Mic Drop: Music for the Eyes and Ears

Mic Drop: Music for the Eyes and Ears

Jae5 – “Dimension (feat. Skepta, Rema)”
Jae5 – “Dimension (feat. Skepta, Rema)”
Screenshot: YouTube

Have you ever listened to a song and been so moved that it played on repeat for days or even weeks? I have, and the only thing better than that feeling is finding out the music video for that song is even more mind-blowing than the song itself. We understand things with all five senses, right? So it makes sense that music that appeals to the eyes and ears will be even more powerful.

This week, there were tracks released by well-known artists such as country artist Amythyst Kiah, R&B artist Saba and the King of Quarantine, D-Nice, who gave us a throwback to club quarantine with a new Instagram Live-esque music video. The videos that illustrate each song give viewers an insight into the creative process.

Joyce Wrice and Starrah, two prominent artists in the hip-hop game, each released their long-awaited debut albums; Wrice’s hit single “On One,” gives off “hot girl summer” vibes while Starrah’s “Miss This” is the epitome of a flirty love song.

At this point, we’ve survived a little over a year of this global panorama. The colorful and vibrant visuals that go along with the songs released this week are matching the energy that the world is giving off––as if the music knows things are starting to look up.

Advertisement

2 / 12

Alewya, Moses Boyd – “The Code”

Alewya, Moses Boyd – “The Code”

The live session of “The Code” by Alewya and Moses Boyd is an exploration into sound, light and the way in which colors can influence the way we hear music. The high density and volume of the drums—played by Boyd—meld with the electric guitar, and while they follow the same pattern of crescendos, once blended, their different sounds feel unique to the genre. Muted colors mixed with an explosive light show make for a beautiful display of the different instruments, the genre and Alewya’s vocals. Also, Alewya is wearing some gold accessories that are just *sigh* to die for.

March 17, 2021, London Music Stream Ltd. (Rock)

Advertisement

3 / 12

Amythyst Kiah – “Black Myself”

Amythyst Kiah – “Black Myself”

In “punk-try” a genre? As in the brainchild of punk rock and country music; because if so, Amythyst Kiah is doing it. The visual aspects have two different components: Kiah’s solo at the mic and black-and-white footage of men and women in a celebration of Blackness. Throughout, Kiah’s vocals carry the song. Her soulful twang mixed with the head-bouncing punk elements pull the listener in, like the sharp guitar and drum sections mixed with leather and metal spike details. The visuals of the other talents show women in leather, faceless men in white hoodies and dancers in white flowing gowns. All in all, “Black Myself” shows the beauty of Blackness while still highlighting the injustices––past and present––that Black people are faced with today.

March 17, Rounder (Country)

Advertisement

4 / 12

Aya Nakamura – “Fly”

Aya Nakamura – “Fly”

The official music video of Aya Nakamura’s “Fly” will make you feel like you’re doing just that––flying. Filmed at Paris’ Galeries Lafayette, the stained glass and domed roof serve as the backdrop for the video. As Nakamura stands on a glass platform halfway to the ceiling, donned in a bright yellow dress that contrasts against the historical backdrop, she sings about love, pain and struggle, her tone shifting from longing to hopeful to soft and sweet. The range of emotions in her voice is as captivating, if not more, than the location. As the sun shines from above, you can really see, hear and feel the emotion.

March 17, 2021, Rec. 118 / Warner Music (Ballad)

Advertisement

5 / 12

Capespring. – “voicemail (interlude)”

Capespring. – “voicemail (interlude)”

This gives me sort of Alicia Keys vibes from the “You Don’t Know My Name,” hook. The slightly desperate, slightly sexy tone of this “voicemail” makes you wonder who Capespring is trying to get in touch with. There is a stumbling cadence to his voice that is both endearing and a little unnerving, While the instrumentals are very contradictory to his tone. Thanks to drums that enter in around the end and a mix of guitars, the otherwise R&B-sounding song gets a bit of a rock ‘n’ roll edge.

