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So Necessary: Freddie Gibbs Farms, Skepta Robs, and Lil Nas X Is for the Children

Plus: Key! has a Miami problem, Moby’s misbegotten book tour, and the streaming debut from a legendary Japanese pop-rock group

Getty Images/Ringer illustration

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:

Key! Thinking His Girl Goes to “Miami Too Much”

Key! is at his most compelling when lovesick, and in the very beginning of “Miami Too Much,” his affections are sufficiently spurned. “You’re a dub until I get back to the city. Know that, OK?” And so Key!’s … Key!’s, um, Key!’s nothing-in-particular goes on about her vacation. She rides around in a convertible while her hair floats on the night air. She giggles and sips bubbly in the pool. And there’s Key!, poolside, fully clothed, being an afterthought. Listen to the exquisite pain in his voice when he wails, “I try to love but I loooooooooooose.”

This Week on So Necessary With Micah Peters, 5/31/19

Each Friday, Micah Peters discusses five moments from the past week in music. This week includes Lil Nas X, Skepta, Freddie Gibbs, and more!

Posted by The Ringer on Friday, May 31, 2019

Skepta and Nafe Smallz Doin’ Crimes in the “Greaze Mode” Video

The first video treatment of Skepta’s latest album cycle was necessarily ruminative and solemn, as “Bullet From a Gun” is a ruminative and solemn song. (I love it.) Skepta delivers his deadpan monologue directly into the camera as he sits on a bench in a North London Underground station, waiting for a train that never comes. The vicissitudes of inner city life flutter at the edge of focus. There’s a stroller next to him because he’s a father now—which, you’re meant to understand, has given him a new outlook, and steeled his resolve. He’s wearing all black. Again: ruminative and solemn.

I want to say the “Greaze Mode” video is the direct opposite of that. Skepta and Nafe Smallz attempt to knock off a bank in the loudest outfits imaginable; Skepta has a perm. I’m torn as to what the best part of his performance is here. It’s either the way he does the boogie on the S.W.A.T. team—he’s not running, he’s either “high-tailing” or “legging” it—or it’s the hostage negotiation, during which he demands some exceedingly reasonable stuff, such as a camera crew, some palm wine, some pepper soup. When the credits roll, be sure to stay for the blooper reel.

Lil Nas X Performs at Elementary School, Is an Angel

If you’re still feeling disaffected by the “Old Town Road” craze, like it’s a thing the internet is trying to blunt-force into your brain on a daily basis, like it’s a wry consequence of whispers in boardrooms and not a happy accident or the closest we’ve gotten to world peace—then I’m sorry, here are some really excited kids.

If the children of Lander Elementary were going ham to “Old Town Road” during a recent talent show, they were going HAM, all caps, when Lil Nas X turned up at the school to perform his smash hit this past week. Please note the kid in the plaid shirt who shoves his way up to the front and then proceeds to neither sit down nor chill out for the entire song. It’s fine. Let it happen. Allow the above video to thaw your cold, lifeless heart, to nourish your empty soul.

Farmer Freddie Gibbs in “Crime Pays”

The first single from Gibbs’s upcoming Bandana, “Flat Tummy Tea,” serves as a prologue to “Crime Pays.” After all the robbing and sticking and picking cotton bales and coca leaf off the money tree, he’s living out the rest of his days either in hiding or in conscience-stricken seclusion. He still has his fun, though—he dances in the creek, faces blunts at the local swimming hole, and orders his white farmhands around.

Actually, that might be the best part of an incredibly strong second single—about halfway through the “Crime Pays” video the music drops out, and Gibbs starts hustling his staff to make a quickly approaching deadline. If you’re reading this and it’s within your power, give Freddie Gibbs a sketch comedy show on your network.

Moby Cancels the Rest of His Book Tour

Earlier this month Moby released his memoir Then It Fell Apart, which is a hilariously apt title, considering he has not known peace since it came out. You might have seen people aghast on the internet recently about his loud insistence that he once dated Natalie Portman, mostly because at the time it would’ve happened, Portman was a teenager and Moby was 32. In a Harper’s Bazaar interview Portman said they’d only met, and that Moby was “creepy.” Reading the room, Moby has canceled “all public appearances for the foreseeable future.”


A good and perfect thing is this clip from the acclaimed anime series FLCL. A robot steps off the roof of a dilapidated church building and begins to fly, restoring a young girl’s faith in a higher power. It’s scored by Japanese pop-rock legends the Pillows; the song is one of my favorites, “Hybrid Rainbow.” While it’s still not on Spotify, I discovered recently that the Pillows have a FLCL compilation available for you to stream right now, on your phone, today. “Last Dinosaur” is on this compilation, and you really should hear the way that Sawao Yamanaka’s voice ascends into the stratosphere as the song comes to a raucous close.