Noisey feed for https://noisey.vice.comenTue, 18 Dec 2018 15:04:33 +0000<![CDATA[It Pains Me To Say This But You Should Watch Cardi B's Carpool Karaoke]]>, 18 Dec 2018 15:04:33 +0000Look, this hurts me more than it hurts you, but you should stop what you're doing and watch Cardi B's edition of Carpool Karaoke. James Corden? Kind of the worst! But Cardi B is obviously just delightful, and I'll take any chance to just listen to her talk and do her thing. There is something that feels right about Cardi shouting at kids to "stay in school" out a car window while she sings the opening lines to "Money." It basically cancels out the James Corden of it all, which makes the whole thing a net positive. I hate to admit this but you can't help but sing along to "Bodak Yellow," even with Corden at the wheel.

This article originally appeared on Noisey US.

d3bemaLeslie Horn Noisey StaffInternet Videos Of Particular Importancecarpool karaokejames Cordenthe late late showCardi B
<![CDATA[Some Beautiful Weirdo Reviewed Every Album on Our Albums of the Year List]]>, 18 Dec 2018 14:52:11 +0000Every December, music publications unveil their Albums of the Year lists, Noisey included. To pull back the curtain on this process, a lot of work goes into curating the albums and compiling these lists. There are several rounds of voting, a few screaming matches, tons of writing, threats to walk out forever, editing cram sessions, and last-minute panic attacks, all to assure that you, the reader, are presented with the very best music the year had to offer. Then, on the predetermined publication date which has moved several times to accommodate writers missing deadlines, we present to the world our finished list and enjoy the fruit of our labor: One thousand college bros named Chad in our mentions yelling at us for not ranking Drake higher.

Among the sea of bickering Chads, one heroic Noisey reader has emerged over the years to take on the Herculean task of listening to and reviewing all 100 albums on Noisey’s Albums of the Year list. Three years ago, Twitter user Kevin Hare took it upon himself to give each album on our 2016 list a listen and boil his thoughts down to a single tweet. He did the same in 2017. But unlike most of the incoherent lunatics who inhabit the internet, Kevin is an insightful lunatic with eclectic tastes and a thirst for new music. His mini-reviews are sometimes incisive and sharp, and sometimes dismissive. Either way, we appreciate his candor and commitment to the task.

"A few years ago when I started doing this, I worked at a music merch company and our holiday season was the most hectic of the year," Hare, a 31-year-old Philadelphia-based music fan tells us. "So this was a way to kind of distract from the craziness and help pass the time when I was working on that all the time."

Kevin has become something of a recurring joke here at Noisey. It’s common to hear things said at staff meetings like “I can’t wait to see what Kevin thinks of this” or “Woo boy, Kevin ain’t gonna like this one bit, I'll tell you whut.” (Quoting King of the Hill is also popular at staff meetings.) He is our beautiful online son, birthed from the uterus of our content, and we love him. (Also, in full honesty, we called him Stan for many weeks because that is his Twitter handle.) Every year, we root for him to complete his task and plow through all 100 albums, but every year he seems to tap out a few albums shy. This year, though, he got all the way to the end over the course of 11 days. What changed this year?

“[The] simple answer is that I got Spotify Premium finally and that made it a lot easier,” says Hare. “But I think a big reason why I stopped other times is that I think the most interesting parts of these types are lists are the bottom halves, that’s where a lot of stuff to discover lies, where maybe someone can squeeze in their novelty pick or something.”

