Legacy Track of the Week: Ari Lennox - Cold Outside
"You know my roommates ain't home, and its really cold outside, you know I hate bein' alone, bet I'll get you right” In a week where a ton of new music came out and distinguishing what was best is next to impossible, leave it to Dreamville to always shine through and make the answer a lil more clear. Ari Lennox seemingly arrived on the scene out of nowhere last December, when she put the world on notice with the groovy Backseat record that was debatably the best record off Revenge of the Dreamers II, and that’s saying a lot when your music is alongside J Cole. Nonetheless after heavy anticipation, here she is a year later with her debut project off Dreamville’s imprint entitled Pho, and off the first few spins there’s no doubt that she’s a talent that's here to stay. Here she is with one of the strongest cuts off the album, right on time for the holiday season.
Joe Budden - Uncle Joe
“I used to drive around the tunnel in the Lexus with the snub, before Power 105 was sneaking breakfast in the club” Joe absolutely snapped on this record… all bars and it’s pure flames over a fire instrumental from AraabMuzik (who produced the whole album to great results), that Joe absolutely coasts on talkin boat… “Y'all hear Post Malone and think of "White Iverson,"I think of Karl and how he could've got the title won, I keep my life off Instagram like my private some, I open albums for the credits, y'all just Tidal 'em” … nevermind the fact that the IG lyric is disingenuous cause the delivery is immaculate, and Joe deserves a lot of credit for maintaining as one of the last great spitters of the era.
Joe Budden ft Stacy Barthe - I Wanna Know
“I said my 20s flew by with no control of the shit, her next sentence swear that I’ll forever hold with a grip, she said it go by even faster as the older you get” on this smoothed out introspective record Joe spits with a message, in the first verse talking about past infidelities and breakups (his wheelhouse but I’m not mad at em, let em cook) along with sharing wisdom from his mother that’s always been a trademark of his music - followed by a second verse dedicated to his teenage son - essentially speaking from his soul in a way that Joe does best.
Joe Budden - Idols
“Look, long live your idols, may they never be your rivals, Rakim was like Jesus, Chuck D wrote the Bible, G-Rap was God, I learned to punch from Kane, lived in Queens so on Farmers we would see Todd James” (Todd James as in LL Cool J, who he goes on to delineate about as the verse continues) Either way notice the J Cole influence with the opening bar, followed by his Big Brother flow in which Joe pays homage to all the great MCs before him.
Mickey Factz ft Phonte - Treat You Right
"Early morning my coffee is on, I took a sip closed my eyes and invited the dawn" Produced by Nottz and off Mickey Factz upcoming album "Achievement," this is classic Little Brother era Hip Hop right here, and Phonte delivers a verse that gives you that classic feel.
Drake - Two Birds One Stone
(no stream available)
“You were the man on the moon, now you just go through your phases, life of the angry and famous, rap like I know I'm the greatest, then give you the tropical flavors, still never been on hiatus, you stay xanned and perked up, so when reality set in you don't gotta face it, I'm down 200 in Vegas but winning life on a daily basis… look what happens soon as you talk to me crazy… is you crazy?” Drizzy goes honey baked ham again… taking shots at all his haters… talking more subliminally until he goes right at Kid Cudi’s head… and I’m all for it… the only issue is that Cudi’s criticism is still completely valid, whereas even Drake’s particular lyrics ("still never been on hiatus") would hit much harder if you knew he didn’t have a team of creators who makes that possible. Still a tough record regardless tho.
Drake - Fake Love
“I've been down so long it look like up to me, they look up to me, I got fake people showin fake love to me” This is a classic quintessential Drake record down to the subject matter and the infectious melody, and it’s likely this one could get radio play without hesitation. As stated before there’s no telling whether these melodies come from Drake himself or the OVO team behind him, either way they also come out with good music and this track is no different.
Twista ft Jeremih - Next To You
“I'ma take my time and let you know (I wanna get next to you)” Twista coasts on this, Jeremih sings his best hook since Planes, and whoever produced this is the real MVP… this song is crazy good and would be a great addition to the radio.
