The Roots, …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin
…And Then You Shoot Your Cousin (no Benzino) is a dark, skillfully crafted album offering a satirical look at hip-hop and society. The Roots’ entire project is a sonically dissonant journey of cynicism, driven by live band instrumentation. From the tongue-in-cheek title (mocking golden era hip-hop purists but also the “turn-up” set) and the general short attention spans of everyone thanks to the Internet, they make poignant point after point. But it’s hardly all dark, as the album ends on an uplifting note with “Tomorrow,” featuring Raheem DeVaughn. Overall, this is definitely a good one for the collection.
Mariah Carey ft. Wale, “You Don’t Know What to Do”
Mariah Carey’s latest single is an ode to a flip-floppy lover who “doesn’t know what to do with it.” He’s not acting right when he has her love, but then the moment she sets him free, he’s trying to come back. And that’s when it’s too late. The song has a nice, airy, anthemic pop vibe to it, just in time for the summer. Wale’s playful rebuttal verse is cute, especially at the end where he borrows Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s infamous riff, “Me and Mariah, go back like babies and pacifiers.” The diva’s next album, Mariah: The Elusive Chanteuse, drops on May 27.
Robin Thicke, “Get Her Back”
Robin Thicke’s laying it on… well, you know… but it might actually work. “Get Her Back” is a smooth groove that Thicke dedicates to his estranged wife Paula Patton, in an attempt to win her back. He sings, “I should’ve kissed you longer/I should’ve held you stronger/And I’ll wait for forever for you to love me again” about his royal mistakes. His pain makes for a good song for all the rest of us.
Jeremih, “Don’t Tell ’Em”
“Don’t Tell ’Em” is s sexy ode to late night creeping from Chicago’s own Jeremih. He’s been good at this sort of music since making his debut with “Birthday Sex.” Here, Jeremih teams up with producers DJ Mustard and Mick Schultz for this low-key track, where he sings about a woman with a “body like the summer” who “f*cks like no other,” chanting, “Don’t tell ’em, you ain’t even gotta tell ’em” in this catchy, two-step inducing tune about keeping it on the low. Jeremih is gearing up to release another EP, and his third solo album, Bumpy Johnson, soon.