Searching for New Tunes? We’ve Got You Covered.

For those lamenting the current condition of our country, finding strength after a difficult break up, or just yearning for some quality new music, new releases from Banks, Noname, and Solange Knowles will more than satisfy you.

Released on July 31, rapper Noname’s first mixtape Telefone has been making waves beyond her native Chicago. Made famous by her appearance on Chance the Rapper’s Acid Rap, Noname steps out of Chance’s shadow with a lightly delivered yet scathing critique of the treatment of African Americans in the US.

In “Casket Pretty,” Noname gently delivers the following lines over synthetic beats and the coos of children: “When n****s is dying and dying/And I’m afraid of the dark/Blue and the white/Badges and pistols rejoice in the night/And we watch the news/And we see him die tonight.”

Featured artists on the album, including Saba and Raury, reinforce Noname’s thoughts with their own personal experiences. Overall, Noname delivers an easy listen but a hard lesson with Telefone. Favorite songs on the mixtape include “Sunny Duet”, “Casket Pretty”, and “Shadow Man”.

Knowles’s latest release, A Seat At The Table, deals with similar subject matter but with her own unique perspective and sweet sound. An avid and outspoken critic of current race relations in America, Knowles exclaims in “Mad”, “I ran into this girl I said I’m tired of explaining/Why you can’t just face?/Man this shit is draining/But I’m not really allowed to be mad.”

With interludes ranging from a soundclip of her father describing his experience with desegregation, a Master P clip describing his limitlessness, and a commentary on gentrification and racism, Solange combines many voices to deliver a hard-hitting and expertly crafted musical expression of frustration, anger, sadness, and pride through it all. Garnering both critical and commercial success since its September 30th release, Knowles has cemented herself as more than just Beyonce’s sister with songs like “Cranes In The Sky”, “Mad”, and “F.U.B.U”.

Banks, a California native, delivers a similarly personal critique with her sophomore album, but hones her focus on abusive relationships and breakups instead. Also released on September 30, The Altar alternates between heartbreak and righteous self-confidence on top of Banks’ characteristic heavy beats and dark synth sounds. Banks’ rapid-fire oscillation between emotions gives the listener the sense that this album is a diary of Banks’ experience in an abusive relationship and subsequent rediscovery of herself. In “Weaker Girl”, Banks scornfully sings, “Tell them you were mad about the way I grew strong/Oh, nah, nah/I think you need a weaker girl, yeah/’Cause I’ma need a bad motherfucker like me”. Favorites on the album include “F*ck With Myself”, “Lovesick”, and “Weaker Girl”.

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