- Five Films to Watch About Stonewall … Besides Stonewall - 29 September, 2015
- Symphony: An interview with Raymond Yiu - 25 August, 2015
- Raymond Yiu’s Symphony to debut at BBC Proms - 12 August, 2015
For this week’s Give It a Listen, I have a rare treat: three songs from queer artists. So, let’s get started shall we?
Cleva Thoughts – Here I Come
First up is ‘Here I Come’ by Cleva Thoughts. Sampling Johnny Gill’s classic 90’s hit ‘There You Go’, the beat forgoes the theatrics to give classic hip-hop that back to basics feeling. Perfectly complementing these beats is the in-your-face delivery of Cleva Thoughts as she raps about the problems of the world weighing on her mind. She addresses the recent controversies around police brutality and states her desire to make the music to keep people awake. She then goes on to talk about the struggle of making music that is authentic to her as a woman. These verses, coupled with the chorus, make for a bold declaration that she’s here and nothing is going to run her off. If you’re a hip-hop head and looking for an alternative to your usual go-to rappers, then Cleva Thoughts is definitely an artist you might want to check out.
Jes$ – Nowadays
Every year, a few different artists go on a vent about the modern world and what they want to see in the upcoming year. This year, Jes$ joins the ranks with ‘Nowadays’. In this three minute venting session over a laidback beat with piano chords in the background, she addresses multiple problems with the world such as double standards, police brutality, and unity in the community. It ultimately transitions into how she won’t stop rhyming, because there are people who look up to her to make it. While these songs are not entirely new, what makes the song good is Jes$’s wordplay. That, played with her stream of conscious delivery, separates it from similar songs where rappers seem like they are just talking and throw in a rhyme or two when they snap out of it and remember they’re supposed to be rhyming. Just like Cleva Thoughts, Jes$’s ‘Nowadays’ is a declaration and I am curious to see what music Jes$ will deliver over the next year.
Oh Blimey – Bassface
Finally, we have ‘Bassface’ from San Francisco rapper Oh Blimey. Listeners finds Oh Blimey encouraging them to lose control and surrender to the bass, or ‘let the bass hit your face’. This song is a braggadocious, party anthem that draws its inspiration from the heavily dub-step influenced hip-hop and pop music of 2011 and 2012. Think of it as the 2015 version of ‘Turn Down for What’ except there are actual verses. And Oh Blimey’s rhyming skills make the song that much more enjoyable. So if you need something to add to your pre-game rotation, then definitely check out this track.
That’s all for this week’s Give It a Listen. As always, let me know what new songs and artists you’ve been listening to this week.