It’s fucking hot. The beat, the block, you name it, Memorial Day weekend, and therefore summer, is finally here. As you lug your AC unit out of storage and dread the incoming electric bill, try to remember how great music feels under a sunny sky.
For this week, we’ve got a new dancefloor banger from the Factory Floor; a celebration of self-identity from a boricua who couldn’t give a fuck if she tried; and Freedom Fire from Gucci Mane. But first, a tale of triumph from Joey Bada$$, with an unfamiliar sound…
Joey Bada$$ – “Devastated”
Though the artwork and title might suggest otherwise, Joey Bada$$’s latest single is more upbeat than upste. First debuted during his set at Coachella this past April, it’s a departure from his 90s fetishism, with a Harry Fraud-esque watery synth line and a radio-ready hook. Joey’s Pro Era crew also announced the second-ever Steez Day Festival this week(already sold out), its annual tribute to the late Capital Steez, who took his own life in 2012. They’ll take the party to Novo in Los Angeles on July 7 with the A$AP Mob, Danny Brown and Raury.
Factory Floor – “Dial Me In”
Best known for live shows that are equal parts raucous and sweaty, Factory Floor first graced us with its self-titled debut in 2013; two 2014 remix EPs haven’t sated our appetite for a new full length. Their sophomore LP, 25 25, is due out August 19 on DFA, but “Dial Me In,” the first record they wrote for it, dropped this week. A sparse, pulsing, 4 on the floor banger, its heavy house influence is sure to have magnetic resonance on the dance floor.
Princess Nokia – “Tomboy”
We’re not quite sure what exactly it is that draws us to New York’s Princess Nokia, but it’s probably that she could likely care less what we think of her. The hook on “Tomboy”—which dropped earlier this month—isn’t exactly complex, and her rapid-fire flow is serviceable, at best. But her attitude is unapologetic and unfuckwithable. Somewhere in between her boasts of “My little titties and my fat belly,” or her “Big pants and some stuffed shoes,” she joined the growing ranks of NYC lifers that celebrate the authenticity of their griminess, and we decided there are few rappers we’d rather kick it with on a sweaty afternoon in the L.E.S.
Gucci Mane – “First Day Out Da Feds”
Stans of the trap, rejoice: Your leader has returned. Released a few months early for “time served,” Gucci Mane is out of prison, and it’s taken him less than 24 hours to drop a new track. Supposedly he’s been recording while in jail, so no clues on whether or not this was a furious freedom session or just something lined up for “release day.” But overtop a boomy-and-bouncy Mike-Will Made It track, Mr. Ice Cream face tattoo sounds more remorseful than ever:
“There’s a lot of people scared of me and I can’t blame them/ they call me crazy so much I think I’m startin’ to believe them/ I did some thangs to people that were downright evil/ Is it karma coming back to me, so much drama/ my own mama turned her back on me, and that’s my mama.”
Maybe Gucci really has grown up this time around. GWOPs all around.
The Hotelier – “Goodness, Pt. 2”
We’re not gonna use the E-word, but it helps to understand the context in which a band like The Hotelier is finally getting their moment in the sun. As fads peak and valley, the market for earnest, emotionally vulnerable rock music has shriveled and ballooned; and if the recent critical reception of the latest Modern Baseball and The Hotelier records are any indication, the ground is fertile for many more to follow. The Hotelier stands out because of their willingness to expand on the tried and true palate of the music that came to represent early aughts suburban teen angst, as early Goodness track “Goodness, Pt. 2” illustrates. Giving a relentless but sparse drum beat room to breathe, it hits that sweet spot of familiar and fresh. We imagine plenty of repeat listens as summer bears down on us. Stay cool out there, friends.