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BLU J – IN 2 U

Blu J have a knack for flipping my favorite joints into outright smashes regardless of how extroverted the source material is, whether it be Imogen Heap’s “Headlock” or Deadmau5 and Kaskade’s “I Remember.” Fortunately for listeners’ yearning ears, the duo are yet again gracious enough to provide more of the same on “IN 2 U,” a glorious remix of Ariana Grande’s sultry pop gold, “Into You.”

Sitting at home listening to “IN 2 U” on repeat, I initially find myself dying to fast forward to the weekend so I can drop this joint at a function and watch sparks fly. Sure, most parties should consist of nothing more than Juvenile’s “Back That Azz Up” on repeat, but as the night wanes, potential primetime for “IN 2 U” begins. With a commanding bass-kick beneath one of Grande’s hazily edited verses, the flip slowly transitions into a chillingly melodic pre-chorus that oozes with love and lust. It’s a wonderful build-up whose rewards are plentiful, launching the track into future house goodness reserved for those aforementioned late-night dance floors.

On that note, I’m going to go catch some sleep and find myself one day closer to the weekend, a weekend where I can properly experience “IN 2 U.”


DeCarlo – Lit Right Now

Songs that touch on drug-induced attraction in clubs are always welcomed, generally recreating the lusty haze of liquor, smoke, and other various substances for vibing club-goers and for those outside their doors, living in the moment vicariously. While DeCarlo never approaches club culture with condescension on “Lit Right Now,” he makes it apparent that the track trades the club for the bedroom, concerning romantic intimacy with a lover beyond one night.

As he croons, “We ain’t gotta be lit right now,” on the track’s silky smooth hook, the vocalist takes time to relay a wealth of promises to his significant other. Trading off between sexual and emotionally relational, the bond between him and the song’s subject can be felt in every note hit; it’s a wonderfully honest show of appreciation that comes off as, for lack of a better phrase, truly sweet.

I could go on about this one, but if you have a special someone that’s on your mind, go ahead and spin “Lit Right Now” below.


Elephante – Sirens (Feat. Nevve)

It amazes me how a siren can illicit such different emotions. The siren sound can mean danger and harm. It can also cause panic and fear. It can also mean safety and rescue. It all depends on your perspective when hearing the siren. Sometimes I’ll hear a siren in the distance and it almost comforts me, knowing that some problem is on the way to being solved. Or some person in need is on the way to being helped. But sometimes I’ll hear a siren and think about all the events that will come after it for the people involved in the emergency. The phone calls, the fear, the talks, the prayers, the changing of lives. There’s so many layers to a siren, it’s kind of numbing to think about.

“I’m coming back for you, coming back for you”

And this song – another beautiful collaboration between heavyweight producer Elephante and rising vocalist Nevve – carries all those layers with it. The percussion, especially the drum breaks, are heavy and thumping while Nevve’s voice coats the top of the track like glaze on a donut. In a certain mood, this song sounds chill to me, but in a different mood it could get me hyped enough to go run a 5k. The piercing synths in the chorus could be subbed out for smoked out heavy metal guitars, a la Queens of the Stone Age. It’s mellow, then aggressive, then mellow again, and these alternating layers carry with them all the different emotions that I feel when I hear a siren in the distance. Another winner from two of the top talents in the game.


Clams Casino – I’m God (San Holo Edit)

In 2010, I watched a video of Tyler, The Creator getting buck to a song in his car, a song whose energy I couldn’t quite shake upon repeated views.

After some research, I found the Kreayshawn-directed visuals for Lil B’s quintessential freestyle, “Like A Martian.” After the discovery of “Like A Martian,” I dug into his rapidly expanding discography and found 6 Kiss. After pressing play on 6 Kiss, I found something that marked a major shift in my young life.

I found “I’m God.”

One of the first tracks to establish Clams Casino as a producer-extraordinaire within the grand scheme of hip-hop, its ethereal atmosphere was life-changing, the central Imogen Heap sample making my serotonin-imbalanced mind feel emotions I’d never felt. In my childhood suburb north of Atlanta, it provided daily inspiration to work against the grain and break new ground as Lil B worked his counterintuitive flow atop a forward-thinking masterpiece.

A year later, one of the most vivid memories of my life involved listening to “I’m God” while on a train from London to Cambridge, the lush countryside putting my mind at peace yet simultaneously inciting waves of awe. Lil B’s opening declaration, “My new name is Based God, ice cream paint job,” felt revelatory when situated between Clams’ organic vision and a landscape untouched by human interference, an ode to the possibilities of authenticity at its pinnacle. It was a moment in which I realized I had a higher calling, not of any particular deity or force, but of something deep within myself that would eventually transcend the suburbs I called home.

While San Holo’s flip of “I’m God” only utilizes the original instrumental, it conveys the exhilarating emotions I felt that day, emotions that course through my lifeblood in the present as only 3 months remain until I continue my transcendental journey and call Los Angeles home.

“This a celebration, bitch” – Lil B


WoodzSTHLM – Tonari (Feat. Noomi)

Straight fire from Swedish producer WoodzSTHLM. This track sounds like it was dug up from a pile of RZA’s unused beats. Doesn’t it kinda feel like a young Method Man is about to jump in with a hot 16 at any given moment? Woodz has been polishing his skills for years as part of Swedish hiphop group Tjuvjakt, so we should have seen this coming. Noomi’s haunting vocals add the perfect touch to this blazing track, adding an intensity that mixes extremely well with the chill nature of the music.

All of that makes for a track that sounds vintage and fresh all at once. It’s dreamy, mysterious and alluring, and the fact that all of the names involved (WoodzSTHLM, Noomi, Tonari) sound like they’re straight out of the Tatooine Cantina make this one sweet package. It even kinda sounds like a song that should be playing in the Cantina while bounty hunters make deals with Jabba’s henchmen. The song just kinda oozes along as you get lost in the vibe, we’ll be bumping this one for awhile.