Memo’s Monthly Favorites: February 2021

Hello everybody! Happy March! Even though February is the shortest month of the year, this past month was packed with a lot of great music. Especially in the singles department. I added more singles than usual in the honorable mentions, but I did leave two tracks. I did this because Daw has already written two great articles about them. I really recommend reading Daw’s articles on “Gang Signs” by Freddie Gibbs featuring ScHoolboy Q and “So.Incredible.pkg [Robert Glasper Version]” by Denzel Curry, Kenny Beats, Smino, and Robert Glasper. Those two tracks are amazing. Give it a listen. With that being said let’s dive into my monthly favorites.

Song Honorable Mentions:

Cakes Da Killer & Proper Villain – What’s The Word: Let’s start off with some straight-up fire. This hip-house track is very energetic. Cakes Da Killer is coming at you with these speedy flows. I really like how expressive he is when he delivers each bar. Proper Villain kills it on production. It has everything you want from a good hip-house beat. What’s not to love?

Big Freedia – Platinum: This song is by far one of the most fun and entertaining songs I have listened to this month. If it weren’t for the pandemic, I can totally see this song pumping people up at a club. I love how powerful and bold Big Freedia’s voice is. It pairs well with this fast-paced southern hip hop beat. I guarantee this song will have you on your feet, so if you want to have a mini dance party give this song a listen.

Genesis Owusu – Gold Chains: Genesis Owusu is probably my favorite discovery so far this year. This song was so close to becoming my favorite song of the month. This is mostly because of his singing. The chill lowkey production is great, but his voice is incredible. He doesn’t have a crazy singing performance, but everything he says sounds smooth as fuck. Especially when he is melodically rapping. This track is a must-listen.

Tkay Maidza – Kim (with Yung Baby Tate): After releasing my favorite EP of 2020, I became a giant fan of Tkay. So you better believe I am hyped for her upcoming EP. Especially after listening to “Kim”. That shit is crazy. This track is an aggressive, unapologetic, attitude-filled ride. Both Tkay Maidza and Yung Baby Tate sound so badass. They have amazing chemistry. I really love how this song references famous Kim’s including Kim Possible. I genuinely don’t know how someone can hate this song.

Noname – Rainforest: Noname is back with another impressive single. She just continues to amaze me. Her poetic lyricism is packed with a lot, and I mean a lot, of deep content. In the hoof alone she talks about depression, exploitive billionaires, and deforestation. “Because, because a rainforest cries, Everybody dies a little”, is one of my favorite lines I have heard all year. I can’t emphasize enough how well written this song is. Plus the jazzy calm instrumental makes for a perfect backdrop for this song. For crying out loud, NONAME DROP AN ALBUM! I NEED IT!

JID – Skegee: JID really did something special with this track. Like other JID tracks, he goes in a conscious direction. As always his lyrics are well written. What makes this song special in my opinion is what JID actually raps about. He shines a light on the Tuskegee experiments. Before this track, I didn’t know those disgusting and dehumanizing experiments actually happened. I appreciate JID for spreading more awareness to historical moments like these because I for sure did not learn about this in my public high school.

EP Honorable Mentions: 

MAVI – END OF THE EARTH: Although I am not absolutely in love with this EP, I do see its appeal. Mavi shows flashes of potential throughout this entire EP. On the first track, he is rapping with so much emotion. He truly sounds like he in a lot of pain. I love how Mavi raps when the trap drums come through on “METHODS”. His depressing lyricism is on point. I just hope he continues to improve and finds his own sound.

Luna Li – jams EP: There’s no clickbait here. This EP is filled with jams. In this 10 minute and 10 track EP, Luna Li soothes the listener with her talent. It’s crazy how Luna produced every single one of these lushes beats on her own. Every instrument played was done by her. The guitar, bass, violin, keys, and even the fucking harp were all her. What instrument can’t she play? If you want to relax I highly suggest putting this EP on.

Album Honorable Mention:

Luke Banter – Pucker Up: In this album, Luke provides several love-sick, yet upbeat pop tracks that are perfect for this past Valentine’s day. Luke does an impressive job at making catchy hooks. With tracks like “Nelly Bly”, “Pucker Up”, “Allergic”, and “Witchcraft” I can see the potential in what Luke is doing. This album is far from perfect. There are definitely several flaws and duds in the tracklist. With that said I am genuinely excited to see what Luke does moving forward.

