the fader

12 Songs You Need In Your Life This Week

Songs we love right now, and why they matter. In no particular order.

1. Lil Wayne, "Hot Nigga"

On Tuesday night, I watched nervously while POTUS delivered his State of the Union address. I was nervous because I wondered what Obama would have to say about Syria, ACA, student debt, and Ferguson—but also because Lil Wayne had dropped Sorry 4 The Wait 2 just as the chamber had begun to fill—and I am really worried about the current state of Cash Money. The tape confirms, with repeated swipes at Birdman, that there is definitely something rotten over there. Still, there are so many good and exciting and weird things going on here. The most obvious win is probably "Hot Nigga," on which he slips back into Mixtape Wayne mode: lighter flicks, nimble word play, and spastic ad-libs that find him out Shmurda-ing Shmurda. After listening, I looked up at the picture of a picture of Wayne ripped out of an old FADER story that's been hanging on my wall since 2007—the year Da Drought 3 dropped—and exhaled. — Zara Golden

1. Lil Wayne, "Hot Nigga"
2. Liturgy, “Quetzalcoatl”

Liturgy makes metal for people who are into a lot of other things besides metal. Hunter Hunt-Hendrix, former Columbia philosophy major and Liturgy's driving creative force, spent the band's formative years infuriating black metal purists with his bookish theorizing and refusal to wear corpse paint. It might not come as a shock, then, that they've veered into uncharted territory on the first single from their forthcoming album The Ark Work replacing the demon screams with ritual chanting. Drummer Greg Fox has returned to the band after a hiatus; his signature blast beats are still there, but they've taken on the sharp sonic edges of the drum machine that temporarily replaced him. Buzzing with fresh digital textures, "Quetzalcoatl" takes their essential dramatic energy and contorts it into something much harder to categorize. — Molly Long

2. Liturgy, “Quetzalcoatl”
3. Quarterbacks, "Not In Luv"

The recording of "Not In Luv" that New Paltz trio Quarterbacks released this week—ripped from their forthcoming self-titled LP for Team Love— is actually the third version of the song that exists on the internet. This one is probably the sturdiest iteration, trading double-tracked vocals and tape hiss for pinched yelps and a full-band backbone. It still feels homemade, though. I'm not in love/ at least not this morning, songwriter Dean Engle sings, sort of unconvincingly, over a charmingly rushed guitar clamor. Considering the sappy sentiments that pop up all over Quarterbacks catalog, he'll likely be head over heels come lunchtime. — Patrick D. McDermott

3. Quarterbacks, "Not In Luv"
4. Keita Juma f. Brendan Philip, "Come Over"

You can learn almost everything you need to know about a song by watching a DJ play it to a dancefloor full of drunk people who've never heard it before. Keita Juma and Brendan Philip's rave-y "Come Over" performs remarkably well in that setting; when I heard it in a crowded club for the first time a couple of weeks ago, the track's absolute banger status was solidified by the number of hands I saw slap the wall and furnace instinctively. It's the dead of winter, but Bristol-born, Mississauga-raised Keita Juma will have you ready for some high-grade summer debauchery. — Rawiya Kameir

4. Keita Juma f. Brendan Philip, "Come Over"
5. Phoebe Ryan, "Ignition/Do You…(R.Kelly/Miguel Cover)"

Remember when Lorde used to cover Kanye West's "Hold My Liquor" in concert? Well, someone took that occurrence and turned it into a genre, and that someone is Phoebe Ryan. This trifle from the emerging L.A. singer/songwriter is the first instance of Lorde-covering-Kanye-core that's been spotted in the wild, and it's an odd one. The electro-pop production touches are current, but the song selection sure isn't; if it wasn't for Ryan's seapunk hair, you might mistake this for a creation from three years ago, and if you really want to go deep with it, mashups like these carry the fresh-by date of a Shasta McNasty marathon. Honestly, though, there's a purity to this that I just can't place, but I know exists—maybe it's in the very sweetly-sung vocals. — Larry Fitzmaurice

5. Phoebe Ryan, "Ignition/Do You…(R.Kelly/Miguel Cover)"
6. Lee Alēem, "MOMMAS HOOPTY"

A friend put me onto this gem from a stray Soulection mix. Feels like "Cut You Off"-era Kendrick: muted raps over a jazz loop that flutters and never drops. Don't ever lose me, I kind of like you, tell all your girls you got a nice dude, Lee Alēem kicks to whoever's sitting in passenger. It all sounds nice and sweet until police sirens echo over the hook; friction like that makes for better art. — Matthew Trammell

