Lucas Foster uses a crockpot for his world famous stews.
Migos – “Stir Fry (Prod. Pharrell)”
I went into this song with every intention of hating it. I’ve grown tired of Migos. I’ve heard all their tricks a million times (who hasn’t) and I think the vice grip they have on the trap-pop crossover lane is crowding out many equally talented artists from ATL. Unfortunately for my hot take, this is another flawless outing for the troika of triplets.
Enlisting Pharrell on production was a shrewd way to display their versatility. It proves the group is not overly reliant on the trap sounds they generally favor. With the beat constantly moving around between crunchy whistles and synths more reminiscent of 2006 N.E.R.D. than 2006 Gucci, we get to hear a side of the Migos no one expected to hear just yet. They move all too easily between the change ups, singing like Shay Haley at one moment, rapping about cooking the other kind of chicken in the next.
It’s a great song. It’s also a message to every critic: Expect to hear these men in your Ubers and malls for a long time.
Bladee – “Frosty the Snowman”
Culture moves so fast nowadays that I often lose track of artists I once followed with nerdy obsession. Back in 2014-15 I couldn’t get enough of Gravity Boys and Bladee—their most talented singer. But since then, they got lost in the constant hustle and bustle of Youtube algorithms, recommendations, and buzz bands.
This Christmas Day release is a classic sounding Bladee effort with a Working on Dying twist. The gravity-less production and space age autotune come together so seamlessly I was wondering if it was recorded on the ISS instead of Bladee’s Sweden studio.
Bones – “BlastZone”
Bones is an anomaly in the scene he helped create. While most in his lane flame out in a matter of months, for six years he has stayed on top of the underground with an insane work ethic and nothing else. He dropped yet another tape this week, and kicked it off with the track he knew his fans wanted.
This is not the (quietly influential) emo meets dirty south sound of his surrenderdorothy moniker. Nor is it the drugged out, slow motion flow he pioneered with Xavier Wulf. Instead, it’s the same 100 meter sprint in a neo-Memphis flow that Bones has done since before the $uicideboy$ scoured 4chan /mu/’s 90’s Memphis thread for samples.
Xelly – “TIME… (Prod. EQMADEIT)”
Xelly has plenty of time for rap. He proved it this week by dropping a 100 song mixtape in a time when rappers are more keen to tease snippets than put in that sort of work. This spacey autotune track kicks off four hours spent in the young Rockville, Maryland rapper’s world.
Though Lil Xelly is still new to the scene—having only started making serious moves this year—this song sounds like a true veteran effort. Between the beautiful auto-tune crooning and wise warnings to leeches, there’s a message to all of us: Xelly has arrived, and with the same work ethic as the Based God, he should stay.
Future – “Hate in Your Soul (Prod. Metro Boomin)”
Who could’ve guessed that Future and Metro released another amazing single? I wish I had more to write about this that hasn’t been said about Future before.