca’s rhymes are very smooth and the beat compliments his delivery very well. I’m glad this song blew up as much as it did because Lil Tecca honestly deserves credit because of this song. I hope we see more of him this year and maybe even a project release.

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Zulu Screams – GoldLink ft. Maleek Berry & Bibi Bourelly

Being one of the more successful rappers from the DMV means that GoldLink has come a long way from his debut in 2014. With his debut album Diaspora being an album I really enjoyed this year, I must highlight one of the best songs from the album. “Zulu Screams” is a song you cannot help but dance to as GoldLink glides over the beat like he usually does. With the beat being more of a dance or house type it is refreshing to see him experiment with this particular sound because I think it works very well for him. I would love to see what else he can do with this sound in the future.

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Dots & Lines – Lupe Fiasco

Lupe Fiasco has always been a special kind of rapper with his innovative way of telling stories through albums but it should be known that out of these stories come hidden gems. “Dots & Lines” has stellar production as it sounds like an old western tune mixed with classic rapping. Lupe Fiasco really killed it with this song and it makes me want to listen to all of his discography especially Tetsuo & Youth.

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3×3 Monday’s 5/27/19

I DO EVERYTHING! – Masego

While I’m fairly new to Masego and his music, I have become a huge fan ever since a good friend of mine recommended him to me. His song “I DO EVERYTHING!” is a fun tune where we listen to Masego list off all of his talents and how much he can accomplish in the world of music. The song is playful and exciting as we hear all that he can do in order to create music in his world. The song fits well as the closer to his 2016 album, Loose Thoughts but can also be enjoyed as an entertaining song at any time.

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Outside – The Weeknd

Feeling lonely and sad recently has brought me back to one of my most favorite artists of all time. The Weeknd never ceases to help my mind when times get tough, and “Outside” is no exception. Heartbreak is no joke and The Weeknd knows that thus giving us a relatable song that everyone can feel connected to. With such a great discography the choose from, I chose “Outside” because I feel like it is often forgotten about when it comes to The Weeknd’s amazing music history.

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Bring the Pain – Method Man

The oldest song on this weeks 3×3 Monday is “Bring the Pain” by Method Man on his 1994 album, Tical. Method Man’s flow on this song brings pure joy and brings a special edge to listen to. I think this song is fairly hard to write about because it just works in every way imaginable. The song is sleek, Method Man is smooth, and the song itself it a complete work of art. I highly recommend this song to any fan of the Wu-Tang Clan or 90’s hip-hop.

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Bottle Service – YG

“Bottle Service” is a brand new song from Compton rapper YG from his album “4REAL 4REAL”. I believe his newest album is outstanding and this track is another reason to present my case for this opinion. “Bottle Service” is very similar to his other 2019 song, “Stop Snitchin” whereas they’re both lively and amusing to listen to. I personally prefer “Bottle Service” over “Stop Snitchin” but both are great songs from YG this year. “Bottle Service” is a catchy song and definitely worth putting in your playlist for this Summer.

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PUPPET – Tyler, The Creator

Much like YG’s newest album, IGOR from Tyler, The Creator is another wonderful album release from 2019. “PUPPET” is a sad song that disguises itself as a slow and melodic love song. With an unnamed feature by Kanye West, “PUPPET” stands out on the album IGOR for good reason. While I fully recommend IGOR to anyone and everyone, I think many will find this song to be one of it not the best song on the album hands down.

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Nameless – Lil Keed

I only found out about this song three days ago and I absolutely love it. Lil Keed did a great job on this song and making it a memorable tune. I’ve had this song on repeat ever since I heard it a few days ago and I plan to keep it that way until I get tired of it. I haven’t heard his 2018 release, Keed Talk To ‘Em but I plan to when I have the time assuming the album is similar to this song. I actually would like to shoutout Rico Nasty for playing this song during one of her Instagram live streams because I doubt I would’ve heard it otherwise.

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Like I Ain’t – Tech N9ne

Tech N9ne is a rapper with one of the greatest discographies in all of hip-hop and “Like I Ain’t” is a stroll down memory lane for Tech N9ne. In this song, Tech lists many of his accomplishments and collaborations with other rappers and musicians during his career. I really enjoy this song because it shows how prolific Tech N9ne has been for the past 20 years. Tech N9ne has been one of my favorite rappers for many years and I cannot wait to see what he has in store for us in the future now that he’s reached his 20-year mark.

