What constitutes a one-hit wonder? It seems like it should be cut and dry, but the designation can be pretty arbitrary, with gut feelings often trumping objective data. The “one-hit wonder” label can sometimes befall an artist with a robust catalog, whose fans will inevitably insist their fave does not deserve to be categorized as … More »
When this decade began, MP3s still reigned supreme. Now, at the end of it, a song is no longer even a file — it’s ephemera, on every streaming service and available to hear in myriad ways. For better and worse, the song (and the single) have become the norm for the general public’s music consumption. More »
We’re entering a strange new period where there’s no meaningful distinction between rap’s underground and its mainstream. A regional scene can catch fire out of nowhere. A 16-year-old can blow up on TikTok. After the stultifying years-long dominance of Atlanta trap, other sounds are starting to get their moment in the rap sun. Things can … More »
Genre-navigating dynamo Maya Jane Coles dons her Nocturnal Sunshine alias for “Pull Up,” a flippant hip-hop outing that arrives not as a standalone single, but as the edgy introduction to her sophomore Nocturnal Sunshine LP, Full Circle. Nocturnal Sunshine couples Gangsta Boo’s cautionary verses with the dexterous deadpan of Young M.A’s flow on the slow-rolling production.
The dark, undergirding background beat is devoid of the heavy, sustaining bass familiar to Nocturnal Sunshine’s aesthetic, but not to the detriment of “Pull Up.” Nocturnal Sunshine’s lighter approach to bass on this record allows the cut to fully foreground Gangsta Boo and Young M.A’s contributions, which glide atop sinister tones to extend the menacing invitation of the track’s title.
Full Circle will land on Nov. 1.
Here’s how I think about it: A new Tha Carter album is like a new Die Hard movie. We can’t expect it to be like the first three. We can’t even expect it to get close. That’s not realistic. Bruce Willis can’t jump off of buildings like that anymore. Maybe we don’t even want to … More »
Back in 2007, around the time she joined Lil Wayne on Young Money Records, Nicki Minaj released the mixtape track “Dreams (2007).” The concept was pretty simple. She was freestyling over the beat from the Notorious BIG’s “Dreams,” the one where he graphically fantasized about having sex with different R&B singers. Over that same beat, … More »
A funny thing about Roxanne Roxanne, the new Roxanne Shanté biopic that went up on Netflix last week: The movie goes through the entire career arc that most music biopics go through, and for the entire thing, its hero still has braces on her teeth. So: The precocious talent finds her voice in the midst … More »
None of the music that Young M.A has put out recently has hit quite as hard as her 2016 breakout “OOOUUU,” but she’s still out here, putting out new music. Today, the Brooklyn rapper is back with the dependably stony “Praktice,” and you can hear it below. More »