Memo’s Monthly Favorites: June 2021

Hello everybody! Happy 4th of July! We are finally halfway down with the year. Although this hasn’t been a crazy year for music so far, I have a feeling things are going to start picking up. Just this past month there have been a lot of great singles. I’m going to cap it at 6 tracks in this article because I can easily write a ten-page essay on just the singles alone. There were a lot of big-name artists dropping projects this past month. There were a lot of great projects in general released this month. Let’s just hope this summer goes even crazier. I have a few recommendations for you all today. Let’s jump into it.

Song Honorable Mentions:

Nxtime & Dev Lemons – keep in touch: Nxtime X Dev Lemons is a heavenly collaboration we all needed. This bedroom pop track has pretty, dreamy, and quirky production. Although this track is about how difficult dating is, the production gives off some great summery vibes. I like Ray Rubio’s singing, but it is tough to compete with Dev’s performance. She is quickly becoming one of my favorite up-and-coming artists. 

Declaim, MED, and Madlib – All Over The World: This track has Madlib production…do I need to go on? Like most Madlib beats, this track has a chill and lofi feel to it. It has this wonky sound looping in the background. It is honestly a very pretty beat. Both Declaim and MED give great verses. The chorus is dope. If you’re a fan of straightforward boom bap hip hop, definitely don’t miss out on this track. Yall old heads would love this!

Pa Salieu – Glidin’ (feat. slowthai): Brooooooo! THIS SHIT GOES CRAAAZZY!  The chorus on this track is so catchy. It is hard not to groove to this track. Pa Salieu has so much personality. He just seems like a cool person in general. Slowthai absolutely kills his feature. A slowthai feature never misses. This grime beat is absolutely perfect for these two artists. Man UK hip hop is so underrated. Don’t sleep on UK rappers!

Tkay Maidza – Cashmere: Just like the early 2000’s Lakers, Tkay Maidza just got herself a three-peat. SHE HAS NOT MISSED ALL YEAR. This is the third single for her upcoming EP Last Year Was Weird, Vol. 2. Cashmere is probably the best track she released this year. I love the colorful and angelic production. Tkay’s voice is so smooth and pretty. This track is AMAZING! I can’t wait to watch her perform this song in September. I also can’t wait for her new EP. I can’t believe it’s dropping in less than a week!

Remi Wolf – Liz: This month has been a great month for singles. If the competition wasn’t so neck and neck this track could have easily been my favorite song of the month. The instrumental on this track is beautiful. It is another dreamy bedroom pop track with a cool bass and amazing electric guitar playing towards the end of the track. The instrumental is amazing, but it can’t top Remi’s performance. Her singing gives me goosebumps. You can tell Liz means a lot to Remi just by listening to the passion in her voice. Go listen to this track right now.

Album Honorable Mentions:

EXUM – Xardinal Coffee: Mates is back at it with another fire recommendation. Not going to lie, this album is pretty weird, but I love it. EXUM is such an amazing performer. Whether he is rapping, singing, or screaming he always sounds amazing. EXUM reminds me of both Ski Mask the Slump God and IDK, but even more chaotic. I love how well the production compliments EXUM. The beats always match his energy in this diverse tracklist. This album has no misses in my opinion. Go give it a listen.

Backwash – I Lie Here Buried with My Rings and My Dresses: I am in love with this album! The haunting and creepy horrorcore production is to die for. I love the inclusion of metal in this industrial hip-hop album. The rapping is S tier level good. Backxwash can fucking spit man. She gives an incredible performance on basically every track here. Confession time. I just listened to this album for the first time two days ago. I didn’t listen to this album when it first came out because I heard a snippet on twitter and got scared, so I kind of started avoiding this album. I’m glad I did finally give this album a chance because it is quickly becoming one of my favorite albums of the year. I wouldn’t be surprised if I ended up liking this album more than this month’s album of the month. Although this album isn’t for everybody, give it a chance. Maybe you will be pleasantly surprised like me.

