The Up&Up Playlist Update: 3/4
This week’s “New Music Mondays” playlist compiled The Up&Up’s favorite new music from the week of March 1st 2019. Numerous genres are included, from London grime-hip hop to West Coast rock to alternative folk-pop to retro disco-funk. New releases from classic performers in the industry, such as Pharrell and T-Pain, are included, as well as popular up-and-comers like Juice WRLD and Sigrid. Less well-known but equally talented musicians like Armani White and Westkust also make appearances.
Some phenomenal projects released this week include 2 Chainz’ Rap or Go to the League, Solange’s When I Get Home, and Hozier’s Wasteland, Baby!
On Rap or Go to the League, rap veteran 2 Chainz puts forth one of his most cohesive and well-done albums. His fifth studio album expands on the successes he found on his previous LP Pretty Girls Like Trap Music, while also branching out in new directions with help from A-List features like Kendrick Lamar, Chance the Rapper, Young Thug and Lil Wayne. On “I Said Me,” Chainz exemplifies why he’s held a spot in the rap game for so long. His phenomenal trap production pairs beautifully with a clever knack for lyrical boasts shown in the hook of “Yeah, my daughter asked me what a drug dealer was/ I said me.”
Solange’s surprise release, teased via cryptic social media posts, of her newest album When I Get Home was well-received by fans. She shines throughout the album, using her voice and ambient production to bring her audience to tears.
The album’s collaborators are a superstar lineup of young talent in the hip-hop and R&B world, featuring guest verses from Playboi Carti and Gucci Mane, along with production from Tyler, The Creator, Pharrell, Metro Boomin, Earl Sweatshirt and Dev Hynes of Blood Orange. On “Way to the Show,” Solange sensually beckons to a lover while she is on her way to perform, gliding effortlessly throughout the flawless production led by a funky bassline and intermittent snare taps.
Perhaps the piece of work that excited me the most this week was Hozier’s Wasteland, Baby! Since the breakout success of his self-titled debut album’s lead single “Take Me To Church,” it seemed like the Irish singer had been off the grid for years. Because his live performance was one of my first concerts, and Hozier remains, to this day, one of the best vocal acts I’ve ever seen, I have been waiting patiently for his return since 2014.
On Wasteland, Baby!, Hozier returns to the roots that shot him to success and once again excels. The album is incredibly versatile in the sounds and moods it creates, having a song for any emotion or vibe you could be searching for. “To Noise Making (Sing)” is an inspiring, gospel-infused ode to singing and the joy it brings to an undisclosed “honey” of Hozier’s, even if they don’t “sing it nice.” I haven’t found a song that makes me want to belt the notes as much as this one does in a long time.