Welcome back to Southern Hospitality’s monthly column.
Based in London and Los Angeles, Rob Pursey and Davey Boy Smith are onto new hip-hop and R&B faster than pretty much anyone else around, showcasing it through their club nights Players Ball, Rated R and Hip Hop Karaoke, their regular mixes and radio show, and their record label, which has released music by Danny Brown & Darq E Freaker, Lunice & Young L and more.
Unlike a lot of rap critics (and of course, SH would never refer to themselves as critics), they’re also about as unsnobbish as it’s possible to get, and are always trying to make things happen – they’ve been behind some of the most interesting rapper-producer hook-ups of recent years. Every month, they round up 10 hip-hop and R&B tracks that have got them in raptures. Between this column and FACT’s bi-weekly rap round-up, we should have all bases covered.
Don’t forget to check the crew’s essential monthly radio show, which is fast becoming one of the world’s most essential rap radio shows.
After racking up over nine million (!) YouTube plays since its official video dropped back in May, Young M.A’s ultra-quotable breakout hit is now finally getting the recognition it deserves. The later-than-expected French Montana remix definitely won’t hinder the movement, but it’s the original mix that we’ll be waiting to drop at every opportunity.
Pateezy feat. Sam Sneak
‘Walk With It’
Nothing has brought us more joy recently than the new wave of South Florida club rap coming from the likes of Southern Hospitality favourite Yung Gordon. This new track from fellow 305-er Pateezy and MMG DJ Sam Sneak continues that trend with an exquisitely breezy and uplifting walk-based anthem that we simply can’t get enough of.
Mello Margiela feat. Beat King
Beat King is carving out a neat sideline as Houston’s answer to DJ Khaled, calling next on local artists like the Sauce Twinz, Chedda Da Connect and DJ Chose to name just a few. Club God’s latest pick is Mello Margiela, whose new single ‘Yeeuh’ is picking up major steam on Houston strip club and radio playlists, and has seemingly been in infinite rotation in our heads since it dropped. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
‘Cold Hard Love’
It’s hard to decide whether it’s the low-key rumble of his beef with Drake, or the massive inconvenience of having Frank Ocean randomly release on the same day that has taken some of the lustre from Tory Lanez’ album release, but it will be a crying shame if this record slips under the radar.
While he spends more time rapping these days, it’s when Lanez flexes his considerable R&B muscle that his true talent shines. On ‘Cold Hard Love’ he reminds us how underused his falsetto truly is and while it may not be his ‘Adorn’, it’s something close for sure.
The rise of Boston’s Cousin Stizz has been reassuringly slow and steady, which is a good indicator that he should be around for more than a few hype cycles. In keeping with the quality we’ve become accustomed to from Stizz, ‘Ask That’ – a highlight from new project MONDA – might be the perfect example of his steely hypnotic vocal monotone, accentuated perfectly by a cascading melancholic melody from producers Tee-WaTT and M.Ali. This one’ll age well.
Casper & B feat. Pell
‘New Phone Who Dis’
Sometimes you’ve got to be reminded how fun music can be and Casper & B aren’t afraid to do exactly that. We can’t lie though – ‘New Phone Who Dis’ is all about the bassline and delivers the kind of bounce that could have accommodated an early ‘90s Fresh Prince. Pell knows this, offering a memorable hook that always stays on the right side of wacky, while his intricate flows are carried by the unstoppable momentum of the track. Jam this one loud.
E-40 feat. Kamaiyah
As the word finally reaches and defines the zeitgeist, we’re about to fully enter the “petty” months of 2016. E-40 is smart enough to know this by both laying his marker down early and recognising that there’s no one hotter than Kamaiyah to join him on this petty slapdown.
40 has effortlessly created yet another current-sounding record – no one should need that explaining – but for some wild reason we still might need to break down how and why Kamaiyah is the one. Just listen to how she follows one of rap’s greats and sounds like she’s been in that position for years.
Young Thug feat. Wyclef Jean
As if Young Thug changing his name to No, My Name Is Jeffery wasn’t enough, he’s roped Wyclef in to do “Jeffery” adlibs on his new record and all we can do is stand back and applaud. Furthermore, ‘John’ is better than we dared hope and amidst all the talk of potential collaboration albums this is the Best Of Both Worlds 3 we should all will into existence.
Lil Yachty feat. Cook LaFlare
‘Life Goes On’
Yachty is two for two in 2016 and if there was ever a song that defines his appeal it’s this. There’s been so much fake-Based since Lil B changed the game, but Yachty embodies so much of that movement and his closing verse here is the perfect distillation of his appeal. The new King Of Teens, for real.
Nipsey Hussle feat. OverDoz
‘Picture Me Rollin’
We could have highlighted any song off Nipsey Hussle’s new full-length Slauson Boy 2, and the effect on your life would be just as impactful. Young Thug, Snoop and Mozzy features will surely be a draw, but it’s the consistency, superior production choices and character actor commitment the Crenshaw rapper has developed in recent years that will have you coming back. It’s quite simply some of the most exhilarating rider music ever made.