Conway The Machine & Big Ghost Ltd – If It Bleeds It Can Be Killed: Man, Conway continues to amaze me. Conway has single-handedly turned me into a bigger Griselda fan. Don’t get me wrong Benny and Westside Gunn are cool, but Conway is on another level. Just like From King to a God, If It Bleeds It Can Be Killed differentiate himself from his contemporaries with his pen game. I absolutely love how badass Conway can be, but he can also be very vulnerable. Big Ghost Ltd kills it with the gritty production. Although this is not my favorite Conway album, I think this album is awesome. Don’t sleep on this album!

slowthai – TYRON: It was a tough choice putting TYRON on the honorable mentions list. Although this isn’t my favorite album of the month, so far this is definitely my favorite hip hop album of the year. Slowthai really impressed me with this album. The reason why I am a fan of slowthai is because of his aggressive bangers. In the first disc, we get those bangers, but the second disc is depressing and moody. Again I love those bangers, but slowthai really shined like he never has before on the second disc. Slowthai proves once again why he is one of the best rappers in the UK.

Favorite Song of The Month:

Kero Kero Bonito – The Princess and the Clock: As mentioned earlier, there were a lot of great singles released this month. It was honestly very hard to choose my favorite song of the month. I ended up picking this song because of how extravagant it is. This song sounds like an evolution of a track from Bonito Generation. It’s cute and upbeat, but they experiment a bit more on the production. This track has several different phases. It can be explosive and crazy, but then turn soothing in a blink of an eye. I am so hyped for the upcoming EP!

Favorite EP of the Month:

JPEGMAFIA – EP2!: In a short time span, JPEGMAFIA drops another installment of his EP series. Last year, he dropped an EP filled with entertaining experimental mostly rap songs. In this EP he is going into it with a different approach. This EP is darker. It is moodier. Peggy is a lot angrier than he was in EP!. Peggy has been angry in past projects, but he is usually rapping and shouting. In EP2!, he goes into a melodic approach. I wouldn’t even consider this rap. This is an angry experimental R&B project. Even though he is singing, his lyrics is still unapologetically cutthroat. I am not disappointed. 

Favorite Album of the Month:

Black Country, New Road – For the first time: I did not expect to like this album as much as I did. I consider myself a hip-hop fan. Although I do give other genres a chance, hip hop is my bread and butter. This experimental rock album is not something I usually would gravitate to, but I am in love with it. The biggest reason why is because of the production. This album has some of the best production I have listened to in a while. I also really love the dramatic singing performances throughout the album. This album has a lot of great qualities that help keep the listener’s attention. This is good because this album has a risky tracklist. It is only 6 songs with each song spanning from 5 to 10 minutes long. Black Country, New Road does an excellent job at keeping the listener engage even with a funky tracklist. If this album is just the beginning, then I can’t wait to see what they do next!

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

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Hot New Singles For You Hot Singles

Out in the world on your own without a partner? Check out these hot, new singles – available for listen in your local area! Unattached and looking for love, listen to see which one of these hot singles is your perfect Valentine’s match. Remember, the below dating profiles are for the music, not the artist.

Con Brio “Nonsense”

“Nonsense”, an anthem of the times by Bay Area jam/psych-rock favorites Con Brio. Lyrics “Catfished by the government” says it all. If you’ve had the chance to see Con Brio live, you’ll understand what it’s like to be transformed by a live performance.

DATING PROFILE: You’re likely to meet this single at a protest or your weekly neighborhood trash cleanup with a follow up first date jamming out to their favorite live band. They’re searching for a deeper connection with someone so they can take on The Man with together.

Blood Cultures “Keeps Bringing Me Back”

Mysterious outfit Blood Cultures keeps the relationship between the listener and the music as pure as possible by remaining anonymous. This track brought Blood Cultures to my attention, and the video kept me there.

DATING PROFILE: This single is dark and mysterious and has no problem with your true crime fetish. Don’t be surprised if this single bites.

Jelani Aryeh “Angels”

This song makes me want to be in love. I know, starting out with a terrible review but I promise it’s a beautiful listen.

DATING PROFILE: Honestly, I’d watch out for this single. Cuffing season is yearlong with this one, and they are looking to fall in love tonight. This single is a hopeless romantic looking for that special someone to light a candle for. Are you looking for that someone to take the leap with?

Lucy Park “True To You”

Keep marks on this artist, “True To You” is Lucy Park’s third official release and has already landed some good looks, including Spotify’s New Music Playlist this last Friday.

DATING PROFILE: This single is showing up with their phone on Do Not Disturb and ready to give you their full attention. Dedicated, passionate, ready – but that sure is a lot on a first date, no? Why do I get the feeling this single is stuck in a f&#! boy wheel, stuck in that pattern of giving their heart away too fast?

