No artist is brightening my summer more than Atlanta-via-LA's I Love Makonnen, a singer and sort-of rapper whose sound and spirit embody equal parts Slick Rick, Lil B and Lana Del Rey. His I Love Makonnen EP was produced by Atlanta heavyweights Metro Boomin, Sonny Digital, DJ Spinz, DunDeal and FKi, and it brought the season-making run of "Too Much" into "I Don't Sell Molly No More" into "Club Goin Up on a Tuesday" into "Tonight." Internet- spanning accolades have flown in its wake, but as is often the case with "new artists" who lasso the zeitgeist, this isn't his Makonnen's first rodeo. Just a few weeks earlier, he'd released the also-excellent Drink More Water 4, itself part of a series that began with an 18-track tape in 2012 (and it goes back even further). Half of the joy with Makonnen is discovering his back catalogue, hiding in Mediafire links on more YouTube videos than you'd believe.
In his music vids, I Love Makonnen dances like the golden, million-dollar baby he is, but slow-moving and subtle flicks of the wrist only represent a small range of what his music inspires. "Maneuvering," for example, a standout cut off Drink Water numero four, begs to be jigged—a dance started in Baton Rouge, inspired by ecstasy, hiding like all dance-memes in plain sight on Vine. Enter Lightning Man, aka Tasty Husband aka Booty Math, from Atlanta's burgeoning Awful Records crew, who drops into a full-on jigg dance, skating clouds as the song deserves. When I play "Maneuvering," and the spirit catches me, too, this is hardly how I look, but it's sure how I feel.