ILS Staff: Best of the Week (July 27th-August 2nd, 2015)

by on August 2, 2015

Here’s what’s been stuck in our heads over the week, along with a playlist you can vibe to.

Kadeem Fletcher: Dougie F – Pre Paid

“I never really paid much attention to Dougie F but this song immediately caught my attention. I don’t know if it’s the lyrics or just the overall relatability of the song’s content and the current state of the culture … Either way it’s one hell of a song.”

Tyler Kennedy: ABRA - ROSES XOXO

“There are a number reasons why I’m grateful for Vashtie, one being she introduced me to ROSES XOXO by ABRA through its use in her video lookbook with PUMA. Anyone who knows me knows that I love some nice 80’s vibes in my music, but that’s not what does it for me with this song. ABRA’s enigmatic voice inspires feelings of ecstasy to the listener, who can’t help but get a little bit jiggy to this entrancing single from Awful Records.”

Holden PowellDrake – Back to Back

As cliché as it might be, this is the week of Drizzy. To all those who’ve doubted him in the past, Drake has proven them he’s a force not to be taken lightly. As his second diss track released, Back to Back went harder than his first diss, Charged Up. While some might argue that it wasn’t the best record, Back to Back displayed Drake’s well thought out calculations, as Meek Mill falls as a pawn in the music game of chess. From the cover art to the subtle but direct shots at Meek, Drake hit em’ where he knew would hurt the most, a rappers ego.

Jarett SommerGangrene (Alchemist & Oh No) – Reversals 

“Who would have though that two musical talents known mostly for their production would become such a formidable rap duo? Together, Alchemist and Oh No have released multiple albums as Gangrene, and I have always made it a priority to see what they cook up. Their latest effort sounds like it will again satisfy listeners ears, as their grimy and dark production styles compliment each other perfectly. Each album has seen their rhymes improve drastically, and of course they always feature the usual guest stars such as Action Bronson, Roc Marciano, and Evidence, among others. Reversals is more of the style we have come to know and love from the group, and I can’t wait to hear this album when it releases later this month.”

Marvin WilliamsDrake Hotline Bling

“After charging up social media this past week, and releasing back to back diss tracks, Drake somehow managed to release Hotline Bling. Taking inspiration from D.R.A.M.’s Cha Cha, Drake did what he did best, and gave us more quotes for our twitter posts and Instagram pictures. Hopefully this song is just a preview of what’s to come on his upcoming album.”

Milca PierreBusta Rhymes - Woo Haa! I Got you all Check

“This was the song that completely changed my outlook on Hip-hop and music in general. Always an old favorite, it’s been hard keeping it off ‘repeat’ this week. Introducing the world to the lunacy and ingenuity of Mr. Busta Rhymes, it’s an unpredictable track every time you hear it. You can never keep up with his breakneck delivery, and I’m pretty sure that was the whole point. Simply put, it’s just a crazy and fun song that still serves as a prime example of the combination of pure lyricism and mainstream rap.”

Keegan BoissonVince Staples – Lift Me Up

“For my song choice this week I had to bring in back to Summertime 06 yet again I’ve had the album on repeat and the track opener is a definite heavy hitter. The beat sounds like it was made entirely on the engine of an old school mustang, with revving and bass making you want to drive faster and the ever aggressive Vince Staples opens the song and carries it with extremely harsh and startling lyrics. Not to mention the heavy, spiritual, mighty chant/prayer of a hook that makes me feel like I can do anything when I hear it. Lift Me Up is a good way to start a productive day. “

Jack SquiresPlayboi Carti Smash

“Although this track is now about a year old, it’s still riding the same wave of momentum that Houston-emcee, Playboi Carti, has been riding throughout his very succesful 2015. Although he’s probably still a year-or-two removed from his true, breakout release, we have a pretty good string of releases to keep us occupied – and this one bumps.

Conor JohnsonWiley – 25MC’s

“Although part of Skepta’s Boy Better Know entourage, Wiley has been quiet recently. Despite this though, he is still a notorious player and pioneer of the grime scene. On this track the 25MC’s, (from his latest album #8) he showcases his raw ability to spit fast paced flows, catchy rhymes and punch lines to match, all of which are performed over a hard hitting beat. For those unfamiliar with grime music, in simplest terms; its hip hop’s long lost British cousin sharing many similarities and essentially using same the music but rapped on top of in our accents.”