A certain Toronto rapper rounded out the month of June with his album Scorpion, after a particularly hectic few weeks for music journalists (here’s hoping for a brief respite from the madness). We managed to find a hidden blue diamond in the rough of the long-winded release, which features Fire Marshall Future bringing the heat.
Our girl Charli XCX, who unlike Drake and Kanye, could care less about typical release schedules, dropped two songs we can’t get enough of. Meek Mill debuted a powerful new track onstage at the BET Awards with the help of Miguel and Tyler, the Creator continues to live his best life somewhere in Europe, releasing freestyles between breaking hearts and eating pasta. We even snuck in a track from Teyana Taylor’s album from last week, because in true G.O.O.D. Music fashion, it was fashionably late arriving to the streaming platform party.
All those and more in this week’s best tracks.
88rising - “Let it Go” ft. Higher Brothers & BlocBoy JB
The latest from the 88rising crew sounds like drinking an iced coffee and jump roping double dutch style while listening to sped-up N.E.R.D. Though the production is indebted to The Neptunes, the flow of Higher Brothers and BlocBoy JB is something else - weaving in and out like the turn of the jump ropes. MaSiWei’s lines “You talk about the rules / I don’t get it, I just break it” seem to summarize their no-fucks-given approach to spitting bars, which manages to unite the Chinese rap crew and Memphis MC on “Let it Go.”
Chaka Khan - "Like Sugar"
We never thought we’d be writing about new Chaka Khan music in 2018, but hey, the world is becoming less predictable by the day, and at least this is a positive development. Switch of Major Lazer brings the “Queen of Funk” into the 21st century with a certified bop filled to the brim with ecstatic horns, shifting percussion, bass grooves, and of course Chaka’s legendary voice.
Charli XCX - "Focus" / "No Angel"
Charli XCX continues to lowkey shatter every industry model of release scheduling with the surprise drop of this double single. Featuring the usual suspects A.G. Cook and SOPHIE behind the booth, she is incapable of making anything that isn’t confectionary sugar-pop. “Focus” brings the heavy mood and handclaps while “No Angel” riffs on the sort of finger-snapping singalongs that first brought her to public conscious in the halcyon days of 2012. We are, of course, here for both.
cupcakKe - “Hot Pockets”
At this point, cupcakKe could sneeze and we’d add it to our best tracks of the week by default, but she earns it every single time. Ironically, she does indeed sneeze on the track, but there’s so much more coming out of the oven. From the droplet sounds and sizzling to her never-stale bars , we’re completely devouring the fresh batch of "Hot Pockets" she’s serving.
Drake - "Blue Tint" ft. Future
Drake’s Scorpion arrived today, yet another lengthy project with a lot of indistinguishable filler. Nevertheless, we will continue to sip champagne of the papi variety, and “Blue Tint” has got Future in the mix doing his now-signature scratchy falsetto, which is like a much needed breeze in a stuffy room. It’s got the requisite Drizzy talk about women, material possessions, and how he’s still on the top of his game, but the production by JRHitmaker, Taz Taylor, !llmind, Supah Mario successfully shakes things up in “Side B” of the album.
Meek Mill - “Stay Woke” ft. Miguel
Meek Mill aptly debuted his latest single “Stay Woke” at the BET Awards this week. It was a powerful statement on police brutality and the disproportionate amount of black men behind bars in the U.S. WIth cascading piano and a good ol’ fashioned beat, Miguel compliments Mill’s verses with soaring vocals that gesture towards prevailing, hopeful changes afoot.
Rome Fortune - “Hoodrich Disco”
There's honestly no better reunion than one that involves Rome Fortune and Toro Y Moi because when these two great minds come together the result is pure house-disco magic. Blast this feel-god bop at your next block party and watch as everyone starts trying to be your friend.
Teyana Taylor - “WTP”
Teyana Taylor’s incredible new album broke the 7-track format instilled in the previous G.O.O.D. Music releases, and thank goodness for that. Tacked on to the end of K.T.S.E. is the record’s secret weapon - a go-for broke ballroom floor-filler here to teach all the children that Miss Taylor is not your average showgirl. Mother herself, Mykki Blanco, earns a co-writing credit and the album’s scene-stealing feature (not sorry, Kanye) that is pure opulence, they own everything.
Tommy Genesis - “100 Bad”
The Vancouver rapper reconnects with New Jersey producer Charlie Heat to bring another banger into the world. Their latest collaboration is basically a humble brag about being the baddest bitch on your block and not blinking an eye at anyone that crosses your path.
Tyler, the Creator - "GELATO"
Nearly a year after the release of Flower Boy, a lot has changed. Where the world was fretting over the possibility that Tyler, the Creator was coming out on record, now it seems pretty much certain; spitting bars about Call Me By Your Name (the second Timothée Chalamet reference in as many singles) will do that. It’s a beautiful journey to witness, made all the more lush with Tyler’s consistently-flawless rhymes married to ever-warmer beats.
Be sure to check out the previous edition of Best Tracks of the Week right here.