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Bars: Bick back, be bool with this week’s dopest new tracks, December 2

YG, Flatbush Zombies, Ro Ransom, Promnite, and Robyn Paige are officially done with the working week

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Weekly updates

We’ve just hit the first week of December, which (obviously) means we’re edging closer and closer to the end of 2016. Even with the silly season on the horizon, artists are still doing what they do best; writing, recording, experimenting, and creating. This week Bars has yet another generous serving of top-notch tunes, which unfortunately came at the cost of some other equally great cuts. Having to finesse this list to a mere five tunes was hard enough, but we think we’ve chosen well. This week newcomers clashed with trailblazing youngsters and the seasoned veterans to provide a diverse smorgasbord of the game’s very best. Don’t get silly just yet, you’ve still got some brilliant music to study.

01. Flatbush Zombies - 'Aries' (feat. Deadcuts)

Flatbush Zombies have kept a low profile since dropping their hit-and-miss debut 3001: A Laced Odyssey earlier this year. No doubt, that record had good intentions but disappointing execution; gems drowned in a sea of stale cement filler. ‘Aries’ is a welcome comeback for the trio. Released last week, it’s poignant, slow-moving commentary which studies the volatile and extremely divisive year of American society. Meechy Darko, Zombie Juice, and Erick Arc Elliot have always displayed a penchant for buffoonery and observational nuance in equal measure. On ‘Aries’ they exercise the latter; stirring their own feelings of confusion and derision until the slick talk of 3001 is all but forgotten. Once more, Erick shows his prowess as one of the most underrated producers in the game, while Meech and Juice lay down some jaw-droppingly righteous bars. Exhibit A via Meech”

Emancipation, castration, mass-hating, white-washing
Black-shaving, patience that I’m demonstrating
Segregation, separation, take my people, chain my people
Ship them out, build a nation, picket lines, demonstration.


02. Promnite - 'Gunsmoke' (feat. Denzel Curry, Nell, J.K. The Reaper & Twelve’len)

Promnite is a DJ/producer hailing from the fertile grounds of Fool’s Gold Records. The dude’s also got some solid connections. Where else can you find Nell, JK The Reaper, Twelve’len, AND Denzel Curry spitting on the same record? ‘Gunsmoke’ is the lead single from Promnite’s upcoming record and it’s an eye-opening snapshot into life in America in 2016. Yes, the topics are broad but the talent shows nothing but wit, sharpness, and composure. As always, Curry is at his lyrical best while Honolulu visonary producer, Mr Carmack’s additional production adds a trap flare to the mix; something to balance with the confronting subject matter.


03. Ro Ransom - 'Doppelgänger'

I’m still trying figure out Ro Ransom. From what I can tell, he’s an R&B singer/songwriter, who also sings like… he’s rapping? It’s the Drake conundrum all over again. Looks like I’ll need some help here, folks. Ransom just dropped a new track called ‘Doppelgänger’ and this shit goes. There’s a smooth backing track which fuses the eclectic soul and dancehall aesthetics. However, the sweetness of the melody juxtaposes the NY newcomer’s berating of a former lover. “I came with you/ Fell asleep, and I stayed with you/ So go ahead, you can say what you want/ But girl I let you lean on me”. Even after the emotional ups and downs, “Doppelgänger” still has time to change up the melodic flow with a spaced-out futuristic interim. Listen to this thing, appreciate its versatility and get back to me. Rapper or singer? Rapper or singer? Rapper singer? Rappersinger?



04. Robyn Paige - 'Righteous'

Robyn Paige’s music is slow and dreary; the stuff you listen to on a drizzly day or a late-night drive. It’s also extremely deceptive. The sultry piano ballad that is ‘Righteous’ possesses an energetic undercurrent. Her gentle sentiments for love and conflicting motives are charged by staunch emotion and a strong-willed personality. Paige says the song is about how you feel in that moment when you are “torn between the right and the wrong thing to do, but are unable to resist the wrong thing”. It’s very in-depth for an artist who’s still cutting her teeth. Furthermore, it seems the London singer/songwriter has already carved out her own space in the crowded and oft-times repetitive world of pop and R&B. It’s a space where emotions have multiple meanings and harmonies can be just as volatile as a roar. ‘Righteous’ is exactly what its name suggests.


05. YG - 'I Be On' (feat. 21 Savage)

I’ve always called YG the Pavement of hip-hop. If you’re unfamiliar with Pavement, they’re an underground rock band from the ‘90s who revelled in criminally simple songs that were still somehow friggin’ genius. Sound familiar? YG doesn’t possess the worldly wisdom of a Kendrick Lamar, nor the innovation of a Danny Brown, but god dammit he still gets the job done.

‘I Be On’ comes fresh off the press from YG’s latest EP Red Friday, which dropped last week. Arguably, it’s the strongest cut on another focused set of tracks by the West Coast native. The scariest man on the face of the earth (aka 21 Savage) also makes an appearance on this subdued, tempered cut. At times, it’s hard to tell whose track this is when both artists work off one another’s styles with such ease. If YG and 21 don’t drop their own Watch the Throne in the next 12 months, then we should all give up on this sad, sorry music industry. In the meantime, let’s bick back, be bool and vibe to another underrated blassic from the Bompton MC.