SNDTRK: Volume 4

I don't want no bad energy...

If you're like me at the moment, you need a swagger boost. An injection of bravado and self-confidence to launch into the next phase of your life in style. Let this week's songs be a backdrop to your million dollar idea. Take that leap of faith. Be who you were meant to be.

"Don't I look like a million? I'm bout to clean out the safe..."

Leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter with your thoughts.

Energy - Cadenza Remix

Avelino, Stormzy, Skepta

All the way back in Volume 3, I introduced grime for the first time to the series. At some point, I'll put together a "starter pack" for people interested in exploring the genre more. Granted, an American from North Carolina may not be the most appropriate arbiter for British music, but for you? I'll take my chances.

This song is one of those rare remixes that stands above the original. Like this one. It's a wavy take on a traditional grime banger that gain popularity after being featured on FIFA 18. The introduction brings in Avelino with dark piano and down tempo bass drum before accelerating the RPMs into a housy uptempo rhythm that pairs well with Stormzy and Skepta's smooth, adaptable flow.

"Rich in my faith, I could never be poor,

Why bang a hammer when you could be Thor?"

Both rappers have done tremendous work to promote UK hip-hop culture and continue to impress on the mic. Avelino is a new one for me but this song here is a great introduction to his solo work. Stormzy and Skepta will surely make a return to SNDTRK.


Anderson .Paak

There are few artists in the zeitgeist as dynamic as Anderson .Paak. In 2015, I got a firsthand glimpse of his talent at AOCFest. Paak's performance at The Armory capped a memorable weekend. His ability to shape shift between singer, rapper, dancer, and drummer continues to stretch the boundaries of every genre he participates in.

With two singles already out and two albums on the horizon, it looks like .Paak is poised for another leap, and if the songs are anything like this one, this will be a giant leap for mankind.

"Don't I look like somebody that just be bodyin' everything?
All that talkin' is great but I don't be talkin', I air it out
All the problems have gotten easy to bury
I'd rather drown them in Hendrick's, I'd rather kiss on my Mary
I been, broker way longer than I been rich so until it levels out
I'ma take your mama to the Marriott and wear it out"

I've been rapping these bars in my head for weeks...

Party People

Vince Staples

Vince Staples travels in his own lane through modern American hip-hop, blending grungy abrasive lyrics with elements of funk, techno, house, hip-hop, and other dance music styles to really stand out as a unique, progressive figure in music.

Staples is one of the few "new"-ish school rappers that I really get into these days. On the Wiki for this album, it says that he and his producer were inspired by the work of Novelist and Wiley, two prominent emcees on the UK grime scene, for the production of Big Fish Theory. It's no secret that I'm a stan for grime music and so by association, I'm a big fan of this album and most of Staples' catalog to date.

Each Friday, SNDTRK will hit this site and your inbox, providing you with three songs.

Ranging from music that has inspired me, invigorated me, or just songs that bump including fresh cuts and old classics. In doing this series, I want to share the connections I have to music and in turn, make a connection to you.

You can find the full playlist here.