Mic-Check 🎵 Newsletter (06.14.21)

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Kim Jung Un says K-Pop is a “vicious cancer” which deserves execution.

Click here for a Spotify playlist with the songs mentioned in this story.

BIGGEST Songs of the Week 📈

In June 2017, New Zealand singer Lorde released her universally acclaimed sophomore album Melodrama before dropping out of the spotlight entirely. Exactly four years later, Lorde has made her audacious return with Solar Power, her first new song since Melodrama’s debut.

Megan Thee Stallion has also made a return, ending her short-lived absence from music after announcing she was “taking a break” less than two months ago. Migos released Culture III, their fifth studio album and the end of the Culture trilogy. The album’s lead single Avalanche features a fantastic interpolation of The Temptations 1972 classic Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone. And the new French Montana song will have you singing “Shakira Shakira”.

1. Lorde, Solar Power (Folk Pop) 👍👍

2. Migos, Avalanche (Trap) 👍👍

3. Doja Cat, Need to Know (Pop Rap) 👍

4. Megan Thee Stallion, Thot Shit (Trap) 👍

5. Polo G, The Kid Laroi, Lil Durk, No Return (Pop Rap)

6. Maroon 5, Lost (Electropop)

7. Kodak Black, Feelin Peachy (Trap) 👍

8. Bo Burnham, White Woman’s Instagram (Comedy) 👍

9. Marshmello, Shockwave (Future Bass)

10. French Montana, FWMGAB (East Coast Hip Hop) 👍

Honorable Mentions: Jessie J I Want Love (Nu Disco) 👍👍

Noteworthy 📰

  • Juicy J channeled his signature Three 6 Mafia sound on TAKE IT, a collaboration with hardcore rapper Rico Nasty.
  • Clairo released Blouse, a Jack Antonoff produced ballad with backing vocals from Lorde.
  • SZA linked up with Brooklyn rapper SAINt JHN for the new single Just For Me from the soundtrack to the new Space Jam movie.
  • It’s been 20 years since their last album, but Snoop Dogg’s west coast hip-hop trio Tha Eastsidaz reunited for Hood Creeps Out at Night.
  • Justin Bieber enlisted Snoop Dogg, Usher and Ludacris for a remix of his hit single Peaches.
  • Skrillex shared his highly anticipated EDM remix of josh pan and Dylan Brady’s Supersonic, which also features Nosia.
  • Kylie Minogue added disco flair to Lady Gaga’s Marry the Night as part of the 10th anniversary special edition of Born This Way.
  • WATCH: Mac DeMarco sang about ravioli and gabagool on the latest episode of Kenny Beats’ YouTube series The Cave where artists come up with songs on the spot.
  • WATCH: Big Boi, one half of the legendary rap group Outkast, shared early footage of him rehearsing in high school.

BEST Songs of the Week 🔥

1. Tkay Maidza, Cashmere (Contemporary R&B) 👍👍👍

2. Lucy Dacus, Brando (Indie Pop) 👍👍👍

3. Hiatus Kaiyote, Chivalry Is Not Dead (Glitch Jazz) 👍👍👍

4. Laura Stevenson, State (Noise Pop) 👍👍👍

5. illuminati hottie, Pool Hopping (Indie Rock) 👍👍👍

6. Durand Jones & The Indications, Love Will Work It Out (Soul) 👍👍

7. Deafheaven, Great Mass of Color (Shoegaze) 👍👍

8. Jessie Ware, Pale Blue Light (Synthpop) 👍👍

9. Bleachers, How Dare You Want More (Heartland Rock) 👍👍

10. Amber Mark, Competition (Alternative R&B) 👍👍

Albums Spotlight 💿

Welsh singer MARINA, formerly Marina & the Diamonds, has found her voice again after nearly a half-decade of lackluster tunes. Her newest album Ancient Dreams In A Modern Land hits you in the face with its high energy and catchy hooks. In between the loudness are heartbreak ballads and political commentary. The album sees Marina deliver some of her best work to date.

Maybe one day, like MARINA, Maroon 5 will reverse the course of their creative downfall — but unfortunately, that day is not today. JORDI may be the group’s blandest, least-exciting body of work. It panders to the worn-out tropes of today’s pop and trap music. However, the night before the album’s release, Maroon 5 showed they’re significantly better live with their performance of Lost on The Late Show. The live version is night and day from the studio version, mainly due to the addition of real drums. The live version is actually quite enjoyable — just as long as you look past the Sting impression.

MARINA, Ancient Dreams In A Modern Land (Pop) 👍👍

  • Favorite Tracks: Ancient Dreams in a Modern Land, Venus Fly Trap, Highly Emotional People, Man’s World, Purge the Poison

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Butterfly 3000 (Neo-Psychedelia) 👍👍

  • Favorite Tracks: Black Hot Soup, Yours, Shanghai, Interior People, Blue Morpho

Migos, Culture III (Trap) Culture > Culture III > Culture II

  • Favorite Tracks: Need It, Avalanche, What You See, Light It Up, Roadrunner

Polo G, Hall of Fame (Pop Rap)

  • Favorite Tracks: GANG GANG, RAPSTAR, Black Hearted, Painting Pictures, Losses

Maroon 5, JORDI (Contemporary R&B) 🗑️

  • Favorite Tracks: Nobody’s Love

Other Notable Projects: AFI Bodies, Bo Burnham Inside (The Songs), Danny Elfman Big Mess, Dean Blunt BLACK METAL 2, Emotional Oranges The Juicebox, Garbage No Gods No Masters, KennyHoopla & Travis Barker SURVIVORS GUILT: THE MIXTAPE//, Kodak Black Happy Birthday Kodak [EP], Pi’erre Bourne The Life of Pi’erre 5, Poppy EAT [NXT Soundtrack], Slayyyter Troubled Paradise, Sleater-Kinney Path of Wellness

WORST Song of the Week 🗑️

Tyga, Moneybagg Yo, Splash (Pop Rap)

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