In this week’s instalment of What’s Going On, I’m back with 5 new songs that you should be listening to this week. The past week has been really rough in the world and one should never underestimate the power of music to help process feelings. Some of these songs will get you charged up to fight against the strife in the world, others will help you switch your mind off & dance. Be sure to let me know which of these songs moves you this week.
Public Enemy – The more things change, the more they stay the same. In 1989, iconic hip hop group Public Enemy released their powerful anthem “Fight the Power” as part of the soundtrack for Spike Lee’s now-classic film Do The Right Thing. With the current supercharged climate, the time was right for a redux. The legendary group performed a powerful rendition of their timeless hit at the 20th BET Awards this past June with an all-star cast of guest performers which was one of the highlights of the event. They’ve now released a studio version “Fight the Power: Remix 2020” featuring Nas, Rapsody, Black Thought, Jahi, YG and Questlove. The updated remix packs just as much of a punch and is a great way to kick off Public Enemy’s return to Def Jam, with their first Def Jam album in over 20 years What You Gonna Do When The Grid Goes Down due out on September 25th.
Listen to Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power: Remix 2020” below.
Katy Perry – Congratulations are in order for Katy Perry. The pop stalwart gave birth to her first child with actor Orlando Bloom, a baby girl named Daisy Dove, and her new album Smile has been released. A course correction from her 2017 album Witness, Smile sees Katy Perry having fun again and returning to a pure pop sound. Alongside her new album, we’ve also got a new remix of its title track by Giorgio Moroder. The legendary disco producer has worked with such luminaries as Donna Summer, David Bowie, Kylie Minogue, Blondie and many more. Moroder’s “Smile” remix keeps the same happy go lucky spunk as the original but ups the disco vibes, making it more suitable for the dancefloor. With his signature atmospheric moments & dashes of vocoder, Moroder has ensured that this remix will be played for years to come.
Listen to Giorgio Moroder’s remix of Katy Perry’s “Smile” below.
Blue Hawaii – Canadian electronic duo Blue Hawaii has released a taste of what’s to come from their upcoming mixtape Under 1 House. Blue Hawaii consists of Alex “Agor” Kerby and Raphaelle “Ra” Standell-Preston, a member of the group Braids. Their new track “Feelin’’ follows “I Felt Love” that they released earlier this month. “Feelin’’ is a booming track evocative of early 90s house with only one goal in mind: getting listeners up on their feet. Discussing how the track came to be, Blue Hawaii shared: “We jammed out the song following a series of shows in North America and Europe where the crowd would respond best to no-frills, fun and straightforward grooves with a nice loud vocal on top. The song mimics the feeling of those concerts and contains a classic touch of house music with the added flair of live saxophone and loose drum programming.” Mission accomplished.
Listen to “Feelin” from Blue Hawaii’s upcoming mixtape Under 1 House.
Kris Yute – Jamaican-born, Brooklyn-native Kris Yute is all about the vibes. The artist garnered a lot of attention with his song “I Did It” earlier this year, with it quickly gaining traction on TikTok and a viral Instagram video of Yute dancing to the song along with his friend Penn Badgley, star of You and Gossip Girl. Music blog Pigeons & Planes championed Kris Yute as one of February’s best new artists earlier this year, cementing his status as being one to watch. Kris Yute is back with “Bando”, his introspective & vibey new single. The breezy new track was also co-produced by Kris Yute with Walshy Fire and Basto. On what inspired “Bando”, Yute had this to say: “”Bando” was inspired by the energy I felt on my last trip to the UK meeting with family right before the music started to gain traction. On this track, I project my own struggle and my family struggles for prosperity. Made me realize that a big part of celebrating the highs of the present is reflecting on the lows of the past.”
Listen to Kris Yute’s 2020 single “Bando” below.
Clipping – American alternative hip hop group Clipping has shared their new song “Say the Name” and announced their fifth album Visions of Bodies Being Burned. Clipping consists of rapper/actor Daveed Diggs and producers William Huston and Jonathan Snipes. The upcoming album is set to be part 2 in their sociopolitical horrorcore series, even consisting of material created during the same session as their 2019 album There Existed an Addiction to Blood. “Say the Name” samples a Scarface line from the Geto Boys’ 1991 horrorcore classic “Mind Playing Tricks On Me” for its hook, that sampled line also doubles as the title of the album. Over dark & industrial beats, Diggs channels the 1992 horror film Candyman in his lyrics. Visions Of Bodies Being Burned is set to be released on September 23 via Sub Pop.
Listen to “Say the Name” from Clipping’s upcoming album Visions of Bodies Being Burned.