“And you so numb you watch the cops choke out a man like me” raps Run The Jewels‘ Killer Mike on new song ‘walking in the snow’, “And ’til my voice goes from a shriek to whisper, ‘I can’t breathe'”. Taken from the hip-hop duo’s magnificent fourth album, ‘Run The Jewels 4’, it’s a powerful depiction of the police brutality that’s rife in both the United States and here in the UK, and that’s ignited global protests over the past week.
A “modern protest classic” – we’ve added two songs from ‘RTJ4’ to the NME Radio playlist this week.
Here are all this week’s additions to the NME 1 & 2 playlists:
On the A List
ROSALÍA & Travis Scott
First up we’ve got the new collaboration from Rosalía and Travis Scott. ‘TKN’ is the second time the two artists have teamed up (following a remix of Scott’s ‘Highest In The Room’). Meshing Scott’s trap-flecked hip-hop and reverb-laced vocals with Rosalía’s stomping flamenco pop, it’s a stellar two minutes from two artists at the top of their game.
Wax Tailor & D Smoke
‘Keep It Movin’
With its strutting funk bass and jangling electro-acoustic riffs, this collab from D Smoke (winner of Netflix’s Rhythm + Flow) and French producer Wax Tailor will be stuck in your head for the next week.
On the B List
Run The Jewels
‘goonies vs. E.T.’
Last week Run The Jewels dropped new album ‘Run The Jewels 4’, and this is the first of two songs from it we’re adding to the NME Radio playlist this week. The blistering ‘Goonies vs. E.T.’ sees the duo critiquing those who are superficially “woke” online, demonstrating their elastic flow over fiery instrumentals.
Run The Jewels
‘JU$T (feat. Pharrell Williams & Zack de la Rocha)’
Next up we see RTJ team up with Pharrell Williams and Rage Against The Machine frontman Zack de la Rocha on political masterpiece ‘JU$T’. From Pharrell stating pointing out the moral contradictions present in North America: “The Thirteenth Amendment says that slavery’s abolished/Look at all these slave masters posin’ on yo’ dollar” to Zack de la Rocha asserting the importance of using your voice to protest “But the breath in me is weaponry”, it’s a powerful look at societal flaws.
One for fans of The 1975 or The Japanese House, Baby Queen’s debut single, a searing satire of our reliance on social media, is a shimmering triumph and an exciting glimpse of what’s to come from the young talent.
The Flaming Lips
‘Flowers of Neptune 6’
The Flaming Lips‘ first new recording of 2020 is a dreamy cut of wistful synth-pop.
On the C List
‘Pull Me Under’
“’Pull Me Under’ is the feeling I go back to time and time again. It’s about giving into the uncontrollable, that one thing that gives you the highest high, but dumps you in the lowest of low without warning,” Dan D’Lion has explained of his new single, the brooding ‘Pull Me Under’. Filled with pulsating synths, hip-hop beats and dark electronica, it’s a total smasher.
Meshing Brazilian beats with Pharrell-flecked production, Jevon’s latest is an absolute earworm.
‘Prisoner of Love’
Finally, we’ve got the new one from NZCA Lines. Taken from forthcoming album ‘Pure Luxury’, ‘Prisoner Of Love’ is a squelchy, synthy disco treat.