As this trainwreck of a year trainwrecks itself to a close, we present the final Fri5 of 2020 — and as if on cue, it’s one of the more confusing batches of songs we’ve highlighted. We’re not even entirely sure who one of these artists is (see Rook Monroe). So along with new albums from Eminem and Paul McCartney that we’ve covered elsewhere, here’s our parting shot — and 2020, don’t let the door hit you on your way out.
Young Thug, Yak Gotti, & Gunna “Take It to Trial” As if this song’s credits weren’t confusing enough — its listing on Spotify leads with the label, Young Stoner Life, followed by the three artists’ names, probably because it comes from a forthcoming YSL compilations — it first appeared on streaming services late last month, quickly disappeared, and now it’s back. WHATEVER, the three bring solid, low-key verses to a slinky trap beat from Wheezy — and the video is hilarious, although we’re not quite sure what’s going on in it. We also love the repeated “hoo-hoo” hook on the fade.
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Diplo (featuring Leon Bridges) “Horizon” While he seemed set for a career as a retro soulman, Leon Bridges has proven that there’s a lot more to him — and he’s been a featured singer on at least three great songs in the past few weeks, with the two on the Avalanches’ great new album and now this, from the deluxe edition of Diplo’s country album (speaking of confusing titles), called “Diplo Presents Thomas Wesley – Chapter 1: Snake Oil.” WHATEVER! Surprisingly, this belated bonus track is our favorite on the album and opens up a whole new lane for Bridges, who delivers a smooth and soulful vocals over a memorable song that, stylistically speaking, is more acoustic rock than country.
Too $hort, Guapdad 4000 & Rayven Justice “Oaklandish” There’s nothing like a good hometown pride anthem, and these three veteran rappers rep loud and proud for the Bay Area loud and proud here, complete with geographic references and area codes in the lyrics — and the song’s title comes from the Oakland-based clothing company that some of us have been rocking for many years. “From the 415 to the 510 to the 707″ …
PPcocaine “S.L.U.T.” Oh, the dilemmas posed by 19-year-old TikTok superstar PPcocaine. While she’s a solid rapper, her high and nasal voice has led to more than one chipmunk comparison; this song’s lyrics and video are so porny that we’re posting the just-music video (which of course just makes you want to see the real video even more); and a 19-year-old female rapping “Yes, I’m a slut, they all wanna fuck me” feels problematic, at least to an old person. But without drawing too exact a parallel, didn’t people say similar things about Elvis, the Sex Pistols, Madonna, Lil Kim and so many others? WHATEVER! So, with those caveats and without judgment, we give you PPcocaine…
Rook Monroe “Californialand” In all honesty we’d never heard of Rook Monroe until this blast of vintage California folk-rock sunshine captured our attention on Spotify’s New Music Friday, but it turns out he’s collaborated with the Chainsmokers, Jeremih and Rihanna (although apparently that may be a mistake, because that Rook Monroe’s name is Krystin Watkins, and the person pictured with this song sure looks like a dude). WHATEVER! But don’t let those associations, if they’re correct, throw you, because this song lives up to its title so thoroughly that it’s like a cross between Christopher Cross and America, complete with acoustic guitars and breezy “ba-ba-da-da” vocals, perfect for cruising down Ventura Highway.
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