This week’s batch of best new songs is one that had a lot of love for the ladies. And not in an objectifying way, oh no. Drake started our weekends off right with an ode to the women in his life that, for the first time in his storied career, feels entirely without ulterior motive – or dare we say, woke?
Then of course we have “PYNK”, Janelle Monáe’s reunion with alt-pop-princess Grimes and the best single by far from her upcoming full-length Dirty Computer. It is, in the simplest terms we can muster, a lush fantasia of the female, complete with vagina-shaped pants and clitoris-face pop-ups in its incredible music video.
But that doesn’t even cover the much-needed arrival of Tinashe’s Joyride, not one but two experimental tracks with ten-minute runtimes, and ah, yes, Nicki Minaj returning to the throne. All those and more make this edition of Best Tracks of the Week:
Continuing to prove that he’s one of the most irreverent rappers we have right now (the wigs in the video really say all there is to be said on that front) Aminé’s latest is equal-parts expertly-timed joke and absolute booty-shaking banger. And special note should be made of the bass-line, which is absolutely filthy.
Just a few years into their career, Arca has pretty much reached icon-status already. Following up a spectacular 2017 that saw the radical reinvention of their self-titled album and producing one of Björk’s most offbeat albums yet (which is really saying something), the experimental-wunderkind has begun this year with an 11-minute suite of chopped orchestral samples and jarring vocal blares that finds rapturous harmony in its chaos. It’s accompanied by a video of crushing flowers with high heels, because duh.
“I wrote this sh** in four f***ing hours, no sleep man,” explains CupcakKe in the opening to her latest track, a response to G Herbo’s recent freestyle over a 2000 Three 6 Mafia banger. Over the course of a mere 2 minutes and 32 seconds, the Chicago rapper covers everything from food stamps to the Walmart yodeller to the injustice of the criminal justice system. Once again, our wig hath been snatched.
Sampling “the Queen Diva” of bounce Big Freedia and ’90s Lauryn Hill, Drake proudly presents his ode to female empowerment with the help of dope women like Issa Rae, Rashida Jones, Tiffany Hadish, Letitia Wright, Syd, and more. Not sure what else there is to say, except perhaps that Drake is using his thirst powers for good, and we’re proud of him.
It’s been already been a few days but we’re still catching our breath from the audiovisual masterpiece that is “PYNK”. Featuring harmonies by none other than Grimes, Bowie-esque pants that look like vaginas, a face-as-clitoris cameo from Janelle Monáe’s rumoured boo thang Tessa Thompson, and a plethora of pink panoramas, Monáe’s latest has us itching to fast forward through the month straight to the 27th so we can listen to her new album Dirty Computer already!
Last we heard from Jenny Hval, she was busy dissecting the stigma that surrounds menstruation using tropes from vampire films. Somewhere along the way between then and the newly-released “Spells”, it sounds like she spent a great deal of time chilling in a lounge that only plays elevator music. Worlds away from the darkness of her 2016 album Blood Bitch, “Spells” finds the Norwegian avant-garde rocker embracing the pleasures of retro-Miami-nightclub groove, saxophones and all. It’s a good look for her.
Sometimes you just need to get lost in the sauce, and by sauce we mean a 9 minute, 43 second jazz epic by Kamasi Washington, with powerful vocals by Dwight Trible and Patrice Quinn encouraging folks to fight back against injustice.
Lil Xan’s debut album TOTAL XANARCHY was a bit of a snoozer tbh, but we’re happy it brought forth this unlikely collab. “Moonlight” sees our girl Charli adding a dash of autotuned femmebot realness to Lil Xan’s surprisingly sweet rap ballad, and we’re loving everything about it, from the guitar strums to Charli comparing herself to Al Pacino.
It’s no secret that Nicki Minaj is basically our favorite guest artist ever, but her two new tracks this week reminded us how desperately we needed new Nicki bangers in our lives. Although “Barbie Tingz” goes incredibly hard, we’re loving everything about “Chun-Li” – from the Street Fighter reference to the saxophone.
Looking at the list of features on Tinashe’s finally-released Joyride, Little Dragon stick out like a sore thumb. And though they may seem an odd choice compared to more orthodox duets with Future and French Montana, “Stuck With Me” is an undisputed highlight of the record, deftly balancing breezy summer vibes and thumping club vibes with ease.
Be sure to check out the previous edition of Best Tracks of the Week right here.