Songs that I’m listening to (#1).

35.31

3.15.20 by Childish Gambino

This first track is taken from Childish Gambino’s (a.k.a Donald Glover) fourth studio album, 3.15.20. I love this album, especially now because of its messaging. It preaches self-love in a fun way and I feel as if he made it for his children as it’s very much at home music.

I went back and forth with myself, deciding on which song to pick but I ended up choosing 35.31 because of the feel that it gives me, the fact that I can’t stop playing it and the contrast between the beat and the lyrics.

“Little Foot, Bigfoot, get out the way / I’ma show y’all how to move this yay”

The track starts off with a country guitar and I immediately think that it’s the type of song that would be featured in a children’s film. This is helped by the addition of farm animal noises, like sheep and cows, reaffirming the idea that he made the album for his children or to be universally listened to.

However, the lyrics are most definitely not for children. He raps about trapping and an unjust world where you’ve got to eat or be eaten. He’s telling you plainly, “Little Foot, Bigfoot get out the way”, meaning don’t get in the way of me or my paper no matter how big you are. In order to get that paper, I’ve got to move this yay (cocaine). There is no disguise unlike, Bigfoot. He’s telling you I got to get mine by any means necessary.

This reminded me of Donald Glover’s hit show on FX, Atlanta. I imagine this is what Paper Boi (Bryan Tyree Henry) listens to in the background when rapping or trapping. The song is so southern and so fun yet so sad.

I love the way in which Gambino can sneak in important messaging into such enjoyable tracks, like This Is America and Feels Like Summer. Even if you don’t want to hear the subject matter, I encourage you to play 35.31, get up and dance.


Golden Brown

Insomnia by Skepta, Chip and Young Adz

Now this is expensive music. Taken off of Skepta, Chip and Young Adz’s joint project, Insomnia, Golden Brown is an instant classic.

“Yeah, the boys are back in town”

As soon as I heard the beat I started thinking of Rick Ross. Maybach music. Bottles of champagne (or Ciroc or Belaire if you’re Rozay). Songs like this you have to cruise to as you sit back in your Aston Martin, wind blowing with a beautiful woman sitting next to you. None of my friends have a Maybach or an Aston Martin unfortunately but when we are allowed to touch road again, just know that this is the first tune that we’re playing. “Yeah, the boys are back in town”.

From the chorus you know. It’s a hit. It was the right decision to let Skepta handle it due to his experience and older taste in music. And boy did he do it justice! It’s one of the songs that you just have to let wash over you.

With such a great start I was hoping that the standard wouldn’t drop when it came to the verses. It didn’t. Adz, Chip and Skepta all told their stories and delivered some great bars on top of that.

“She stay round the woody like she need a light, yeah” (Young Adz)

“Don’t let the suit fool you, I don’t cuff links” (Chip)

If only they took the risk and released this as the single from the album. I can see the music video now: three winners, dressed for dinner, (more than) three women, lots of liquor, the perfect picture. Everyone went hard and I’ll touch on this in further detail in the Insomnia review.


Wetty

Fivio Foreign continues to fly the flag for the New York drill scene, with his new single Wetty. Fans heard this months ago due to the leak of the track, then called Deli yet as a first-time listener, it did not disappoint.

Fivio provides us with his trademark flow as he dances over the hi-hats and kicks of the ominous beat.

I must say that Fivio saying “off the Coronas” in the song’s intro hits a little differently now – I guess now was the right time to drop the song and it’s perfect to dance to for both Tik Tok and Triller videos.

BELIEVE ME

I really enjoyed PARTYNEXTDOOR’s new album, PARTYMOBILE on first listen so it was very difficult to choose the standout track.

I chose BELIEVE ME, simply because of how catchy it is and I love his cadence on it. There were other songs that touched me on a more personal level but I just found myself singing “that’s when he believe it” around the house.

And, when I heard that my Bajan baby, Rihanna, was back, I honestly started tearing up. The short feature wet my appetite as a casual member of Rihanna’s navy fanbase.

Madonna

UK rap duo, Young T & Bugsey dropped their debut studio album on March 20th, right after many of us heard the news about schools. However, don’t sleep on these two. I feel as if they are underrated and although their album wasn’t undeniable, they have a skill for riding on beats, word selection and are the kings of hooks.

Madonna is no different. From when I heard Jae5, I knew it was a hit. The beat is smooth and menacing and both artists deliver. Young T with an infectious hook and Bugsey with a verse that J Hus would be proud of.

Xaymaca Awoyungbo

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