Emotional Oranges ft. Chiiild “Bonafide”

Tastes like a fresh glass of Sunday orange juice, this song is a beautiful love child of Avant Garden acts Emotional Oranges and Chiiild.

DATING PROFILE: This single is taking you out dancing, going for a hike, or anything that will leave you both sweaty by the end. Expect to lean in to your active side while with this single as you’ll most likely never sit still.

Tom The Mail Man “Forever”

Atlanta based artist who surrounds himself with talent, hard work and genuine energy dropped this smooth, buttery single last month and has left me wanting more from Tom The Mail Man.

DATING PROFILE: This single has “club romance” written all over them. Good to get your grind on after you finish your drink – you’re gonna need both hands for this one. Give it all you got with that first dance, they’ll be a ghost in the wind when the grind dies down.

Freddie Gibbs ft. ScHoolboy Q “Gang Signs”

This track has taken playlists by storm since its recent February 5th release, so it’s no surprise it’s sittin’ pretty on this list. As put in his article Listening Party – “Gang Signs” Freddie Gibbs feat. Schoolboy Q, Indie Ponger Daw sums up the track with “Freddie gangster croons, while Schoolboy emphatically punches each line at the start of his verse like a brick over your head just to throw it in double time right as you start to get settled”.

DATING PROFILE: This single is in for a casual night, no strings attached – sliding straight into your DM’s with confidence and that blue check mark. They’ve got it going, and you both know it. Jump in the car and go for a ride.

Khruangbin ft. Knxwledge “Dearest Alfred (MyJoy)”

Throwback to the first time I ever heard of this artist in a work meeting and I wrote down “Chrome Bin”. Khruangbin is actually Thai for “aeroplane” which perfectly encapsulates their Thai funk, spacious, other worldly style.

DATING PROFILE: This single is taking you to a jazz club for cocktails and a light dinner, followed by a long walk on the beach…..with the possibility of mushrooms.

Harrison Tinsley “Break All The Rules!”

A fun, angsty track from California dreamer Harrison Tinsley who describes his music as “tales of a hopeless romantic”.

DATING PROFILE: This single’s ideal date is a Friday night bonfire on the California coast, burning last semester’s notebooks. Staring up at the stars and waiting to steal that midnight kiss, this hot single has no intentions of having you home by curfew.

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard “O.N.E.”

This time last year I’d be dancing naked on my rooftop to this jam. Folks, if you have a rooftop, use it!

DATING PROFILE: This single is down to meet you at the park for a picnic followed by a drug induced euphoric dance party. You’re in for a few weeks of heaven and visual stimulation with this single, who will inevitably become nothing more than your drug dealer as the high fades away.

Polartropica “All I Have To Do Is Dream”

In her Indie Pong interview last year, she referenced unicorn dildo tasers. While I’m still waiting in hope that this will happen someday, this hot pink disco Pisces warrior is focusing on providing microgrants for queer and BIPOC artists by dedicating all Bandcamp proceeds from this track.

DATING PROFILE: This dreamy, sexy single plans to take your breath away in a secret garden, feeding you strawberries and cream while they draw you like one of their French girls.

Nao ft. Adekunle Gold “Antidote”

This song has been playing on repeat in my head since January 7th.

DATING PROFILE: Looking for a long term boo, but not opposed to getting down and dirty on the first date. This single is sensual, energetic, knows how to treat their partner right and will want to take you home to meet Mom.

Biig Piig “Cuenta Lo”

Inspired by both her Spanish roots and her time as a card dealer in London, this edgy tune reflects on power and money and how they are intertwined with existence.

DATING PROFILE: This single says they’re going for something casual, but just isn’t ready to admit they’re looking for something more serious. They’ve been burned before and have a hard time deciphering when it’s safe to tear down their walls.

José James, Taali “I Found A Love”

While this single is hot hot hot, unfortunately these two artists are both off the market. Would it help if I said it’s with each other? These two married lovebirds are expanding their wealth of knowledge by bringing their talents to Amsterdam for the next year. While both are successful in their individual musical careers, the two complement each other’s musical styles in this sweet single. Learn more about Taali in her recent interview with Indie Pong.

DATING PROFILE: While emotionally unavailable and yet currently unattached, this single is still hooked on their ex and trying to make it work. They know a love worth fighting for when they see it, and aren’t afraid to give it all they got. Steer clear of this one, they have eyes for another.

Or if you’re like me and prefer Spotify playlists, here you go Hot Singles.