Your Old Droog – Time: This is by far one of the most underrated albums of the year. Droog made a great contempt album about time. Time is referenced in each track in one way or another. There are tracks where Droog is talking about his younger self, his career, and even mortality. There is even this very cool storytelling track about a time machine taking people back in time. The lyrics are great. The production is very lush and classy. There are a lot of great features like MF DOOM, Aesop Rock, and Blu. What’s not to love?

Bo Burnham – Inside (The Songs): Let me start off by saying this, the best way to experience these songs is through Bo Burnham’s Netflix comedy album Inside. This comedy album does not flow nicely since it is meant for a comedy special. The reason why I am adding this album is that the highs on this album are HIGH. Some of my favorite tracks of the year are in this album. “Comedy”, “White Woman’s Instagram”, and “Welcome to the Internet” are in constant rotation for me. This album can be very funny, but it can also be depressing. The special is mostly about Bo’s mental state during the pandemic, and you can tell the pandemic had an effect on him while watching the special. I totally recommend this special and album. I am sure you will be able to find something you like.

Mother Mother – Inside: After blowing up on Tik Tok, you would think indie rock band Mother Mother would capitalize the attention by dropping a safe and generic album. Luckily this is not the case. This album does go into a darker approach. The dark mood is the result of the band’s experience during the pandemic. I do really enjoy this darker approach. In fact, I wish they went further with this sound because the album does get more upbeat further into the album. With that said, I do like the serene moments. I think for the most part the band gives a pretty good performance. Even with some flaws, I do really enjoy this album. Give it a try.

Favorite Song of The Month:

Jasiah – Art of War (feat. Denzel Curry & Rico Nasty): When a track starts off with “Yo, this the type of shit to make you curb stomp a newborn baby”, you know it will be an aggressive banger. I love the experimental and industrial production. It is almost as hard-hitting as the rappers. Every rapper here did not miss. Denzel Curry goes in with a fiery flow. Jasiah’s chorus is the type of shit you headbang to. Rico woke up and chose violence. I love how cartoony and squeaky her delivery is. This track is insane. I fucking love it. It definitely deserves to be the song of the month.

Favorite Album of The Month:

Tyler, The Creator – Call Me If You Get Lost: I’m not going to lie, I am a huge fan of Tyler. I am definitely biased, but god damn this is amazing. Tyler really showcased his skill set on this album. The production is great. He somehow mixes this artsy sound with a rugged hip-hop mixtape vibe. DJ Drama’s adlibs definitely further pushes that mixtape sound. Tracks like “LUMBERJACK” and “JUGGERNAUT” are crazy bangers with amazing production. Tyler also shows off his lyrical chops in songs like “WILSHIRE” and “MASSA”. There are a lot of great highlights in the tracklist. Although this isn’t my favorite Tyler album, it is a great way to end off this amazing three-album run.

These are my monthly favorites! Let me know what you have been listening to!

Memo’s Monthly Favorites: May 2021

Hello everybody! Happy June! I hope you are all doing well. This past month was pretty busy for me. My semester ended last month, so that means I had finals to worry about. Somehow I passed all of my classes so yay me! Now that my semester is over I can finally focus a bit more on music. Speaking of music, I’ve got some recommendations for you all today, so let’s jump into the honorable mentions.

Song Honorable Mentions:

Chimurenga Renaissance, King Britt, and Nadine Stoddart – Zimbabwe: I got to thank the homie Mates for this song recommendation. This track is fire! As you might have guessed from the song title, this track takes heavy musical inspiration from Zimbabwe’s culture. This hip-hop track has traditional Zimbabwe sounds sprinkled throughout the track. Nadine’s singing is not only great, but she sings in her native language which adds even more to the song in my opinion. The rap verse was tight, but I just wish there was a bit more. One verse wasn’t enough for me. Overall great track! Mates came through with this recommendation. 

