“Oooh” – Kool A.D. (ft. Main Attrakionz)
Kool A.D., one-third of Das Racist, is set on redeeming himself after the release of the horrible “The Palm Wine Drinkard” earlier this year. He definitely has with “51,” which was released on April 24. This track is smooth, plain and simple. A relaxing soul sample glides you into rhymes about the Bay Area and living life, and the lazy flows makes this a great hip-hop song.
“Wake Bake Skate” – Fidlar
It has been a long time since punk has been done correctly. There have been so many other influences on bands that simple punk has been lost. Not only has Fidlar found it, but they are making sure everyone knows. All the old elements are here: The song is under two minutes, it gets you moving, and Fidlar just doesn’t seem to care. That is exactly what makes this song, and this Los Angeles band, so good.
“Walkin’” – Thundercat
Taking his name from the popular cartoon, it’s no surprise Thundercat loves the 1980s. Easy to tell once you listen to this funk-inspired R&B song. At the very least your head will bob. Much more likely, you’ll be dancing around and singing along. Even in public.
“Pool Party” – Lakutis
Technically a part of the 22-minute “Hyperbolic Chamber Music” released by Mishka Clothing and Rad Reef, which features 26 rappers, this excerpt from Lakutis was important enough to have a music video. Thankfully, it is one of the best verses on the song. Nothing too cerebral here, just some quick lines about hanging out with Mila Kunis and fighting crime like Scruff McGruff. That, plus an 80s-inspired groove to relax to, is what makes this song fun.
“The Confrontation at Khazad-dûm” – Milo
Milo may be the only philosophy major in America that moonlights as a nerdy emcee. He has a calm flow and complete understanding of the English language that he isn’t afraid to show off. A relaxing trip-hop instrumental from Baths matches with Milo as a musician, and a person, perfectly. Making references to “Futurama,” “Dragonball Z,” Sigmund Freud, and other topics that don’t show up in traditional hip-hop proves that he is not just nerdy, but the nerdiest.