Not everything on our list was Kevin’s speed this year. He didn’t like our #83 pick, J Balvin’s Vibras, which he described as the “soundtrack to a beer commercial”:

Our #14 pick, Julia Holter’s Aviary, didn’t seem to float his boat either:

But he described our #11 pick, Pusha-T’s Daytona, as his favorite of the year:

And our #41 pick, JPEGMAFIA’s Veteran, was a solid discovery:

When asked, Kevin said his favorite finds were City Girls’ Period (#28) and Mastersystem’s Dance Music (#76):

We salute him for getting all the way through this year. Take a journey with Kevin through our 2018 list by following the thread below, or take #thekevinchallenge and write your own reviews of our objectively perfect list:

This article originally appeared on Noisey US.

ev38qkDan OzziFeaturesInternet ExploringKevinStannoisey readers we actually like
<![CDATA[A List of People Who Have Won Ice-T’s Dumbfuck of the Day Award]]>, 17 Dec 2018 17:53:59 +0000It seems counterintuitive to avoid winning awards. Awards traditionally represent some sort of achievement—a celebrated victory or a task completed in an exemplary manner. But brother, there is one award you most definitely do not want to win, and that is Ice-T’s Dumbfuck of the Day Award.

The rapper, Twitter savant, and former adult bagel virgin doles out this notorious award on Twitter occasionally when his followers step into his mentions with any mixture of the following: ignorance, attitude, general dumbfuckery. Ice will not hesitate to bestow these clownasses with the DFOTDA for stepping out of line. Hell, he’ll drop two in the same day if he must. He—and this cannot be stressed enough—does not give a fuck.

To understand the Dumbfuck Award, you must first understand the rules of it. The first thing you must know is that the award carries real-world repercussions. As if Ice blasting you in front of an audience of more than one million followers isn’t humiliating enough, “winning” the award will also get you automatically blocked by the man himself:

Seeing as how Ice-T’s account is the only good thing about Twitter, this would be a gigantic blow to anyone’s social media usage. It would essentially be like getting excommunicated from the internet. Another thing you should know about the Dumbfuck Award is that if you receive one, you should just take it and die an honorable internet death. Do not make matters worse by deleting the offending tweet. Ice does not respect people who delete their snarky tweets after he puts them on blast for the world to see. Take the L and be owned with some modicum of dignity.

Sadly, many award recipients have not abided by this rule, cravenly deleting their tweets and leaving their transgressions a mystery. We may never know what these users did to merit their Dumbfuck Awards, and thus we cannot use this as a learning moment, but we can only assume it was something extremely fucking dumb.

While Ice has been calling out dumbfucks his entire career, as far as our research shows, Ice’s first official Dumbfuck Award was given out in June of this year, not to a Twitter user but instead to the general population of dumbfucks who feel the need to make the distinction between soccer and football. They got the International Dumbfuck Award, which is officially recognized by the United Nations.

After international law had been established, Ice started giving out awards with some regularity.

This person got one for making fun of his name:

This person got one for getting a little too spicy for Ice’s liking in the mentions:

Don’t even step to Ice if you’re an unworthy gamer:

This guy got one for questioning Ice's commitment to capitalism and family:

He considered giving this guy one for mocking the picture quality of his father-daughter selfie:

And he recently gave a Dumbfuck Award to this dumbfuck who didn’t agree with Ice’s Christmas gift etiquette:

Another thing you should know about the Dumbfuck Award is that you can be hit with one at any moment. The Dumbfuck Award does not sleep. For example, Ice did a rise-and-shine on this guy who accused him of having a Twitter meltdown:

But with only an hour and change left in his day on November 13, he caught this clownass calling him an old hag. There are no safe spaces as far as Dumbfuck Awards go:

Also, this was previously unheard of, and we can’t believe we’re saying this, but on September 9, Ice gave out a gold Dumbfuck Award and a silver medal in the same day.

And lastly, we’re not sure where this ranks in terms of severity in relation to the Dumbfuck Award, but Ice-T once gave out an elusive Clownass Award to someone who thought he was white:

Hopefully all this has provided you with all the information you need to avoid winning Ice-T’s Dumbfuck of the Day Award. Stay safe out there online and approach him with caution.

Dan Ozzi is on Twitter and lives in fear of winning a Dumbfuck Award.

This article originally appeared on Noisey US.

