By: Adam Pasternak
April was a pretty big month for music fans around the world. Of course, Kendrick Lamar’s Damn. came out to the liking of millions, Joey Bada$$ released his new album, Rich Homie Quan released a pretty solid project too (I kid you not), Yachty, French Montana, Logic, D.R.A.M., DJ Khaled, and Frank Ocean all released new singles this month as well, and so much more.
Let’s get to it:
Damn. – Kendrick Lamar:
“Kung Fu Kenny” solidified his position as the rap game’s Top Dawg with the release of his latest album, Damn., during the first weekend of Coachella (which he also headlined). The release of the album, of course, came with another batch of incredible songs – but it also came with this epic text from Kendrick’s mother. My favourite songs on the album are: D.N.A., Humble, Pride, Element, Duckworth, and Loyalty – just to name a few. The whole album really, is just fantastic. As usual, he depicts the trials and tribulations of a kid from Compton. Duckworth, I think, is the best example of that. The D.N.A., music video is also incredible, as it features Don Cheadle (the original “Kung-Fu Kenny”) opposite of Kendrick. Check it out below:
ALL – AMERIKKKAN BADA$$ – Joey Bada$$:
Joey Bada$$ dropped his newest project ALL AMERIKKAN BADA$$ in early April, and until Damn., dropped, it was in my opinion the best album of 2017. I didn’t expect it to be this good. I’ve always enjoyed Joey’s music, but I have never really loved more than a couple songs here and there. I can confidently say that I love this album. Not only does he send a strong message with his lyrics (and album title), but his songs are a breath of fresh air. They aren’t “the Migos flow” or anything like anyone else is doing right now. My favourite songs on the album are FOR MY PEOPLE, TEMPTATION, and BABYLON. Check them out below:
Back To the Basics – Rich Homie Quan:
Rich Homie Quan was definitely not a name I ever thought I’d be talking about on any of my Monthly Playlists. Well, thanks to his new album Back To the Basics, he’s completely changed my perception of him. I really only gave this project a shot because I was curious to see how bad it was. To my surprise, I ended up really liking it. It seems as if “Rich Homie” has grown up a touch, as outlined in the song Da Streetz. He sort of sounds like a mix of Future and Young Thug, but who doesn’t these days. Regardless, he pulls it off and I can’t stop listening to this album. My favourite songs, along with Da Streetz, are Replay, and Lord Forgive Me. Check them out below:
My City – Adhoc:
Now this one’s pretty cool. Not only is Adhoc a Canadian rap/hip-hop trio from Montreal, but the producer of the group, James Campbell, was actually my “mentor” at The York School. At our school, there was a mentor program where grade 11 students got paired up with the grade 8 classes. When I was in grade 8, my class got James and his friend Dimitri. Instead of teaching us about the risks of partying and whatnot, he’d hook up his computer to the projector and we’d play Call of Duty. I was also fortunate to have been in our school’s guitar ensemble with James when I was in grade 9. I knew he was a good guitar player, but that’s all I really knew about him. So, to years later see that he’s on music blogs and Apple Music with his group Adhoc, is pretty damn cool. My City is my favourite song by them, and the music video was just released recently. Check the video out below, and make sure to checkout the rest of their music (China White is another favourite):
Logic announced the release date of his forthcoming album, Everybody, last week – and I could not be more excited. I came across Logic when I was 15 and he just keeps on getting better. His last album, The Incredible True Story, was fantastic and if you haven’t hopped on the Logic train yet, I recommend doing so. To hold us over until the release of the album next month, he treated us to Everybody and Black SpiderMan. There is a clear theme here between these two songs, and one that will continue to shine throughout the album. Checkout the two songs below:
With Yachty’s new album being announced this month, came two new singles from the Atlanta rapper – Peek a Boo and Harley. Both, are classic Lil Yachty songs – high energy, high pitched sing-rap, catchy hooks, and a dope beat. Peek a Boo features Migos, who fit perfectly on this beat. Quavo, for the first time ever, actually somewhat disappoints. His verse isn’t anything special; mostly just recycled ad-libs from other Migos songs. Regardless, this song bangs and so does Harley. Check them out below:
Biking (feat. JAY Z & Tyler, the Creator) – Frank Ocean:
Frank Ocean is on a tear right now, uncharacteristically releasing single after single. He just released Lens (which comes in two versions – the second featuring Travis Scott) and Slide on Me (which features Young Thug). But, personally, my favourite of the bunch is the JAY Z- & Tyler, the Creator assisted, Biking. The song is very chill, and in my opinion, Tyler, the Creator really shines the most. His unique, deep voice really stands out on the last verse of the song and is easily my favourite. Of course, Jay’ was solid, more talking then rapping on his verse to start the song off. All in all, the song is great and I can’t stop listening to it – and neither should you. Check it out below:
Gilligan (feat. Juicy J & A$AP Rocky) – D.R.A.M:
