Skepta’s world domination is imminent: 6 May sees the release of his LP Konnichiwa, which many have been eagerly awaiting since the London-based MC and producer dropped the single “That’s Not Me” (featuring his brother JME) back in 2014, and the riotous “Shutdown” the following year. Helming the resurgence of UK grime, the 33-year-old (born Joseph Junior Adenuga) doesn’t look like he’ll be plateauing anytime soon. In his latest track “Man,” Skepta transforms the intro riff from “Regular John” by Queens of the Stone Age into a banger, rapping, “Told me you was a big fan but the first thing you said when you saw me is “Can I get a pic for the gram?” / I was like “Nah, sorry man.”
Jambinai: They Keep Silence
Almost an antithesis to manufactured K-pop is South Korean band Jambinai, who use their country’s traditional instruments to rock out with intensity. In their music video for experimental metal track “They Keep Silence,” Eun Youg Sim vigorously plucks the large geomungo to establish the bass line; on Bomi Kim’s knee is the wailing haegeum, bowed sort of like a cello—later breaking out into a shrieking solo. And when Ilwoo Lee isn’t on the electric guitar, he’s wielding his piri, a bamboo oboe. They’re not afraid to get atonal and angry, tapping into the unique aspects of their expressive instruments. Jambinai will be releasing on their album Hermitage on UK label Bella Union this June.
Kanye West: Famous
Written, directed and starring Aziz Ansari and Eric Wareheim (aka Lil Bud and Big Bud), this not-necessarily-official video for Kanye West’s “Famous” also features a lot of pasta, wine and dancing around Italy (as well as some car-humping). Part artistic gem, part vacation slideshow, the video is absurd—and very sweet. While maybe a seemingly odd match for West’s track (which features Rihanna and Swizz Beats, and samples the ever-perfect Sister Nancy), the postcard-style clip is a delightfully wacky three-way love letter between Ansari, Wareheim and food. (Note: the video also potentially works as a trailer for season two of Ansari’s Netflix show “Master of None.”).
Har Mar Superstar: How Did I Get Through The Day?
You might have spotted Har Mar Superstar in the season three premiere of Broad City as the “Oy Bomb” dude in the art gallery, but he isn’t abandoning his career as a chest-baring rockstar just quite yet. His upcoming album Best Summer Ever, out from longtime friend Julian Casablancas’ label Cult Records, has been summed up as “Greatest Hits of Har Mar Superstar from 1950-1985.” (Note: Har Mar aka Sean Tillmann was born in 1978.) The time machine goes back the furthest with his song “How Did I Get Through The Day?,” oozing with soul-pop of the ’50s and the irritation of the 2010s. Best Summer Ever is out this week, featuring Karen O on “Haircut,” the Casablancas-penned “Youth Without Love” and another favorite, the supremely ’80s disco track “It Was Only Dancing (Sex).”
Jahkoy: All or Nothing (I Just Wanna…)
Toronto-born, LA-based singer/rapper/producer/songwriter Jahkoy (who originally performed under the name Raheem) consistently releases music via Soundcloud (where he has some 40K followers and calls his genre #bipolarsound) and “All or Nothing (I Just Wanna…)” is the most recent. The upbeat, synth-heavy track (produced by Rotterdam-based Moods) is a groovy, tropical treasure in which he calls out all the things he loves about his girl: from her vibe to the bun in her hair. In “All or Nothing,” Jahkoy (who signed to Def Jam earlier this year) has crafted a sparkly, jubilant summer jam—that makes a perfect Monday pick-me-up track.