WHAT THE TEAM LISTENED TO IN APRIL
New month, new staff playlist. May was a good month for new music – with Kendrick dropping his much-anticipated double album, Harry Styles making a comeback fresh after headlining Coachella, and the sun shining for all of four days for us to bliss out on some new or well-loved tunes.
This month, we see Harry and Kendrick in the top spots, along with some of the team revisiting favourite tunes from 6LACK, Skeppy and Drake. As ever, the Spotify track-list ranges far and wide – or in more literal terms, from Noname to Rosalía. Scroll to tune in.
ATL FREESTLYE – 6LACK
From sincere ballads to intentional rap, 6lack truly has done it all. The Atlanta artist has always been one of those whose versatility takes you on a journey but also carries him a long way. Released in 2020, ‘ATL Freestyle’ is one of his many sounds you always go back to when in need of a meaningful and smooth track – whether on a train journey or in need to take your mind off of daily stress. 6lack just knows how to deliver tender sounds…and I hope his third album will be yet another banger – although I am quite happy to stay on this old rotation for now.
LEAN 4 REAL – PLAYBOI CARTI, SKEPTA
The perfect summer staple doesn’t need to be perfect. Actually, it can be far from it. Lean 4 Real was introduced to me by one of my friends at a time where I thought word play and genius lyrics were everything. Now look at me, I’m sitting back and listening to one of the best grime MC’s ever spit bars that frankly barely make sense. But that’s the beauty of Carti and this song. Sometimes the lyrics don’t matter, it’s about how the song makes you feel.
PASSIONFRUIT – DRAKE
Drake won summer ’17 with More Life. Passionfruit takes me all the way back to that summer, I had just passed my driving test – giving us the freedom to skive college and go to the beach on hot days. Packed with nostalgia, it’s become somewhat of a tradition that as soon as the UK shows a morsel of sunshine we play this song and reminisce.
CINEMA – HARRY STYLES
Harry Styles’ most recent album, Harry’s House, presents a more subtle take for the artist. Far from the through-and-through pop of the One Direction days (which did slap at the time, tbf), this project seems both like a musical progression for him and one which he truly wanted to make. Cinema is my favourite on the album – perfect for whacking in a summer playlist for its easy grooves and sweet sun-drenched melodies.
THE HEART PART 5 – KENDRICK LAMAR
When an artist drops a single with a music video you know you’re in for a welcomed sensory overload session. Kendrick enacts multiple vicarious stories of some of the most notorious black men in our culture in a jarring and complex manner. Begging for rest from the culture that holds these black male celebrities captive, using ‘Deep Voodoo’ deep fakes of OJ, Kanye, Jussie Smollett, Will Smith, Kobe, and Nipsey. Kendrick’s adamant flow, broken by the cries between each verse, paired with the track’s rich instrumental and sudden release of the drums near the end left me feeling wistful and pensive. This soulful R&B track, sampled from Marvin Gaye’s ‘I Want You’, tugged at my heart, one face at a time.