Ayy, it is Friday my dudes. Start off the weekend right by peeping this week's heat, featuring: DJ Khaled, Young Thug, Jay Electronica, Ice Cube, and Halsey.
"To The Max" by DJ Khaled and Drake
The Drake vocals have come in! Finally, DJ Khaled’s incessant cries for the missing 6 god vocals have arrived, materializing in “To The Max”—another single off Khaled’s highly anticipated summer album, Grateful. Featuring an interesting tribal-esque production, these seem like new musical waters for both parties.
The track's sample is apparently used from T2's "Heartbroken," which was later remixed by Jersey Club artist DJ Jayhood. Fans on social media have suggested the comparison, prompting a reaction from DJ Jayhood himself. "It was definitely sampled from the version I did," Jayhood told The FADER. "The chpps are not the same from the original...My drop is even in there." DJ Khaled reportedly reached out to T2 for the original beat but a rate was not agreed upon prior to release of "To The Max." And so the controversy over beats continues.
But back to the track. Grateful drops June 23. In the meantime, play "To The Max" for a solid pregame tune; otherwise radio play will be second to "I'm The One."
"WTF U Doin" by Young Thug ft. Quavo, Duke & Rich the Kid
Summer's breakout star Quavo brings his hypnotic swagger to the mic in "WTF," a single from the Digital Trapstars' mixtape compilation Screens on Lock 4. The track's producer DJ Durel—Migos' official DJ—maintains a frantic beat, adding a ripe pace to the rappers' verses with hooks powerfully landing. Screens on Lock 4 is slated to be released this summer as a follow-up mixtape to last year's star-studded Screens on Lock 3. Young Thug also has been teasing his forthcoming album Easy Breezy Beautiful Thugger Girls (E.B.B.T.G.) on Twitter, citing is as his first "singing album."
"Letter to Falon" by Jay Electronica
Jay Electronica is back after a long hiatus, dropping surprise track "Letter to Falon" after announcing a new collaboration with MF Doom in the works. "Letter to Falon" features The Bullitts aka Seal's brother Jeymes Samuel. The two worked together previously on The Bullitt's "Close Your Eyes" from his 2013 album They Die By Dawn & Other Short Stories.
"Letter to Fallon" is produced by Paul Epworth, the man behind Adele's 21. Yet the real inspiration for "Letter to Fallon" comes from none other than NBA superstar Kevin Durant. Jay Electronica tweeted to Warriors' guard Durant citing his performance in this year's NBA Finals is the driving force behind the surprise release. "The last time we saw each other, you and your pops told me to release music," Jay Electronica's second tweet stated. Well, whatever moves you, man.
*Apologies, I refuse to subscribe to Tidal, so listen to it here.*
"Good Cop Bad Cop" by Ice Cube
Rap legend Ice Cube took a break from his comedic acting roles to return to the genre he helped create, dropping "Good Cop Bad Cop" after the release of his new single "Only One Me." Ice Cube draws on his experience in the 90s Los Angeles with N.W.A., writing of his experience with police officers. Obviously this debate is still relevant today with the number of racially-charged cop brutality cases and series of shootings.
With lyrics like "Trojan horse is full of excessive force" and "bad cop where is your dignity? / good cop, is that just a fantasy," the track resonates both politically and sonically. The production of "Good Cop Bad Cop" is a throwback to the good old days of Ice Cube going hard at the mic. He hasn't changed a bit, and we love him for it.
"Lie" by Halsey ft. Quavo
This is a partnership made in musical heaven. Halsey, the indie darling with infectious vocals, pairs nicely with Quavo's light lyrical raps. In a haunting rhythm, Halsey uncharacteristically croons of violent sexual endeavors. Quavo responds, recanting the male partner's experience of such trysts. It's a he-said, she-said ballad—a discussion between two lovers on the edge.
The track is from Halsey's latest album hopeless fountain kingdom, her sophomore studio effort. The 13-song record features only three guest appearances, including Quavo on "Lie." Halsey begins her "hopeless fountain kingdom World Tour: Installment One" with PARTYNEXTDOOR and CharlieXCX in late September.