Bars is Acclaim’s weekly wrap up of all the music we want you to get in on. Whether it’s new albums, mixtapes, tracks, or videos, we’re here wading through the noise to bring you only the finest happenings in the world of music. Hit the list below to see what we’ve been bumping this week.
Featuring: the return of N.E.R.D., Kelela's latest clip, and fresh Sophiegrophy
01. Kelela – 'Blue Light'
Kelela just released the video for ‘Blue Light’ from her critically acclaimed debut album Take Me Apart, and it’s straight up beautiful. With dazzling, extraterrestrial visuals accompanying the eccentricity of Kelela’s voice, along with the atmospheric synths of the instrumental, ‘Blue Light’ sets Kelela apart from her contemporaries in the most extravagant of ways.
02. Joji – 'In Tongues' EP
Formally known for his controversial Pink Guy persona and his Filthy Frank youtube channel, Joji sets to leave the crude, and the cringe behind with his In Tongues EP. Released under his birth name, the Japan-born, New-York based artist croons about heartbreak and self-doubt over a series of watery, lo-fi R&B instrumentals. In Tongues is definitely a left turn for Joji, and the road that follows is an uphill trek that will lead him to stardom.
03. Yaeji – EP 2
Following a massive footprint on the dance scene with her self-titled EP earlier this year, Yaeji is back to bring it to the next level with EP2. The Seoul/New York based producer continues to make her own unique wave, mixing lugubrious trap beats with ethereal, dystopian house music. Transitioning between Korean and English in a sleek, harmonic whisper, Yaeji is looking to dominate both sides of the world with this incredibly solid project.
04. Kota Banks – 'Holiday'
Kota Banks’ video for her new single ‘Holiday’ embodies the joyousness of a summer vacation in the most iconic of ways. Featuring strip motel parties and workout routines, the visuals encapsulate the quirky, exuberance of this dance anthem, produced by Swick. Recently joining Australian heavyweights like Strict Face and Nina Las Vegas on the NLV records roster, Kota Banks is looking to party her way to the top of the Australian music scene this summer.
05. BIG K.R.I.T. – '4eva is a Mighty Long Time'
We’ve been waiting a mighty long time for 4eva is a Mighty Long Time, and Big K.R.I.T. as per usual, delivers an outstanding body work. Parting ways with Def Jam to become an independent powerhouse, the Mississippi rapper unleashes bodacious bars and beats on this epic, 22 track double album, featuring legends such as UGK and Cee Lo Green. It’s gritty, introspective Southern rap at it’s best, a style Big KRIT never fails to deliver on.
06. N.E.R.D & Rihanna – 'Lemon'
Seven years since their last album, N.E.R.D have finally returned with their new single ‘Lemon’. Featuring the signature, club-ready sub bass of a Neptunes beat, and the enthusiasm of Pharrell’s yelped vocals, ‘Lemon’ is bound to please the hardcore fans. However, the real standout here is Rihanna, who boasts braggadociously throughout a confident, hard-hitting rap verse that’s full of the RiRi swagger we all know and love. With their new album No One Ever Really Dies slated to close out the year, N.E.R.D look in full form for this epic comeback.
07. Dj Premier Ft. A$AP Ferg – 'Our Streets'
In celebration of the relaunch of iconic hip-hop label Payday Records, New-York legend DJ Premier has linked up with A$AP Ferg for a hard hitting homage to the golden era of hip-hop. Providing his signature, grimy sound for the instrumental, ‘Our Streets’ finds DJ Premier setting up Ferg to channel his inner Wu-Tang, in which results in him spitting his hardest bars over a vintage slice of ’90s deja vu. Although an unlikely match, Premier and Ferg blend perfectly on this cut, making for the perfect entrance song to welcome Payday Records back into the boxing ring of hip-hop.
08. Yung Lean – ‘Metallic Intuition’
With Stranger only a few days away, we thought our hype couldn’t ascend any more. However, with the 4th single from the album ‘Metallic Intuition’, we’re about to jump through the ceilings in excitement. Contrasting the melodic tones of the last few singles, ‘Metallic Intuition’ finds the beat stripped backed and minimalistic, acting as a faint soundtrack to Yung Lean’s self-reflection. While not as banging as ‘Ski-Mask’ or as catchy as ‘Red Bottom Sky’, ‘Metallic Intuition’ showcases the most growth for Lean, as he wanders into deeper themes of introspection.
09. Sophiegrophy – ‘FA$T LIFE’
Nigerian-born, Melbourne based rapper Sophiegrophy released her new single ‘FA$T LIFE’ last week, and it showcases why her rise to stardom is inevitable. The rapper paired up with Melbourne producer Lewis Cancut for this driving, electronic dance cut, with lyrics that tackles the ever-growing regression in the way society conducts itself. “FA$T LIFE’ is food for thought in a buffet of bangers.