Bungalow Collect – Tell Me Where To Go: This might be the smoothest track of the month. Bungalow Collect consists of members Apollo J, Zay Suaz, Marcus Isiah, and Rshad. Each member absolutely killed it. This group is so charismatic. I promise after the first listen you will be hooked. The rapping from both Apollo J and Rshad are FIRE! The chorus from Zay and Marcus is extremely entertaining. I love the groovy production. It somehow feels old school and new school at the same time. This song is filled with great vibes. I can’t get enough of it. PLEASE GIVE IT A LISTEN! I AM BEGGING!

DMX – Bath Salts (feat. JAY-Z & Nas): This song is a must-listen for not only New York hip hop fans, but for hip hop fans in general. Three New York rap legends on one song. JAY-Z starts things off sounding hungry over this dark and grimy beat. He didn’t come to play. This man is spitting. “Every six months, I think I need a new bucket list” is probably my favorite line off the track. With that said both Nas and DMX had great bars and quotables. When Nas said, “Ha, let’s put success to the side, I’d still be this fly if I worked at Popeye’s, That’s a whole lotta spinach, whole game full of gimmicks, Make a fool out of yourself for a post on Akademiks”, I started geeking out. The late legend, DMX, went in. This line, in particular, got me laughing, “I’m taking half, it’s just that simple Or I can start poppin’ niggas like pimples”. Even in DMX’s later years, he was still able to give entertaining verses. This song is from DMX’s posthumous album Exodus. Give it a listen, especially if you are a fan of hip hop.

EP Honorable Mentions:

Paris Texas – BOY ANONYMOUS: This fiery duo just dropped some heat on this EP. Throughout this entire project, Paris Texas delivers some crazy moments. For example, the outro of “CASINO” is fucking insane! I love how it transitions into the following track “PACK 4 DA LOW”. Paris Texas has a lot of energy when they rap. Although I prefer their in-your-face rapping, when they slow things down on songs like “AREA CODE” the outcome turns out pretty cool. What stands out the most to me is the chemistry Louie Pastel and Felix have. Everything sounded so natural. Nothing sounded forced. I can’t wait to see what they do next. This is an exciting experimental rap duo that you should keep an eye out for.

Album Honorable Mentions:

Mach-Hommy – Pray For Haiti: Mach-Hommy has been a fan favorite in the underground for a while now. Pray For Paris is the first project I have listened to from Mach. Although I wouldn’t say this is the best rap album of the year, I do see why he has such a dedicated fan base and has garnered the attention of JAY-Z and Drake. He is a great lyricist with several cool quotables like, “I’ll put that biscuit to your tee like it’s England”. Throughout the album Mach tributes Haiti which is where he is from. Thanks to Westside Gunn, who executive produced the album, this album has a grimy feel to it. If you are a fan of Griselda you will love this album.

CHAI – WINK: This album is the perfect example of not needing to know the language to enjoy the music. CHAI is a female Japanese band consisting of four members: Yuna, Kana, Mana, and Yuuki. Although there is some English in this album it is mostly in Japanese. I have no idea what they are saying, but the singing is so pretty. Pretty might be the best adjective to describe the album. From the singing to the production, each song is so pretty. Some standout tracks I want to mention include “PING PONG!” featuring YMCK. I love the video game-like production. “Maybe Chocolate Chips” has a great feature from Rick Wilson. He sounds a lot like JID to me. Although the closing track is only one minute long, I love the serenity “SALTY” provides. Great album! Give it a listen.

Tony Allen – There Is No End: Tony Allen is a drummer hailing from Nigeria. He, unfortunately, passed away last year, but his music lives on with this new posthumous album. There Is No End is an exciting album filled with amazing instrumentals and incredible features. Sampa The Great, Koreatown Oddity, Danny Brown, and Skepta did their thing on their respective tracks. Some of the features I didn’t know going into this album blew my mind like Zelooperz and Marlowe. I love the music off of this album, but I think the best part of the album is how Tony Allen started and ended the album. Tony Allen wanted to remind the listener that music never ends, it lives forever. I just thought this was a beautiful statement. Tony Allen’s work will definitely live forever.

