The 5 Best Songs We Heard This Week: George Clinton and Kendrick Lamar, Madlib and MF DOOM


This week’s batch of songs has some punk, a little funk, a little croon, a little swoon. There’s an explosive new single from the ascendant Boots, Kendrick Lamar returns a favor to George Clinton, Madlib and MF Doom reunite, and a veteran Swedish-Argentinian singer-songwriter debuted a new animated video.

But first, some Canadian punks bring a purple swamp monster to the streets of Toronto:

Dilly Dally — “Purple Rage”

Essentially the tale of a “gross monster who just doesn’t fit in,” the video for Dilly Dally’s new single “Purple Rage” follows a purple swamp thing on a journey from the wilderness to the city of Toronto. Katie Monks, who took on the role of the purple rage monster, described it thusly: “Expressing anger can be a very alienating process. You are essentially trying to repel the people around you, usually because you are feeling wounded and vulnerable.”

Thankfully, Dilly Dally’s rage manifests itself as melodic noise, complemented by Monks’ grungy growl. “Purple Rage” will appear on Sore, Dilly Dally’s debut album, out on Partisan Records on October 9.

Boots — “Bombs Away”

It’s not always easy for a wunderkind producer or songwriter to develop a career as a solo artist, but success stories like Kanye West and Terius “the-Dream” Nash keep pulling aspiring superstars out from behind the ProTools console. Boots, who’s landed production credits on records for the likes of Beyoncé and Run the Jewels, is poised to be one of those outliers who actually succeeds. Here, on “Bombs Away,” he seems to draw influence from the Run the Jewels’ El-P, with a gritty yet futuristic bassline that gives the track its backbone, and pairs wonderfully with the video’s sinister drone-surveillance visuals. The rest of his debut album “AQUΛRIA,” out November 13 on Columbia, is in a similar vein, and that’s a good thing. Boots is poised to break out.

Funkadelic — “Ain’t That Funkin’ Kinda Hard On You (Louie Vega Remix feat. Kendrick Lamar)

Kendrick Lamar enlisted Funkadelic’s iconic frontman George Clinton to bring the funk to his To Pimp a Butterfly opening track “Wesley’s Theory,” and K. Dot returns the favor on this remix of a track from the 2014 Funkadelic album First Ya Gotta Shake the Gate. Lamar tries on some funky ’70s slang (talkin’ bout “jive turkeys” on Thanksgiving and the like), and keeps up with the juiced-up new tempo from Louie Vega. A hat-tip in song form, Vega and Lamar inject some new life into the year-old record, which was the band’s first new material in 33 years when it dropped in 2014.

MED Blu Madlib — “Knock Knock (feat. MF Doom)”

Under-the-radar rhymesmith Blu, Stones Throw signee MED, and Madlib have joined forces on the LP Bad Neighbor, which is out October 30 on MED’s Bang Ya Head label. The record is jam-packed with guest features from the likes of Aloe Blacc, Mayer Hawthorne, Dâm-Funk, Oh No, and Anderson .Paak, but quite possibly the most exciting guest star is MF Doom, who so memorably collaborated with Madlib on the 2004 classic Madvillainy. The track features Madlib’s signature sampling style, with a kooky verse from Doom about going to his friend’s house and “borrowing” stuff from him while he’s not home. It’s enough to keep you fiending for that elusive second Madvillain album.

José González – “Let It Carry You”

“Let It Carry You” isn’t a new song; it was on González’s third LP, Vestiges & Claws, released in February on Mute. But this animated video to promote the digital-only Let It Carry You EP directed by Malin Johansson certainly is. Its star, a large-eared mopey monster, sips espresso, strolls through nature’s watercolor mountain majesty, and ascends through the clouds into the astral plane. González has always been a master of providing his own rhythm section to sparse acoustic songs, and “Let It Carry You” is no different. The line-drawn aesthetic also matches well the artwork from all of Gonzalez’s previous album art, making for a sweet, soulful vignette that is distinctly José González. Let It Carry You into the weekend.