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I’M DOPE – Tobe Nwigwe

Much like “Nameless” I recently discovered this song and have listened to it many times since my discovery. Tobe Nwigwe is a unique voice in hip-hop because of a majority of his songs barely even song like hip-hop in the first place. “I’M DOPE” is a smooth and laidback song that allows Tobe to explore his musical talent while referencing Dave Chappelle in the chorus. I really enjoy this song and have already dove into Tobe’s work and I really like what I’ve heard so far.

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Come Closer – A Boogie Wit da Hoodie ft. Queen Naija

“Come Closer” feels like a blast from the past and I couldn’t possibly like it any more than I already do. Sampling Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River” is a genius move on the producers part and Boogie rides that wave all the way throughout the fairly short song. Boogie’s flow and rhymes are on point the whole time and the feature by Queen Naija fits perfectly as if she was made for this song. I really like this song and I hope he dabbles in this sound again in the future.

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3×3 Monday’s 6/18/18

Count Bassy – Dance Gavin Dance

After releasing their newest album titled Artificial Selection, I’ve grown attached to “Count Bassy” more than almost any other song from the album. While I do love “Care”, “Midnight Crusade”, and “Evaporate” more than any other Dance Gavin Dance song, however, “Count Bassy” extorts a unique charm that I look forward to experiencing whenever I put it on. “Count Bassy” is a very groovy and enticing song that I hope more people listen to this year. If you haven’t already, give “Count Bassy” and Artificial Selection a listen, as I find it to be one of the best albums of this year!

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I Know What You Want – Busta Rhymes

The early 2000’s were a renaissance for hip-hop music. With 90’s R&B being arguably the dominant genre of the decade, it was finally time for hip-hop to reinvent itself in the 2000’s. This revitalization of a genre was possible by combining the best parts of 90’s R&B with the lyrical aesthetic that hip-hop had to offer at the time. In doing so, allowed artists such as Busta Rhymes to explore their musical talents in a new light. “I Know What You Want” features Mariah Carey and The Flipmode Squad as they slide across the smooth beat with flirtatious rhymes. This song is a certified classic in my book, and to this day the opening bass line still sounds incredible with the proper audio setup.

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WIN- Jay Rock

Jay Rock has been someone I’ve kept an eye on for many years. His relationship with Kendrick Lamar is something that inevitably gave his career a huge boost and allowed him to shine as an artist. “WIN” is the closest thing to a victory anthem in 2018. The song features Jay Rock detailing his successes and accomplishments in life as he went from nothing to something. This cleverly, “features” Kendrick Lamar in the background hyping up Jay Rock with an assortment of ad-libs to show this dedication to the artist. Jay Rock and Kendrick Lamar are a great duo and I’m glad to see even though Kendrick Lamar will always be infinitely more popular than Jay Rock, he still stays around and supports his friend.

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Put Your Money – Ludacris

Going back to the statement about the hip-hop renaissance, Ludacris is another important member and leader of this movement. “Put Your Money” works so well as an exhilarating song due to its steel drum inspired beat and feature from DMX. It is known that DMX can change the tone of almost any song he’s on which allows Ludacris to sound more menacing and upbeat than usual. The song itself is about gambling, yet it still retains an intimidating vibe about owning up to things in life. Ludacris really know’s how to make hit songs, and “Put Your Money” is just example of his versatility.

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FAKE – Brockhampton

“FAKE” is my favorite song from the Saturation 1. This song, however, isn’t a traditional Brockhampton song. “FAKE” features the main members with voice modulations, which is something typically used by Kevin Abstract on certain songs. This time, the group is allowed to have fun in their raps and toy around with their style while masking their identity to a degree. Another important part of “FAKE” is the repeated phrase of “Don’t Say That”. The repeated phrase is comparable to the music industry and other industries in which people must be what the label or corporation wants them to be and not be who they really are. This degree of censorship runs rampant in celebrity life and unfortunately, Brockhampton has seemingly come across this and continue to fight it on “FAKE”.

