Memo’s Monthly Favorites: April 2021

Hello everybody! Happy May! Sorry for not posting this article a lot sooner. Not going to lie, I have been slacking lately. This past month I didn’t listen to as much music as I would like. I’ve been too busy with work, studying and of course Animal Crossing. With that said I do think I’ve got a good monthly favorites for you all today. Lets just jump into it!

Song Honorable Mentions:

Tkay Maidza – Syrup: This will be Tkay Maidza’s year! I can see it now. Assuming Last Year Was Weird, Vol 3 is as good as Kim and Syrup, I can see Tkay blowing up even more than she has been. Tkay returns to a more aggressive sound. The production is pretty simple, but it slaps. I love how heavy the bass is. Tkay kills it as always. Her pen game is on point. She drops a lot of great one liners. I’m just obsessed with this track. I can’t wait for the new EP.

Rina Sawayama – Chosen Family (with Elton John): Although I have always enjoyed the original track, I did think there was something missing. I think the addition of Elton John fulfills the missing feeling. Not only is his performance amazing and grand, but I think the addition of his piano adds a lot to the production. I also think turning a track about friendship into a duet is such a great idea. I am so happy this exists. Rina and Elton sound so good together. It’s a match made in heaven.

Freddie Gibbs – Big Boss Rabbit: At this point there is no stopping Freddie Gibbs. Every time he is on the mic he reminds everybody that he is one of the best MC’s right now. He makes rapping seem effortless. In this track he is rapping over a cool trap beat with a Nas sample tying everything together. Although the beat is cool, Freddie can rap over nails on a chalkboard and that song will still be amazing. I know Gibbs is dropping an album this year, so I hope he continues his winning streak.

EP Honorable Mentions:

Dev Lemons – Lemontopia: I have mentioned in the past that Tik Tokers and YouTubers should know their place and never drop music because most of the time the outcome is not good. Dev Lemon is an exception. The quirky personality she shows off in her Tik Toks appears in the spacious bedroom pop production that is displayed on Lemontopia. The instrumentals make me feel like I am floating on clouds. I am surprised at how good of a singer she is. For some reason she sounds like Kali Uchis to me. This EP is only 4 tracks with a run time of 8 minutes. It is definitely worth a listen.

The Alchemist – This Thing Of Ours: The Alchemist is by far one of the most consistent producers out right now. I don’t remember the last time he has missed in recent history. In this EP he brings in guests to rap over these beautiful lofi beats. He got Earl Sweatshirt and Navy Blue to start off the EP. Both Sideshow and Boldy James kill it on their verse on the very next track. Pink Stiifu and Maxo did their thing on the third track. Earl shows up again on the last track. I think the Alchemist does a great job at providing the foundation needed for his guest to thrive. Give this EP a listen. The second half of the EP is the instrumentals from the previous four tracks, so if you didn’t like any of the features at least you got the beats.

Cordae – Just Until….: I forgot how good of a rapper Cordae is. Cordae is really spitting on this EP. Something that Cordae doesn’t get enough credit for is the way he can adapt into different rap styles. On the first track, Cordae is being introspective with Q-Tip. Two tracks later, Cordae is being braggadocious with Young Thug. In this short EP, Cordae is showing off his skill set and preparing the listeners for his next album. He said his next album is coming soon, so that’s good. I’m excited!

Album Honorable Mentions:

Thom Moot – Thomfoolery: This is by far one of the most unique albums I have listened to this year. Stylistically this album is all over the place. The first track is a fiery grunge cut. He has several other rock tracks, but there are also a lot of interesting detours. For example, “Alien Invasion Rag” starts off with an old western piano playing, but then an alien invasion happens around the midpoint. The following track sounds like an intergalactic space battle to me. Thom does a great job at making a story with his music. If you are interested in a weird experience give this album a shot.

