It’s already been a month since we last shared what records are the ones in our regular rotation. Our latest Crew Love brings together a palette of songs that are as diverse as each of our writers. So along with the many sleepless hours and coffee refills that are consumed being the curators of all things fresh, here are our picks for songs that kept us up at night during the month of May. And as usual, please drop a line in the comments to enlighten us what wore out your repeat button the most over the last four weeks.
Ab-Soul – “Book Of Soul” — It’s been a long time since I’ve gotten so emotionally attached to a rap song. Ab goes the “A Life In The Day Of Benjamin Andre” route of telling his life story over the backdrop of his relationship with a woman. Except this woman, Alori Joh, passed away earlier this year. The heart-wrenching ode will give anyone the sugar lump with no shame. — David D.
Ab-Soul – “Book Of Soul”
Dizzy Wright – “Can’t Trust ‘Em” — The Funk Volume crew has made significant strides tin the last few months and Dizzy in particular is looking like he’s poised to cause some major ripples in the industry this year. For evidence, please see Exhibit A – “Can’t Trust ‘Em.” — Raj
Dizzy Wright – “Can’t Trust ‘Em”
Chip Tha Ripper Feat. Krayzie Bone – “Stay Sleep” — On the low, Tell Ya Friends is one of 2012’s best projects. Time to pay attention to Chip if you aren’t already. Enlisting Bone Thug alumnus Krayzie, the rapper ponders his current state: an established name without a deal. — AJ
Chip Tha Ripper Feat. Krayzie Bone – “Stay Sleep”
Warren G Feat. Jah Skills – “Super Soul Sis” — There are very few rap songs by a female MC I know all the words to. But, with the way 5 Footaz member Jah Skills maneuvers around The G-Child’s smooth sampling of One Way’s “Don’t Stop (Ever Loving Me)” for the fifth track off Regulate, it’s almost impossible not run it back at least a few times. After all, who else do you know that can “flow upbeat, to a slow beat, and be off beat and still on time.” — BEWARE
Warren G Feat. Jah Skills – “Super Soul Sis”
Jay-Z Feat. Memphis Bleek – “Can I Live II” — Call me a fool because I like “Can I Live II” more than the immortalized original. Whatever. This album bonus is the chest-beating extension of Jigga Man’s “Can I Live,” substituting the harrowing details of hustling for Jay’s unrestrained boasting. Reasonable doubt my ass. Hov leaves nothing to question. — Ryan J.
Jay-Z Feat. Memphis Bleek – “Can I Live II”
Buju Banton – “‘Til I’m Laid To Rest” — The constant drive to create calls for just the right theme music to keep focus and maintain high spirits. Buju’s wailing anthem is soul food. — Gotty™
Buju Banton – “‘Til I’m Laid To Rest”
Jarv Dee – “Klingon” — Jarv paves his own lane with “Klingon,” a bouyant, dopamine-inducing song that evolves around a few choice Star Trek puns and some choice shit-talking thrown in for good measure (ho!). Powering through a cardio workout, driving to work in the AM, primping for a night on the town — “Klingon” is always a good choice that makes me happy. — Julie J.
Jarv Dee – “Klingon”
Sean Price – “Crazy” — You ever go so long without hearing a song that you forget that it exists? That feeling when the light bulb illuminates over your head is about the closest thing to hearing it for the first time. That’s what happened to me when this Ayatollah-produced track popped up on a random mixtape. 50 or so plays later, and all is right with the world. — Greg Whitt
Sean Price – “Crazy”
SKYWLKR – “Sephiroth” — Leave it to the geek out of the crew to like this joint. I’ll proudly wear that crown though even though I’m not a Final Fantasy head. The time is ripe for more video game samples in rap anyway. — S. Cadet
SKYWLKR – “Sephiroth”
BJ The Chicago Kid – “Hay” (Crucial Conflict Cover) — Possessing one of the illest voices in the R&B/soul game and a dynamic live performance (which he got to show off during Dr. Dre’s Coachella set), BJ The Chicago Kid sure seems to be on the cusp of stardom. Here, the constant TDE collaborator neglects Corinthians for the time being and focuses more on the Kush half the equation as he gives his uptempo take on this Crucial Conflict classic. — Trackstar the DJ
BJ The Chicago Kid – “Hay” (Crucial Conflict Cover)
Prince & The Revolution – “Purple Rain” — I’m going to leave it at this. I really, really, really hope people appreciate this Minnesota Viking the way the world should and it stems far beyond the fact he actually was crushing two beautiful women at the same damn time. Whether admitted or not, an argument could be made he’s the most talented musician of all time. “Purple Rain” stands as the most recognizable offering from his catalog and a record that’ll stand the test of time long after Prince, you and myself have all moved on to the next life. — J. Tinsley
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