What We're Listening To This Week 03/02

wwlt2.jpg
Image Courtesy of Def Jam

Image Courtesy of Def Jam

We all know Rihanna and Future's collab "Selfish", but this lesser-known duet off of Rihanna's 2012 album Unapologetic is truly a hidden gem. As you'd expect from this pair, this love song defies convention: the layered electronic backtrack metered by a steady beat provides the perfect balance of drive and softness that highlights the mix of rapping and singing throughout the duet. We also witness a rare sighting of "soft Future" as he spins a vulnerable narrative that Rihanna answers with the demand that he is forthright with his feelings - in other words, "man up." ~Lexi Vollero

 

"leaves" - Miguel

Image Courtesy of RCA Records

Image Courtesy of RCA Records

This song is one of the many reasons I'm convinced that the rise of Miguel is real. The song is both vocally and instrumentally simple, but that is no reason to underestimate it. The song's moving, hypnotic effect is created through the way it builds in tone, volume, and tension from a serene start to an almost scream-like verse once the beat kicks in at the end, before dramatically resolving on the same note it starts on. I'm obsessed, to say the least. ~Lexi Vollero

 

"BabyWipe" - Ski Mask The Slump God

Image Courtesy of frilf

Image Courtesy of frilf

On this track, off the album YouWillRegret, Slump raps under the moniker "LilBabyWipe" to emphasize how fresh and clean his bars are. Ski Mask The Slump God is undeniably talented, inhabiting countless different flows, often within the same verses. While "BabyWipe" is anchored by a good ol' triplet flow, he drops nuggets of gold lyricism and wordplay throughout the track, elevating what might initially seem like a typical, more ignorant rap. From superheroes to South Park, Slump drops witty references to pop culture while letting the pauses between his lines emphasize the song's bouncy bars; throw it all  on top of an already punchy, electronic beat and you've got a track that's just straight up fun. ~Henrique DaMour

 

Feeling Whitney - Post Malone

Image Courtesy of Republic Records

Image Courtesy of Republic Records

Stoney is one of those albums that never really got old for me. Every go 'round I find a new song to latch on to, and this week, "Feeling Whitney" reminded me that Post Malone isn't just a rapper. Despite the controversy surrounding Post, he still has an undeniable ability to make you feel. This acoustic gem is proof. It's an incredibly introspective song in which he details his struggle to be seen as "the man," and having everything figured out, while in reality he's just as broken and addicted to his vices as the rest of us. Acting hard and keeping that kind of public persona alienates others, while in reality, that lack of intimate, personal relationships is what drives him to drinking and drugs. It's the only thing that's been there for him, along with "...find[ing] peace in knowing/Ain't always broken, but here's to hoping" that somehow, things can improve and he can be more himself than he currently is. ~Henrique DaMour

 

 

Steven Norwalk