This week was one of the strongest weeks for new videos drops since the start of 2017. We got something new from Lorde after almost 4 years, another standout video from Bruno Mars, and a bunch of other high quality releases from the likes of Raekwon, Ariana Grande, Fabolous, and more. Check out everything I rounded up below, along with my reactions.
Lorde – Green Light
Well it’s been almost four years since Lorde’s debut album that produced the megahit “Royals” and shot her into stardom. It was quite the project for a 17 year old and I’ve been patiently waiting to see if she’s the real deal or just a flash in the pan. It’s also the reason why she’s one of my most anticipated albums this year. After listening to this, her first single in some time, I’m still not sure. The song is ok, if not a little generic, especially when compared to “Royals” and the video is bare bones but she fully commits. I’ll need to hear more.
Bruno Mars – That’s What I Like
The human ball of talent is back with his second official single off 24K Magic. I don’t think it’ll have as much legs as the first single or “Uptown Funk,” but it’s still a very solid song. The video is extremely dope with some great use of scribble effects and mix of stop motion.
Raekwon – Purple Brick Road
Raekwon and G-Eazy; not a combination I expected to hear from The Chef, but it actually worked out pretty well. It’s a cool little song and G-Eazy doesn’t detract from it like I thought he would. The video is meh. Really just a bunch of random shots and slow motion, but older artists rarely bring much in the video department these days.
NAV – Some Way
The XO signee hit us with one of the best songs off his recently dropped album mixtape. I’m still not sold on him as an artist but this is an alright song that’ll get a few spins from me. Models, fashion, and muted colors; yeah he’s definitely a part of the XO camp.
Fabolous – Goyard Bag
Fab is easily one of the best mixtape rappers in the game. His albums never seem to live up to that same hype, but that’s a conversation for another time. Summertime Shootout 2 wasn’t my favorite tape of his but it still had some serious heat, including this one, featuring one of the best guest spots I’ve heard yet from Lil Uzi. The video is a little all over the place and doesn’t really go anywhere but it promises a continuation of the “story” in his next video.
Ariana Grande – Everyday
Disney is a pop star producing factory and Ariana is just the latest in a long line of singers that immediately try to distance themselves from their kid friendly personas. Nowhere near Miley’s level (yet) but there’s enough sexual innuendo and actual (softcore) sex going on in the video and song to make any parent cringe. The song is ehhh. Sounds like every other top 40 song out there.
Gallant dropped one of the most slept on albums of 2016 and he seems to think so too as he continues to revisit it, this time for one of my favorite tracks off the song “Talking to Myself.” He has one of the best falsettos I’ve heard in a while and a clear artistry about him that’ll carry him far.
Smoke DZA – Badabing’s Theme
Smoke DZA’s been having a renaissance of sorts, dropping some very dope projects last year. This one’s from his earlier solo affair and it’s pretty fire. I gotta admit, I’ve never been the biggest fan of his but if he keeps putting out heat like this I’ll have to reconsider that position.
Trey Songz – Song Goes Off
Another song off his upcoming album, and just like the last one I just don’t feel moved by it. Feels like he’s pretty much falling back on the same formula for all his music now and it’s starting to get boring. It’s like deja vu with his videos, his music, and his albums.
What’d you think about this week’s videos? Which ones were your favorites? Did I miss any that I should check out? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to subscribe to stay up with all the new content.
CULTURE (counter, pop, and otherwise) and the people who shape it.