weekly kick-off: 10 banging tracks your ears must hear

September 2, 2012

Time for your weekly fix of 10 banging tracks!

By Elijah Watson

10. Zebra Katz, “W8WTF:”Definitely a song for those lonely and nocturnal nights. The “Ima Read” rapper returns with “W8WTF,” a sinister track that bumps with echoed sounds, and horror-flick synths. “The sources up above / Protect me from these demons that’s just tryin’ to f**k me up,” raps Katz. We feel you dude; we feel you.

9. Thundercat, “For Love I Come:”Stephen Bruner is a full-time badass. Under the moniker Thundercat, Bruner creates jazz-fusion tracks that are intricate, yet beautifully arranged. Such is the case with “For Love I Come;” elongated bass floats through spacious air, before seguing into celestial vocal harmonies and jangling tambourine. Although a George Duke cover, Thundercat revives this soulful classic with his own funked-up interpretation.

8. The Jet Age of Tomorrow, “Orange Juice Simpson:”

This instrumental chillwave odyssey, comes from none other than Odd Future-affiliated group The Jet Age of Tomorrow. Composed of Matt Martians and Hal Williams, this dynamic duo is all about laid-back tracks and captivating production. Just listen to “Orange Juice Simpson” and you’ll understand. The name may not make any sense, but the music sure does.

7. Ninjasonik (Feat. Unstoppable Death Machines), “Lucy Is the Boss:”I’m assuming alternative hip-hop duo Ninjasonik, are big fans of Peanuts. And even if they’re not this is still a catchy song. With some help from punk-heads Unstoppable Death Machines, Ninjasonik attacks blistering guitar and drums, with their own arsenal of in-your-face rhymes.

6. Shabazz Palaces, “free press and curl:”When Ishmael Butler is a part of ANYTHING music-related, you know it’s bound to be good. The ex-Digable Planets member is currently one-half of alternative hip-hop duo Shabazz Palaces. Along with multi-instrumentalist Tendai Maraire, Butler provides slick rhymes over ethereal production. Don’t believe me? “free press and curl” will make you a believer; you’ll never want to leave the palaces of Shabazz.

5. Trash Talk, “F.E.B.N.:”I know I’ve already included Trash Talk on a list prior to this one. But this new single from them is a banger. Bashing drums, grinding bass and guitar, and blood-curdling vocals from frontman Lee Spielman, “F.E.B.N.” is a much-needed shot of adrenaline that will get you through the day. I’ve had it on repeat since I bought it three days ago!

4. Joey Bada$$ (Feat. Pro Era), “Pro Cakes:”Joey and his Pro Era collective just keep releasing great tracks. Rapping over an instrumental version of DOOM’s “Hoe Cakes,” the crew does an impressive job of making the track their own. Kudos Mr. Bada$$.

3. Gary Clark Jr., “Bright Lights:”This Austin-based, blues-rock guitarist is someone you should know about (if you do not already). Jr. can jam; I once saw him perform during SXSW and the guy shredded on almost every song performed. This is one of his more well-known tracks, and it’s obvious why. From the punchy drums, to Jr.’s stellar guitar playing, “Bright Lights” is a bright track that will surely be on repeat.

2. Kendrick Lamar, “Swimming Pools (Drank):”A tight track that also provides insightful commentary on drinking? You’ve done it again Mr. Lamar. The best part of the track? Where Lamar’s “conscience” tries to save him from intoxicating himself, to the point of no return. Hands-down, one of the best verses of the year.

1. Childish Gambino (Feat. Schoolboy Q & Ab-Soul), “Unnecessary:”Wowe; Gambino went in on this track. The self-produced track bangs, but really it’s the verses from Gambino, Schoolboy and Ab, that makes it incredible. A lot of things are unnecessary, but Gambino making music is definitely necessary. And this track is proof of that.