1. We have a lot of feelings about Kanye West's new album. There's a lot to love, and there's a lot we still have to digest. But opener "Ultralight Beam"—which features Chance the Rapper, Kirk Franklin, and Kelly Price—is a total knockout. It's a perfect song for imperfect times.
2. As big fans of Katie Dey's surreal home recordings, it was cool to see that the first track on Sam Ray's new hit-stuffed compilation was "Hope Reset," an unreleased song from the unclassifiable Australian songwriter. At one point it's possible she sings I can't reset myself, but the vocals have been digitally strained and carefully multi-tracked, so it's hard to know for sure.
3. Long Beach rapper O.T. Genasis makes songs that burn slow. "CoCo" went off the rails months after its 2014 release, and it looks like the same thing is happening with his Young Dolph-featuring "Cut It," which dropped in October but seems to be everywhere right now.
4. James Blake came back into our lives rather triumphantly with "Modern Soul," an affecting return-to-form that sets his sturdy croon atop unsteady keys and discordant rumblings.
5. Kanye's T.L.O.P. a capella "I Love Kanye" got some Motown flavor thanks to a genius remix by Chicago producer Stefan Ponce. Just think of it as one Chicago boy showing love to another Chicago boy showing love to himself.
6. Young Thug's just-dropped visuals for "Worth It" features the rapper loved-up with real-life fiancée, Jerrika Karlae. It's kind of boring but it suits the steamy track, which is all slow-drip London On Da Track production and typically wiggly Thugger bars.
7. These days, Little Big League's Michelle Zauner has been releasing gut-wrenching dream-rock songs as Japanese Breakfast. The latest, "Everybody Wants To Love You," is peppy and buzzing and features some vocal echoes by Philly-rock scene staple Sam Cook-Parrott, who plays in Radiator Hospital.
8. MHYSA, the alter-ego of NON Records and Halycon Veil-affiliated artist E. Jane, has a new EP full of rousing poetry and physically resonant production. The moment that I step outside...so many reasons to run and hide, she sings over shattering glass and half-speed shrieks on its final track, "Just A Girl."
9. Marcus Whale's clamoring "My Captain" is loud and urgent. It was inspired by the queer legend of 19th century criminals Captain Moonlite and James Nesbitt, who were believed to be lovers.
10. After sharing a remake of Omarion's "I'm Up" in December, Lil Kim kicked off her 2016 with a remix of "Panda," a track that recently appeared in this column by G.O.O.D. Music signee Desiigner. Kim is cheerfully bawdy here: Eat the booty like zucchini/ He pulled it out, it was tiny/ Pour some ketchup on that weenie.
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Japanese Breakfast photography: Julian Master. All others: Dimitrios Kambouris/ Getty Images.