3k9ynyDan OzziTwitterFeaturesInternet ExploringIce-Tdumbfuck of the day
<![CDATA[Devon Baldwin Explains How Two Break-Ups Inspired "Someone New"]]>, 17 Dec 2018 14:38:08 +0000This week on Noisey radio, Tariq Cherif, co-founder of preeminent traveling hip-hop festival Rolling Loud sits down to discuss the fest's humble beginnings and it's biggest installment yet -- this weekend in Los Angeles. Then, rising songstress Devon Baldwin brings us new music, and we check in with Dev09.

Listen here at 11 AM EST/8 AM PST and 11 PM EST/8 PM PST.

Intro Mix:
Meek Mill - "Going Bad" feat. Drake
Smokepurpp - "Sauce Like This"
YoungBoy Never Broke Again - "Valuable Pain"
Lil Mosey - "Kamikaze"
SENSITIVVTHUGG - "Los Fuegos" feat. Big Baby Ghandi *World Premiere*

This article originally appeared on Noisey US.

9k4mweNoisey StaffColin JoyceHip-HopLos Angelesrapdevon baldwinnoisey beats 1rolling loud tariq cherifdev09
<![CDATA[Stream of the Crop: 7 New Albums for Heavy Rotation]]>, 17 Dec 2018 14:36:31 +0000Every week, the Noisey staff puts together a list of the best and most important albums, mixtapes, and EPs from the past seven days. Sometimes it includes projects we’ve written about on the site already; sometimes it's just made up of great records that we want everyone to hear, but never got the chance to write about. The result is neither comprehensive nor fair. We hope it helps.

Vic Mensa: Hooligans

Vic Mensa is absolutely menacing on Hooligans. The production on the eight-song project lurks ominously, taunting you to join in on the world Vic has created. Vic is strangely obsessed with Hollywood’s 27 Club, as he notes his choice of drink is absinthe—not Heineken—on "Dark Things." "25, running out of time again / 27 club, how can I get in?" The Chicago rapper takes a break from the truly sinister energy of Hooligans on "The 1 That Got Away/No Shoes," featuring Charlie Wilson. "I do confess, I broke your heart Like a sledgehammer through the chest / Tryna be known in this music mess / I left the one that knew me best," he raps. Vic Mensa is all over the place, but it’s not hard to follow along. —Kristin Corry

Charlotte Gainsbourg: Take 2

Continuing the grayscale cinematics of her (incredible) 2017 album Rest, this short EP finds the French actor and musician again working in widescreen—taking dancefloor tropes and turning them into grand emotive gestures. With the producer SebastiAn again acting as a second set of hands (perhaps a DP?), Gainsbourg turns in three new lush, dramatic, artfully rendered originals that prize symmetric mise-en-scene and mood lighting. There’s also a swooning version of Kanye’s “Runaway,” a gritty remake that’s better than it has any right to be. —Colin Joyce

Kodak Black: Dying to Live

Kodak Black has been through some shit. His sophomore album, Dying to Live, gives a panoramic view of the events leading up to the seven months he spent incarcerated earlier this year. "You know death around the corner and prison my next-door neighbor,: he raps on "Close to the Grave." It could sound hyperbolic but the biographical nature of songs like "Testimony" and "Transgression" suggest it's not. For each plea that insists he’s ready to change his life, there’s more bars of the temptation to stay the same. "Fresh outta jail, but don’t think I’m scared to go back," he says on "Identity Theft," a Miami-bass song dedicated to how good he is at fraud. One of Dying to Live’s most interesting moments comes when he eulogizes XXXTentacion on "Malcolm X.X.X, giving him the likeness of the civil rights activist. The song, which weaves speeches from Malcolm X, explores how problematic rappers can never truly escape their past. "You tryna change your life, but they won't let you," he raps. Dying to Live is Kodak’s attempt at fighting for his life. —Kristin Corry