Song Of The Month:

Lil Nas X – SUN GOES DOWN: I need to let the cat out of the bag. Lil Nas X’s music has been a “guilty pleasure” of mine since the release of the 7 EP. I basically love everything he has dropped and “SUN GOES DOWN” is no exception. The production on this track is pretty simple. It basically consists of some trap drums and a calm loop consistently playing in the background. It is simple but effective. Lyrically Lil Nas X is in a very vulnerable place. He basically talks about his struggle figuring out his identity growing up, his struggle with depression, and at the end, he reassures his younger self. Although I love “Montero”, I think “SUN GOES DOWN” is the best he has released this year. Dare I say, the best song he has released in his career.

EP Of The Month:

Audrey Nuna – a liquid breakfast: Audrey Nuna is such an interesting artist to me. On the surface, she seems kind of dull with her monotone delivery, but she is the complete opposite. Yes, her delivery on this EP is pretty monotone, but she can rap. Her flows can be very impressive from a technical standpoint. The combination of the monotone and impressive rapping with these dreary beats sounds so cool together. What surprised me the most is finding out she can sing. She has a nice voice. I wish she sang a bit more on this EP. Especially without autotune because she proves on “Long Year” that she doesn’t need heavy autotune. Overall I really liked the EP. I hope she will be working on an album soon.

Album Of The Month:


CZARFACE and MF DOOM – Super What?: The first time I found out CZARFACE and MF DOOM were working together I knew it was going to be awesome. They both are known for having a comic book-inspired persona. It’s a match made in heaven. Czarface Meets Metal Face was amazing and so is Super What? Although it’s predictable at this point, I absolutely love the cartoony production style and the comic book references in the lyrics. Esoteric, Inspectah Deck, MF DOOM, and the features rapped their asses off. With this album most likely being the last project MF DOOM would have his name on, I think this is a great album to end off his discography. This is exactly what I wanted from these guys. I can’t ask for more!

These are my monthly favorites! Let me know what you have been listening to!

Memo’s Monthly Favorites: February 2021

Hello everybody! Happy March! Even though February is the shortest month of the year, this past month was packed with a lot of great music. Especially in the singles department. I added more singles than usual in the honorable mentions, but I did leave two tracks. I did this because Daw has already written two great articles about them. I really recommend reading Daw’s articles on “Gang Signs” by Freddie Gibbs featuring ScHoolboy Q and “So.Incredible.pkg [Robert Glasper Version]” by Denzel Curry, Kenny Beats, Smino, and Robert Glasper. Those two tracks are amazing. Give it a listen. With that being said let’s dive into my monthly favorites.

Song Honorable Mentions:

Cakes Da Killer & Proper Villain – What’s The Word: Let’s start off with some straight-up fire. This hip-house track is very energetic. Cakes Da Killer is coming at you with these speedy flows. I really like how expressive he is when he delivers each bar. Proper Villain kills it on production. It has everything you want from a good hip-house beat. What’s not to love?

Big Freedia – Platinum: This song is by far one of the most fun and entertaining songs I have listened to this month. If it weren’t for the pandemic, I can totally see this song pumping people up at a club. I love how powerful and bold Big Freedia’s voice is. It pairs well with this fast-paced southern hip hop beat. I guarantee this song will have you on your feet, so if you want to have a mini dance party give this song a listen.

Genesis Owusu – Gold Chains: Genesis Owusu is probably my favorite discovery so far this year. This song was so close to becoming my favorite song of the month. This is mostly because of his singing. The chill lowkey production is great, but his voice is incredible. He doesn’t have a crazy singing performance, but everything he says sounds smooth as fuck. Especially when he is melodically rapping. This track is a must-listen.

Tkay Maidza – Kim (with Yung Baby Tate): After releasing my favorite EP of 2020, I became a giant fan of Tkay. So you better believe I am hyped for her upcoming EP. Especially after listening to “Kim”. That shit is crazy. This track is an aggressive, unapologetic, attitude-filled ride. Both Tkay Maidza and Yung Baby Tate sound so badass. They have amazing chemistry. I really love how this song references famous Kim’s including Kim Possible. I genuinely don’t know how someone can hate this song.