D.R.A.M. has quickly become a favourite of mine since last Summer. It all started with Broccoli, how could you not like that song? Then, he dropped his debut album Big Baby D.R.A.M., which I think is one of the best albums of this school year. Now, he’s released his latest banger, Gilligan, featuring Juicy J and A$AP Rocky. It’s not better than Broccoli, but it definitely is right up there. Check it out below:
Unforgettable (feat. Swae Lee) – French Montana:
Any song that can get DJ Khaled to do this is a winner in my books:
The song is also really good, as is the music video. Check it out below:
U Aint Never – Kodak Black:
Off his debut album, Painting Pictures, comes U Aint Ever – the first Kodak Black song I ever enjoyed. Every song he has ever released up until this album is trash – just my honest opinion. But there’s something different about this album. Maybe it’s the beats, maybe it’s me getting used to his voice – or maybe both. Regardless, this shit is dope. Listen to U Aint Ever, posted below:
I’m the One (feat. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper & Lil Wayne) – DJ Khaled:
It seems like we’ve been waiting for this one forever. It was only a couple months ago that Khaled teased us with a new song featuring an all-star cast of artists, and this past Friday – it finally came. I’m the One features an incredible mix of the new and the old – all who are on top of the rap game regardless. Lil Wayne is obviously the vet. He’s been around since before I was even a rap fan and he’s still as relevant as ever. His verse is nothing special, but its Weezy so you know you’re in for some good/so bad they are actually good lines here or there. Chance, of course, is the present. He’s been on top of the game for the last couple years now, and to help his case, he’s even going on another tour this summer (supporting the same album he went on tour for last year, I guess). Quavo, in my opinion, represents the future. Yeah, Migos is huge right now, but they aren’t going anywhere. Not only that, they have helped modernize rap and hip hop and there are now tons of artists stealing their flow. Whether you want to admit it or not, they have helped shape the future of rap. Then finally, there’s Bieber. He just doesn’t seem to go away.
The song itself is really nothing special, but it is definitely catchy and definitely has that summer vibe to it. Don’t get me wrong, I like it – but it really isn’t anything great. The verses are all pretty short, as the hook really carries this song. By the end of it, you’re just waiting for Justin Bieber to shut up. In my opinion, executive producer Asahd Khaled (and his 3 months of producing/life experience) should have combined two of the verses so we don’t have to hear the hook over and over. Nonetheless, you probably wont be disappointed. Check it out for yourself below:
Monday – Offset:
Offset’s Monday, has convinced me that he is just as valuable to Migos as Quavo (we all know Takeoff is just enjoying the ride). I never really have heard any of his solo stuff up until now, and man am I pleasantly surprised. Monday is great – I can’t get it out of my head. The beat is great, the hook is catchy, the lyrics are subpar – but that’s Migos for you. If you can’t accept that then don’t get in a car with me this summer, ’cause this shit’s bumping in my car all day long. Check it out below, and get ready for some fun drives in the Haliburton Highlands:
All The Time – Young Thug:
I came across this song on Hot New Hip-Hop the other day, and I really liked it. The music video is dope too, as Thugger just balls out. Check it out below:
East Atlanta Day (feat. Gucci Mane & 21 Savage) – Zaytoven:
Anytime Zaytoven and Gucci hook up you know it’s gonna be dope. East Atlanta Day is yet another banger by the dynamic duo, this time bringing in the rookie – 21 Savage. The past, future and present is all accounted for on this track, as Gucci was one of the pioneers of the trap movement and is still as relevant as ever (if not more). 21 Savage is definitely part of the future of trap, along with Zaytoven – who along with Murda Beats and Metro Boomin’ – produce almost every big trap song these days. Check out the song below:
Dilemma (feat. PnB Rock) – Wale:
Wale has always been a favourite of mine, and PnB Rock has become a new favourite, so I knew this song would be dope before I even heard it. Wale has a very unique voice and can use it in many ways, as evident in Dilemma. He has a blues-y feel to his flow, and I love it. Of course, PnB kills his portion of the song, and in my opinion – steals the song from Wale. Either way, it’s a great listen. Check it out below:
Wale’s new album, SHiNE, just dropped. Be sure to check that out as well.
What, you thought I wasn’t going to acknowledge the holiest of holidays? Snoop, Wiz, and more dropped some new holiday themed music to celebrate. Check out 420 by Fetty Wap, Mr. Weedman by Juelz Santana and Always High by Wiz Khalifa, and Juicy J, below:
420 – Fetty Wap:
Mr. Weedman (feat. Snoop Dogg & Wiz Khalifa) – Juelz Santana:
Always High – Wiz Khalifa & Juicy J:
Well, thats all for this month. Be sure to check back near the end of May for next month’s playlist!
What do you think of this month’s selections? Are there any songs you think Adam missed? Any you disagree with? Comment below!
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