Silent Servant: Shadows of Death and Desire

Silent Servant has made his name as a purveyor of darkness, but his work’s never been solely about gloom. For nearing on a decade, or more if you count the work he did as Sandwell District, Juan Mendez has proven himself one of the more ecstatic operators in the world of downcast electronic music—tracing luminous arpeggios across the pitch-black electro-scrapings and thunderous beats that make up most of his work. His new one— Shadows of Death and Desire—pushes even further in that direction. It’s raw, dry, and heavy, but there’s this sense of jittery joy that runs through even the most creeping moments. Sometimes you gotta turn the evil into energy. —Colin Joyce

Five Star Hotel: Open Wound

Five Star Hotel makes volatile music. Per Five Star herself, this record of distorted, digitalist noise-punk is about the trickiness of embodiment, the intertwined tendrils of joy and terror and love and hate that comes with having to be a person and inhabit physical space. She screams at a few different points some things that illustrate this—like on “Cock,” when she yelps something about tearing her skin apart, or on “Hexagoness Rising” when she punctuates a mostly indiscernible chorus with “I don’t know what the fuck is happening to me!” It is tough stuff, it’s not universally crushing. There are also moments like on “Hell Girlz Reunited” where she chants about wanting to persist over squirrelly arpeggiations and distorted kick drums. These are powerful emotions splashing and spilling into one another, and the results are explosive. —Colin Joyce, 31 Essential Records You Might Have Missed This Year

Gay Cum Daddies: Metal Beach

If you aren’t on board with the fact that a Denton, Texas, band of freaked-out noiseniks calls themselves Gay Cum Daddies, this probably isn’t music made for you. Their new record Metal Beach is a uniformly anxious collection of clattering, rambling, and moans coaxed from humble means. Guitars, bass, drums, a synth, and a sax or two make up the entirety of the credits here, but the sounds they wring from them is uniquely paranoid and overwhelming, a pummeling and scabrous force akin to playing three or four old AmRep records simultaneously. Even the bass and drums, the usual centers of gravity in the tried and true rock band format, are splatter-painted across the tracks here, making everything feel seasick and upsetting. Trust the tin, this one’s not for normies. —Colin Joyce, 31 Essential Records You Might Have Missed This Year

Zayn: Icarus Falls

Here we have an extra-long album from former One Directioner and steamily underdressed young man Zayn Malik. First line: "Sweet baby, our sex has meaning." Next song, in glass-shattering falsetto: "It feels so natural, natural / When we come together." If you can voluntarily make it through the 25 tracks that follow, let alone imagine yourself ever having sex again after hearing those words, you're a stronger person than me. —Alex Robert Ross

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This article originally appeared on Noisey US.

3k943nNoisey StaffAlex Robert Rossvic mensasilent servantzaynZayn Malikkodak blackstream of the cropfive star hotelcharlotte gainsbourgay cum daddies
<![CDATA[Remember When Beck Made The World's Greatest Hanukkah-Themed Funk-Rap Song?]]>, 17 Dec 2018 14:36:15 +0000 The rules to The Little Drummer Boy Challenge, set down by the author Michael Alan Peck in 2010, are quite simple: Avoid, at all costs, any and all versions of ubiquitous Christmas song "The Little Drummer Boy." The challenge begins at 12:01 AM every Black Friday and runs through to midnight on December 23. Everyone is participating, even if they don't know it. There are rules about foul play—anyone who tricks you into hearing the song is themself disqualified—but if you hear "The Little Drummer Boy" playing in, say, a department store or in the middle of a movie, you have lost. The best thing you can do at that point is log your failure at the LDBC website using the official reporting form, or just register your downfall on the LDBC Facebook page, which now has over 5,000 followers. "It’s played just enough to make it challenging, but not so much that it’s impossible," Peck said in an interview in 2013. So, fair warning: I'm about to make the game a lot harder.

