New music for happy hour.
RiFF Raff – “Dolce & Gabbana”
RiFF RAFF[ref]AKA Jody Highroller, AKA Rap Game Bon Jovi, AKA Party McHardy AKA The Freestyle Scientist AKA The Rookie of the Future AKA the Hologram Panda[/ref] (real name: Jody Christian) is the greatest because he eliminates the need for parody rap; his mixtape output is staggering; and his tactile imagery is crazy. Also because the Texas-based emcee dropped the song of the summer.
The first single from his upcoming Neon Icon record is an aggressively one-note rundown of silly values and absurd boasts in the best possible way. He eats fried okra with Oprah. He has diamonds on his Beamer. It’s also kind of a genius dig at Drake’s new song about Versace. Both are high end brands that rappers love endlessly even though they are ridiculous metrics for success; here, RiFF takes that to the extreme by making it clear that if you want to sleep with him, ladies, you’ll have to be draped out in that Dolce & Gabbana (intentional sic). His album Neon Icon is slated for an August drop, and will feature collaborations from Wiz Khalifa, Mac Miller, ASAP Rocky, YG,Snoop Dogg, Future, and Drake. He’s ’bout to blow. — Ramon Ramirez
Lemuria – “Chihuly”
What does “Chihuly” mean? Why, Chihuly’s that special feeling you get when you’re holding hands with your best gal! It’s cheering real loud for the home team! It’s catching the perfect wave! It’s…Ahem…actually, the only thing that comes up when I Google it is some dude named Dale Chihuly. I guess he’s a glass blower or something. Catchy tune, though. — Jeremy Hurd
Maxo Kream – “Lewinsky”
Houston’s Maxo Kream may come from a different universe where Killer Mike’s Monster took over rap in 2003 instead of The College Dropout. Where Kid Cudi raps over Big K.R.I.T. beats, Drake is less comfortable with simping, and Gudda Gudda is too busy riding the beat to look for hashtags. Where songs are more than memorable lines with a side of dubstep. Maxo Kream makes songs that add everything together and KNOCK. He just released two videos in anticipation for his upcoming mixtape, QuiccStrikes. “Lewinsky” is sparer than “Whitney Houston,” leaving more room for Maxo’s flubber double-time flow, and sounding as hair-raising as walking into a strange silent house. This is music to rob empty homes to, but also to take the ski mask off and celebrate the haul while sippin’ alcohol “out the Titanic” and “smokin’ weed and Whitney Houston.” — Clyde Lovellette
El-P and Killer Mike featuring Big Boi – “Banana Clipper”
File this one under “Internet Age miracle.” Yes, it sucks that regional scenes are dying because everyone is influenced by everything these days, but the upside is that it allows art to rise above politics. Ten years ago, an aggressively southern soul like Mike does not record with a backpack puritan like El-P if he wants respect within the proverbial game and more importantly, any money out of it. Even last year, despite producing his album, El-P’s actual rapping was relegated to one track on Mike’s dope ass album.
Mike’s mentor, the always game Big Boi, adds effortless flair and “moves with the elegance of an African elephant.” — RR
YOUTH CODE – “Tiger’s Remorse”
“Tiger’s Remorse” is the summer jam if your fingernails were black in high school, but your heart is just as sun-scorning as it ever was. Strap on your Docs, cause you have Elizabeth Bathories to impress and KMFDM posers to stomp. Also, how did they not get a production credit on Kanye’s “On Sight”? He totally jacked their steez from “‘Destroy’ Said She.” Youth Code are the band for your Dirty Black Summer. — Andy O’Connor