Deadshirt Is Listening… Bringing you a rundown of our staff and guest contributors’ favorite new tracks released in the past week after they’ve had the weekend to blast them in their cars, in a club, alone in their rooms, etc.
David Lebovitz is dancin’ in the street to…
The Roots feat. Raheem DeVaughn
…and then you shoot your cousin
Hip-Hop/R&B/Do The Roots even have a genre?
“‘Cause everybody needs an angel
And everybody needs a smile
And everybody has an angle
And everybody wants tomorrow right now”
If you can count on one band subverting their genre while respecting it, it’s The Roots. “Tomorrow,” the second single from their upcoming album …and then you shoot your cousin, demonstrates this beautifully.
With soul singer Raheem DeVaughn on lead vocals, The Legendary Roots Crew put together a song about understanding and accepting human flaws. The word “vintage” comes to mind hearing this: it has an old school R&B feel, with upbeat vocals, whistling, and simple-yet-talented musical accompaniment. Despite this, the song ends in a pleasant-yet-jarring way somewhat reminiscent of “A Day In The Life,” which teases the listener into wanting to hear more.
The genius of the track comes in the form of the small record pops: a crackling that emulates the sound of a slightly worn vinyl record. It never distracts from the music or obscures the lyrics, but adds a layer of warmth to the song that often seems lost on digital formats.
The Roots claim their next album will be a satirical analysis of stereotypes in the hip-hop community. It’s hard to see how this song fits in compared to their last single “When The People Cheer,” which is much more overt in that mission, but it’s a solid track and it makes me want to hear more. I’m excited to hear it in the context of the album.
Dominic Griffin is servin’ face to…
“Yasss, Bish!! (featuring Soulja Boy)”
“I don’t fuck with you niggas/I own the Clippers…”
When music critics were bending over backwards to applaud Nicki Minaj for forsaking her outlandish pop persona and returning to basics with songs like “Lookin Ass” and “Chi-raq,” both miles away from outings like “Starships,” I was pretty concerned that the Queen of The Barbies would be throwing out her relentless experimentation with all of those pink wigs. Even I couldn’t have predicted a shit-talking Soulja Boy collaboration colorfully co-opting gay vernacular. It doesn’t quite have the male gaze-criticizing sharpness of “Lookin Ass” and the lyrical content is a little rote for the Nickster (ie: stunting on basic bitches and calling her male competitors her sons), but it is a lot of fun to listen to on repeat.
To me, what’s always defined Nicki is the elasticity of her voice and her propensity for doing random shit on wax for no reason other than that she can. Remember her harmonizing about putting her (metaphorical) dick on someone’s face back on “Come On A Cone”? Here there’s a moment when she melodically elongates the word “will,” as in “and testament,” after rhyming it with ‘Will,” as in “Smith.” I also just think Soulja Boy repeating the title over and over again on the hook is the funniest fucking thing ever, though, so while your mileage may vary, I’m very much excited for the official single Nicki teases in the song’s closing lines.
Julian Ames is not taking his friends for granted thanks to…
“I Don’t Know You Anymore”
Beauty & Ruin
Beauty & Ruin will be the newest album in a long career for former Husker Du frontman Bob Mould. After the breakup of Husker Du, one of the seminal alternative rock groups and influences to bands like The Hold Steady and Green Day, Mould continued making really good alt rock. As proven by this new track, he’s still doing it some 24 years later. “I Don’t Know You Anymore” is bare-bones alternative rock that would’ve fit perfectly on the airwaves of college radio in the 80s and 90s. The song, about severing ties with a friend who has disappointed him, features two of Mould’s more recent friends, Jason Narducy and Jon Wurster, who played on his last album and return for this new one. Beauty & Ruin comes out June 3rd on Merge Records, and is a perfect fit among a roster that includes alt rock stalwarts like Superchunk, whom Wurster also drums for, and Neutral Milk Hotel.