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Countin’ Up – Rico Nasty

I didn’t know who Rico Nasty was until being introduced to her recently by my friend Jayda. Jayda posted on social media about Rico Nasty so I was intrigued enough to look her up. I heard a few songs and looked forward to her upcoming mixtape titled “Nasty”. This mixtape is insane for a 21-year-old that is also a mother of a two-year-old. The beat of “Countin’ Up” immediately sets the tone of the song as Rico Nasty busts onto the scene and immediately starts taking shots. The infectious and memorable beat only further makes her sound like a force to be reckoned with as she continues her tirade. I fully enjoyed “Nasty” and plan to do more on in the future.

Thank you Jayda for introducing me to her!

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Get It Right (Remix) – Diplo

I recently started listening to Diplo because of his LSD project with Labyrinth and Sia, so I am far from a long-time fan. I decided to look into his work. I noticed he did a song with Goldlink and immediately decided to check it out. I was not disappointed as I heard Goldlink glide over the beat that featured MØ. Diplo really reinvented the idea of a remix by improving an already great song with a great feature, which is something most artists fail to deliver on. I decided to listen to the rest of his California EP to which I really enjoyed his experimentation with many modern rappers. I recommend the EP and this song to anyone who is a fan of the new LSD project.

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TEMPTATION – Joey Bada$$

“TEMPTATION” is one of the few songs that serve as a summer hit while still delivering an important message about fighting temptations. Joey Bada$$ made one of the most addicting songs with “TEMPTATIONS” and I couldn’t be any happier with hearing this on my Summer playlist. The fun beat and talent that shine through on this track make for a pleasant and habitual song that I’ve come to love. The chorus and lyrics are some of the best I’ve heard recently and honestly makes me wish I had heard this song earlier. Either way, I cannot wait to see what Joey Bada$$ does next!

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Artificial – EARTHGANG

I found this song by accident last week while attempting to listen to Artificial Selection by Dance Gavin Dance. While typing in Artifical, I accidentally chose this song, and I’m glad that I did. “Artificial” tells the tale of wanting something real over something that’s fake. With a beautiful piano-based beat and solid rapping from EARTHGANG, it’s easy to see why I enjoy this song so much even if it was discovered by accident. I plan to listen to their discography and possibly write a short piece on them too as I can see them blowing up relatively soon if “Artificial” was any indication.

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3×3 Monday’s 5/28/18

Do It Now – Mos Def ft. Busta Rhymes

It took me a long time to get into Mos Def mostly due to my incompetence to listen to “good” music growing up. However, I’ve recently gotten into Mos Def and I enjoy quite a lot of songs by him today. “Do It Now” is without a doubt one of those songs I enjoy. I personally have a soft spot for rap songs that include duos who tend to rap back and forth. Artists like Kanye West and Big Sean is perhaps my favorite duo to do this, however, Mos Def and Busta Rhymes destroy it on the track. The sharing of the chorus is something I will always smile at when this song plays due to the perfect chemistry of these two rap legends.

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Blue Dream – Dance Gavin Dance

This weekend saw my feelings being exposed as “Blue Dream” was on repeat this week. This band was introduced to me by a few close friends and since then I’ve slowly become a fan of their work. “Blue Dream” is perhaps my all-time favorite Dance Gavin Dance song as it features vocalist Jonny Craig pushing himself to his limits vocal wise. While “Blue Dream” might be about a girl with blue eyes, it means a lot more to me. “Blue Dream” is a love ballad that I will always feel connected to. I cannot wait to see what Dance Gavin Dance has to offer next month with their new album Artificial Selection.

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I Was Never There – The Weeknd

My Dear Melancholy, is an EP that I believe was greatly overlooked compared to The Weeknd’s other releases. Nonetheless, this EP delivers on its name “Melancholy” with the song “I Was Never There”. This song could perhaps be one of my favorite songs this year especially with the production credit by Gesaffelstein. “I Was Never There” really captures the sound and image that The Weeknd first debuted with his notorious Trilogy albums. With sadness in his heart and depression in his head, The Weeknd perfectly details those feelings on this song and it shows. While the breaking up of him and Selena Gomez is undoubtedly the sole motivation of this sound, it could be considered a crucial moment in his life and subsequently his career which ultimately depends on his life experience. I hope to see The Weeknd happy again this year and come out with at least one more release before the year is over.

