Have a listen to a couple of jams from well-known artists, and a few from ones you’ve likely never heard of before:
1. KRS-One — Outta Here
KRS-One (real name Lawrence Parker) was a Godfather for rap and hip-hop during the mid-80’s. In a big way, he influenced the burgeoning music scene in New York City. KRS-One was also a transcendent figure within the genre — as he routinely developed tracks with great flow. “Outta Here” is a track harking back to his tough upbringing. It’s possessing straight fire, and acts as a funky beat for those in search of some energy.
2. Public Enemy — Harder Than You Think
Before Flavor Flav was known for wearing gigantic clocks and appearing on reality television dating shows, he was an excellent musician. Along with group member Chuck D, Public Enemy became one of the most popular hip-hop groups in the history of the genre. Flav’s ability to be a hype man — coupled with Chuck D’s ability on the mic and as a lyricist — offered a truly dynamic pairing. “Harder Than You Think” was a track released on the group’s 20th anniversary record. Though it’s not considered one of their all-time great classics, it still encompasses the true essence of the group.
3. Alvvays — Plimsoll Punks
As Alvvays’ latest album trickles out track by track, we’ve recently been introduced to their latest triumph, “Plimsoll Punks.” Simply put, this might be one of the band’s best songs — regardless of album. Lead guitarist Alec O’Hanley ignites the track with a beautifully executed guitar riff. It’s then followed up by Molly Rankin’s delicate voice placed atop a rather aggressive musical arrangement. There are obvious elements of punk (no pun intended) and 1980’s Scottish Pop. Based upon what we’ve heard of Antisocialites thus far, Alvvays could be a candidate to break out amidst the mainstream scene sooner than later.
4. Le Couleur — Femme
Le Couleur is a band possessing a number of elemental descriptions. Hailing from Quebec, the French Canadian band has obvious roots in European pop. It also extracts examples of electro pop, indie rock, and an ’80’s feel within their content. Lead singer Laurence Giroux-Do largely composes tracks in French — though she does have some songs in which she speaks English. “Femme” isn’t overly complex, though it presents potent notes of auditory pleasure.
5. BROCKHAMPTON — Junky
BROCKHAMPTON is a group emerging on the scene as we speak. Experimental and raw, the 15-person group (no, that’s not a typo) hails from Texas. To date, they’ve released one mix-tape and 11 singles. After sustaining a ton of success with their initial album Saturation, a second entitled Saturation II is set to drop in late August. BROCKHAMPTON is getting plenty of publicity from all over the place. VICELAND recently released a series focusing on the group and lead singer Kevin Abstract.
6. Le’Veon Bell — Shrimp Bayless
Let’s get something straight: Pittsburgh running back Le’Veon Bell can rap. Countless athletes have attempted to delve into the realm of music. There’s been varying levels of success, though many of them come off as cartoonish. Bell not only has rhythm and flow, but he’s not afraid to call out members of the media. “Shrimp Bayless” is a track aimed at pundit Skip Bayless. Outspoken in his own right, Bayless often is critical of Bell’s ability on the gridiron. Comparatively speaking, Bell certainly wins the battle on the shit-talking level.
7. Mura Masa Feat. A$AP Rocky — Love$ick
Famed DJ Mura Masa (born Alex Crossan) teamed up with A$AP Rocky (Rakim Mayers) to form the bumping track “Love$ick.” The music video is acting as a backdrop to the content of the song. Showcasing the grittiness of the council estates helps in pairing with A$AP Rocky’s poetic lyrical presentation. The song itself has considerable energy — though it’s not a banger. It’s possessing a smoothness to it, and can be listened to in a number of arenas.
8. Tame Impala — Feels Like We Only Go Backwards
“Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” hails from Tame Impala’s second album entitled Lonerism. The Australian-based group squarely is rooted in psychedelic rock. It conjures up memories of a past decade — whether that be the ’60’s, ’70’s, or ’80’s. Lead singer Kevin Parker truly provides a fragility within his vocal performances. This track in particular depicts this premise considerably.
9. CHVRCHES — Do I Wanna Know? (Arctic Monkeys Cover)
The Glaswegian band CHVRCHES has established itself as a fixture within the indie music scene. Lead singer Lauren Mayberry’s ethereal voice has been woven with synth pop beats to form a powerhouse within the indie scene. Though the group rarely dips into covers, it decided to pay homage to the group Arctic Monkeys by playing their track “Do I Wanna Know?” The original version is a brazen arrangement with heavy rock elements. CHVRCHES switched up things considerably — offering a sweeter, softer, and equally as impressive rendition.
10. The Kinks — A Well Respected Man
The Kinks were a terrific band. However, it never fully got the recognition it deserved. This was due to the fact that a fellow British band during the same time period garnered iconic hype. The competing band was known as The Beatles. Regardless, hits such as “You Really Got Me” and “Lola” were universally adored. “A Well Respected Man” is another example of the band’s cleverness lyrically, in addition to the simplicity of this bluesy-rock amalgam.
Main Image Source: Public Enemy