Beck's "The Little Drum Machine Boy," recorded for the 1996 Geffen Records comp Just Say Noël, isn't a faithful cover of Katherine Kennicott Davis's wintry, classical carol, but the updated "Blurred Lines Rule" on the LDBC website states that this version will still knock you out of contention. Although it's a seven-minute-long Hanukkah-themed funk-rap track that makes almost no sense at all, you hear a little of the original in the first verse, with Beck slurring the tune to himself:

You also hear some of the strangest, most abstract, and straight-up bizarre holiday-themed lyrics ever recorded. That almost indecipherable robot voice at the top is actually beginning a Jewish blessing—"Baruch Atah Adonei Elohenu Melech Ha Olom"—which leads Beck onto a bold declaration: "Ah yeah, that's the holiday… that's the Hanukkah robot funk! / Barumpa bump bump, barumpa bump bump, beeyach." From there, he wants to get into some "Hanukkah science," although a lot of that just involves boasting about his beat-making prowess: "I press a button, make the gentlemen cry," he raps, dropping a line that he'd pick up again "Hollywood Freaks" in 1999. "I rock a beat to make the hamburger fry / And I funk this joint and shake that holiday gear / The system boomin' strictly Pioneer."

This was Beck in the immediate aftermath of Odelay, clearly confident in his ability to pull together and absurdities over sly hip-hop beats. But this is weird even by his lofty standards. At no point on Odelay did he come close to a verse like this:

I get the shit lit like a menorah
This funk's so illegal, I think I might need a lawyer
I'm not a firestarter, but my beats gets hotter
Get 'em out like an allowance, footwear
I rock with New Balance

Hanukkah pimps on it, check

The song does, however, have all of the qualities that turned Odelay into a bizarre alt-everything masterpiece. It's freeform and funny, supple enough beneath Beck's rhymes to save itself from pure novelty status. It's obviously just an opportunity for Beck to get weird—"Droppin' science so you don't even know what hit ya / Next thing you know, you're thirteen, getting a Bar Mitzvah"—but it descends into a twisting, glitchy jam at the end, something that you can hear deteriorate bar by bar. (Beck's still shouting "Hanukkah Pimp" over it, of course.)

Though the song was stashed away on Just Say Noel, surrounded by cuts from Sonic Youth, XTC, and The Roots, it did end up with a little life of its own. Beck played it live for a while on the Odelay tour, and former Village Voice music editor Chuck Eddy even wrote in his 2016 book Terminated for Reasons of Taste that "The Little Drum Machine Boy" was Beck's finest song. It might have had an impact on the next generation of genre-altering alternative artists as well. In Lizzy Goodman's Meet Me In The Bathroom, Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig said that this was the first song he downloaded from Napster: "That was my first instinct[...] 'Wow, we can download some weird shit now.'"

"The Little Drum Machine Boy," then, is a small but important piece of indie history. Maybe that's enough to tempt you into losing this year's Little Drummer Boy Challenge. I suggest that Beck garbling "Oh my shit, sometimes this track is so poignant / Somebody please pass me some kinda ointment" is enough on its own.

Alex Robert Ross gets the shit lit like a menorah. Follow him on Twitter.

This article originally appeared on Noisey US.

wj3kdzAlex Robert RossNoisey StaffchristmasindiefunkrapHanukkahAltabsurdityodelayThe Noisey Advent Calendarthe little drum machine boythe little drummer boythe little drummer boy challenge
<![CDATA[Offset Crashed Cardi B's LA Show to Beg Forgiveness and Cardi Was PISSED]]>, 17 Dec 2018 14:35:57 +0000

2018's most tumultuous breakup just keeps happening! Over the weekend Rolling Loud LA—one of the world's biggest hip-hop festivals—took place, with Cardi B set to headline. A headline slot at such a huge festival is a sign of how massive a year Cardi has had, going from one number #1 single to three in the bag, along with a number one album. It should have been a triumphant moment for the Bronx rapper, but it was marred by a significant disturbance: Cardi's (soon-to-be ex-) husband Offset crashed her set begging for Cardi to take him back.

Bearing a sign that said "TAKE ME BACK CARDI" and handfuls of roses, Offset and Cardi had a short, inaudible interaction onstage—during which Cardi looked very miffed—before Offset departed the site. Migos were not scheduled to perform at Rolling Loud.