Noname – Rainforest: Noname is back with another impressive single. She just continues to amaze me. Her poetic lyricism is packed with a lot, and I mean a lot, of deep content. In the hoof alone she talks about depression, exploitive billionaires, and deforestation. “Because, because a rainforest cries, Everybody dies a little”, is one of my favorite lines I have heard all year. I can’t emphasize enough how well written this song is. Plus the jazzy calm instrumental makes for a perfect backdrop for this song. For crying out loud, NONAME DROP AN ALBUM! I NEED IT!

JID – Skegee: JID really did something special with this track. Like other JID tracks, he goes in a conscious direction. As always his lyrics are well written. What makes this song special in my opinion is what JID actually raps about. He shines a light on the Tuskegee experiments. Before this track, I didn’t know those disgusting and dehumanizing experiments actually happened. I appreciate JID for spreading more awareness to historical moments like these because I for sure did not learn about this in my public high school.

EP Honorable Mentions: 

MAVI – END OF THE EARTH: Although I am not absolutely in love with this EP, I do see its appeal. Mavi shows flashes of potential throughout this entire EP. On the first track, he is rapping with so much emotion. He truly sounds like he in a lot of pain. I love how Mavi raps when the trap drums come through on “METHODS”. His depressing lyricism is on point. I just hope he continues to improve and finds his own sound.

Luna Li – jams EP: There’s no clickbait here. This EP is filled with jams. In this 10 minute and 10 track EP, Luna Li soothes the listener with her talent. It’s crazy how Luna produced every single one of these lushes beats on her own. Every instrument played was done by her. The guitar, bass, violin, keys, and even the fucking harp were all her. What instrument can’t she play? If you want to relax I highly suggest putting this EP on.

Album Honorable Mention:

Luke Banter – Pucker Up: In this album, Luke provides several love-sick, yet upbeat pop tracks that are perfect for this past Valentine’s day. Luke does an impressive job at making catchy hooks. With tracks like “Nelly Bly”, “Pucker Up”, “Allergic”, and “Witchcraft” I can see the potential in what Luke is doing. This album is far from perfect. There are definitely several flaws and duds in the tracklist. With that said I am genuinely excited to see what Luke does moving forward.

Conway The Machine & Big Ghost Ltd – If It Bleeds It Can Be Killed: Man, Conway continues to amaze me. Conway has single-handedly turned me into a bigger Griselda fan. Don’t get me wrong Benny and Westside Gunn are cool, but Conway is on another level. Just like From King to a God, If It Bleeds It Can Be Killed differentiate himself from his contemporaries with his pen game. I absolutely love how badass Conway can be, but he can also be very vulnerable. Big Ghost Ltd kills it with the gritty production. Although this is not my favorite Conway album, I think this album is awesome. Don’t sleep on this album!

slowthai – TYRON: It was a tough choice putting TYRON on the honorable mentions list. Although this isn’t my favorite album of the month, so far this is definitely my favorite hip hop album of the year. Slowthai really impressed me with this album. The reason why I am a fan of slowthai is because of his aggressive bangers. In the first disc, we get those bangers, but the second disc is depressing and moody. Again I love those bangers, but slowthai really shined like he never has before on the second disc. Slowthai proves once again why he is one of the best rappers in the UK.

Favorite Song of The Month:

Kero Kero Bonito – The Princess and the Clock: As mentioned earlier, there were a lot of great singles released this month. It was honestly very hard to choose my favorite song of the month. I ended up picking this song because of how extravagant it is. This song sounds like an evolution of a track from Bonito Generation. It’s cute and upbeat, but they experiment a bit more on the production. This track has several different phases. It can be explosive and crazy, but then turn soothing in a blink of an eye. I am so hyped for the upcoming EP!

Favorite EP of the Month:

JPEGMAFIA – EP2!: In a short time span, JPEGMAFIA drops another installment of his EP series. Last year, he dropped an EP filled with entertaining experimental mostly rap songs. In this EP he is going into it with a different approach. This EP is darker. It is moodier. Peggy is a lot angrier than he was in EP!. Peggy has been angry in past projects, but he is usually rapping and shouting. In EP2!, he goes into a melodic approach. I wouldn’t even consider this rap. This is an angry experimental R&B project. Even though he is singing, his lyrics is still unapologetically cutthroat. I am not disappointed. 

