Give It a Listen: Angel Haze, MNEK, Kendrick Lamar and Kanye West

Reggie Myers

Reggie Myers is a writer and communications professional living in Philadelphia, Pa., where he graduated from Temple University. Music, television, film, books, video games, politics, and human sexuality are just a few of the many things that make him tick. When he's not working behind a computer screen, you can find him looking for new adventures, practicing photography, scheming ways to get to the front row of a concert, or scouring the corners of the internet for new music to put his friends on to. @reggieakil

A few days late but not a single song short, here are some songs that came out recently that you should definitely give a listen if you haven’t already.

Angel Haze – CANDLXS & GXMES

Angel Haze and her girlfriend  recently called it quits.  Before that, however, Angel Haze released this beautiful dedication to their relationship.   A hip-hop beat infused with drums, guitars and flutes, Haze sings about how she wishes for the ‘candles to burn slow’ so she could forever live in that moment.   Severely underrated, Haze constantly makes hit-worthy music while masterly balancing hip-hop bravado and her vulnerability; and even though there are many rapper who attempt this, she is also one of the few rappers who can sing as well as she raps. This song is no exception, and one can only hope the candles burn slow on the lifespan of her career to give her the time to gain the recognition she deserves.

Interestingly enough, Angel Haze released another song titled ‘Gxmes’ a couple of days ago. I try to stay away from gossip when it comes to what I write for the music section, but I have to admit the timing is definitely interesting.

https://soundcloud.com/angxlhxze/gxmes-prod-troy-noka

Kendrick Lamar – The Blacker The Berry

Known for dropping gems, Kendrick set the internet ablaze this past Monday with the release of ‘The Blacker The Berry’. According to Genius.com, the song was released by Taraji P. Henson the day after Lamar won two Grammy awards. The five minute and a half minute song takes square aim at racism in America, and introspective as always, the song also finds Lamar dealing with his own perceived hypocrisy over his anger at state and racist violence in the face of intraracial gang violence. Passionate as always, Lamar’s lyrics are complex and layered, making references to recent events and historical events both in the U.S. and in Africa. Whether you agree with him or not, be prepared to listen closely and multiple times to fully understand what he’s saying.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AhXSoKa8xw

MNEK – The Rhythm

Another singer who released new music this week was British-Nigeria singer MNEK. A high-energy dance track, MNEK blends R&B, pop and dance, reminiscent of the 90s and early 00s.

Kanye West ft. Vic Mensa & Sia – Wolves

During Kanye West’s presentation for New York Fashion Week, he decided to play a new song that is rumored to be from his upcoming album. Due to the fact that the audio is coming from someone recording from inside the venue, the quality of the audio is low. If you are a fan of Kanye’s 808s and Heartbreaks album, you’ll enjoy this song. Much like ‘Monster’, the best is saved for last with West and Mensa’s lower vocal range acting as the bump and set for Sia’s spike. Her high-pitched and haunting voice prove to be perfect for closing out this song. Hopefully, we’ll get to hear this song in all of its glory and in its proper place on West’s new album soon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5oVNWh0Tpg

Alabama Shakes – Don’t Wanna Fight

The critically-acclaimed Alabama Shakes are back with ‘Don’t Wanna Fight’, the first single off of Sound & Color.  In my opinion, the best songs are the songs you can feel. And this song does just that. The song’s title is ‘Don’t Wanna Fight’ and the sentiment is perfectly shown in everything from the lead singer’s voice to the instrumentation.  Listeners can feel the frustration and sadness of the band as they sing about a strained and tumultuous relationship. If this is what listeners can expect from the band’s upcoming album, then fans are in for quite a treat when April 20th rolls around.

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