Oh, summer has finally begun.
1. Schoolboy Q – Hands on the Wheel (Aaron LaCrate remix)
Aaron LaCrate took this Schoolboy Q song and turned it into a bouncy electro number; I then took his remix, slowed it down to a reggaeton tempo and added some effects to emphasize the drops. This is roughly how you make moombahton except I didn’t add in extra stuttered percussion elements. If you’re ever in Washington, D.C. on a Saturday night, go to U Street Music Hall and spend the night dancing to this stuff.
2. Diplo – Set It Off feat. Lazerdisk Party Sex
Diplo is one of the hardest working producers in music. He DJs over 200 dates a year and still finds time to record new stuff in the studio, like this gem from his new Express Yourself EP. I really like how he seems to be experimenting more with softer synths, as seen here and on “Climax.” Homie just needs to get out of that Blackberry endorsement deal.
3. Cocaine 80s – Queentobe
The sideproject of legendary hip-hop producer No I.D., Cocaine 80s is modern R&B filtered through the lens of Chicago culture (Common is another frequent collaborator of the group). Releases under this name have been trickling onto the internet over the past 8 months or so. “Queentobe” is completely different from the drug & B that artists like The Weeknd and The-Dream are peddling; this is simple and smooth.
4. Vacationer – Trip (Teen Daze remix)
This is the perfect summer song with its regular kicks, sugary synth stabs and ringing delay vocals. Teen Daze proves that less is usually more with this clean remix; you can stream their entire upcoming album at Hypemachine.
5. Mach Five – Turn Up Juice feat. Gangsta Boo
It’s “Turn Up Juice,” not “Turnip Juice.” Who knows what else they add to their lean in Atlanta. Also, Gangsta Boo is probably the best name I’ve ever heard for a female rapper.
6. Big K.R.I.T. – Temptation (Remix feat. Waka Flaka & Juicy J)
You know that you’ve reached the bigtime when your hip hop album is streaming in its entirety on N.P.R. Vegans with Master’s degrees probably aren’t K.R.I.T.’s primary demographic, but it’s always hilarious reading their straitlaced music writers trying to find an angle to approach music that’s so far outside their comfort zone. Hookmakers Waka and Juicy J step up to the plate with decent verses on this remix.
7. FRIENDZONE – Little Red Corvette
Calling this a cover would be a little too much of a stretch, I think; it’s more appropriate to call this a song suggested by the Prince original. FRIENDZONE goes off on some interesting tangents in the middle of this homage as the snare pops start alternating between sixteenth and thirtysecond notes. These guys probably smoke a little too much weed but their digressions are powerful and the pacing of this song is perfect.
8. Azealia Banks – 1991
The darling of the rap world at the moment, it’s impossible to tell whether Azealia is being propelled by her appearance (she’s fucking hot), her delivery style (Missy Elliott with Harlem sharpness), or her overall sound (heavily refrencing early 90s club music). It’s easier to just relax and nod your head.