Because he has nothing better to do with his time, each Friday, Micah Peters riffs on the most awe-inspiring, confounding, addictive, or otherwise hilarious moments from the week in music. This week:
Rico Nasty’s Screaming You Awake on “Cold”
In a recent Narduwar interview, in which she also charmingly details her former job as a receptionist at a nurse-led clinic and describes how her life, at one point, was “consumed by anime,” D.C. rapper Rico Nasty gave a bite-size explanation of her own appeal for anyone who’s yet to hear one of her songs. She first says, “Because! I’m doing things that have not been done beforrre!” in this preposterous Hexidecimal voice, which is also charming. Then comes the real answer: If you need to “get some shit off, rage a little, jump around, then go back to whatever the fuck you were doing,” you should listen to Rico Nasty.
Anger Management, her newest project, produced by her longtime collaborator Kenny Beats, is basically primal scream therapy. It starts with a scream: “KENNNYYYYYYYY!,” Nasty shrieks, just before Beats’ signature pre-“bass-boosted” low-end distortion draws first blood. “Cold” is a jolt awake, full of face-scrunching couplets like “I’m busy please don’t bother / make more money than your father.” I won’t bore you with an entreaty that harps on Nasty’s importance, but Anger Management is 18 minutes of straight espresso. When she says she just came back from the Bahamas and that her money keeps getting longer, you think of her not as a voice from atop a stage in front of you, but one over your shoulder in the floor-length mirror, before you head out to do that thing you have to do today. Maybe, eventually, you’ll internalize that voice: “NONE OF THESE BITCHES COLD AS ME.”
21 Savage on ScHoolBoy Q’s “Floating”
ScHoolBoy Q reportedly labored so much to get to CrasH Talk’s release that he scrapped two full albums along the way. The resulting album is pieced together from those past projects’ lingering ideas, and nearly happens in three acts, despite being only 14 songs. It’s strange to talk about pacing on an album that’s just longer than a network comedy. But there’s a five-song stretch in the middle when—aside from a painfully short and subtly anxious Kid Cudi collaboration, “Dangerous,” and the sharply reflective “Black Folk”—Q is pitching straight four-seam fastballs. “Floating” is the one you’re going to be hearing out of every passing car all summer. 21 Savage steals the show: After he says he drives the ’Rari like it’s stolen, he calls someone, maybe you, “a broke Ford Focus–ass nigga.”
Yukimi Nagano on Flying Lotus’s “Spontaneous”
Flying Lotus teased Flamagra—his first album since 2014’s Grammy-nominated You’re Dead!— in extremely Flying Lotus fashion, which is to say with a weird non-single accompanied by a strange short film starring David Lynch in a wolf costume. Except that’s not quite accurate, since it’s more like an actual wolf suffers a cervical fracture and Lynch appears in its open mouth to spin a creepy yarn about a boy named Tommy who received a weird phone call about an encroaching fire.
But! There are two new actual Flying Lotus songs available, on your phone, right now, today. One of them is an acid-techno-jazz freakout titled “Takashi,” which powers through a confoundingly glitchy midsection to a spacier end: B’More club drums, paired with what sounds like the guitar-synth combo that Stevie Wonder made generous use of on Talking Book. The other is “Spontaneous,” which melts on contact and features Yukimi Nagano of Little Dragon. When she sings “Don’t you wanna rest, my love?” protected by a brief moment of production that’s sort of soft and loose, by FlyLo standards? I felt that.
When the Flute Hits on Young Nudy’s “Mister”
Pi’erre Bourne’s whim tempts him toward the peculiar. Playboi Carti’s “Magnolia,” which was effectively the producer’s coming-out party, was sprinkled with either a squealing infant or a squeaky door hinge, plus errant ocarina flutes. The backing track of his first single under his own name, “Yo Pi’erre” sounds like a Kingdom Hearts soundtrack disc left to warp in the baking sun. On “Mister,” a single from Sli’merre, his forthcoming project with Young Nudy, Pi’erre goes back to the flutes. But this time around, they sound more “Bobbi Humphrey” than “Link.”
Just … All of This FKA Twigs “Cellophane” Video
FKA Twigs creates sublimely beautiful art that I’m fine consuming once and never experiencing again. “Cellophane” is breathy and dramatic; the accompanying video features her—I’m gonna do my best here—climbing a Beanstalkesque stripper pole to face her larger, flying-CGI-beetle self, who she (the original, human Twigs) stamps out with her platform heel [deep breath] after which she tumbles headlong into some … red clay? It’s a sequence that’s kind of impenetrable, but seems really agonized over.
BONUS: Florence + the Machine—“Jenny of Oldstones”
Obviously the Game of Thrones phenomenon has grown large enough to contain both the current president and the former one, plus every professional athlete, and every brand, and somewhere between 85 and 98 percent of the people in your personal life. Such is monoculture. But I still found it offputting to hear an official Game of Thrones song from the Weeknd, featuring SZA and Travis Scott, about power, but actually about sex. It’s tough to square vibey trap’n’B and medieval-time show, you know?
Anyway, Podrick sang a song called “Jenny’s Song” at the end of last week’s episode, and a few of my colleagues, who are smarter about Thrones than me, have been making a lot of its narrative importance. My stance is that it’s a sweetly sung elegy before what I’m pretty sure is going to be a blowout, so the words don’t really matter—I’ve been laughing at this same LeBron–Night King joke for going on a week now. Florence + the Machine covered the song at the behest of the showrunners, and they’ll be the only musical act featured on the actual show in its final season. Listen now, before everyone dies.