March 18, 2021, capespring. (R&B)

Advertisement

6 / 12

D-Nice – No Plans for Love (Ne-Yo & Kent Jones)

D-Nice – No Plans for Love (Ne-Yo & Kent Jones)

I clicked on this without really knowing what I was getting myself into. You know, it’s been a year since “Club Quarantine,” and I figured you know, let’s jam with DJ D-Nice again and remini–NO. There is no reminiscing about the beginning of the Dark Ages, the global panorama, the end times or whatever you choose to call them. Yet...listening to this fun and funky new release from D-Nice featuring Ne-Yo and Kent Jones, I couldn’t help but smile. With its cheeky Instagram Live-type of lyric video, it didn’t feel like something bringing us back to the beginning, but pulling us towards the end.

I’d say “listen with caution” but what I really mean is “listen to it as loud as you can and just jam.”

March 19, HITCO (Hip Hop)

Advertisement

7 / 12

Dee Gatti – “Clear My Mind”

Dee Gatti – “Clear My Mind”

The mellow tones to Dee Gatti’s new single “Clear My Mind” are set against a wildly trippy music video that mixes alternative R&B with animation, flashing lights and smooth transitions between scenes. The spacey synths sound like they’re out of this world and make up the majority of the instrumental melody. The lyrics convey part-love song, part-breakup anthem. From the lyrics to the visuals, it seems Gatti is going through it––but we’ve all been there, right?

March 18, 2021, Dee Gatti World Wide (Hip Hop/R&B)

Advertisement

8 / 12

Jae5 – “Dimension (feat. Skepta, Rema)”

Jae5 – “Dimension (feat. Skepta, Rema)”

This song, man. This song is for your eyes and your ears. It is one of the most beautiful celebrations of Blackness that I have seen in quite some time—and it wasn’t an overly played-out exposition where each scene was piled on top of another to create something. It was just, “here’s a diverse (though I hate that word) group of Black men and women of all ages just being themselves.” The video itself comes full circle and appeals to the four elements: earth, air, fire and water, starting out with a man floating in the water, moving to a raging fire, sweeping winds and kids running across the earth. The song pays homage to Ghana, where the video was shot, showing the different dimensions of the country, the people and the word itself.

March 18, 2021, Black Butter, AfroBeats

Advertisement

9 / 12

Joyce Wrice – On One (feat. Freddie Gibbs)

Joyce Wrice – On One (feat. Freddie Gibbs)

I wanna be invited to this cookout. Also, Joyce Wrice is really bringing low-rise jeans back and I am here for it. “On One”(first released March 4) is really putting me, well…on one. The song’s premise is about a girl who is really trying to cut it off with some dude but she can’t decide if she should—a timeless tale, really.

“On One” is just one song off of Wrice’s debut album Overgrown which was released on all platforms on March 19. Overgrown features many favorites such as Lucky Daye, Masego and Kaytranada.

March 19, 2021, The Orchard/Joyce Wrice Music (Hip Hop/R&B)

Advertisement

10 / 12

Saba “Ziplock/Rich Don’t Stop”

Saba “Ziplock/Rich Don’t Stop”

Saba’s unique voice and point of view are clearly evident in his newest project, “Ziplock/Rich Don’t Stop.” The message across both songs is consistent with a lot of “come up” songs: He explains his story and how he made it but also explores how social media platforms have affected music and the way people see performers. Saba has a very dynamic voice and is known for the different ways he manipulates it to have different points of view on his songs. There is a very easy transition between the two songs that show a progression of a performer’s life that is very relatable to the types of stories being told in hip hop today.

March 18, 2021, Pivot Gang LLC. (Hip Hop)

Advertisement

11 / 12

Starrah – “Miss This”

Starrah – “Miss This”

Are VHS tapes considered retro, or is the visual effect and appeal behind them just in right now? (The ‘90s are back, after all.) We’ve seen the film quality in music videos over the last few months and I can’t deny that it gives the video a different texture that is very captivating. With a rose-tinted hue, this video explores dating—specifically online dating—and two lovers flirtatiously challenging each other over the phone. Narrated by an automated overhead voice, “Miss This” breaks down the “3 steps” of love and how to love.

This song is the first of thirteen tracks from Starrah’s long-awaited debut album, The Longest Interlude. Starrah has been killing the music game for years from writing music for Rihanna, Megan Thee Stallion and Maroon 5. You can find The Longest Interlude on all streaming platforms now.

March 17, 2021, 3:02 (Hip Hop/R&B)

Advertisement

12 / 12

DISCUSSION