Hope you had a great holiday, and if you're in Los Angeles, the sun has arrived just in time for the second concert in KCRW's World Festival series at the Hollywood Bowl. Reggae Night is this Sun, July 7th with Damian Marley headlining and Third World and Kabaka Pyramid also on the bill. Reggae Night is a summer tradition. The weather is always great, the crowd is so diverse and everyone is always in such a good mood. I'll definitely be there and hope to see you too. You can grab tix here. In the meantime, let’s cue up a few musical selections for you to enjoy this weekend.
H.E.R. – “Racks” feat. YBN Cordae
There are very few people more talented than Gabi Wilson (that I know of anyhow), and she's only 22 years old! Following her 2 Grammy wins earlier this year, Wilson, better known as H.E.R., has returned with a new single enlisting the help of YBN Cordae. "Racks" might be exactly what you think: it's about money. H.E.R. speaks to the dangers of obsessing over materialistic things, while Cordae drops a verse alluding to finding happiness from within instead of in possessions. Take a listen.
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib - "Crime Pays"
Freddie Gibbs is a street rapper who has claimed for years that he can rap over any beat. Madlib is a producer's producer, with unique musical sensibilities, that allow him to craft masterpieces from the most obscure of samples. Though this pairing isn't head scorching, it also isn't too obvious. However, when one realizes that both are unapologetically themselves and committed to their musical instincts, it makes all the sense in the world. Bandana may go down as one of the best hip-hop albums of 2019. Check out the video for "Crime Pays."
Blick Bassy - "Ngwa"
Cameroon's Blick Bassy is a recent discovery, but one of my favorites. Singing in his native Basaa language, Bassy's compositions are both seductive and transformative. He just released his highly anticipated follow-up to his 2016 debut with 1958. This album is dedicated to the memory of Ruben Um Nyobè and other war heroes of the Cameroon Independence. In many ways, this album is a love ballad to the history of his people. In an interview Bassy said, "My album is a call, a cry from the heart to the new African generations so that they can rewrite their own history, through the celebration of the men and women who have laid the basic structure of our people." You don't have to understand the language in order to feel the spirit behind the message. Enjoy the stunning visuals of "Ngwa," which is the first song on the album.