The Temptations, "Hey Girl"
Goddamn, listen to those strings! With Cloud Nine, the Temptations laid down some of the building blocks of funk, as they departed from the traditional Motown sound and pointed the way to the 70s.
The xx, "Heart Skipped A Beat"
Indie pop band The xx kind of exploded out the door and were critical darlings right away with their electronic take on the genre, especially with the dual vocalists. And it's here where I admit that a) I can never keep straight who The xx are and b) I clearly bought this at some point and I'm not entirely sure I've listened to it before. But I know I've read about them at various times! I totally didn't have to look up stuff about them!
Kendrick Lamar, "DNA."
HELL FUCKING YES
Buck-O-Nine, "Happy Stay"
Look, I'll level with you: nobody is going to blame you if you skip this and just go listen to Kendrick Lamar again. But, anyway, I think Plexasaurus Rex really likes Buck-O-Nine. I suppose you could do worse?
MF Doom, "Kon Karne"
Mm...Food is probably Doom's easiest going release, featuring lots of comic samples, breezy beats (done by Doom himself), and his usual elliptical flow. This song is really kind of Doom in a nutshell.
Huh, looks like a repeat, let's go one more!
Atmosphere, "January On Lake Street"
As Atmosphere has continued in their career, the bluster and rawness of their early releases developed into a more world-weary approach to songwriting and a more sophisticated musical palette. With a lot of acts, "maturity" is just code for "boring", but I don't think that's true with Atmosphere. They're more ambitious than they were originally, more willing to experiment, and just fundamentally a better band.