Action Bronson & Statik Selektah, "Cocoa Butter"
Action Bronson bubbled up from the underground after making the transition from chef to rapper. After breaking his leg, he decided to try making his hobby into his main career, putting together his debut Dr. Lecter, a fun album full of energy, food metaphors, and tons of rhyming. It's an entertaining listen, but it remained to be seen if Bronson would move past the Ghostface worship. His next album, Well-Done, a collaboration with Statik Selektah, answered that question: no. No, he would not.
Moses Sumney, "The Cocoon-Eyed Baby"
Moses Sumney's debut album, Aromanticism, is a fascinating album, full of lush textures and careful arrangements. Sumney's falsetto floats above it all, leading to this atmospheric album that feels like it's constantly holding back just a bit. Sumney walks a line between ethereal and distant, and while he sometimes crosses over to the wrong side, his ambition was impressive. This song isn't that much of an illustration, though.
This song is eight minutes long and is from an album called Dödsvisioner, so what do you think it's going to be? That's right...wait, what? Indie pop? No, it's not indie pop, it's...no, it's not ska! Come on, it's like you people that exist only in my imagination aren't even trying.
Run-D.M.C., "Roots, Rap, Reggae"
Most of King of Rock was dedicated to Run-D.M.C. staking that exact claim, but they did depart from the aggresive rock posturing for a couple of tracks. This is one of them, where the group acknowledges some of the connections between rap and reggae. Which, uh, I suppose you can glean from that oh so subtle title. It would be a while before the air horn would make an appearance in hip-hop, though.
Jurassic 5, "Back 4 U"
This is the first track on the third Jurassic 5 album, Feedback. This song more or less sounds like their previous work, except everything sounds like it's down a notch in energy. Unfortunately, it mostly goes downhill from here. Cut Chemist left the group before this album, and the attempt to fill in the gap with outside producers backfired in a pretty big way. None of the guest producers turns in a great performance, and the chemistry seems to have departed with the Chemist. Ha! I kill me. Anyway, the Dave Matthews Band also makes an appearance, so it was pretty much RIP Jurassic 5. And, sure enough, they had the good grace to stop after this.