RāViewz: Music | September 2021
Updated: Sep 22
Here's what Rāwiri is jamming to this month...
Lil Nas X ft. Jack Harlow - Industry Baby
Already a massive hit around the world, the latest track from Lil Nas X's debut album Montero, dials down some of the recent controversy while stylishly increasing the repeat value with a captivating hook.
Returning producers Take a Daytrip (Panini, Rodeo, Montero) and Kanye West craft a percussive and persuasive up-tempo that embraces self-respect and credentialism in the way we've come to love from Nas.
"I told you long ago on the road, I got what they waiting for," he sings on the hook, hypnotically. "I don't run from nothing, dog/ get your soldiers, tell 'em I ain't layin' low."
Kentucky rapper, and one of 2020's breakthrough stars, Jack Harlow assists on the track, aligning to X's flow and temper easily, both on the track and in the song's eye popping music video.
It's unlikely to overtake Old Town Road's colossal 2018 success but it might just be Lil Nas X's most compelling and spin-worthy hit to date.
Lizzo ft. Cardi B - Rumours
To a swirling and giddy mix of horns and guitars, Lizzo addresses the whispers that have followed her since her ascendance to the mainstream, and it's fair to say, she's having absolutely none of it.
"Last year, I thought I would losе it, readin' shit on the internеt/my smoothie cleanse and my diet..." she spits, before speaking directly to the haters, "spendin' all your time tryna break a woman down/
Realer shit is goin' on, baby, take a look around."
It's the funk-tinted pop sound that Lizzo does so damn well and with Cardi B lending her skills to a rap verse in the last third and solidifying the message of self empowerment, you'd be hard pressed to find an anthem as compelling as this!
It's been a minute since Lizzo last released a track of her own, but if Rumours really are true then her upcoming fourth album is going to be legitimately stacked with future hits.
Moe Phoenix - Stimme
It's been a steady road to success for one of Germany's most prominent and prolific singers, Moe Phoenix. Since 2015 he's delivered a string of hit singles and albums is his native country. From his upcoming album MOOD, Moe's single Stimme has all the elements of an international hit.
An R&B/Trap ballad with pulsating percussion, Stimme makes the most of Phoenix's smooth, soulful voice and honours his Deutsch roots by delivering the song in German.
Stimme, or voice, tells a familiar story of lost love and the reminders of the relationship that haunt him. "Ich höre deine Stimme/und bin ich mal nicht da," he sings. He hears her voice, and he's not there but he'll always be close to her.
It's one of the coolest R&B tracks of the year, and before you know it, will have you singing the song's hook in no time.
dvsn ft. Ty Solla $ign - Memories
Comprising singer Daniel Daley and producer Nineteen85, dvsn ('division') have crafting hits for themselves and for other artists since 2015. Their recently released fourth album is a collaboration with Ty Dolla $ign and the second single is this gem, Memories.
Kicking off with a sample of Silk's seminal 90's hit Freak Me, Memories is a glorious ode to Rhythm & Blues of decades gone by. The hook, full with harmonies is as rich as anything of Blackstreet or Jodeci's finest, while the Auto-Tune effect serves to elevate, rather than detract from, proceedings.
Both Ty's rap and Dan's vocal embellishments are delivered with fervour, creating a sexy late-night track bound to soundtrack the early stages of romantic relationships across the globe.
And at just under 3 minutes, it's quite cleverly the type of hit you'll come back to again and again.
Sons of Zion ft. Jackson Owens - He Aroha Hinemoa
Since 2009, roots and reggae band Sons of Zions have been collecting a dedicated following; first in their native Aotearoa and before too long, throughout Oceania and beyond.
The band's earlier 2021 hit Love on the Run has been repackaged in te reo Māori as He Aroha Hinemoa, in time to celebrate New Zealand's Māori language week.
The bright, breezy feel of the song's message - showing off the one you love on a worldwide adventure - loses nothing in translation. If anything, the delivery in te reo ties the present day with the aroha of the group's tūpuna, and the vocals smile across every note they touch.
It elevates this feel-good hit to feel-bloody-awesome.
The Kid LAROI & Justin Bieber - Stay
It's hard to picture anyone whose 2021 is going much better than Kid LAROI's. After repeated success in his native country, this Australian, of Aborigine and French heritage, has found incredible success on a global scale.
He's currently the 6th most played artist on Spotify in the world right now: not bad considering he's only been at it for a few years, and he's still only 18 years old!
That success has no doubt been bolstered by his latest album (F*ck Love 3+: Over You) which features collaborations with Lil Durk, Machine Gun Kelly, Juice WRLD and of course, Justin Bieber, who's input on this song, Stay, has made it one of the biggest hits of the year.
With both lads pleading for forgiveness and appreciation of their female partners, it's the type of universal relationship song that works. Add to that a frenetic energy and plenty of pop hooks, it's easy to see why The Kid LAROI is slaying the charts.
Check out all of this month's tracks on the RāViewz Spotify playlist!