The end of the month signals two things. One, rent’s due in a few days. Two, it’s time for another installment of Crew Love. For obvious reasons, we all enjoy this post as it gives us a chance to highlight songs that we can simply back and say we enjoy as fans. Some of the choices in the following slides are Billboard smashes while some are records you’d probably never knew existed. And that’s exactly how we like to do things around here.
Enough of the jibber-jabber, however, let’s get to what we came here for. Oh, and one more thing. Any songs that’ve commanded your iPod or playlist these past 31 days? Leave ’em in the comments.
Rick Ross – “Holy Ghost” — Rozay set the Internet on fire a few weeks ago with the release of his album-esque mixtape, Rich Forever. And as soon as you pressed play, the intro provided a punch to the gut with an added dose of Ricky’s trademark grizzly voice, catchy ad-libs and a pinch of Grade A trash talking from the man they call Diddy. Plus, the “teacher/piece-of-shit” line, at least through the first month of the new year, ranks as the funniest and most ignorant line to scream at the top of your lungs. Go ahead. Try it. – J. Tinsley
Rick Ross – “Holy Ghost”
Adrian Younge Presents Venice Dawn – “Turn Down The Sound” — The talented multi-instrumentalist behind the score to Black Dynamite drops another vintage piece of cinematic soul. From the echo on the vocals to the haunting breakdown, the opening track to Younge’s Something About April is powerful psychedelic funk that begs you to ignore the directive in the title. – Trackstar The DJ
Adrian Younge Presents Venice Dawn – “Turn Down The Sound”
The Avett Brothers – “Distraction #74” — Armed with a banjo and adulterous lyrics, the Avett Brothers reflect on temptation. Nothing fancy here; just some moon-shinin’, chaw-chewin’, back-woodsin’ country. – AJ
The Avett Brothers – “Distraction #74”
Chase N. Cashe – “Trill Living 3.0” — It feels like Chase has already released a full album’s worth of material in the last month, so I’m really interested to hear what he put to the side for his long-anticipated mixtape with DJ Drama, “The Heir Up There.” In the third iteration of the Trill Living series, Scott Storch-eqsue keys and a dynamic bass line punctuate Chase’s unique brand of motivational music. — Greg Whitt
Chase N. Cashe – “Trill Living 3.0”
DâM-FunK – “LAtrifying” — The funk is alive in this one. Now as for what “LAtrifying” actually means, well, I got nothing for ya, boss. It sure sounds great though. – S. Cadet
DâM-FunK – “LAtrifying”
T. Shirt – “Puerto Rican Rum” — When caught up in everything that’s going on in our personal lives we tend to forget that life isn’t stagnant. For better or worse things change and T. Shirt’s first verse is a perfect example of this fact and reassuring, to me at least, that I’m not the only one grappling with this fact. – MZ
T. Shirt – “Puerto Rican Rum”
Outkast Feat. Killer Mike – “Snappin’ & Trappin’” — Never been a huge Outkast fan (borderline heresy, I know), but there’s something salient about “Snappin’ & Trappin’.” Between Killer Mike’s and Big Boi’s lyrical slug fest and the Southern-fied G-Funk production it makes sense. Maybe I’ll never fully understand but I do grasp one thing: “Snappin’ & Trappin’” is f**king good music. – Ryan J.
Outkast Feat. Killer Mike – “Snappin’ & Trappin’”
Drake Feat. Rihanna – “Take Care” — More than anything here, Rihanna’s electrifying hook stole the spotlight during these four minutes. Her voice has never sounded more powerful, and her words are calming and peaceful. I’d definitely let my guard down to any girl singing it to me. – Raj
Drake Feat. Rihanna – “Take Care”
Action Bronson – “Contemporary Man” — Action Bronson over an eclectic selection of old Pop songs is the equivalent of seeing finding well-maintained Cadillac sitting in an old lady’s yard, copping it for a steal of a price then slapping shiny, new chrome rims on it. – Gotty™
Action Bronson – “Contemporary Man”
Silkk The Shocker – “Who I Be” — Why is Silkk The Shocker so bad that he’s actually good. The answer may be buried deep in the man’s warbled flow and tendencies to be allergic to any kind of fludity, but it is in there. You can find the riotous, self-stroking “Who I Be” way down on the tracklist of Charge It 2 Da Game, but not from banishment. When you have a platinum album that actually holds up over the years, sometimes you save a little of the best for last. — TC
Silkk The Shocker – “Who I Be”
Theophilus London Feat. Sara Quinn – “Why Even Try” — “If you think you’re special, you’re probably not.” There’s also a good chance you’re probably a dick. Yet, if you don’t give yourself the Barry Horowitz pat on the back once in a while, people will walk all over you. That fine line may or may not be the theme to this sultry, new wave throwback from Theo London’s Timez Are Weird These Days debut, but has always been what I’ve personally taken away. — BEWARE
Rick Ross Feat. Nas – “Usual Suspects” — These two just need to make a full album together. While their recent collaboration on Rich Forever has been getting major burn (+1 for a nifty edited version for the kiddies), the OG duet is prime choice Hip-Hop. People are still holding on to their stupid “Ross can’t rap” ideologies but he can go bar for bar with Nas. And they make stellar music together. — David D.
Rick Ross Feat. Nas – “Usual Suspects”