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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Playlist of the Week: Happening Hip Hop

When the sun comes out, there’s nothing I like more than to drive around, roll down my windows and turn on the music. There’s something about the breeze, the sun and the fact that I can feel the beat in my toes when I turn the volume up.

Recently, the rap scene has been exploding with some pretty dope stuff. Here’s a playlist fit for the sunshine with some newbies and some of my old favorites.

1) “Waves”- Joey Bada$$

This has been one of my favorite songs for a long time. It comes from “1999”, a 2012 mixtape released when Joey was just 17. The Brooklyn-native raps bars about his childhood over a catchy guitar, piano and bass beat.


2) “DNA.”- Kendrick Lamar

Lamar’s latest album “DAMN.” is full of social commentary, as most of his work is. This track, aside from having a stellar beat, also gives listeners a view into Lamar’s head with lyrics such as,

“I got loyalty, got royalty inside my DNA,” and

“I got power, poison, pain and joy inside my DNA

I got hustle though, ambition, flow, inside my DNA”

Although each track is great in its own way, the album as a whole tells a story when listened to from beginning to end.


3) “Right Here”- Dave B.

This next track is by Washington native Dave B. It starts with faint sounds of birds chirping, making me think of summertime and hanging out outside. At around 45 seconds, the beat gets groovy and it’s hard not to dance.


4) “Am I Wrong”- Anderson .Paak ft. ScHoolboy Q.

Speaking of groovy, this track comes from one of the grooviest artists to come into the game in the last few years. Paak combines hip-hop with funk and R&B for an unreal combo that is always fun to listen to. This track features a verse from ScHoolboy Q., accompanied by a melody of trumpets that makes it hard to sit still.


5) “Gone”- Kanye West

I’m going to take a few minutes for a quick throwback. This track comes from West’s 2005 “Late Registration.” West, Consequence and Cam’Ron rap over a sample of Otis Redding’s “It’s Too Late” adding a fun upbeat sound throughout.


6) “Legend Has It”- Run the Jewels

I saw these guys a few years ago at Sasquatch Music Festival, and they put on one of the most fun shows of the entire weekend. Their energy is apparent not only on stage, but on their recorded tracks as well. “Legend Has It” is one you want to turn the volume up for.


7) “Caroline”-Aminé

23 year-old Portland native Aminé released this single in March of 2016, and it even hit 11 on the Billboard Hot 100. I couldn’t help myself with this one. It’s so catchy.


8) “Everybody”- Logic

The rapping skills that Logic possesses are amazing. His ability to rap almost effortlessly is illustrated on this track. It’s one of three new singles that he has released recently, which means that a new album is in the works.


9) “DEVASTATED”- Joey Bada$$

I have to circle around back to Joey again. This is from his most recent album, and it always puts me in a great mood. I love the boisterous crowd-like chorus starting at two minutes, eight seconds.


10) “Buggin’ Out”- A Tribe Called Quest

This is a major throwback, but a Tribe Called Quest is a timeless group. “Buggin’ Out” has the classic ‘90s rap vibe, with a deep baseline and lots of snare drums.


11) “Angels”- Chance the Rapper (ft. Saba)

Chance released this over a year ago as a single and included it on his Grammy-award winning album “Coloring Book” last year. It’s an animated track, and Saba is an awesome addition on the hook.


12) “Sunshine”- Atmosphere

Why not round out a sunny day playlist with a early 2000s classic? I remember loving this song in middle school, and it always brings back good memories.



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