Favorite Album of the Month:

Black Country, New Road – For the first time: I did not expect to like this album as much as I did. I consider myself a hip-hop fan. Although I do give other genres a chance, hip hop is my bread and butter. This experimental rock album is not something I usually would gravitate to, but I am in love with it. The biggest reason why is because of the production. This album has some of the best production I have listened to in a while. I also really love the dramatic singing performances throughout the album. This album has a lot of great qualities that help keep the listener’s attention. This is good because this album has a risky tracklist. It is only 6 songs with each song spanning from 5 to 10 minutes long. Black Country, New Road does an excellent job at keeping the listener engage even with a funky tracklist. If this album is just the beginning, then I can’t wait to see what they do next!

These are my monthly favorites! Let me know what you have been listening to!

Welcome To The Spirit World: Spirit World Field Guide by Aesop Rock Album Review

 Hello everybody! I hope you all are doing well. If anybody is wondering I am pretty happy. That is mostly because of this new Aesop Rock album: Spirit World Field Guide. HOLY FUCKING SHIT MAN! This album is AMAZING!!! Aesop Rock has been in the game for over two decades now and he is still able to make impressive albums like this. With this project, Aesop was able to make a last-minute run for album of the year.

  Aesop is one of the most talented and consistent artists in the underground today. He is known for having a huge vocabulary. This man is a walking dictionary. Every Aesop Rock album has S-Tier lyricism and this album is no different. Spirit World Field Guide is exactly what it sounds like. It is a field guide for the Spirit World. The first track, “Hello From The Spirit World”, introduces the listener to the album. Aesop lets the reader know that this album will guide them through this weird, crazy, and dangerous world. This world has all kinds of weird animals, as mentioned in “Coveralls”. This place is not normal. I really like how Aesop was able to create some cool imagery with his lyrics. In the song, “Dog At The Door”, Aesop sounds paranoid as hell. He is basically narrating what is going on at the moment. He uses some onomatopoeias to help engage the listeners. I’m sure Aesop’s high school English teacher is very proud of him. 

  Let me not forget to mention how amazing Aesop’s rapping is. This man is a spitter. On “Crystal Sword” Aesop was flowing. He was spitting bars on top of bars on top of bars. Aesop was also rapping his ass off on “Gauze”. He is just rapping about the supplies he needs to survive, yet his flows on this track get me geeking. There’s a lot of moments throughout this album that gets me geeking. The way Aesop was riding the beat on “Holy Waterfall” was insane. This man got me doing the stink face for 3 minutes and 48 seconds with that beat. Speaking of beats, there are a lot of instrumentals that make me geek out.

  The production on this album is out of this world. Like literally, a lot of these beats sound like aliens made them. “Button Masher” has these crazy electric guitar riffs. Like a lot of other tracks, the instrumental is very eerie. This song sounds like a spaceship landing on a planet. Don’t ask me how I know that.“Kodokushi” is very abrasive. This track sounds futuristic. There are also tracks that sound like they came from a video game like “The Gates” and “Jumping Coffin”. The instrumentals on each track does a great job of making the listeners feel like they are no longer on earth. You feel like you are in the Spirit World. What makes this even more impressive is that Aesop helped produce the entire album. Not only is Aesop a top tier lyrist, but he is also a top tier producer too.

  This album is a little bit over an hour long. It has a total of 21 songs. I usually do not enjoy listening to albums over an hour-long, but the music off of this album is honestly jaw-dropping. This album is all killer no filler. Each trach is basically as good as the last. The weird imagery in the lyrics, impressive rapping, and out of this world production helps make this album an enjoyable listen. I really can’t emphasize this enough, Spirit World Field Guide is one of the best rap albums of the year. This album is an album of the year contender. I highly recommend it! This album is a MASTAPEACE BABY!