Out of My Head: Five Songs I Listened to This Weekend

"Money pool, I'm 'bout to swim right through."

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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Happy New Year. It's 2015. We're in the future. I caught a flying cab from Harlem to Midtown this morning. Meanwhile, Amerie is dropping hot singles again, Macklemore is Rap Game James Baldwin, and Malia Obama is the King of New York. What a time to be alive.


1. Mick Jenkins "11"

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Released: Dec. 26, 2014

I'm not as big a fan of The Water[s] as most of my peers. Mick Jenkins remains on my radar, however, and his latest record, "11," is a post-Ferguson stab at the system a la Tink and J. Cole. This is one inspired blackout, concluding with a protest chant in solidarity with the family of Eric Garner: "I can't breathe, I can't breathe." The dopest moment, however, is Mick's paranoid explosion once the beat drops: "I can find your house on Google Earth, nigga!" 

2. Ameriie (p.k.a. Amerie) "Mustang"

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Released: Dec. 29, 2014

Kinda like Maxwell, "1 Thing" singer Amerie dropped a 2009 comeback album that was low-key amazing. I'd lost track of her, however, since In Love & War came and wilted. She's back now, again, with a name change—from Amerie to Ameriie—and a new single, "Mustang," which sounds rather like belly-dancing: "Beautiful, mysterious: she will lure you in/Soon you'll meet her all the time, but that's where it ends." I've been rooting for this woman, a fellow Hoya, for a decade now.

3. Nipsey Hussle "Be Here for a While" f/ Vernardo

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Released: Dec. 31, 2014

Bits of Mailbox Money have floated around the Internet for a while, but the official release of Nipsey's latest made for a smooth hour-plus of listening as I prepped for a long trek from Harlem to Bed-Stuy for New Year's Eve. "Be Here for a While" is, in particular, the sort of silken realness that California rappers do best: "If you broke, I ain't fucking wit you/Unless you went broken when you was fucking wit me."

4. Trinidad Jame$ "MorninG Wood" f/ Problem & Friend

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Released: Jan. 3, 2015

Like all of TJ's projects, The Wake-Up EP is alternatively ratchet and dreary, and all over the place. "MorninG Wood" is the exceptional balance of both those moods on a single track, with a pseudo-R&B hook to mellow the moment. (Paging Jeremih to remix this, please.) Problem raps 100 percent as if he were French Montana, and I give him an A- just on the strength of uncanny resemblance. Meanwhile, Trinidad Jame$ is a more interesting musician than any of us rap nerds wants to admit.

5. Rae Sremmurd "Lit Like Bic"

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Released: Jan. 6, 2015

Nothing off Rae Sremmurd's debut album, SremmLife, is as irresistible as "No Flex Zone" or "No Type," though to be fair, those are two untouchable records in general. "Lit Like Bic" is their album opener, in which Slim Jimmy dry-heaves like a fucking werewolf: "Who said they got that stanky loud? I wanna smell it/You say you run your fuckin' town; I'll let you tell it." Though SremmLife doesn't drop until tomorrow, it was already a soundtrack of my New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, and this week after. (My review of SremmLife went up today.)

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