YCA Blog

Nani's Playlist

Nani's Playlist

By Nylijah Barnes 

With the same Top 10 songs playing over the radio, listeners are starving for new music, or at least wanting to hear some of their favorite songs make it to the station. Soundcloud has recently become a source for people to get their fix when it comes to new music or lesser known music, most notably when it come to rap and hip-hop. Instead, I decided to delve into other genres to see what I could find — and I definitely wasn’t disappointed.

Highly Suspect, "My Name Is Human"

Opening with a fuzzy guitar riff, lead singer Johnny Stevens switches gears with a simple "OK," letting his voice carry across the softer guitar and steady drum rhythms. He talks more than sings about existentialism, as well as his struggles with religion, notably instructing us to "stand face to face with your God." This isn’t supposed to dissuade us from following our religion, but to help us realize we are stronger than we believe we are. Stevens lets his strong vocals shine during the chorus, claiming he "stole my power from the sun" and that he "is more than just a man." He isn’t claiming divinity with this lyric, but more so saying that he is more powerful than he is perceived. And with songs like this, he isn’t wrong.

Blend, "Ritalin"

Although the song is sung in Spanish, the song's ferocious nature transcends all language barriers. While the drums and guitar are a bit generic for a rock song — which isn’t necessarily a bad thing — it creates the perfect backdrop for the lead singer's raspy vocals. With the lead starting off with soft vocals that pleasantly drown out with the fuzz of the guitar, the band soon kicks it into high gear with guttural growls and a thrashing guitar. This Chilean band definitely packs a punch, drawing in any classic rock fan the second "Ritalin" starts.

Azealia Banks, "Chi Chi"

This controversial New York rapper is back and better than ever. Her signature monotone rapid fire flow easily flits over tongue twisters and alliterations like, “Puerto Rican papi got that product and that peso” almost like she’s bored. Her talent is undeniable, riding over a stuttery brooding beat with such ease that one wonders if she even has to try. The lush track can make even the most shy listener feel engaged. Named after Tony Montana’s henchman Chi Chi, Banks herself manages to create a version of herself that slings dope with the best of them, akin to the drug lord Scarface himself. If her next releases are as hot as this one, she's destined to become even better.

Queens Of The Stone Age, "In The Fade"

An older and often forgotten Queens Of The Stone Age song, for long time fans, "In The Fade" is considered one of the best songs the band has released. This mid-tempo song is the perfect slow burn, with guest singer Mark Lanegan’s gritty vocals softened by a melodic echoing guitar. This hypnotic tune chronicles tales of depression and sobriety that lulls you into a haze through its sleepy guitar, before crashing into an epic rocking chorus. Despite not being an actual member of the band, Mark leaves such a lasting impression on the track that it’s unlikely that even lead singer Josh Homme will be able to top his presence.