In this series, KTRM Promotions Director Matt Ragsdale will have a week in review for all things music so that you know what’s good, bad, and of course boujee.
Before we get into this there was a lot of music released within the past two days and some of it may not make this week-end round up, so the projects I will not be covering are the new Lorde album “Melodrama,” the new CHON album “Homey,” or the new Portugal. The Man album “Woodstock.” With that said let’s get on with the music.
By far the best song I’ve heard this week. This new QOTSA single opens a whole new chapter for the band and dusts off the cobwebs on the dance rock genre. This is the first new release from the group since 2013’s “Like Clockwork,” which had been the moodiest and most depressing album the band had released. This new record was produced by the pop legend Mark Ronson (you might recognize him from “Uptown Funk”). When I first heard about the teaming of these two I was sure the outcome would be a disaster, Ronson coming from a pop background, and QOTSA longtime purveyors of doom metal. However as soon as the song started I was floored. This is by far the most fun I’ve had listening to a QOTSA track since “Feel Good Hit of the Summer,” which was released in 2001… The guitar lead intro is bouncy and fun, and Josh Homme’s vocals soar and croon over the song. Although the track isn’t really as cheery as the production makes it out to be. Homme sings about a lust for a lover, who is somewhat absent and now he needs them to love him, “the way (they) used to do.” I expect the new album “Villains” will be enigmatic of this first single. “Villains” is set to come out August, 25. Until then keep jamming out to this track because, folks, it’s worth it.
Since 2016’s collaborative effort with Lil Wayne, “Collegrove,” 2 Chainz has proved himself to anyone that doubted him that he really is at the top of his game. This new album is no different. Over the past few months 2 Chainz has been teasing tracks from the album. “Good Drank” and “It’s a Vibe” were the first to come out and revealed a side of 2 Chainz I was not familiar with. We saw 2 Chainz explore themes of RnB and chilled out hip-hop, which totally contrasts the bombastic and loud production from 2 Chainz’ eponymous BOATS and BOATS II albums. The latest single “4 AM,” made me particularly excited for the record. The collaboration of 2 Chainz and Travis Scott is a match made in heaven. So with the full album out it meets the expectations I had for it based on the singles which already been released. We see 2 Chainz furthering the sound of trap with a lot of different types of instrumentation (I mean the dude used a sample of a güiro and some castanets on the song “OG Kush Diet”) as well as letting the listener get a close and personal with the rapper on tracks like “Burglar Bars” and “Saturday Night,” wherein 2 Chainz explicitly tells the listener how he got his start, selling drugs. Overall the album is a great example of how trap is changing with a greater variety of production and becoming more insightful lyrically. Additionally the features throughout the album compliment 2 Chainz and the production. Folks, there’s a song on the album for everyone.
Jaden Smith – Batman (music video)
Where do I even begin… Let’s start with the video. As the video opens the viewer sees Jaden Smith alone yelling “fuck” in a field. Immediately afterward we see Smith in an office. Already I don’t understand what is happening and how we’ve gotten to this point. From there we follow Smith as both himself and as Batman through Los Angeles. There’s not a really a plot to the video and it doesn’t compliment the song in any way. Now onto the song. The chorus is comprised mostly of Smith repeating the title of the song, “Batman.” It’s a play on Drake’s “Jump Man,” but it doesn’t resonate as well because the production is much smoother and leaned back on Smith’s iteration of the song. The lyrics don’t move me either, Smith comes off as vapid asking for new clothes and a new Tesla (there could be an argument made that this is Smith channeling the fictional character he’s portraying, Bruce Wayne). Smith falls flat on this new single and it honestly just sounds lazy. I don’t recommend listening to the song unless of course, you have an unquenchable morbid curiosity.
As for what’s boujee-est, it’s also the music video for Jaden Smith’s “Batman.” Throughout the video we see Smith riding around in a couple different Tesla X’s, wearing an original pair of Adidas NMD’s, and dancing around in a white and gold Batman suit. The whole video shows off Smith’s immense wealth and he flaunts it, which I’m actually okay with. At one point Smith as Batman gets in a stage fight with other masked superheroes in downtown Hollywood. I prefer this new avenue Smith is taking with his stardom. It seems like Smith is having more fun and I think it’s a better outlet for him than his pseudo-existential outlook on the world.
That raps up the Good, the Bad, and the Boujee for this week. Remember these are just my thoughts and opinions, I encourage you to search out these songs and form your own opinions because we could be at odds. I’d like to extend a special shout out to the new SZA album “CTRL.” I didn’t have enough time to listen to it last week, but it really is worth a listen. SZA carves out her own brand of poppy-RnB, which I found very enjoyable across the 14 songs.
Come back next week for another round up of music and all things music.
Matt Ragsdale is a senior Communication major with an emphasis in journalism. Matt serves as the promotion manager for KTRM as well as the Assistant producer of TMN TV.