SZA Weaves Dreams on ‘Z’

sza

Words by Chelsea Whitaker

I have been following SZA since she first appeared on my Soundcloud feed, and I have been hopefully watching her career from the first TDE cosign to her performance with Kendrick Lamar at the Grammys. She is the type of artist who is unique enough to root for, and down to earth enough to relate to. Her debut album, Z, has been anticipated as both a continuation and expansion of her trademark sound. And without fail, SZA’s done just that with the mixture of her soulful vocals and eclectic selection of guest emcees; Z is a genre bending journey that excels at transporting my mind to a dreamy and emotional space at any given moment.

The project is filled with buoyant and lilting soundscapes, with much praise due to the creative, diverse, and layered production. Features from her TDE family abound, with Isaiah Rashad and Kendrick Lamar making appearances. One of the best pairings is with Chance the Rapper for “Childs Play”, where SZA sings “Ripping the heads off of my barbie dolls, toss em to the side” over an XXYYXX sample. We all know that feeling, and Chance punctuates her poetic lyrics with allusions to Pusha T: “Keys open doors when the keys are albino”. Their combined effect is a song that feels like a faded Polaroid of a relationship.

Read more after the jump

Video: Charlie Coffeen with Angéle Anise and Tyler Berg – “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe” (Kendrick Lamar Cover)

 

Sidewalk Chalk‘s Charlie Coffeen dropped an in-studio video for a cover of Kendrick Lamar’s “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe.” The track, from the Grammy nominated album Good Kid M.A.A.D City, features vocals by Angéle Anise and drums by fellow Sidewalk Chalk member Tyler Berg.

“I’ve been wearing Kendrick’s album out since it dropped, and I had an idea to do a version of this song while I was on the road for some shows last month,” Coffeen says. “Angéle is one of my favorite vocalists, and Tyler and I play together all the time. This line-up seemed like the right fit to do something special with this song, so we got together for a few hours at I.V. Lab in Chicago with some friends around to shoot the performance and ended up with this.”

Sidewalk Chalk is releasing its sophomore album, Leaves, on February 25th before touring across the US. Initial dates include Chicago at the Double Door (2/21), DROM in New York (2/22), and Hotel Cafe in LA (3/28).

GPWW 5/24/13 Worldwide Family Mixtape: Hiatus Kaiyote

 

This past week’s edition of the Worldwide Show with Gilles Peterson starts off with a sultry, brass interpretation of Kendrick Lamar‘s “B*tch Don’t Kill My Vibe” from Austinfa jazz producer Sly5thAve. The eclectic grooves continue with a Ras G triplet, Ghostface Killah double, and a hip-hop throwback in “The Do Over” section with Public Enemy.

Gilles also presents a mixtape from global soul quartet, Hiatus Kaiyote, featuring tunes from fellow Aussies Ainslie Willis, Clever Austin, Electric Sea Spider, and more. Hiatus have been riding a wave of success recently that has included acclaim from icons such as Erykah Badu and ?uestlove, as well as a sold-out NYC debut at Le Poisson Rouge in March.

Stream Gilles’ latest show and more below.

Part 1
 

Part 2
 

More Info & Track list

Gilles’ most recent shows:

GPWW: 05/17/2013 Worldwide Family Mixtape w/ Stimming

GPWW: 05/10/2013 Worldwide Family Mixtape w/ Matmos

 

New Tracks: Quadron – “Sea Salt” & “Better Off” ft. Kendrick Lamar

 

The last few days have seen a couple new tracks from Quadron. The first, “Better Off,” features Kendrick Lamar and shares an underwater synth sound and echoey vocal mood similar to that found on the duo’s debut album. The slower “Sea Salt” dropped today holding jazzy hints along with an old soul flair to the chorus.

Hear “Sea Salt” on Okayplayer.

Avalanche is out June 4.

Facebook | Twitter

Video: Kendrick Lamar – “Swimming Pools (Drank)” (Live on SNL)

 

Kendrick Lamar gave his much anticipated Saturday Night Live performance yesterday with a live band no less! He performed his two lead singles, “Swimming Pools (Drank)” and “Poetic Justice” with some impressive speed-rapping mixed in there to boot.

His “skit” came in the form of a spoof music video with Adam Levine entitled “YOLO,” with the a general theme of hysteria and ‘isolating yourself and living solo’ to not waste that precious life. Loving Kendrick’s see-through green visor, though!

Facebook | Twitter

Watch “Poetic Justice” after the jump