Swamp Dogg is a gutbucket-soul legend, an artist who pushed his genre as far as it would go in the ’70s. The man born Jerry Williams, Jr. started out as a fairly traditional ’60s soul singer and songwriter, but he came into his own when he became a wild, expressive showman, developing a whole outsider persona and releasing albums like Total Destruction To Your Mind and Gag A Maggot. If you’ve never heard his 1972 cover of John Prine’s “Sam Stone,” do yourself a favor.
This fall, Swamp Dogg will return. He could come back doing the standard elder-statesman thing, making an album of warm traditionalism. Instead, he’s teamed up with Ryan Olson, of the Minneapolis synth-rock band Poliça. With Olson as producer, Swamp Dogg has recorded the new LP Love, Loss, And Auto-Tune, using present-day technology to push his voice into strange new places. First single “I’ll Pretend” is a duet with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, and it’s an intense, otherworldly track that balances blues guitar and soulful vocals with ominous electronic drones and scraped-out Terminator textures. It’s fucking awesome.
The song’s video, which Olson directed with Isaac Gale, works as a cinematic ode to loneliness. Swamp Dogg wakes up in a room full of gold records and shrink-wrapped stuffed animals, hangs out by an empty pool, puts on his crispy uniform to go out into the world, and goes home alone.
Call this their couples’ therapy trilogy. From Lemonade to 4:44 to Everything Is Love, Beyoncé and JAY-Z have taken us through their (apparent) conflict, resolution, and reconciliation as lovers. Though their narrative has been carefully curated and packaged for our consumption, the themes are nonetheless universal: Love and marriage are not easy, a bond between lovers will be tested, and the reward for surviving those turbulent moments is a stronger union. Every couple has gone through it or will go through it. But every couple isn’t the reigning Queen of Pop and the elder King of Rap. Working it out from both a husband and wife’s perspective, like they did on their last two albums, isn’t enough. The icing on the vow renewal cake is “APESHIT,” an audacious declaration of unity starring Beyoncé in the lead and featuring JAY-Z and Quavo in supporting roles.
“APESHIT” is credited to the Carters collectively, but it’s really Beyoncé’s song. Rapping her verses and singing the chorus and pre-chorus with Quavo ad libbing, Bey’s delivery is flawless: “Poppin’, I’m poppin’/My bitches are poppin’/We go to the dealer and cop it all/Sippin’ my favorite alcohol/Got me so lit I need Tylenol/All of my people I free ’em all.” Whether she’s bragging about buying her man a jet or politely telling their detractors to “get off my dick”—over Pharrell’s high-energy 808 and synth production—she is always confident and authoritative, the one in control. When Jay chimes in with his homonyms, zoological references, and shots at the Grammys and the NFL, it’s not to steal the show, it’s to set the stage for her to show off her dexterity and hype up his wife. Yes “APESHIT” is a club-ready “banger” on which a wealthy couple celebrates their success and status, but it is also a celebration of enduring love, black love, and black excellence. Celebration is therapeutic, too.
Tyler, the Creator has dropped a handful of tracks over the last few months. “Okra” came in March, then “Rose Tinted Cheeks” in April, and he hoped on a remix of Drake and Trouble’s “Bring It Back” just for kicks. Now, “because why not,” he’s shared another new song called “435” along with a corresponding video.
In a tweet, Tyler said the track “was recorded like early Feb, just a verse I recorded in Philly on the Flower Boy tour, this is not an indication of how future things will sound.” Both the song and the video appear to be one take. The lyrics see the Odd Future MC call for more awards recognition (“They was playing at the ‘Grams, one nom ain’t enough/ Imma make sure that that shit ain’t happening again”) and shout out his favorite cologne (Prada’s Iris).
The Ibeyi sisters team up with Brazilian rapper Emicida for new track and video ‘Hacia El Amor‘ which translates to ‘Until Love’. It’s the first release, not counting the Everything Is Recorded project, since 2017’s acclaimed album Ash.
The soulful singing perfectly matches the MC’s precise and sharp lyrics, both beautifully served by the video directed by Christian Beuchet.
Featuring sensual choreography and a clear nod towards street art, the video encapsulates the track’s message of universality and togetherness.#
Ibeyi will also be playing the Latitude and Longitude festivals this summer.