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Saturation 3 (Album) – Brockhampton

With Saturation 2 being one of my favorite albums of last year, Saturation 3 had high standards to beat in order to impress me. Unfortunately, after first hearing Saturation 3 when it was released I found it to still be inferior to Saturation 2. I decided to listen to it again this week and multiple occasions and found it to be more enjoyable than I first thought. Songs like “Alaska”, “Zipper”, and “Stupid” have really grown on me. Although I still find Saturation 2 to be their best album. With the recent removal of my favorite member, Ameer Vann I am curious to see how the group can continue after taking such a critical hit.

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Testing (Album) – A$AP Rocky

I have a love/hate relationship with A$AP Rocky’s music ever since he first debuted with LONG.LIVE.A$AP which I only really liked two songs from the album. However, two years later he would go on to release one of my favorite albums of all time with AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP. Nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoy A$AP Rocky, A$AP Mob, AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP, and Testing. Testing is a very outlandish sounding album coming from someone like A$AP Rocky, except it somehow still works well as an A$AP Rocky album. The sampling he uses to craft most of the album makes it feel like a classic A$AP Rocky album. I plan to listen to this album more in order to get a better feel for it and might even revisit it after enough time has passed so that I may further evaluate and compare this album to his other work. Until then, A$AP Mob as a whole has yet to let me down and hope to see them do more collaborative and solo projects this year.

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Daytona (Album) – Pusha T

With King Push being renamed to Daytona, I’ve come to wonder what the album used to sound like back when it was King Push. Regardless, Pusha T delivers a solid album in 2018 and I am thoroughly impressed by this release. Being one of my most anticipated albums of 2018, it certainly didn’t disappoint by any means. With production by Kanye West and even a Kanye West feature, it’s good to see Kanye is still putting out quality work amongst all the recent criticism and debates. In 7 songs, Daytona delivers a short but sweet album that I have absolutely no complaints with. The lyrics, beats, and theme are all on point for a Pusha T album and I am glad this album was on par if not better than his last album which was King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude.

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The Nights – Avicii

This week I felt like some electronic “feel-good” music was needed and with the recent passing of Avicii, I decided to revisit some of his work. “The Nights” is very much so a “feel-good” song that shares an undertone of wisdom and experience. Taking into account the producer’s passing, songs like these seem to take on a dual meaning which in turn can give these songs a new purpose and story to tell. The passing of Avicii has only made his music more effective at invoking emotion through song and it is fully exemplified on “The Nights” where a father gives his son advice about remembering the good nights in life that we often would otherwise forget. Avicii was an amazing artist and his music continues to inspire fans like myself and many millions of others.

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Call on Me – Eric Prydz

Continuing this theme of electronic music for the week I decided to revisit Eric Prydz who many years ago produced some of my favorite electronic tunes. “Call on Me” is a very simple song that is filled with simple happiness. Coming out in 2004, this song samples the song “Valerie” by Steve Winwood in order to create the elementary yet enjoyable chorus. With a questionable music video and a great song, Eric Prydz really struck gold when he created “Call on Me” and it wouldn’t surprise me if his work was the foundation for this newer era of electronic producers.

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Halloween – Kodak Black

“Halloween” by Kodak Black is a song that I listen to on a daily basis and have on every Spotify playlist I’ve made. Is Kodak Black my favorite rapper of all time? No. However, he does know how to create dynamic songs that can be interpreted is great pieces of music due to his wild imagination and creative use of descriptions. Songs such as “No Flockin” and “Roll In Peace” further support my argument, however, “Halloween” is perhaps the best Kodak Black song to display this skill. Kodak Black is gritty and honest which in turn allows him to paint pictures with his words, this, therefore, allows for some truly great songs to come out every once in a while. I recommend “Halloween” to enjoy who enjoys a laid back rap song with an outstanding beat that will surely allow you to close your eyes and imagine what Kodak Black is going through on this song.

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