J Balvin & Willy William – “Mi Gente” (feat. Beyonce’)
Once J Balvin & Willy William’s original version of “Mi Gente” hit number one on Spotify’s Global Charts in early August, it was primed for a remix with an artist with more broad appeal. “Mi Gente” which was the first song to top the Global Charts with entirely Spanish lyrics and, along with mega-hit “Despacito,” was a catalyst for the recent explosion of Latin music back into the mainstream. Enter Beyoncé and her army of adoring fans and the combination is perfect. Queen Bey, who is donating her profits to relief efforts in Puerto Rico, is working in both Spanish and English, and features yet another reference to the Jay-Z infidelity drama that has dominated the two artists’ recent releases. Musically, this song is definitely going to be saved for public gatherings because Beyoncé does not add enough to the song to warrant casual listenings. This does not, however, take away how well this song works in large groups because that horn that sounds exactly like Fat Joe & Remy Ma’s “All the Way Up” combined with the Latino drum beat is infectious dancing music. You have to pick your spots with this one.
Smokepurpp – “Fingers Blue” (feat. Travis Scott)
I am very excited about this track. More so for Travis Scott’s increased output in recent weeks than Smokepurpp’s debut effort, “Deadstar.” Impregnating Kardashians, remixing hit tracks and previewing his upcoming joint project with Quavo, Scott has been busy. “Fingers Blue” sounds very much like a Travis Scott song, which is unsurprising given Smokepurpp’s decision to sign for the Texas rapper’s label, “Cactus Jack Records,” the day this project was released. This song sounds like a song from Travis Scott’s debut album “Rodeo,” with the distorted bass that is a trademark of a Smokepurpp song. Ronny J and Mike Dean teamed up to create the beat here and their influences are clearly felt. Ronny J produced Smokepurpp’s break-out hit “Audi” and its broken-speaker bass sound can be heard here with “Fingers Blue.” The hypnotizing piano in the beat is a clear Mike Dean creation, as he created one of, if not the greatest, piano-based beats of all time with “Good Drank.” This is my favorite song off of Smokepurpp’s new project off of first listen, but more importantly this is a sign that Travis is releasing things and that is all I need to get me through the week.
Tennyson – “Body Language” (feat. Aloe Blacc)
The brass in this song is out of control. I call it brass because I can’t tell specifically what instrument it is, but if I had to choose, I would say trumpet. The notes are the best part of this song and possibly the week in music for me. It sounds like something Nujabes would sample in one of his beats, making it relaxing, melodic and understated. This is surprising within a song with very ostentatious synth notes that dominate the song, but out of this extroverted madness comes an absolutely beautiful horn line that should not be missed.
Injury Reserve – “TenTenths”
This is one of the more out-there tracks from the new Injury Reserve EP, “Drive It Like It’s Stolen.” Its stop and start beat and low-key vocals create an eerie soundscape, that is straight out of a David Fincher movie montage of someone doing something suspect. In the previous sentence I used low-key in the most colloquial meaning of the word because, coming from a music writer, it might sound like I am talking about technically low-key notes, but no his voice is just quiet. The title of the EP, “Drive It Like It’s Stolen,” is (most likely) a reference to the movie “Sing Street.” I am not positive they had that in mind when making the title, but “Sing Street” is such a good movie, and perfect for any music lovers who may be reading this column, that I had to promote it on here.
Kamasi Washington – “Humility”
Finally a Kamasi Washington project that does not take a whole semester to get through. After 2015’s three-hour album, “The Epic,” I was pleasantly surprised to see a cool 30-minute runtime on his latest EP, “Harmony of Difference.” If one is looking for music to listen to while studying look no further. I feel like Zach Galifianakis in the “Hangover” with math equations flying around in my head while writing this listening to Kamasi Washington. His music should be considered a performance enhancing drug at spelling bees, debates or anything of that nature. Disclaimer: I have no idea what is going on in 99 percent of the jazz songs I hear, but this one was my favorite from the project. The end of the song sounds like everything is falling apart and then transitions into a great climax that is worth the price of admission.
Teddy Craven is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.