Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly
Kendrick Lamar’s new album has been hotly anticipated ever since he closed out the final episode of the Colbert Report with the anthemic line, “We don’t die, we multiply.” The wait is over a week earlier than expected, with Lamar dropping To Pimp a Butterfly late Sunday night. Spitting hyper-aware lyrics with his signature acrobatic flow, Lamar brings in jazzy instrumentals and some old school beats to make yet another groundbreaking record. All in all, To Pimp a Butterfly truly sets a new standard while doling out poetic justice as it’s best served: hot and fresh.
Rodrigo y Gabriela: Hanuman
Mexican acoustic guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela have constantly found success within their paradoxical nature. Take, for instance, their initial leap into fame while living in Dublin despite speaking no English, or the fact that they are deeply inspired by heavy metal despite their exclusive use of nylon string guitars. The duo took to the TED stage this week and their performance was entirely mesmerizing. Until TED releases a video of the performance, here’s “Hanuman“—one of our favorites from the pair.
Jill Scott: You Don’t Know
Jill Scott’s newest song “You Don’t Know” is a heartbreaking, bluesy ballad that’s full of feels. Originally recorded by Carl Hall in 1967, Scott’s version sees Questlove on drums and Adam Blackstone (who has worked with everybody from Kanye West to Justin Timberlake and Al Green) on bass. The accompanying video is drenched in anguish; the band performs in a dark bar with Scott singing through her tears.
Black Milk: I Guess
Ahead of his upcoming tour—happening thanks to his 2014 album If There’s A Hell Below—rapper/producer Black Milk (aka Curtis Cross) has released the predictably solid “I Guess.” Like much of Black Milk’s music, the track seems entirely effortless while being meticulously layered. As he says, “You could say I’m in the zone, I guess.”
Mini Mansions feat. Alex Turner: Vertigo
LA-based band Mini Mansions has returned with a track called “Vertigo” from their upcoming album The Great Pretenders, which is set for release 23 March. Featuring vocals by Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys, the song is a sweet example of indie-meets-psych-pop that bounces from cutesy lyrics to the more ominous, “Run for cover!”
ListenUp is a Cool Hunting series published every Sunday that rounds up the music we tweeted throughout the week, also found in Listen. Hear the year so far via Cool Hunting Spotify.