Best Tracks of the Week: Anderson .Paak, Joji, Lil Uzi Vert & More
We hope there’s some Lil Uzi Vert fans in the house, because this week’s best new songs we’ve elected to go double-duty on the “XO Tour Llif3” rapper. Any new Uzi is a blessed week in the Highsnobiety Music office, making the arrival of collaborations with both Lil Pump and Pressa an extremely sanctimonious occasion.
We’ve also got a hugely-hyped first collaboration between Anderson .Paak and Kendrick Lamar, a hugely-hyped first collaboration between Charli XCX and Troye Sivan, and a return collab of Lil Baby & Gunna with Drake. Are you noticing a pattern here?
All these and more make this round of Best Tracks of the Week.
A hugely-hyped first collaboration between Anderson .Paak and Kendrick Lamar has borne some funky-ass fruit and Good Lord are here for it. Following on the seriously stellar singles “‘Til It’s Over” and “Bubblin’,” the latest from Anderson is just as groovy and full of unexpected twists and turns. The year isn’t over yet, and you should not be ruling out Paak’s upcoming full-length as a contender for record of the year. – J
On her latest single, electro-pop singer Raquel Undheim casts a spell of seduction that is constructed with elements of R&B. At its core, the minimal soundbite is about crushing so hard for someone that you’re willing to do anything to impress them without expecting something in return. You can feel the intensity build up in your gut with every stroke of the synth while Asukal’s words gush out like a geyser eruption. – S
‘90s babies rejoice – the stars have truly aligned with this power collaboration between a pair of pop prodigies. Your body could never be ready for this nostalgic banger that mirrors as a refreshing blast from the past with references to the best era of all time. Although so many things were way better back then, at least we have these groundbreaking artists who are making music from the future to appreciate in the present. – S
Don’t let the title fool you; “Funky Friday” may sound like a wacky fun time, but Dave’s latest single is full of menacing bite. The MC has quickly proven himself to be more than adept at wordplay, no more so than when discussing matters of grave importance, and his newest is no exception. – J
Is Joji spearheading the anti-ballad? That may be a bold claim, but I struggle to think of other artists tangentially related to pop making such boldly off-putting music. “CAN’T GET OVER YOU” sounds like the sort of confessional love song a teenager would sing to themselves alone on a guitar; but it speaks to Joji’s prowess as a musician that he can convey such a feeling with such a maximally-produced track. – J
It may not be the height of innovation, or even anything remotely new, but sometimes you need a good track that sounds like you’re trapped in Bowser’s Castle to get turnt to. Lil Baby, Gunna, and Drake have provided said track for us this week. It’s spooky, but also lit, a lot like what Bowser must feel like tbh. – J
Just in time for the weekend, two of my current favorite “Lil”s have linked up for a new banger. While I think they could both do much better in terms of bars, the production courtesy of Hanzo, Danny Wolf, and Dilip absolutely bangs. There’s some pretty insane subterranean low-end going on that could probably reach the center of the Earth on the right soundsystem. But as previously mentioned, the lyrics are run of the mill-ionaire fodder, with Uzi and Pump running through words on the rich rapper requisite cars, cash, and clothes. – B
There’s nothing like sounds coming straight from a drum machine, and Marie Davidson has an unparalleled mastery of them. Straight from her new album Working Class Woman, “The Psychologist” has got everything I could ask for in a track – layered synths and drums, vocals in multiple languages (English and French), a healthy dose of self-awareness, and most importantly, an undeniably addictive groove. – B
“420 in London”? We’re intrigued. Produced by Murda Beats? Ok, we’re listening. Toronto rapper Pressa? Yes please! Lil Uzi Vert!? HELL YEAH. From the heartfelt piano, to the flutes, to the murda’d-out beats, to Uzi saying “I’m an alien lookin’ for your mother ship,” we’ll definitely be seeing you all at Big Ben in a cloud of smoke at the stroke of 4:20. – B
While most people will think of Riz Ahmed as an actor, he’s lowkey been a legitimate rapper for some time now, notably in his duo Swet Shop Boys with Das Racist’s Heems. A new single he dropped this week as a solo artist is a testament to the fact that this is no cute side project he’s doing in between gigs; he is the real deal. Filling a void left vacant by artists such as M.I.A., Ahmed is using hip-hop as a medium to bring attention to corners of the world severely overlooked by those of us in privileged positions. He is also serving straight up fire beats, which always helps. – J
Be sure to check out the previous edition of our Best Tracks of the Week right here.