Listen Up

An anti-fascist protest track, a thrashing OutKast remix, soulful alt-R&B, dynamic hip-hop and more

The Twilite Tone: Do It Properly

The Twilite Tone (aka Anthony Christopher Khan) boasts a long list of collaborators and production clients—including Common, Kanye West, The Gorillaz and Queen Latifah. This month, he released The Clearing as a solo artist. The lead single, “Do It Properly,” begins with a segment of a speech from Dr Khalid Muhammad. “I repurposed the sound byte as a call and response that speaks in past tense, reminding me that I have been brought to a place where I have taken my ‘name, reputation, language, religion, culture, god’ and even ‘mind’ away, so I can come to a new place, space and time,” the artist explains in a statement. Soaring synths and staticky drums transport the listener. Khan dances through the nearly four-minute video, employing “movement as a way to let go not only emotionally but also physically of both traumas and triumphs,” he writes.

OutKast: B.O.B. (Zack de la Rocha Remix)

Stankonia, the fourth studio album by OutKast (aka André “3000” Benjamin and Antwan “Big Boi” Patton), turns 20 years old this week and to celebrate the ATL duo has issued a special expanded version of the record online and with a physical iteration through Vinyl Me Please. Along with the original tracks, some bonus songs appear—including Rage Against The Machine frontman Zack de la Rocha’s remix of the banger “B.O.B. (Bombs Over Baghdad)” which was played on the radio but never officially released. The result perfectly blends RATM and OutKast into a thrashing rap-rock tune that’s wildly amped-up and satisfying. Big Boi told Rolling Stone, “Zack added an extra layer of grunge to a masterpiece. I’m a fan of the Rage sound so it was an honor to have them involved in a remix.”

CocoRosie feat. Irina Anufrieva: GO AWAY!

An anti-fascist anthem featuring Belarusian artist Irina Anufrieva, CocoRosie’s “GO AWAY!” aims to empower all people trapped under dictatorial rule—those in Belarus in particular. Produced by longtime CocoRosie collaborator Dave Sitek, the track’s layers include lyrics in Russian and English, operatic vocals and the sister-duo’s signature distortion. The stark and theatrical music video has been shot, directed and performed by Anufrieva and Bianca Casady.

Busta Rhymes feat. Kendrick Lamar: Look Over Your Shoulder

“Look Over Your Shoulder,” a Nottz-produced track by Busta Rhymes samples the Jackson 5’s 1970 hit “I’ll Be There.” Between strings and piano, Busta (aka Trevor Smith Jr) offers rapid, raspy rhymes with Kendrick Lamar providing plenty of wordplay. It’s Busta’s final few lines that prove most memorable, perhaps: “Upholding the fundamentals / while most of you boast the rental / focusing on what’s most essential / spit bars to provoke your mental / do I have your attendamiento?”

Caroline Kingsbury: Fall in Love

An energized, ’80s-influenced pop track from LA-based recording artist Caroline Kingsbury, “Fall in Love” pairs soaring synths with dynamic vocals and a catchy chorus. Minh Pham directs the neon-lit music video, which comes complete with big hair flips, solo dance sessions and Kingsbury’s emotional performance. The track is a doorway to Kingsbury’s deeply personal debut album, Heaven’s Just a Flight (out 16 April 2021), which will tell the tale of a queer artist coming out to the world, finding her place and meeting her girlfriend—all the while dealing with intermingling tragedies and milestones.

Samson Ashe: Simple Man

North Londoner Samson Ashe transcends traditional R&B with “Simple Man,” out today. Beginning with delicate vocals, the song takes a somewhat surprising turn when the thumping bass kicks in—along with industrial-tinged percussion and blazing synths. The singer-songwriter’s glorious vocals transform throughout the song, which incorporates touches of vintage soul, contemporary R&B, pop and more.

Listen Up is published every Sunday and rounds up the new music we found throughout the week. Hear the year so far on our Spotify channel. Hero image courtesy of Caroline Kingsbury