Lady lyricists devoid of bright wigs, tutus and raunchy gyrations have stepped up in this week’s installment of “Sonic Boom” to prove that they can rhyme with the best of men—without the distractions; Rita Ora and Slaughterhouse make their long awaited debuts, as Dwele is off in the distance romancing the pants off some sappy lady with his mellifluous voice. Check it out!
Rapsody – “Beautiful Music” ft Childish Gambino and GQ prod Ka$h
Grammy Award winning producer 9th Wonder has been busy teaching hip-hop at Duke University but he still found time to make room on his schedule for a protégé. Enter Rapsody, the woman from North Carolina who is described as the “first lady” of super crew Kooley High. “Beautiful Music” is a single from her new album, The Idea of Beautiful, which just came out today. With the help of producer Ka$h and the lyrical stylings of Childish Gambino and GQ, Rapsody raps about the music she admires with nods to the Ojays, the Fugees, Big and more. She’s young but as a fan of wit and wordplay her style is reminiscent of MC Lyte, Queen Latifah and the emcees of yore.
Rita Ora – Ora
Pop’s newest darling released her debut album, Ora, in the UK and other overseas territories on Monday and her US release is coming soon. However, aside from purchasing popular singles like “R.I.P.” and “How We Do (Party),” you can listen to the full monty in advance, to see what she’s really working with. In short, I think she’s probably the British answer to Rihanna. Not that it’s a competition but in case you need to put her sound in perspective, that’s the best comparison. Her music is carefree, danceable and top 40 friendly, with some hip-hop sensibilities as she enlisted the help of J. Cole, Will.i.am and Tinie Tempah for a few collabos.
Nitty Scott – “Flower Child” ft. Kendrick Lamar
The rapstress with self-proclaimed bohemian ways recruited Kendrick Lamar for “Flower Child,” the first release from her EP, The Boombox Diaries, which is out today. The beat is a harp driven tune that almost sounds like a dream sequence, which is perfect considering the title of the song but that’s where the sensitivity stops. Nitty Scott has a high-pitched, sugary sounding voice but lyrically, she is nothing nice and with Kendrick Lamar on the track, both are verbose forces that frankly, not a lot of today’s kids can reckon with. The title of the song is a reference to beautiful things that need time to grow which is the theme of the entire song in reference to Nitty’s art—in other words, great things need to be cultivated. It’s a simple concept but eloquently stated by poetic prodigies who are good with similes, metaphors and wordplay. Part of Nitty’s opening line goes something like, “You said you love me so don’t rush me, love is patient and now you gotta trust me to take form like the canvas of the grand canyon; product of a beautiful storm or an unborn child carried just below the heart quietly preparing for its start.” You may not know it yet but you need The Boombox Diaries in your life. I’m willing to bet that based on this one song.
Listen here and get it today
Slaughterhouse – Welcome to Our House
Today in rapping a*s rapper news, Royce Da 5’9”, Joell Ortiz, Crooked I, and Joe Budden have finally released their long awaited album but don’t get excited just yet. Welcome to Our House is not quite the rappity rap that Slaughterhouse fans have grown fond of. It’s more of an attempt at radio friendliness that will probably open the group to some new fans while alienating others. However, it’s a solid effort that still showcases each rapper’s individual strengths like Joe Budden’s reflective storytelling, Crooked I’s West Coast influence, Joell Ortiz’s thoughtful lyricism and Rocye Da 5’9”’s versatile flow. Production wise, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, Boi-1nda, No I.D., T-Minus, Hit-Boy, Araab Muzik and Kane Beatz went in. As far as content, it varies. Joe Budden gets emo on “Goodbyewhile “My Life,” which features Cee-Lo, offers up some of that flashy flossy talk that runs rampant in hip-hop and then there are some hardcore offerings like “Coffin,” which features Busta Rhymes, that show us that despite the attempt to appeal to the mainstream, Slaughterhouse still has that grit that their diehards Stan for. This will most likely be a contender for one of the year’s best in hip-hop but understand that you will either love or hate it. Personally, I’m not mad at all.
It’s out today, but you can sample it here before you make that leap
Dwele – Greater Than One
What’s not to love about Dwele? He’s romantic, cute, a great songwriter and has a beautiful voice. There is nothing not to love about Greater than One. The phrase, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” is usually a trite excuse for mediocrity but with regard to Dwele, he follows that formula and it works well. The album is available now.