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Bars: Your weekend sesh is sorted with these illest of new tracks, December 9

Run the Jewels, Sammus, RaRa, Busy Signal, and 67 will make you forget about your shitty working week

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Weekly updates

I know what you’re going through. Believe me, I’m going through it as well. Let me throw a picture frame around this; right now, you’re sitting in front of a 2016 calendar. You’re trembling with excitement and exasperation as your hand takes a permanent red marker and adds a cross to the 8th of December. Yep, only two weeks or so until you’re free to frolic in the luxuries of the summer holidays. But there’s one problem; the holidays are still two weeks away. So, while you’re stoked and everything, you’re also thinking how the devil do I get through these next two weeks? You’re panicking now, but please relax. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

If you’re thinking that healthy eating, good exercise, catching up with the family, and a good night’s sleep will help you get to the holidays quicker then get that trite out of your head now! The simple and timeless answer is Bars. This week there’s five brand-spanking new tracks to help you get through the five days of the working week. Next week, there’ll be another five tracks to help you through that working week. Before you know it, the next two weeks are finished and you’re finally free to enjoy the sun by siting inside and scrolling on your computer. No need to thank me, I’ll be doing the same thing in my Mum’s basement in two weeks’ time.

01. Busy Signal - 'Everywhere (Fleetwood Mac cover)'

In this era of people being easily offended and scared senseless about everything (perhaps rightfully so) it seems fitting that we should all adopt a bit of dancehall attitude. Not the kind of attitude that turns an entitled male into an entitled dick cheese, but an attitude that takes life for what it is and doesn’t let the ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ get in the way of the now. This even translates over to musicians. Nobody – not even Queen Bey nor Gaga – would have the chutzpah to touch Fleetwood Mac’s classic ‘Everywhere’. Thankfully, Busy Signal doesn’t give a hoot about musical consecration. The Jamaican dancehall artist has done a damn decent job of introducing ‘Everywhere’ to the 21st Century. Signal adds some fast-paced vocals and dreamy backing harmonies to give this cover an undeniably summery feel. The singer/songwriter also lets his Rude Boy aesthetic glide effortlessly into the breezy, soaring chorus. Without sacrificing the beauty of the original, Busy Signal has added new flavour to an anthem that’s still impossible to get out of your head almost 30 years later.


02. New Gen - 'Jackets (feat. 67)'

The city of London has a knack for acclimatising the most icy, cool-hearted music possible. Like a rubber band pulled back then snapped, the anti-establishment punk attitude of Public Image Ltd seems to have vaulted forward and been adopted by the grimy, eerie circle that is 67. The group just dropped ‘Jackets’ as part of the ‘New Gen’ collective, which have an upcoming LP being released through XL Recordings in January 2016. ‘Jackets’ is a dark number, with woozy synths swirling in and out of double kicks and sharp drum beats. The moody atmosphere and violent lyricism will also make many listeners immediately think Chicago drill – which is a fair assumption. However, 67 don’t drown their lyrics in an avalanche of bass distortion and drum kicks. 67’s Dimzy, LD, Liquez and Monkey – as well as guest rapper Nines – drop bar after bar and show drill music can still be virulent without being overly voluptuous .


03. RaRa - 'under\current'

Melbourne beat group RaRa are but a blip on the city’s widespread musical history map. However, in that same blip of time they’ve also made a significant impact. The alternative hip-hop quartet are known for turning the traditional notion of ‘skip hop’ on its head with dark, layered production and experimental change-ups. ‘under\current’ is a prime example of this. However, for a RaRa number this latest single is a slow-burner with a brooding, momentous build-up that never quite reaches climax. The trap influence in the production keeps “under\current” stewing with tension as the group interrogates their surrounding environment. Like a kaleidoscopic fever dream, RaRa’s newest material further proves why this quartet are just as difficult to comprehend as they are to label. Keep a bloodshot eye out for LL’VO, The lovely me, River Deep and KL in 2017.


04. Run the Jewels - 'Legend Has It'

Killer Mike and El-P do not know how to be subtle; the word simply doesn’t exist in their vocabulary nor the thousands-upon-thousands of dictionaries both have likely studied over the years. When these two rap monoliths get together the clouds swell and thunder claps like napalm exploding in your ear canal. Think the first time you heard these two hook up on the El-P-produced, Killer Mike number ‘Big Beast’. Didn’t that shit just knock you off your damn stool? Well get ready for take-two (or should I say three?) The first single from Run the Jewel’s upcoming release RTJ3 dropped last week and it doesn’t disappoint.

Etched throughout El-P’s growling production, Killer Mike sounds as poised and ready as ever, dropping some bombs along the way. But ‘Legend Has It’ isn’t the political powerhouse most were expecting. Rather, it’s a brow-raising display of expert lyricism and boisterously pixelated production. Once more, El-P also proves he’s just a dangerous behind the boards as he is behind the mic. “Every new record’s a dick in a box/ We here the goons, eat them rulers a lot/ You’re getting used to me doing no wrong/ I don’t play chicken, you prick, I’m a fox”. Undeniably, no one can touch Run the Jewels. Want me to say it again? No one can touch Run the Jewels. No. One.


05. Sammus - 'Comments Disabled'

“They leave rape threats in your mentions/They get big ups from they henchmen/ When you kick ‘em out they make new accounts/That are fake like some extensions.” Sammus is mad, and it’s obvious why. The Ithaca, NY rapper has some words to say about the disgusting treatment of women in the gaming industry and online. Given she’s a regular in the niche ‘nerdcore’ hip-hop scene, Sammus knows what she’s talking about. “Women I was following on Twitter were sharing their experiences with harassment,” she said in a Bandcamp statement. “The stories these women shared made me physically ill. I saw how widespread the issue is.” Without a sliver of doubt, the former teacher and PhD student absolutely tears the trolls a new one. On ‘Comments Disabled’ Sammus pummels her way through some vigorous rhymes with near-perfect execution. Her combination of street smarts, timing, and unshakeable wit makes her a formidable foe. Exhibit A: “I’m sorry your life isn’t working out/But I promise that typing a hurtful thought/Will not solve any plight you’re concerned about.” Flawless victory.