In the United States this week, things have been pretty par for the course: the president continues to misuse punctuation, Taylor Swift continues to release songs directed at her haters, et cetera. But outside of our borders, we’re seeing both celebration and turmoil. Directly north of us, Canada is basking in a historic sports moment, as the Raptors celebrate their first ever NBA championship. In a nail-biter of a Game 6, Toronto earned their country’s first NBA title and dethroned the Steph Curry-led Golden State Warriors, who were going for a three-peat. Drake will allegedly release new music, presumably celebrating the win, at some point today, along with a second song whose subject matter remains to be seen—that hidden child, perhaps? Finally?
Meanwhile, across the globe, the people of Sudan are in the midst of a political uprising as they attempt to prevent a military-led government from replacing recently ousted president Omar al-Bashir, who in 2009 was indicted for allegedly directing a campaign of mass killing, rape, and pillage against civilians in Darfur. The death toll for the recent crackdown of the government on protesters and civilians is over 100, and hundreds of others have bejiden beaten, raped, and arrested. Additionally, internet access has been all but entirely cut off, leaving it up to us to share the Sudanese peoples’ stories. So as your Twitter feed clogs with Drake/Toronto/Raptors memes, don’t forget to check out explainers on the crisis Sudan and ways to help.
These are the best new songs of the week.
JID, Bas, J. Cole, EarthGang, & Young Nudy, “Down Bad”
Dreamville has blessed us with two completely opposing energies to make for a confusing (or exciting?) weekend. “Got Me” combines the languid flows of Ari Lennox and Ty Dolla $ign, among others, for a horny anthem, while “Down Bad” is a rowdy, kick-in-the-door anthem ready-made for summer mischief. Dreamville’s finest (and a very special guest in Young Nudy) manage to pack a ridiculous amount of energy into less than three minutes, beginning with a tragically short verse from the aforementioned Nudy. From there, it’s a Dreamville extravaganza, with everything from of-the-minute references to Fader’s summer music series to the NBA Finals (that one is slightly less impactful after last night’s events) and Bas doing his best Ariana-Grande-on-”Thank U, Next” impression with a quick “yee!” EarthGang’s Johnny Venus closes things out with a rapid-fire verse, rounding out a fantastic sort-of-posse-cut.
The Free Nationals, Mac Miller, & Kali Uchis, “Time”
Trust me: When Kali Uchis said, “I just wanna be your girl and not your mom/Is that so wrong?” women around the world felt it in their bones. On the real though, this collaboration between Kali, The Free Nationals, and the late, great Mac Miller is a dreamy but honest look at the perils of time, and the ways it can affect a relationship. The Free Nationals’ smooth production makes the somewhat somber subject matter sunnier, as does hearing Mac’s voice again.
Anna of the North, “Thank Me Later”
Anna of the North’s “Thank Me Later” is lyrically reminiscent of a Rex Orange County-type ditty: tongue-in-cheek, confident but still a little dizzy with infatuation. The Norwegian’s vocals are full electropop enchantment—the sonic equivalent of laying on a blanket in the park. Synthy and bass-heavy, the heady track just might ruin your plans of a hot girl (or hot boy) summer, and instead have you locking things down with your springtime crush. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
The best parts of GoldLink’s Diaspora are the Caribbean-sounding jams you want to hear on a boat this summer, and “More” is no exception. The lyrics tell a story that sounds just about as messy as any summer romance, with talk of sidebar flirtations and mentions of his mom. It’s yearning but not yet mournful, with the bubbly P2J production helping to underscore those last few bits of hope. Time to find a friend with a boat.