Summer is approaching its sunset, as it were. The days are getting cooler, the sun is setting faster-- heck, I’ve even had to wear a jacket out to shows a couple nights in the past few weeks. With the change in season comes the imperative for a new soundtrack -- blasting Missy Elliot as you sit on your stoop drinking quarter water isn’t going to cut it anymore, kids. Here are some songs to help ease the transition.
Vinnie Cha$e, “Take The Money”
It’s an audacious move to sample Radiohead, but Vinnie Cha$e makes it work. As a rising Harlem rapper with a propensity to say the word “swag,” Cha$e upon first blush seems like an obvious heir to the Dipset throne. But Cha$e fuses Dipset’s pan-regional eye with a propensity for art-damaged nonsense that indicates he’s shooting for something a bit more. This track is a chilly flip on Radiohead’s already-icy “Idioteque,” and it works perfectly.
C. Spencer Yeh, “In The Blink Of An Eye”
It’s weird enough to see a noise musician play it straight, but C. Spencer Yeh’s “In The Blink Of An Eye” absolutely slays with its morose dance-punk. It’s perfect for dragging your feet to work, knowing your next Summer Friday is months away.
ERAAS, “Briar Path”
The Greenpoint band ERAAS knows a thing or two about the dark. Their self-titled debut is all doom-drone darkness, but on “Briar Path” they transcend their genre for a foray into minimal indie groove. Think Animal Collective, but on muscle relaxers.
Cam’ron f. Juelz Santana, “More Gangster Music”
Most rappers like to begin their albums by, y’know, rapping, but throughout his career Cam’ron has shown an absolute disdain for convention. The perennially-underrated Juelz Santana kicks off Purple Haze with one of the best verses of his career, full of nonsensical one-liners (“I stay icy on purpose!”) and literal actual barking, and then Cam takes it home with his laid-back style. It perfectly mimics the transition of the euphoria of summer to the crush of autumn.
Aaliyah, “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright”
Just when you’re ready to throw in the towel and steel yourself for the terribleness of winter, you’ve got to remember the wise words of Babygirl. Aaliyah is for all moods, all seasons, all everything. Drake is helping prepare her posthumous album this year, and so it’s more important to remember everything’s gonna be alright.