The autumn winds are blowing chilly and cold, but you couldn’t tell if you had spent any time in the Highsnobiety Music office this week. The latest batch of new songs to come our way have been so summery we’ve been tempted to nab a piña colada in lieu of a morning coffee.
This is largely due to the following: a surprise return from Chromeo that packs in more puns about juice than you thought imaginable, an awe-inducing bit of wordplay backed by pop hooks from Wiz Khalifa and a duet from Ashanti (yes, she’s still working) and Ty Dolla $ign that gives a shout-out to one of the most iconic children’s books of all time.
All of those and more can be found below in our picks for Best Tracks of the Week:
Ashanti – “Say Less” ft. Ty Dolla $ign
Yes, Ashanti is still making music, and yes, she does indeed sing the line “that lil’ engine that could on you / Make that thing go chugga chugga, chugga, chugga, chugga.” This is carefree, pleasurable pop music at its most carefree and pleasurable; it’s the sound of summer romances blossoming, buoyed by inexorably bouncy synthesizers. It is – simply – a lot of fun.
Chromeo – “Juice”
In a week that brought a lot of unpleasant memories of last year’s November events, the return of Chromeo and their ’70s-blasted, get-down-and-dirty funk was a much-needed dose of fun. The duo’s latest is a master class in puns about juice, and they deserve every bonus point imaginable for the accompanying gender-bending visual.
Faze Miyake – “Burse on the 12th Floor”
When we first heard this track earlier this week, our gut reaction was to describe it as “going to a DIY rap show held at an abandoned carnival and lighting a blunt in the funhouse.” Even after time to process, that summary is still the best way to elaborate on the sensations this marvelous new track has on the ear. Watch out for Faze Miyake, the British MC has a bright, bright, blunt-filled funhouse future ahead of him.
Kamaiyah – “Leave Em”
Building a track around TLC’s “Creep” is a bold move; sampling a 100% perfect, iconic song is a game few can play well. Fortunately, Kamaiyah knows how to do it. Her interpolation of the ’90s classic honors it without lifting its steez, a process that many would argue defines Kamaiyah’s entire aesthetic. Debate all you want, at the end of the day, this shit glides.
Rich Chigga – “Crisis” ft. 21 Savage
The unstoppable rise of Rich Chigga continues ever upward with “Crisis,” a track that might be his most polished, go-for-broke chart-chaser of a song yet. Sure, having 21 Savage deliver a fire verse is part of that, but the success of “Crisis” lies in its production. This is far and away Chigga’s most accomplished work behind the booth yet, stringing together a keyboard line that meanders between cute and eerie with a swirling ambient soundscape, the beat humming along under it all. We’re not sure what that title is about – there’s not a crisis in sight here.
Roy Woods – “Afterparty” ft. Lil Yachty & Swae Lee
Somehow, this song manages to tie together the very distinct, disparate personalities of OVO’s Roy Woods, Lil Yachty and Rae Sremmurd’s Swae Lee and make it sound not only natural, but utterly cohesive. Each MC turns in a verse chock full of one-liners (even if Yachty’s are kind of icky), but amazingly, this is Roy’s show to steal. He could not have found a better beat to issue his angelic coo unto the world.
Wiz Khalifa – “Letterman”
God, what a chorus. Utilizing a flurry of wordplay and rapid-fire delivery, Wiz Khalifa has turned in a sleeper-hit of a single with “Letterman,” appearing on his new mixtape Laugh Now, Fly Later. That Wiz purposefully slides into a monotonous vocal performance only serves to highlight the unstoppable rhythmic flow of ‘letterman’ becoming ‘let em in’ becoming ‘let her in’ and back again in what sounds like a single breath.
Yaeji – “Raingurl”
Yaeji has been on our radar for a while now, so it was a joy to find that the sumptuous world of her recently-released EP2 was well worth the wait. In addition to the fabulous “Drink I’m Sippin’ On,” we were gifted with this standout track, one full of more one-liners than we know what to do with. ‘Mother Russia in my cup?’ Yes please. That little one-off, along with the hypnotic chant of the title, make this a contender for house-track of the year.
Young M.A – “Walk”
There is a real delight in hearing Young M.A twist the reality TV adage “I didn’t come here to make friends” into a hustler’s guide for living. It is one of the many lyrical joys found in the New York MC’s latest, a track that blends her verbal precision with colossally heavy production, lurching under her like the shift of tectonic plates.
Yung Lean – “Metallic Intuition”
Yung Lean’s new album Stranger is just masterful (for an elaboration on that belief, check out our review), so picking standouts is no easy task. But even Lean knew he had something special on his hands when he unveiled “Metallic Intuition” ahead of the full-length’s release earlier this week. He has called it the “most hip-hop” track on the album, which we would agree with if there was any hip-hop in the world that remotely sounded like this mesmerizing oddity.
Be sure to check out last week’s edition of Best Tracks of the Week right here.
- Cover Image: Julian Berman