Mic-Check ๐ŸŽต Weekly Music Newsletter (09.27.21)

J. Cole Freestyle. Coldplay & BTS duet. Elton John & Charlie Puth duet. Sufjan Stevens album. NBA YoungBoy album.

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Eminem is brining Lose Yourself to life with a Momโ€™s Spaghetti diner in Detroit.

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

BIGGEST Songs of the Week ๐Ÿ“ˆ

J. Cole surprised fans with Heavenโ€™s EP, a freestyle over Pipe Down, a track off Drakeโ€™s two-week-old album Certified Lover Boy. This past Friday, Cole brought Drake and Future on stage during the opening stop of his The Off-Season Tour in Miami. After the duo performed their โ„–1 hit Way 2 Sexy, Drake gave Cole his flowers by calling him โ€œone of the greatest rappers to ever touch a mic,โ€ a direct reference to the Heavenโ€™s EP lyric where Cole claims heโ€™s third behind Drake and Kendrick Lamar.

1. J. Cole, Heavenโ€™s EP (Conscious Hip Hop) ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

2. Coldplay, BTS, My Universe (Nu Disco) ๐Ÿ˜

3. KAROL G, SEJODIOTO (Reggaeton) ๐Ÿ˜

4. YoungBoy Never Broke Again, Break Or Make Me (Trap) ๐Ÿ˜

5. Joyner Lucas, J. Cole, Your Heart (Pop Rap) ๐Ÿ˜

6. Coi Leray, TWINNEM (Pop Rap) ๐Ÿ—‘๏ธ

7. Moneybagg Yo, Lil Wayne, Ashanti, Wockesha Remix (Trap) ๐Ÿ˜

8. Giveon, For Tonight (Contemporary R&B) ๐Ÿ˜

9. Latto, Big Energy (Pop Rap) ๐Ÿ‘

10. Morray, Bad Situations (Trap) ๐Ÿ˜

Honorable Mention: Alessia Cara Best Days (Pop) ๐Ÿ‘

Noteworthy ๐Ÿ“ฐ

  • Legendary Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello linked up with British metalcore group Bring Me the Horizon on Letโ€™s Get The Party Started, the latest single from Morelloโ€™s upcoming all-star LP.
  • Elton John and Charlie Puth teamed up on the power ballad After All for Johnโ€™s upcoming collaborations album The Lockdown Sessions.
  • Gunna and frequent collaborator Future released their single Too Easy.
  • Smokey Robinson has written many of The Temptationsโ€™ biggest hits, including My Girl, but has rarely sung alongside them. To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the R&B pioneers, for the first time since 1989, Robinson lent his vocals on the new track Is It Gonna Be Yes Or No.
  • 80s new wave band Duran Duran, known for songs like Hungry like the Wolf and The Reflex, shared TONIGHT UNITED with Giorgio Moroder, the father of disco and creator of EDM.
  • After sharing ABSURD last month, Guns Nโ€™ Roses have released Hard Skool, another Chinese Democracy-era song and only their second single since 2009.
  • Just in time for the 50th anniversary of Peace Train, Cat Stevens corralled over 25 musicians from around the world to re-record his classic tune.
  • WATCH: Lil Nas X covered country icon Dolly Partonโ€™s 1973 hit Jolene.
  • WATCH: Oasis released unseen footage of Champagne Supernova from their feature-length documentary Oasis Knebworth 1996, out now.
  • WATCH: Netflix shared a first look clip at the upcoming Kanye West documentary JEEN-YUHS. The clip features early footage of West and Mos Def rapping to Two Words from Westโ€™s debut album.

BEST Songs of the Week ๐Ÿ”ฅ

New York City rapper Wiki and professional skater turned producer Navy Blue shared Canโ€™t Do This Alone, another single off their collaborative album Half God. Though Navy Blue produced the entirety of the LP, Canโ€™t Do This Alone is the only track which features him producing as well as rapping. Half God, out this Friday, includes the previously released Roof, Remarkably and MIKE collab Promised.

1. Wiki, Navy Blue, Canโ€™t Do This Alone (Abstract Hip Hop) ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

2. Bartees Strange, Weights (Indie Rock) ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

3. Amber Mark, What It Is (Contemporary R&B) ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

4. Geese, Projector (Art Punk) ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

5. Springtime, Will To Power (Art Rock) ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

6. Letโ€™s Eat Grandma, Hall of Mirrors (Synthpop) ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

7. Paris Texas, girls like drugs (Rap Rock) ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

8. Biffy Clyro, A Hunger in Your Haunt (Alternative Rock) ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

9. Damon Albarn, Royal Morning Blue (Art Pop) ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

10. Public Service Broadcasting, Blixa Bargeld, Der Rhythmus der Maschinen (Progressive Electronic) ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

Albums Spotlight ๐Ÿ’ฟ

Prolific indie folk artist Sufjan Stevens teamed up with label mate Angelo De Augustine for their latest album A Beginnerโ€™s Mind. The album took form during a month long retreat to upstate New York where the duo watched movies at night and crafted songs inspired by the films during the day. Stevens returns to his folksier side on the project, stepping away from the electronic experiments of recent years. His soft, lyric-driven sound is complemented by De Augustineโ€™s lo-fi production as the two exchange parts with ease. Their twin vocals mesh together beautifully, often indiscernible, like a modern day Simon & Garfunkel.

Sufjan Stevens & Angelo De Augustine, A Beginnerโ€™s Mind (Folk) ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

  • Favorite Tracks: Back To Oz, Olympus, Cimmerian Shade, Reach Out, Fictional California

Westside Gunn, Hitler Wears Hermes 8: Side B (Boom Bap) ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

  • Favorite Tracks: Hell on Earth Pt. 2, The Fly who couldnโ€™t Fly straight, Free Kutter, Celine Dion, Eddie Kingston

Blu, The Color Blu(e) (Jazz Rap) ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

  • Favorite Tracks: I Am Blu(e), Blu(e)r Than Blu(e), Because The Sky Is Blu(e), We Are Darker Than Blu(e), People Call Me Blu(e)

Poppy, Flux (Alternative Rock) ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

  • Favorite Tracks: Flux, Her, Lessen The Damage, So Mean, Never Find My Place

YoungBoy Never Broke Again, Sincerely, Kentrell (Pop Rap) ๐Ÿ‘

  • Favorite Tracks: On My Side, Nevada, Bad Morning, No Where, I Canโ€™t Take It Back

Other Notable Projects: Alessia Cara In The Meantime, Amon Tobin How Do You Live, Angels & Airwaves Lifeforms, G-Eazy These Things Happen Too, Japanese Breakfast Sable (Soundtrack), Nao And Then Life Was Beautiful, One Step Closer This Place You Know, Rivers of Nihil The Work, Skepticism Companion, Third Eye Blind Our Bande Apart

WORST Song of the Week ๐Ÿ—‘๏ธ

Clean Bandit, Whitney Houston, How Will I Know (Dance Pop)

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