6. Lee Alēem, "MOMMAS HOOPTY"
7. Natalie La Rose f. Jeremih, “Somebody”

Flo Rida protégé Natalie La Rose's debut single revives "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)" for a younger set of clubgoers whose ears (and bodies) have been tuned to DJ Mustard. The beat employs an economic slap, and Jeremih breezily interpolates Whitney Houston's seminal hit for the hook (reminder: he once made "Barbie Girl" sound good for Ludacris). But what's most modern about the song is the Dutch R&B singer's call to arms: And at the end of the night when the lights go out, will we turn down? Oh no, we won't. — Zara Golden

7. Natalie La Rose f. Jeremih, “Somebody”
8. Jose Gonzalez, "Leaf Off/The Cave"

Jose Gonzalez's last album, the lovely, lonely In Our Nature, came out nearly eight years ago. In between then and now, he released two albums of similar stateliness with his band Junip—but the boy's back with his latest album of solo-dolo pretty-boy Swedish folk swag, Vestiges & Claws. Early listens suggest a strong return for Gonzalez, if not an outright extension of the quiet-classic, er, nature of In Our Nature; "Leaf Off/The Cave" is one of the album's standout songs that takes a cyclical shape, much like Gonzalez's best work. It's a patient song with production so spare that you can practically hear Gonzalez tapping his foot to keep time. Occasionally, I've found myself repeating the song's mantra—let the light lead you out—in my head like a monastic chant. It's good advice. — Larry Fitzmaurice

8. Jose Gonzalez, "Leaf Off/The Cave"
9. Juvenile ft. 0017 Keem , "My Nina"

Juvie is back. But, like, for real this time. Teenaged me can't contain the excitement of seeing a prominent Cash Money logo on the cover of his forthcoming Mardi Gras II project. And it gets better. This week, Juvie dropped "My Nina," a surprisingly carefree ode to his ever-present handgun. Over a spare beat courtesy of Vangoh and with an assist from 0017 Keem, Juvie offers up the kind of track that makes me wish I had a long stretch of highway ahead (and a driver's license). It's wild to hear the OG Hot Boy imitate Drake imitating him, but it works. — Rawiya Kameir

9. Juvenile ft. 0017 Keem , "My Nina"
10. Lion Babe, “Jungle Lady”

In light of NYC duo LION BABE's performances around the city this week, I couldn't help but be reminded of December's "Jungle Lady," off their 2014 debut EP LION BABE. Almost a sister track to the duo's "Treat Me Like Fire"—albeit more experienced-sounding and dipped in Valium—it showcases producer Lucas Goodman's knack for sonic sensuality and frontwoman Jillian Hervey's lyrical fire: Tell me how you want it baby / You know you need a Jungle Lady. — Claire Onderdonk

10. Lion Babe, “Jungle Lady”
11. Zutzut, "Jala"

NAAFI affiliate Zutzut's "Jala" is a track that, like work by Lotic and Total Freedom, takes the patina of dance serotonin and suffuses it with the perfect amount of raw ugliness. For me, it simulates the feeling of being too sick to move, but it's gratifying too. Here, that gratification lasts three minutes, and is communicated simply with a frantic dembow sample, a baile funk break, and a deliciously nausea-inducing synth line. Oish. — Alexander Iadarola

11. Zutzut, "Jala"
12. Only Real, "Yesterdays (Darq E Freaker Remix)"

West London band Only Real's "Yesterdays" is a fine song, but it's also a song I have no desire to hear again, if only because this absolutely bonkers remix from grime producer and Danny Brown-collaborator Darq E Freaker turns it out into something so aggressively sugary that I have a cavity from just writing about it. Freaker's a fucking genius, honestly—all this talk of the ongoing grime revival is all well and good but back in 2011, he dropped the nasty anthem "Cherryade" and barely an eyelash was batted outside of the usual ones keeping score. Whatever though! He's clearly not lacking in innovation regardless, and his remix of "Yesterdays" is full of ideas: screw-top squeaks, gumdrop drums, and synths that you can practically lick off the speakers. — Larry Fitzmaurice

12. Only Real, "Yesterdays (Darq E Freaker Remix)"
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12 Songs You Need In Your Life This Week