Bubbling Under 6/18/11

Tech N9ne, F/D-Loc, Twista, Busta Rhymes, Ceza, Jl B. Hood, Twisted Insane, Uso & Yelawolf—”Worldwide Choppers”
#104

An entire single devoted to Busta Rhymes’ machine gun flow. No surprise that the only one who comes across is Busta himself, though in a few places this starts to sound more like Dizzee Rascal. Mostly, though, it’s an incomprehensible novelty.

Jamie Foxx featuring Wiz Khalifa—”Best Night Of My Life”
#108

Foxx likes to keep on top of trends, or at least trendy rappers, so he picks up on Khalifa, who sounds almost as anonymous as Foxx himself. The result is a record that disappears from memory while you listen to it.

Frank Ocean—”Novacane”
#112

The unsettling beat goes perfectly with the unsettling message, which suggests that plasticized, emotionless sex and beauty are as irresistable as they are numbing. It’s the same idea Lil Wayne has been dancing around lately, except Ocean has found music to match. What Ocean lacks is Wayne’s sense of guilt and despair, maybe even lust, along with any apparent sympathy for the woman. So while I like this a lot, it doesn’t go as far as it could, or should.

AWOLNATION—”Sail”
#115

Immediately identifiable as a one man project—those pizzicato string samples are the tip-off—and as pretentious as you might expect from an album called Megalithic Symphony. Striking in its way, but also ridiculous, not to mention self-absorbed. It’s like Owl City for prog-rockers.

Chester See, KevJumba, Ryan Higa—”Nice Guys”
#118

It starts out sounding like a comedy record, and maybe it is, but it quickly turns nasty, and then falsely sincere, and ends up the most misogynistic single of the year (to make the singles charts, at least). Yuck.