RāViewz: Music | July 2021
Here's what Rāwiri is jamming to this month...
Brent Faiyaz ft. Drake - Wasting Time
Brent Faiyaz has been grafting for nearly a decade already, having built up a loyal following through independent EPs and studio albums. This latest track is his biggest ploy for mainstream success so far.
The stamp of Pharrell Williams is clear and present, both in the sparse Neptunes production of the mid-tempo R&B number and in the single's 'Skateboard P' iconography on the cover.
Perhaps even more noteworthy however, is Wasting Time's featured guest rapper, Drake, who drops a solid 16 in the third verse with references to Aaliyah's Back And Forth, and in Netflix's recent chess juggernaut, Queen's Gambit. It's clean, clear and perfectly complementing of Faiyaz's soulful tones.
In fact, it's a testament to the Maryland producer-slash-artist that he remains front and centre of such a hefty collaboration track, and with an easy charm to it, Wasting Time is a contender for romantic summer jam of the year.
Doja Cat - You Right
Fresh from the release of her Planet Her album, Doja Cat's third single release is a seductively catchy collaboration with Billboard champion The Weeknd.
With Dr. Luke behind production, this atmospheric and dreamy beat ballad has Doja fantasising about a new man, despite already being spoken for.
"You right, I got my guy but I can't help it I want you," she sings with a staccato sting that punctuates the chorus and turns out one of the catchiest songs of the year so far.
So catchy in fact, that when Weeknd heard the already completed version, he insisted his involvement stay on this track, and they removed a Doja verse to accommodate. The man knows a hit, and here he's the perfect tenor partner to Doja's sultry low-end vocals.
Expect this to run around in your head, repeatedly.
Kadeem Tyrell - Simple Man
With standout tracks April 25th and Talk To Me making waves these past couple of years, South London's Kadeem Tyrell further cements his ascendant career with this mid-tempo offering.
"I'm a simple man, I do what I can with what I have..." he croons, in the opening lines of the song. And simplicity is a virtue that serves Kadeem very well, allowing his vocal embellishments and the undercurrent of the beat to ebb and flow gloriously.
The bass and groove of Simple Man's style recalls early 00s neo-soul (think Dwele) and fans of R&B will find much to enjoy here. Those looking for more pared down version that focuses on his fine voice will be happy with the recently-released acoustic version, too.
Jazmine Sullivan - Tragic
You might have learned from the title of her recent record Heaux Tales that Jazmine Sullivan is a woman who does not (we repeat, does not) mince words. But just in case her indelibly beautiful vocal performances had distracted you from her lyrical aims, buckle up for the ride that is Tragic, her latest song.
She addresses her recent disappointing suitor, singing "pacify you but I'm paying the cost, and now I'm done pretending that you getting me off..." before launching into a burn chorus of solar proportions:
"When your dick is tragic... who was lying when they told you you was all that?"
With a clever interpolation of Maxine Water's 'reclaimin' my time' meme, the R&B songstress recounts her former lover's inability to keep up with her, and insists on taking back her body, and her time.
Another strong move in an undeniably good year for Jazmine.
Teeks - Younger
Teeks' debut album Something To Feel was released in late March to both critical and commercial acclaim, taking the #1 spot on New Zealand's albums chart in its first week. With Remember Me and First Time already modern classics, his latest single release looks set to follow in their footsteps.
The opening piano keys of Younger evoke an intimate and immediate sense of love under threat by the passage of time, a theme further supported by the keen lyricism and understated vocal performance from Teeks.
Its chorus, where the title percolates along a shifting chord progression, has an even catchier feel to it than his previous songs, adding up to another sure-fire hit and one that will be remembered well into old age.
H.E.R. ft. Ty Dolla $ign - Back Of My Mind
The long-awaited debut label album of R&B stalwart H.E.R. was released last month to mass appeal. To celebrate, she releases the album's namesake - a reminiscent collaboration with Ty Dolla $ign.
Both artists find themselves questioning their romantic history, and how they reconcile that spark against their current relationships.
"You still in the back of my mind," they sing, at the chorus, before following up with, "...and I'm still the greatest of all time."
Flirting back and forth, wistful but non-committal, it's a compelling down-tempo affair that highlights the song writing and vocal prowess of it's lead artist.
Check out all of this month's tracks on the RāViewz Spotify playlist!