After the show, Cardi took to Instagram Live to discuss the incident. "I'm upset," she said, clearly appearing quite exhausted. "It's been a long two weeks, I'm so tired of the bullshit." She did, however, explain that she doesn't want anyone talking shit about Offset. All things considered, this feels like a pretty nuts move from Offset—aside from the fact that he essentially left a dark spot on what should have been a triumph, it's also a weirdly possessive thing to do. Expect more on this breakup as it (inevitably) develops.

This article originally appeared on Noisey AU.

3k9ybyShaad D’SouzaStaff NoiseyrapmigosOffsetbreakupsCardi BNoisey News
<![CDATA[For the Love of Joey Ramone, Put the Fighting Aside This Christmas]]>, 14 Dec 2018 19:11:05 +0000Joey Ramone's original four-track demo version of "Merry Christmas (I Don't Want to Fight Tonight)" is not the version that bar-punks now hail as a classic, and I don't know how far it’s reached since being released on a seven-inch last year, but I still love it. It's rusty, the guitars are a fraction out of tune, and the lead guitar lines amble in and out at random. The chords are different too; it wasn't a "Blitzkrieg Bop"-like pop-punk song when Joey first wrote it. Instead, with its blue notes and suspended chords and swung electric drums, it sounds like one of his most faithful tributes to the Phil Spector-produced girl groups he loved. The Ronettes would have nailed it.

"Merry Christmas…" was always a sad song deep down, and even the chugging and the straightforward version that made it onto 1984's Brain Drain and slowly became an alt-holiday staple couldn't hide that. Joey's first two questions in the verse—"Where is Santa? At his sleigh?"—seem silly, but he follows that up with a jolt of anguish: "Tell me, why is it always this way?" The last time he asked that question in a Ramones song, he was singing about a suicide.

There's also a dumbfounded innocence to the lyrics. Only Joey, the sweetest Ramone, could have written a song about avoiding conflict at Christmastime, name-checked a couple of reindeer, and sung: "All the children are tucked in their beds / Sugar-plum fairies dancing in their heads." That makes his plea for reconciliation in the chorus that much more devastating. "I love you and you love me / And that's the way it's got to be."

It's difficult to separate those lines from the emotional battering that Joey had recently taken. Maybe it was a pained peace offering to Johnny Ramone, who had walked away with Joey's girlfriend, Linda, in 1981, leaving him spurned and in tatters. Maybe it was partly for Linda herself, who married Johnny in 1984. Maybe it's both; maybe it's neither. But the altered lyrics in the scuzzy Ramones version feel like a giveaway. On Brain Drain, he sings, "I loved you from the start / 'Cause Christmas ain't the time for breaking each other's hearts," making the song seem like a post-quarrel reassurance from one lover to another. The official video for the song picked up that theme and ran with it:

But Joey's original line was trickier: "Why have we been torn apart?" Singing that line solo on the demo version, it turns the chorus into something broken-down and lovelorn.

On some level, it makes sense to switch that line out. Joey had to deliver the song with Johnny next to him and, if it did have anything to do with their fractured relationship (didn't everything?), it could have been a nightmare for Joey to deliver. But I'm guessing the impulse was seasonal as well. "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" ended up Sinatrafied, its one remaining drop of melancholy mopped up by an anodyne stand-in lyric. While the Ramones didn't commit a crime that heinous here, it's still a shame that Joey's heartbreak was absorbed by something more palatable. I guess the upside is that the Ramones version was easier to include in A Very Special Christmas with Beavis and Butthead.

Joey died in 2001 after a long fight with lymphoma, and a truly strange version of "Merry Christmas (I Don't Want Want to Fight Tonight)" ended up on his second posthumous LP, ...Ya Know, in 2012. It's packed with overdubs from Mickey Leigh, Joey's little brother, the same guy who held up the tape recorder for Joey to sing his demo version into some time in the mid-80s. Acoustic drums, a little bass, and some extra guitars work their way in. It was, like the rest of ...Ya Know, supposed to bring Joey back to life on record. But the LP too often sounded clean and inert, which was a shame if not a shock.

