New Music Roundup: M.I.A., Young Thug, A.CHAL, & Mike Stud
Buzz-building singles and woozy melodies.
M.I.A., “POC THAT STILL A RYDA”
Not even visa issues will stop M.I.A. from releasing new music. Dropped on YouTube with an equal-parts vague-yet-informative description—”this song is a mix of all the songs on my upcoming Lp”—her latest track, “POC THAT STILL A RYDA,” finds the rapper/singer shelling out her trademark casually catchy flow over a beat that samples Enigma’s “Lost Four.” Ever the artist to keep her ear to the ground, the lyrics name-check Dora the Explorer, the Black Lives Matter movement, and #OscarsSoWhite. She added to her explanation: “had to do a remix to let u know , i been poor , i been rich , i been brown , i been black , i seen white and i been around the world a few times ay ay ay ay . LOVE IS THE ANSWER what the question is i don’t f—king know.” Say what you will about her antics, but we can’t argue with that motto.—Danielle Cheesman
Young Thug, “Gangster Sh*t”
“I could put you down on some ‘gangster shit,’” advises Young Thug within the opening seconds of his hypnotic, bounce track of the same name. As one of the many results from the ATLien’s ridiculous 2016 productivity, the bracing Wheezy-produced record finds Thugger flexing his gooey flow and keyed-up energy while making it absolutely clear: “I’m not average.” The record is allegedly set to be the first single from Thug’s long-brewing album Hy!£UN35. Until that LP arrives (sighs), this new banger will do just fine in the meantime.— Ralph Bristout
A.CHAL, “Far From Home”
A.CHAL achieves the unusual but effective with “Far From Home” because it’s not just him who feels woozy, but somehow the beat sounds like it’s been sipping on sizzurp too and, eventually, so do you. Over the track’s atmospheric, slow-mo sound, the Peru-born, Los Angeles/New York-bred Alejandro Chal details, with lyrical imagery and brutal honesty, an ambivalence we know all too well: “Spilling champagne on my jeans/ swiping cards with no receipts/ met some girl I saw on TV/ hit that, drank myself to sleep/ I should probably slow it down/ but every night I’m going out/ and I don’t wanna feel alone/ ’cause I’m here and too far from home.” It’s melancholy but melodic, so for all those times you have good intentions that still seem to pave a road to hell, let this be your theme song. A.CHAL’s debut album Welcome to Gazi is due June 3.— D.C.
Mike Stud, “Say No More”
Musically, Mike Stud is an acquired taste. You either like him, or have never heard of him. However, we’re changing that, starting with his newly-released song “Say No More.” His sound has been consistent and become a fan-favorite among college students, ultimately helping nab him his own show, This Is Mike Stud, on Esquire. Talk about a double-whammy.— Erin Ashley Simon