Ever listen to an artist’s music and think, “What the hell are they listening to?” We do too. More than ever, artists are being exposed to a vast spectrum of genres, styles, and sounds, and whether they like it or not, that exposure ends up being reflected in the music. When you listen to OnCue, you can hear that this isn’t a kid that grew up listening to nothing but Nas. Whether it’s hidden in the sample or out on display when he belts out a chorus, he’s got an interesting take on hip-hop, and it had us wondering what was on his most recent playlist. So we asked, and Cuey took a little break from recording in the studio to give us some of his picks. Five songs recommended by OnCue. Here it is:

Phantogram – “16 Years”

“I first heard this group back in 2010, when CJ Luzi (producer) showed me ‘Mouthful of Diamonds.’ Later on, we sampled that same exact song for what is now ‘Your Own Supply.’ After hitting the road, a sound technician in Colorado was like ‘YO! You sampled Phantogram that’s cool … Nightlife is awesome.’ When I got back to NYC and settled in, I downloaded the EP. I love the emotion in the chorus—it’s bright, but still there is this sense of uncertainty. You can hear how unsure she is in the vocals too.”

Rick Ross – “Holy Ghost”

“Most of the time, trap rap isn’t my shit. I’ve been a Ross fan since Port of Miami, but he’s just going in on this tape. Unless you live under a rock, this is an obvious choice. His verses are just WHATTHEFUCKJUSTHAPPENED. The fact Ross made a comeback in this fashion after the whole ‘officer’ ordeal is inspiring. He’s knocking on the door, don’t let the devil eeeeeeeeein!”

Kendrick Lamar – “Fuck Your Ethnicity”

“Hands down my favorite hip-hop album of the year. Watch the Throne was close, but Kendrick made me into a real fan. All during the tour, this was the soundtrack—all of Section.80, actually. His words and his voice are definitely a breath of fresh air in all this swag rap right now. But what really makes me a fan of Kendrick is the musicality he incorporates in Section.80. This song was difficult to pick, but I can’t really explain why I like it so much. It’s awesome. No real reason.”

M83 – “Steve McQueen”

“I played ‘Midnight City’ so much, I inevitably got sick of it. All of the album is great, but this song (to me) holds that similar soulfulness that was in ‘Midnight City.’ It’s a bit more on the rock side of things for M83, but I love the chords, I love the drums, and those reverbed/dream-like vocals they’re known to incorporate in all of their shit.”

Ben Gibbard – “Choir Vandals”

“I’ve had this song in my iTunes library for years. Before I even moved to New York. I always loved it, and recently it came on shuffle and I’ve been stuck on it as of lately. Anyone who knows me personally, knows Ben Gibbard is a huge idol of mine. From The Postal Service, to 99% of the DCFC catalogue, I’m a huge fan. One of my biggest inspirations. This was actually on an EP he released with Andrew Kenny called ‘Home,’ I found it long ago…and immediately got back into this song in particular. I swear I’ma work with this man one day. Debut/major release album. Guitar riffs like crazy.”