I could hardly ignore the leopard in the room—it’s not every weekend the internet gets to bond over a nasty sex rap from women. But the other five songs are good too. I wouldn’t steer you wrong.
Cardi B feat. Megan Thee Stallion – “WAP”
What’s left to say? Not only are there some whores in this house, but they’ve been locked down there since March. No wonder a nation of underfucked shut-ins whose backfields had been stationary all summer exploded in freaky gratitude to hear the epic feats of vaginal prowess Cardi and Meg boast of here. Cardi’s demands to get her uvula dicked, Meg’s determination to sign her John Hancock while she bones—no penis on Earth is worthy. Aside from a sampled Frank Ski track that was a Baltimore club staple back when Meg hadn’t even yet been foaled, the Ayo N Keyz-produced track mostly keeps out of the rappers’ way. And somehow the “clean” version sounds even filthier. Or at least sloppier.
PUP – “A.M. 180”
I am admittedly way too much of a sucker for novelty covers, which is getting to be a problem as they proliferate in these quarantined times. But this confluence of my interests is just too much to pass up: My favorite Canadian pop-punks covering Grandaddy, the band whose mundane vision of jerrybuilt dystopia I’ve always preferred to Radiohead’s cyberdoomy predictions. That guitar tone! That toy piano!
645AR feat. FKA twigs – “Sum Bout U”
Funny voices are as essential to American pop music as sexual innuendo and fresh beats, so welcome to a great tradition, 645AR. The Bronx rapper’s squeaky-toned flow is hip-hop’s answer to falsetto, and though he’s not quite “pop” here (I’ll admit I’m wrong when I hear it on KDWB), his Auto-Tuned experimentalism is tuneful even at its wildest. And I’m charmed to hear Twigs forgo her usual heightened drama to escalate her coo into Minnie Ripperton territory.
Sad13 – “Oops…!”
Whether she’s echoing her ziggety-zag tune on keyboard or singing “Portrait of a songster: young hussy crossed with cuddlecore, 10,000 percent out for blood,” Sadie Dupuis has a knack for enacting premeditated spontaneity, with melody and lyric seeming to follow her whim without ever tumbling into haphazardness. What’s that? You also want to hear her cover the theme to The O.C.? Here you go.
Jamila Woods – “Sula (paperback)”
Last year on Legacy! Legacy!, Woods channeled a tradition of great Black artists into her own words. Here she expands her range to take on fictional entities, voicing the Toni Morrison title character as she observes “Freedom and triumph, they weren't meant for me/Girls of my color, find somethin' else to be” and navigates an ambiguous chorus of “I’m better” over a flattering flutter of guitar.
Anderson.Paak feat. JID, Noname, and Jay Rock – “Lockdown”
Paak’s original “Lockdown” was less a protest song than a celebration of the protests, putting the ebullience of a voice that somehow magically combines Kendrick Lamar and Curtis Mayfield to good use. Here three MCs help fill in any remaining blanks. JID righteously spotlights “All the black girls missin' and endin' up inside the coffins,” J Cole-slayer Noname poetically calls out racists who “eat their apple pie in the morning then bury the strange fruit,” and Jay Rock is suitably militant until some asides about a “plandemic” and Bill Gates demonstrate how quickly justified paranoia can stray off into nonsense.
Every week, music editor Keith Harris scours the vast musicscape for six worthy tracks to add to City Pages' ever-expanding 2020 playlist.