Kenny Mason – Angelic Hoodrat: Supercut: Kenny Mason is someone you want to keep an eye on. He is such a breath of fresh air in the rap landscape. The beats he raps on are so dark and heavy. His rapping is insane. Although he could be laid back and monotone at times, when he wants to rap he raps. His technical ability is mind blowing. Believe it or not this rap album isn’t just a rap album. “Play Ball” is a straight up punk song. He is rapping over metal guitars on “Pup”. Although I do prefer the traditional rap songs, I do admire this album’s creativity. I really want to know what direction Kenny’s sound goes to in the future.

Flying Lotus – Yasuke: Yasuke is a pleasant surprise. I had no idea Flying Lotus was dropping an album this year. Let alone an album for a Netflix show. As always expect a weird, hypnotic, spacy, and serene ride when diving into a Flying Lotus album. Something that makes this album different is that since the album is for an anime based on Japanese samurais, this album takes influence from Japanese music. It’s a cool change of pace for Flying Lotus. I think he did a phenomenal job. Put on some good headphones, lay on your bed, close your eyes, and give this album a listen.

Favorite Song of The Month:

Little Simz – Introvert: If you told me before this song dropped that Little Simz was dropping an album I would have been excited, but now I am counting down the days until it drops in September. I literally can’t wait! This tack is one of the best songs I heard this year. It might be my favorite Little Simz song. As always, Little Simz kills it lyrically. I love how conscious and focused she is. With that said, I think the instrumentation is what steals the show for me. I love how big and grand it is. You can tell they took the time to perfect this instrumental. If Little Simz’s next album has amazing bars and instrumentals like these throughout the entire track list then its game over. Every artist should might as well pack their bags and take a break until next year because Little Simz will take album of the year if her next album is as good as Introvert.

Favorite EP of The Month:

Kero Kero Bonito – Civilisation II: With only three tracks, Kero Kero Bonito blows my mind with their second installment of their Civilization series. The trio are back with their signature cute and colorful musical styling, but with more of an electropop sound. The trio uses this cute style to sing about what the world is going through during the pandemic. The second track of the album is basically a day of their life during the very beginning of the pandemic. The innocent observation they give in “21/04/20” is very interesting. The following track “Well Rested” gives the listener some hope. Sarah reminds the listener the human race has gone through a lot already. At this point nothing will be able to take down the human race. The production is insane on this track. In February, I named “The Princess and the Clock” as my song of the month. I love that song, but “Well Rested” is even better. This EP is amazing. I can’t recommend it enough.

Favorite Album of The Month:

BROCKHAMPTON – ROADRUNNER: NEW LIGHT, NEW MACHINE: BROCKHAMPTON seems to never disappoint. The boys are back with the first of two albums they are releasing. Even if they end up not dropping a second album this year I will be happy because ROADRUNNER is amazing. They basically took elements from their past work and put it all together. If you miss their Saturation series and you want bangers go listen to “BANKROLL” with A$AP Rocky and A$AP Ferg. If you want to listen to something similar to Iridescence check out “BUZZCUT” with Danny Brown. If you love the GINGER era try out “COUNT ON ME”. Do you feel like crying? Go listen to “THE LIGHT”. I can go on and on. There’s something for everybody. Even if you don’t end up enjoying the entire album like me, I guarantee you there is a song for you in this album.

These are my monthly favorites! Let me know what you have been listening to!

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Memo’s Monthly Favorites: January 2021 (Deluxe Edition)

Hello everybody! Happy February! I hope your 2021 has been good so far. So since I didn’t do a monthly favorites for December, this month will be a monthly favorites deluxe edition. I will be covering both December and January music. There is a lot of great music to cover so lets just jump into it.

Songs Honorable Mentions:

Quan – Came Back: Earlier this month I scrolling through Instagram when I stumbled across an ad promoting Came Back from Quan. I don’t usually check out the music in promos, but I’m glad I did this time because this is good. It’s not anything groundbreaking, but I’m loving this guy’s energy. He has a lot of charisma. I love his aggressive flow. His angry yet fun delivery reminds me of Denzel Curry. If you are into Denzel’s music then I highly recommend you check out Came Back. Quan has a lot of potential and I can’t wait to see what he does next.