Drake - Sneakin ft 21 Savage
“Face time with my shawty on tour, and she texting purple hearts cause she know we at war” That’s a fire emoji bar that epitomizes Drake as an artist in every way… it’s catchy, relatable, and the general public is about to love it… thus this is just another success for the OVO team aka the Drake Hit Factory… (plus here go Drake giving a look to 21 savage for what tho? street cred? twitter props? Idk but I do know this track will be the last of that man’s 15 minutes…)
Dave ft Drake - Wanna Know (Remix)
“I don't run to Twitter with the things I know, I fall back to see how it unfolds” to Drake’s credit he’s never really had Twitter fingers, and like Cole and Kendrick that puts him in a separate class from all the other MCs who’d rather self promote than let their music talk for them. Here Drake lends two verses to a London artist by the name of Dave aka Santan Dave, who by aligning with the Canadian megastar is certainly getting his best promotion to date.
Ari Lennox - Night Drive
“Purple in the sky, cruising highway 85, thought I saw a shooting star, beaming in your haunting eyes” Another strong cut off the Pho project, one that’s somewhat reminiscent of the Backseat record that we all love her for - at least in terms of the sultry narrative and the smooth melody that effectively captures the vibe.
Ari Lennox - Goat
“Said baby you're the greatest, of all time the greatest, so won't you hit my line, you're still on my mind” The final record off the Pho project is one of the strongest, with fire production from DJ Gumble and one of the smoothest melodies on the tape.
Rockie Fresh - Keep The Peace
“I'll murk you in some skinnies and some yeezys, not a gangster but believe me I go hard so take it easy” Outside of the Boss, Rockie Fresh might be the most talented out the entire MMG, and in the lowest of keys it’s been like that for some time now. Here he is stuntin on the new Priorities 5 compilation project, and without a doubt Rockie’s contributions are the most impressive.
Rockie Fresh - Still Watching
“Alright, now superbowl week I had a super bad freak, shorty had a super dome with super technique” see above...
Rockie Fresh - Pray 4 Me
“I'm afraid of myself more than anyone else, I'm still lookin' in the mirror when in need of some help” Rockie’s a lil more introspective here and it fits his delivery perfectly, and as he grows as an artist and his content begins to evolve, there’s ultimately no limit to his potential success in the mainstream
D.R.A.M. ft Erykah Badu - WiFi
“Boy, I got WiFi, and my service is nice at that, and it comes at no price at that, let me know where your iPhone at” on this duet the eccentric Cha Cha rapper teams up with the incredible Ms. Erykah Badu, and after any speculation I must admit that this collaboration really works. The premise is simple as these two lovers are seducing each other over WiFi access, which in our Netflix & Chill society isn’t even that farfetched. A solid record that fans of both artists will enjoy.
Sia ft Sean Paul - Cheap Thrills
“But I don't need no money, you worth more dan diamonds, more dan gold, as long as I can feel the beat, Mek di beat jus tek control” The mysterious Australian pop star has just released a deluxe version of her acclaimed album This Is Acting, released earlier this year. This song, that was written by Sia herself and was originally intended to go to Rihanna, did it’s numbers on the radio already and it’s now it’s been remixed with help from the Reggaeton artist Sean Paul, which is sure to make its rounds on the radio even more.
Common ft Bilal - Joy and Peace
(no stream available)
“***** get foreign cars and think they made it, it ain't yours 'til you create it, in the image of the beneficent, merciful, universal, versatile, my verses go 'til heaven and earth become reversible” Another record off Common’s upcoming Black America Again album due out next month, and the Chicago MC seems prime to educate and inspire like he’s always done.
Stalley ft Rashad - The Gospel
"They say speak to em, let your words seep through em, give em that Native Tongue, that jungle beat music" The Ohio MC delivers one of the best records off the MMG Priorities 5 mixtape, and is still one of the best representations of Hip Hop’s underground scene, (albeit with exposure from a major).
Quise ft Sam Sneak - Rock With You
"Seen shorty when she moonwalk by, human nature, curious locked eyes" Anytime you have a Michael Jackson - Rock With You sample your song has potential… which is certainly the case with this record off Priorities 5
R Kelly - the entire 12 Nights of Christmas album - straight 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