“Give Her A Call” — Dirty Sanchez x Dyemond Lewis x Dessy Hinds
With a nostalgic beat, highlighted by a subtle piano riff and escalated by the occasional ding of a boxing ring bell, “Give Her A Call” makes for a classic PRO ERA track. This is by far my favorite song off of PRO ERA’s new Valentines Day mixtape, “The Secc$ Tap.e 2.” The lyrics are decidedly NSFW and lack the depth of PRO ERA wunderkind Joey Bada$$, but don’t take anything away from the track.
“Warm Water” — BANKS (Snakehips remix)
If you don’t already know BANKS, you will soon enough. Her stock is rising; buy now and thank me later. Her songs lay out emotional turbulence with a haunting delicacy and she can really sing, which is always a pleasant surprise. A special bonus: she’s got the kind of beauty that infiltrates the depths of your head like the high-pitched whine of an old box TV. Snakehips takes Warm Water’s tale of fleeting love and the striking immediacy of attraction and creates a dancey dreamscape.
“Offering”— Black City Lights
This song is a little weird, but has caught me at the right time. The subtle distortion of the singer’s voice mixes well with the xylophone driving the song along. Wind chimes and well-placed percussion make this track a pleasure to hear. An excellent song to listen to on your way to the library.
“Lindisfarne” — Moses Sumney
Check out this Los Angeles native’s James Blake cover and prepare to be blown away. Produced in his apartment, the quality is somewhat lower than desired but adds to the bohemian image of the up-and-coming artist. His integration of the police sirens that caught on the recording is creative and adds another dimension to the blissful harmonization within the song.
“Think” — Kaleida
“Think” has an interesting mix of great vocals and a beat that mimics the rhythm of one of those complex paddy cake games I could never pick up as a kid. Reverberating drum kicks and admittedly repetitive lyrics make this song easy to jam to; writing this I can’t help but rock to a fro like a tone-deaf metronome.
“Ronnie Drake” — Isaiah Rashad feat. SZA
Recently signed to Top Dawg Entertainment, Rashad does not disappoint with his first studio release, “Cilvia Demo.” Rashad explores growing up without a father and the difficulties faced by young black men. He has a lot of potential and should avoid the complacency and stagnation suffered by other hip-hop hopefuls after they sign their first deal. It’s either keep up or get left behind when you’re signed to the same label as Kendrick Lamar and Schoolboy Q.