Bun B: “Put It Down” (Ft. Drake)
On Drake’s, So Far Gone, Bun B came through with a crucial co-sign, blessing the young spitter with a scene-stealing verse on the album’s hardest cut, “Uptown.” Things have changed a bit since then–Drake’s famous, platinum, stanky rich, but doing the right thing pulling verse and hook duty for one of hip-hop’s last living legends.
El P: “Meanstreak (In 3 Parts)”
Not to be hyperbolic, but there are few, if any, producers–particularly of hip-hop persuasion–that sound like El-P. If J. Dilla is the Miles Davis of sampling, then El-P is the technique’s Jimi Hendrix–a thoroughly left-brained, noise-obsessed virtuoso. The consummate studio rat and Def Jux founder has a new instrumental mix out, the third volume in his previously tour-only series, Weareallgoingtoburninhellmegamixx. Like all El-P records, it’s dense, cerebral, and demonically funky, traits that are all clearly exemplified in “Meanstreak (In 3 Parts).”
Highlife: “F Kenya Rip”
Highlife is captained solely by Sleepy Doug Shaw, also of NYC folk wizards White Magic, though here and elsewhere on Hightlife’s debut EP, Best Bless, he is joined by White Magic pal Mira Billotte. As its name implies, the newish project is partially informed by African guitar music, “F Kenya Rip” in particular by the F Kenya Guitar Band’s “Madame Zehae Ala,” which translates roughly to “Just As I Am”. Confused? Needn’t be. This music is so ridiculously, insanely pleasant, with or without the necessary context. Sun peeking through palm leaves while you wrap yourself in a hammock pleasant.
Roots Manuva:”Butterfly Crab Walk” Ft. Riddla
The new Roots Manuva record would find the UK rapper really living up to his name, if it weren’t for the fact that all its ‘newness’ is the work of another. Duppy Writer is a collection of Manuva originals reworked by south London producer WrongTom—here, the chatter’s intact, but “Hol’ It Up”’s skewiff, bass-heavy beat has been exchanged for the chilled soundsystem dub of “Butterfly Crab Walk.” Unearth more maneuvered roots when Duppy Writer emerges through Big Dada in September.
Black Mountain: “The Hair Song”
A title like that befits something of equal simplicity and gusto, and “The Hair Song“‘s unhinged, tobacco-stained, porch-friendly swing is about as direct and meaty as Black Mountain get. The Vancouver quintet’s new album, Wilderness Heart, is due out September 4 through Jagjaguwar. It has a shark on the cover, which obviously symbolizes its face-eating powers.