Y/N is a weekly music guide based on our very scientific, non-subjective Yes/No rating system. IT IS DEFINITIVE AND CANONICAL.
Y: Santigold’s return is, for her, unorthodox—she doesn’t usually make songs that sound so on the nose with the zeitgeist, although Makonnen is one of the least orthodox zeitgeistical dudes out at the moment. Some of my coworkers have felt troubled by his drunk karaoke vocal tone, but I kinda dig its lazy summer afternoon vapors—nice Cam’ron iPhone case, Makonnen—and Santi sounds awesome on the triple-time rap hit. More than anything, this video is cute as fuck. She drives around what I presume is Made in America Festival in a mini Cadillac whip and picks up all the boyz around the world who be lovin’ her, including Earl Sweatshirt, Big Sean, and fellow Philly hometown hero Meek Mill. Santigold remains the coolest.
Y... (BUT NOT AT WORK): Peaches stages a lesbian orgy for her clitoris-stimulation jam “Rub,” and it gets as explicit as any porn but, you know, like, art. Favorite parts: when someone pulls a mic out of her vag; the dancer with the hairdryer tattooed on her shoulder. Most confounding part: the peeing.
Y!!!!: Dai Burger’s 2014 single “Choppin Necks” murked the New York rapper’s competition with the epic verisimilitude of a slow-mo Ang Lee jawn, but her new EP—out on the label arm of super-hype trendsetting London radio station Rinse FM—exemplifies her versatility. For one, she can really sang, and for two, she solidifies her position as a spiritual successor to Foxy Brown, alluding to best song ever “730” and proving herself a real storyteller. “You know I’m riding out for you,” she sings, “You’re so 730, love it when you riding dirty, baby,” referencing both the badness of her man and the fact that you gotta be at least a little 730 to stick with a dude like that. This just dropped today and I can’t wait to dive deeper into it/play it at a house party.
Y: Robyn & her dance band La Bagatelle Magique team up with pal Maluca for the “Love is Free” video, another de rigueur late-’80s/early ‘90s-conjuring house track set to a scene of a slumber party-turnt-styling session, with cupcakes. Seriously, if you told me this song dropped in 1989 I wouldn’t blink an eye, but there were many worse years for house music; play this at a block party in Hell’s Kitchen next summer.
Y-ish?: 2015’s debauched pop slog gets the annual DJ Earworm treatment—the only mash-up I can tolerate, and probably because it only drops every 12 months—and this year it’s the accents that prevail, mostly “Truffle Butter” and “What Do Ü Mean,” because I cannot take hearing “I Can’t Feel My Face” or that Maroon 5 pablum one more time in this decade. It’s better after the key change, though, as it gives way to 95% women and way more Ariana Grande. Mostly what this taught me, though, is that I could not pick Charlie Puth out of a police line-up if I was offered hundreds of dollars. I hope to keep it that way.
Y: Can’t ever quite pin down Kali Uchis, tonally, other than I love listening to her; on poppier tracks the Colombian-American singer evokes a kind of classic ‘60s soul, in some ways a successor to Amy Winehouse; on others she sounds like she belongs on a Gramophone, a bow-lipped crooner in the Edith Piaf era. On “Wave,” though, another Uchis emerges entirely: Major Lazer put down some dub magic on the cut and her longing makes her a kind of analogue to Sister Nancy, in spirit anyway. Related: sometimes I wish I smoked weed.
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