May is a shit month cuz our Prime Minister is called May and she’s an idiot, but there’s been some bangers this month so here they are.
Washed Out – Get Lost
It was over long ago, yet dudes with wavy hair and even wavier garms are still yearning for the hazy golden days of chillwave when Ernest Greene AKA Washed Out was King of the Good Vibes.
He could have easily continued making Now That’s What I Call Cotching Vol , but ‘Get Lost’ is a sure departure from his discography, and possibly a note to the dudebros who don’t want him to stop soundtracking their California summer vacay.
The Toro Y Moi pseudo-house comparison is easy to make, but there’s still an impeccable relaxing undertone rippling throughout the track. It’s Washed Out’s signature unseated from its chillwave throne and welcomed as an envoy in whatever genre you want to call this (just don’t call it chillhouse pls).
Brockhampton – Face
So, here’s the thing: Brockhampton have released four absolute bangers prior to the release of their second mixtape. However, due to lame editors and shitty journalistic norms I can only talk about one.
Brockhampton are one of the few groups/collectives that are genuinely innovative and exciting. They’re doing all these creative things and doing them really fucking well, case in point: ‘Face’, ‘Heat’ and ‘Gold’.
Their first single ‘Face’, distinguishes between the then and now. There is a progression, both musically and creatively. The simplistic instrumental and melody allows for more lyrical impact. ‘Face’ is a single about reflection, an ode to all past relationships, good and bad. The music video, directed by de-facto leader Kevin Abstract, epitomises this: black and white throughout, demolishing stuff in the front yard, lying around doing nothing.
Don’t let ‘Face’ fool you, though, the second single ‘Heat’ goes in HARD.
Higher Brothers – WeChat (feat Keith Ape)
Time for a lil bit of East Asian politics: China and South Korea have recently been beefing over anti-nuclear missile system THAAD, which has led to a ban on South Korean entertainment in China and even a lameass, dad-rap diss track aimed at South Korea. Despite only just releasing a braggadocio track about how all the best shit is made in China (still a banger!), Higher Brothers have taken a punk approach to this situation, likely to piss off their home country, by teaming up with Keith Ape for, as we’ve come to expect from Higher Brothers, pure flames.
‘WeChat’ celebrates the Chinese social media app while decrying the censorship of more worldwide apps, and the WeChat framed video is an essential watch (HOT DAMN GIRL!). It’s obligatory to mention how hard the instrumental goes with its bass rumble and sinister clinks, while the raps are highlights across the board DZ delivers a delectable hook, Psy P is all cocky charisma, MaSiWei is raw hype, and Keith Ape sound super inspired, cooly gliding through language flips and wild flow switch ups.
Vince Staples – Big Fish
Vince Staples is a hero among the UTM staff. He’s a great rapper, hates dad rap and always subverts expectation. He’s like the David Lynch of rap, and suitably, the weird elements are there too – what kind of a name is ‘Big Fish’ for a rap track?
It’s a stupid title, for sure. But it’s the same stonking output from Vince Staples, yet refined to the bare bones of what makes his singles so good. The hook has the same impact as other classics like ‘Senorita’, but does it with no excess.
Where ‘Big Fish’ separates itself from other Vince tracks is the confusing internal debate of whether or not it’s okay to properly dance to a Vince Staples song rather than nod along solemnly because GOT DAMN that synth/bass combo got me swanging my head like crazy.
Cresce – Drug Talk
Hailing from the Netherlands, Cresce has been steadily formulating his melancholy mix of vocoder-soaked, emo pop croonings and suitably icy production for quite some time now. Whilst a lot of newer hip hop do seem to have somewhat of an obsession with incorporating pop-punk style melodies into their music, it’s refreshing to see an artist who incorporates those hallmarks in a more subtle matter – think the doleful workings of Blink-182‘s Untitled rather than the more obnoxious ilk that stuffs Take Off Your Pants And Jacket.
‘Drug Talk’ quickly cements itself as one of the standouts in Cresce’s gem-filled catalogue. Centred around a tropical-flavoured groove that’s been cooled down to match the frosty temperature of his lyrical lamentation, it’s a mournful banger that attempts to reassure a potential suitor that it wasn’t just the drugs talking – he’d really like to love ’em, assumably in every sense of the word.
Rich Chigga x Keith Ape x XXXTentacion – Gospel
May has been a hell of a month for Rich Chigga, he gifted Post Malone a Mariachi band (CDQ asap!!), rang his hero Tyler The Creator and even launched his party tricks side business. Despite all this, more attention has to be given to how he completely bodied his verse on ‘Gospel.’
Over a Ronny J produced instrumental of playful chimes and relentless bass, Chigga stars alongside his viral contemporaries, a static voiced XXXtentacion and a frenetic Keith Ape, but he’s inarguably the track’s most commanding presence. Chigga’s tone is deep and masterful beyond his years, and he’s quick to remind us of his young age in the killer line “Born in ’99 and I got 99 chicks in my crib.” Rich Chigga’s successful streak continues to impress, which will surely continue even when he hits 18.