TUNE OF THE MONTH
Backseat Freestyle (Polydor)
Kendrick Lamar’s debut album came out in November, but if you’ve had your head buried in the chocolate box then let new single ‘Backseat Freestyle’ show you the light. Possibly the greatest thing in hip hop right now, Lamar’s Compton drawl coupled with trippy musical reminders of the great West Coast-led era of yesteryear make this, and pretty much everything he’s done, a necessary addition
to your collection.
Duke Dumont feat A*M*E
100% (Need U) (White)
Following on from the greatness of ‘The Giver’, Duke Dumont has roped in the vocal talents of pop princess A*M*E (‘Play The Game Boy’). Fusing her 90s r’n’b sensibilities with a dance throwback, nodding towards the ‘Pump Up The Jam’ era, this received spins from Annie Mac, Toddla T and Huw Stephens before the label it’s to be released on has even been confirmed. No surprise though, it’s a blimmin’ stonker.
Devlin feat Diane Birch
Rewind (Universal Island Records)
As premiered back in October on Radio 1, this track is pretty special. With Devlin, who’s probably still the long-term great British rap great (and hope), he manages to keep his unique lyrical stance and approach to a track while also managing to pack in enough commercial nods when it comes to the beat. Produced by TMS and featuring Diane Birch on the hook, this is a great example of what can be done when you stay true and allow for real artistic evolution.
Money (Truth & Soul Records)
It was with great pleasure that we saw this one land in our inbox. A new project, the brainchild of Brit nu soul great Terri Walker (who’s previously worked with Mos Def and been nominated for the Mercury prize) and Virginia, who was born and raised Nicole Wray and discovered by Missy at 17, ‘Lady’ is sounding damn fine in all its nostalgic glory. With a little help from producers Truth & Soul (Aloe Blacc, Adele) this is all about creating modern-day interpretations of classic soul sounds. Love.
Sweet Talk (PMR)
What with Katy Perry declaring she works out to Jessie Ware and ‘Devotion’ becoming one of the most critically acclaimed debut albums of 2012, it didn’t really matter that the London lass missed out on the Mercury. Following swoon-laden releases ‘Running’, ‘Wildest Moments’ and ‘Night Light’, ‘Sweet Talk’ will put a spring in your step however cold the ground may be. With a smashtastic Rudimental remix to boot, reload this one time.
Banana Skank EP (Big Dada)
You’re not wrong, this is a track being lifted from Rodney Smith aka Roots Manuva’s 2011 album, ‘4everevolution’. Having being re-imagined by Wafa, the reggae pulse remains but the track is now heading straight for the club. Not to be outdone, Smith himself has revisited the original of ‘Banana Skank’ and also unveils two new tracks built in his Tottenham pad, ‘Party Time’ and ‘Natural’, both of which feature Banana Klan collaborator, Kope. We’re told he’s also working on an opera, comic book, autobiography, and looking after his kids, so here’s hoping an album does come this year.
50 Cent feat Eminem & Adam Levine
My Life (Polydor)
Don’t let the sighting of Adam Levine’s name put you off. Taken from Fiddy’s new album ‘Street King Immortal’, ‘My Life’, produced by Symbolyc (Jay Z, Kanye West) has been riding high in the US iTunes chart since the end of last year. Hip hop with a groove, Eminem steals the track from 50, who (let’s be honest) at times sounds a lot like he can’t be arsed any more. With that in mind and the track done, sorry, it’s back to Kendrick Lamar for us. This one’s for the daytime radio crew.