If you really want to go deep, Sleater-Kinney covered the song live in 2015. The video's up on YouTube, and it's worth watching just to realize how much Carrie Brownstein—with her intense vocal exaggerations—shares with Joey. And if you want to terrorize people at Christmas parties, there's a Smash Mouth version out there as well.

But it's still best in its first form, raw and strange, a throwback to a time when girl groups ruled and a few Christmas songs still led with heartache.

Alex Robert Ross don't want to fight on Twitter.

This article originally appeared on Noisey US.

zmdkb3Alex Robert RossDan OzziNew YorkpunkrockRamonesjoey ramoneJohnny RamoneBrain DrainThe Noisey Advent Calendarmerry christmas (i don't want to fight tonight)linda ramone
<![CDATA[Robert Christgau on CupcakKe's Literotica and Leikeli47's Smokescreens]]>, 14 Dec 2018 17:44:08 +0000

The self-proclaimed "Dean of American Rock Critics," Robert Christgau was one of the pioneers of music criticism as we know it—the music editor of the Village Voice from 1974 to 1985 and its chief music critic for several decades after that. At the Voice he created both the annual Pazz & Jop Critics’ Poll and his monthly Consumer Guides. Christgau was one of the first critics to write about hip-hop and the only one to review Simon & Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water with one word: "Melodic." He taught at New York University between 1990 and 2016, and has published six books, including his 2015 memoir Going Into the City. A seventh, Is It Still Good to Ya?: Fifty Years of Rock Criticism 1967-2017, is now available from Duke University Press. Every Friday we run Expert Witness, the weekly version of the Consumer Guide he launched in 2010. To find out more, read his welcome post; for almost five decades of critical reviews, check out his regularly updated website.


Leikeli47: Wash and Set (Hardcover/RCA) On her debut, the masked marvel keeps things simple, showing off her stuff in an impressive assortment of what are more chants, jingles, and ditties than songs. After all, what bizzer in his or her right mind would say no to a young nobody who sneaks the assonant "Ski mask under my hijab" into her opening track? Next she's late to work because that Juvenile song she loves comes on. "Money"—"Not the cemetery / Or the penitentuary"—is followed by "M I L K," which is not to be pronounced "milk." Attend also to the ragga "Bubblegum" and the area-code-literate "Ho." B PLUS

Cupcakke: Eden (Cupcakke) Shows impressive expertise in both sex and the city but devises better hooks for the one that's more fun ("Garfield," "A.U.T.I.S.M.") ***

Follow Robert Christgau on Twitter.

This article originally appeared on Noisey US.

a3mabzRobert ChristgauAlex Robert RossHip-HoprapLeikeli47EdenExpert Witness with Robert ChristgauacryliccupcakkeQueen Elizabitchephorizewash and set
<![CDATA[Listen to Ariana Grande's Sultry New Single, "imagine"]]>, 14 Dec 2018 14:28:57 +0000Six weeks on from the release of her internet-destroying and surprisingly uplifting single "thank u, next," Ariana Grande has returned with a new single. It's called "imagine," and you can listen to it at the top of the page. It's a utopian love song: "Stayin' up all night / Order me pad thai / Then we gon' sleep till noon / Me with no makeup / You in the bathtub / Bubbles and bubbly." It's a sultry, lusciously produced R&B song that gives Grande the space to work in some vocal pyrotechnics without overloading the track with unnecessary frills. And tell me you don't hear her channeling Mariah Carey in that breakdown at the end.

"imagine" is the second single from Grande's forthcoming fifth studio album, Thank U, Next, due out at the beginning of next year.

Follow Alex Robert Ross on Twitter.

This article originally appeared on Noisey US.

nepkxkAlex Robert RossNoisey StaffPOPr&bNew musicMariah CareyImagineAriana GrandeNoisey Newsthank u next