Quarantined Playlist: Ari Lennox with Smino, JPEGMAFIA, Quin NFN and more

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(Trevor Wilson/Amherst Wire)

Amherst Wire Staff

With everyone stuck inside and socially distancing from each other, there’s never been a better time to stay up to date on some of the latest releases in the world of music. We’ll be updating this playlist each week. Here are this week’s music suggestions from the Amherst Wire staff.

Jonathan Kermah

“I Been (Remix)” – Ari Lennox ft. Smino 

Dreamville’s R&B queen, Ari Lennox, just re-upped with a couple of remixes from her debut album and 2019 standout “Shea Butter Baby.” The other two remixes on the EP feature guest appearances from Doja Cat and Durrand Bernarr, but it’s Smino’s appearance that kept my hand on the rewind button. 

From the moment the track begins, I couldn’t help but chuckle at his smoothly harmonized, naughty double entendres. Smino then proceeds to gesture his lyrics towards Lennox, asking, “Okay Ari (Baby) / Are we recordin’? (Ari),” making it feel as if we’re privy to some sexual tension that wasn’t intended for us. What follows is just more steaminess building up to Ari sanging (yes there’s difference between singing and sanging) the lovely chorus dedicated to purple haze and forgetting an ex-lover.

Save this song for one on one time between you and that special someone, you know, when we’re all done social distancing of course

Other picks: “Split Decision” – PARTYNEXTDOOR, “Bookbag” – BigKayBeezy

Trevor Wilson

“COVERED IN MONEY!” – JPEGMAFIA

 

As is evident on his 2019 project, “All My Heroes Are Cornballs,” rapper, singer and producer JPEGMAFIA is no stranger to taking the zaniest sounds you could possibly imagine and turning them into a record. On his newest single “COVERED IN MONEY!” Peggy once again defies the odds with an instrumental that has no right sounding as good as it does.

The record opens with what sounds like pitched record scratches and evolves into a mesmerizing rhythmic experience. This beat truly sounds like a bull is running straight through a china shop with clunky, metallic percussion and a rugged 808 bassline. Yet, JPEGMAFIA remains unapologetic, confident and braggadocious throughout the span of the record. Spitting about his status in the rap game as a truly groundbreaking artist.  This is a song that you really have to hear to believe, but you won’t regret it once you do.

Other picks: “Nothing Compares” – The Weeknd, “Ooh LA LA” – Run The Jewels (ft. Greg Nice & DJ Premier)

Shane Guilfoyle 

“Like I’m Swoosh” – Swoosh God (ft. Lil Uzi Vert)

Swoosh God lands a spot on our Quarantine Playlist this week through his EP, “Controversy” – released last Monday. The track, “Like I’m Swoosh,” appeared unexpectedly, boasting a Lil Uzi Vert feature, before vanishing from Soundcloud. Luckily, fans were able to nab the single and re-upload it to Youtube before it was completely removed from the web. 

Produced by Zaytoven, the single feels like an interlude in nature. Simply, the production of this song is addicting. A distorted bassline carries the track as 808s slap the ear. And with added effects like a tiger’s snarl, there’s a unique spin put in place. 

Swoosh is absent through the track’s 1:25 playtime, leaving the entirety of the chorus and verse to Uzi. This decision pays off in the end though, as it renders “Like I’m Swoosh” compact and succinct. Wasting zero seconds, Uzi hops in a chorus that sings “yeah I’m geeked up like I’m swoosh,” before rapping about his affinity for mixing designers, his undefeated track record and disdain for those who bite his swag. The details surrounding the song’s origin are muddy, but it seems like we’re hearing an older flow from Uzi – giving us a possible recording date of sometime between 2016-2017. 

Other picks: “Until I Bleed Out” – The Weekend, “Not a Rapper” – 42 Dugg

Astghik Dion

“OK Cool” – Quin NFN

Austin, TX had not seen a lot of limelight since the likes of Spoon and Janis Joplin. It was not exactly a city known for hip-hop nor producing big names in the rap scene, until Quin NFN came along that is. Major buzz began circulating the young artist after appearing on SayCheese TV in 2017 due to traction from his single, “Game Time Pt.2” that was dropped the same year.

At just the age of 19, he has opened for Smokepurpp, performed at SXSW and collaborated with names such as 22Gz, NLE Choppa and PnB Rock. When describing what inspires his music to Elevator he said, “All I’ve seen as a youngin is stuff anybody in any hood in America has seen so I rap about it because I know they don’t have a choice but to feel it.”

“OK Cool,” was dropped as a single a few months before his latest project, “QUINCHO.” The single displays what he is known for making best, “turnt trap s***.” He’s made rambunctious party anthems since the age of 16, while also making melodic tunes filled with witty word-play. There seem to be no limits when it comes to his versatility, and if Austin wasn’t on the rap radar before, Quin NFN made sure that changed. 

Other picks: “All Alone” – Che Ecru, “DO YOU LOVE HER” – Jessie Reyez

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