Yung Skrrt – McDonald’s: So this song is kind of stupid, buuuuuuut I love it. It’s exactly what you think it’s about. This song is about McDonald’s. Almost every line ends with Yung Skrrt rhyming Mcdonald’s with McDonald’s. Yung Skrrt is either monotone or he is using a high pitched baby voice. The beat is hard-hitting and distorted. On paper, this song shouldn’t work, but it does. Check out this banger if you dare.

Alice Gas – BALONEY (freestyle): This is for all you Hyperpop fans out there. This is a fucking banger! I like what Alice did with her vocals. I like the robotic vocals during the chorus. I also like the high pitch chipmunk vocals when she gives her verse. It reminds me of 100 gecs. Alice kills it on the vocals, but the beat is even better. It is so bubbly yet it also has an industrial feel to it. I love how the bridge flourishes. The outro is also amazing!

JPEGMAFIA – FIX URSELF!: Peggy blessed us with a ton of singles that turned into an EP last year and it seems like he is going to do it again this year. FIX URSELF! is the second single for Peggy’s upcoming EP. He once again kills it. I love how triumphant the beat is while still sounding like a JPEGMAFIA beat. As always Peggy’s use of autotune sounds amazing. There are several cool vocal passages. Peggy covers a lot of different topics in this one song, but this is by far my favorite line: “I love my baby like Trump loves Putin, in the deepest way”. How can you not love this man?

slowthai – MAZZA (feat. A$AP Rocky): This song was nearly my song of the month. MAZZA is the third single for slowthai’s upcoming album TYRON. It should be released next month and I am excited for it. Especially after the release of this single. MAZZA is a lowkey banger. The beat is perfect for slowthai’s animalistic energy and A$AP Rocky’s smooth feature. I am surprise on how well these two sound together on the same track.

Lice (Aesop Rock & Homeboy Sandman) – Ask Anyone: On New Years Eve the world found out that one of the most legendary underground MC’s, MF DOOM, passed away on Halloween. This is a huge loss in the world of hip hop. DOOM is responsible of some of my favorite albums of all time. DOOM made a huge impact on not only me, but on a lot of people all over the world. This includes Lice AKA Aesop Rock and Homeboy Sandman. After hearing about DOOM’s death they made a tribute song for DOOM. They rapped about how much DOOM meant to them while using a MF DOOM beat called Datura Stramonium. If you are a fan of MF DOOM listen to this tribune track.

BADBADNOTGOOD & MF DOOM – The Chocolate Conquistadors (From Grand Theft Auto Online: The Cayo Perico Heist): Speaking of DOOM, this song was the last song he released when he was “alive”. This song was made for GTA of all things. Most artist would phone in their music if it is for a movie or a video game. DOOM is different. This song is so fucking good! First of all, DOOM rapping in spanish is a treat to listen to. He doesn’t rap entirely in spanish, but he did at the beginning. DOOM’s delivery is smooth and insane as always. Although I am praising DOOM a lot, BADBADNOTGOOD did their thing. What a beautiful instrumental. The live instrumentation gives this song so much life. The second half of the song is all instrumental. It’s a grand and exciting way to end off this 7 minute beast. Even though I have a feeling we might still get more MF DOOM music, this song wouldn’t be a bad way to end off his discography. 

EP Honorable Mention: 

Kota the Friend – Lyrics to GO, Vol. 2: This is technically an album, but it’s only 15 minutes long so I am going to consider this an EP. If you are a fan of Kota’s music already you’ll enjoy this EP. This EP is just more of what you expect from Kota. Good raps with chill lofi beats. Fun fact! Kota claims that the beats are taken from YouTube. I looked it up and it’s true! He straight up rapped over Kota the Friend type beats. Great vibe music!

