Mic Drop: Music to Shake Your Ass To

Mic Drop: Music to Shake Your Ass To

Flo Milli – Roaring 20s
Flo Milli – Roaring 20s
Screenshot: YouTube

There is no better way of validating or expressing joy than turning on some music and shaking your ass. And since we can’t go out and dance at clubs, bars or even other people’s houses, we’ve had to make do with indoor dance parties.

There must be some private group chat between artists where they decide what type of music comes out at a given moment because the theme of the music released this week was definitely upbeat dance music, save for the few “fuck Valentine’s Day” anthems thrown in.

Two tracks from upcoming movies were released this past weekend: Fresh off the Super Bowl, H.E.R gave us Fight For You from Judas and the Black Messiah, and Bobby Sessions collaborated with Megan Thee Stallion on I’m a King, featured in the soon-to-be-released Coming 2 America.

To slow it down a bit, Victoria Monét and jia—a new artist I recently discovered—embody their most bad bitch selves with dynamic synths and keyboard melodies while providing us with some “men-ain’t-shit” vibes, something that is always needed.

I won’t even go into Flo Milli’s newest drop yet because the video speaks for itself, but I do just want to know what came first: the concept of the video, the song itself, or one of Cher’s most iconic quotes.

Put on some headphones (if you want to be considerate to your neighbors), a cute ass outfit and shake. some. ass.

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Life on Planets – “Everyday”

Life on Planets – “Everyday”

Why can’t every day just be perfect? / Don’t you think we deserve it?

Goddamn, baby—why you gotta get in my mind like that? But for real, we do deserve to have perfect days. Life on Planets is really doing something here. It feels like disco and R&B had a baby and gave birth to this perfect beach, club—or in my case, kitchen—dance party number. The song opens with some staccato drums and intermittent ‘80s and ‘90s-era synths giving it an underground club vibe. A twangy guitar line joins in under the first verse and more synths pile on top, giving the song a very spacey quality and lending to the club aspect of the song.

February 4, 2021, Studio 54 Music (House)

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Victoria Monét – “F.U.C.K”

Victoria Monét – “F.U.C.K”

Valentine’s Day may be coming up, but Victoria Monét is all about that F.W.B. (friends with benefits) life. Her sultry vocals complement the slow drumline, reminiscent of a ‘90s R&B slow jam. There are a few “outer space” sounds thrown in here and there, something that artists have been using a lot more recently to give depth to songs that are centered around vocals rather than focusing on instrumentals. The bridge pitches her voice down a few octaves singing I’m just tryna jump your bones / we don’t gotta jump the broom, you know. Go ahead and add this to whatever Spotify playlist you have just for...you know. It’s definitely a crowd-pleaser.

February 1, 2021, Tribe Records (R&B)

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H.E.R – “Fight for You”

H.E.R – “Fight for You”

This funky anthem for freedom by H.E.R for the upcoming film Judas and the Black Messiah (premiering on HBO Max and in theaters on February 12) is evocative of Curtis Mayfield or Marvin Gaye and is everything I didn’t know I needed. It’s the type of song that I want to play really loudly and strut down the street. There’s no sitting still when listening. H.E.R.’s fluid vocals against the sharp beat make this an incredibly moving work of lyrical art, giving us the feeling of both desperation of the verses and the confidence of the chorus in each beat. The whole song emanates power. Horns? Hard-hitting drums? Harrowing harmonies? It’s all there.

February 4, 2021, Six Course Music Group/RCA Records (Soul)

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Freddie Gibbs (feat. ScHoolboy Q) – “Gang Signs”

Freddie Gibbs (feat. ScHoolboy Q) – “Gang Signs”

Freddie Gibbs explores the narrative of being Black in America, the mental toll it takes on him and gang life in his new video. Visually, these intense topics are looked at through the lens of cartoon animals (specifically, the eyes of a pink bunny) and the usage of hyper-realistic CG to create a gripping scenario while still keeping it light and comedic with the cartoons. As for the music itself, Gibbs utilizes his signature trap-R&B beats but deviates from the norm with horns and a soft keyboard throughout.

February 5, 2021, Warner Records (Hip Hop)

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C.Nichole – “GHETTO”

C.Nichole – “GHETTO”

There is nothing more beautiful than watching Black women do their thing, but C.Nichole is doing one better. GHETTO says “fuck you” to all of the haters who tear down Black people—women especially—and call our culture “ghetto” and then turn around and appropriate the hell out of it. The beautifully curated lyric video takes place in what looks like an actual palace as she dances and just vibes out to being bold, beautiful and Black. The beat is a mix of Afrobeats and R&B breakdown during the hook and bridge. By attacking the theme of what becomes a trend, C.Nichole gives listeners an uplifting and joyous song to remind them of their light.

February 2, 2021, Kensington Music Group (Afrobeats)

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Bobby Sessions feat. Megan Thee Stallion – “I’m a King”

Bobby Sessions feat. Megan Thee Stallion – “I’m a King”

Bobby Sessions and Megan Thee Stallion are having a great year so far. The music they’ve dropped and been featured on has done incredibly in the past month-and-a-half, so it makes sense that they collaborated on “I’m a King” for Coming 2 America (premiering on Amazon Prime on March 5, 2021). Despite the fact that the song’s main vocals are rap lyrics, the melody and backing harmonies have a lot of depth. Rather than relying heavily on drum machines for the percussion, the song uses a deep bassline, a rough keyboard melody utilizing high and low pitches and high-pitched backing vocals.

February 5, 2021, Def Jam Records (Hip Hop)

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Tkay Maidza feat Yung Baby Tate – “KIM”

Tkay Maidza feat Yung Baby Tate – “KIM”

We got Lil. We got Kardashian. We got Possible. We got a lot going on. But Black women quickly taking over the rap game with sharp visuals, bright colors and dynamic lighting. Tkay Maidza and Yung Baby Tate embody iconic moments from iconic Kims. At each verse, the beat begins very simply before erupting into an explosive wall of sound.

February 3, 2021, 4AD (Hip Hop)

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jia – “pretentious prism”

jia – “pretentious prism”

He/she/they were just a toy to jia in her newest single pretentious prism. Also following the theme of “fuck Valentine’s Day,” jia’s sharp vocals rise above the electric and deep percussion. This is the song you should listen to when you want to feel like a bad bitch, whether you’re in your bag or not. The bridge becomes robotic in the best way, complimenting the otherwise underwater feel of the song.

February 5, 2021, longlasting (Alternative R&B)

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Flo Milli – “Roaring 20s”

Flo Milli – “Roaring 20s”

I recently watched The Great Gatsby for the first time in a few years, and I was really annoyed and put off by the gross hyper-sexualization of Black women in the ‘20s. Flo Milli has created the polar opposite, and people are living for it. Separated by two acts: glamorous fur and crisp suits and sequined costumes, Flo Milli gives us a glance into what the ‘20s would be if Black women were “a rich man.” Given our real-life impact on the era via the Harlem Renaissance, this video is one of the most beautiful and dynamic explorations of the ‘20s where Black women can see themselves in and even romanticize.

February 5, 2021, ‘94 Sounds/RCA Records (Hip Hop)

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Cardi B – “Up”

Cardi B – “Up”

Cardi really opened this video stepping on 2020’s neck in some red bottoms and closed it with her tongue out, edges laid and all her ladies in a dead drop around her. That is all.

February 5, 2021, Atlantic Records, Hip Hop

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