Album Honorable Mentions:

Renaissance Mic – The Renaissance Tape: Renaissance Mic deserves to blow up. This album is amazing! I am surprise Renaissance Mic only has 1,000 monthly listeners. This album is a jazz rap album. The instrumentation is phenomenal. Renaissance Mic is rapping about several serious topics. His rapping style reminds me of both Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole. If you like either of these two artists you will definitely enjoy Renaissance Mic’s music.

Moor Mother & billy woods – Brass: When I did my top 50 albums of 2020 list I tried my best to wait till the end of the year to release my list so that I don’t miss anything. Well I ended up missing this amazing album. Brass is an eerie rap album made by billy woods and Moor Mother. This is the type of album I personally need to be in a certain mood before jumping into it because it can be pretty intense. Especially since Moor Mothers performance is amazing, but really creepy. Billy woods did his thing. He sounds very heroic throughout this dark album. Impressive collaborative album. It definitely deserved a spot in my top 50.

R.A.P. Ferreira – Bob’s Son: R.A.P. Ferreira really decided to drop heat on the first day of the new year. Bob’s Son is a very chill layback sounding album. Each song has a lofi beat. There are several beautiful moments. R.A.P. Ferreira is once again rapping poetically. I really like how he raps. The way he emphasize certain words is cool to me. The combination of his rhymes and lofi beats give this album a warm feeling to it.

Navy Blue – Song of Sage: Post Panic!: Am I the only one that didn’t know Navy Blue is a professional skateboarder named Sage Elsesser, he does some modeling, and he is an Odd Future affiliate. How did I miss all of this? Well anyway this album slaps, but in a depressing way. Navy Blue’s lyrics are demoralizing. The beats are dusty and lofi with some cool sampling. Navy Blue has helped artists like Earl Sweatshirt and MIKE with production, so if you enjoy their work you’ll definitely enjoy this Navy Blue album.

Your Old Droog – Dump YOD: Krutoy Edition: I really like what Droog did with his album. Droog is an Ukrainian American and in this album he sprinkles in a little bit of his heritage. He does a great job highlighting his heritage in his raps and beats. Speaking of rapping, man this guy can spit. This album is filled with BARS! He has several quotables. Even though Droog is highlighting his heritage, that New Yorker charm is still there.

Favorite Song of the Month:

Brent Faiyaz & DJ Dahi – Gravity (feat. Tyler, The Creator): Man this is amazing! By far my favorite song of the month. This might be my favorite Brent Faiyaz song. This song sounds like it would fit perfectly in flowerboy. In fact, while listening to the song I forgot DJ Dahi produced this song. I thought Tyler did the production for a second. Speaking of Tyler his verse was short, but great. Brent definitely made a larger impact throughout the entire song. Plus Steve Lacey contributed on this song too. I don’t think this song will do amazing on the charts, but to me it sounds like a hit.

Favorite EP of the Month:

Cosmo Pyke – A Piper For Janet: For only having four tracks this EP was able to make a huge splash. First of all the production here is so good. The live jazzy instrumentation gives this EP so much personality. I would love to hear this EP performed live. Cosmo’s soulful singing is just as wonderful. His voice is so powerful yet soothing. If this is the type of music Cosmo would release on an EP, it makes me wonder how good an album worthy song would be.

Favorite Album of the Month:

Madlib – Sound Ancestors: MADLIB DOES NOT MISS! Everything he touches turns into gold! If you need further evidence on why people consider this man the GOAT hip hop producer look no further. Teaming with Four Tet, Madlib continues to experiment with his sound. What can I say? These beats are amazing!  I love the sampling Madlib does on this album. I also love all of the vocal snippets sprinkled throughout the entire album. He does a great job at grabbing the listeners attention. There are several mind-blowing moments throughout the album. If you love Madlibs previous work you will definitely enjoy this album. Beautiful album! Give it a listen if you haven’t already.

These are my monthly favorites! Let me know what you have been listening to!