Photo: Artist // VEVO
  /  08.11.2016

M.I.A., “Bird Song”

Is that a kazoo? Sure sounds like one. And, yup, it’s used throughout the whole entire song. Okay. But I have a long-running and complicated love for M.I.A. so I’m willing to hear this out. I just can’t tell if I’m completely annoyed or utterly impressed with the amount of bird references she was able to make in three minutes: “I’m a parrot/ I’m robin this joint/ Not a lyrebird/ Sure ain’t a vulture/ Don’t swallow that ’cause I make the culture/ I’m not a lyrebird/ Stayin’ rich like an ostrich.” Alright, well, no one ever said she was lyricist. But what saves this is the Blaqstarr-produced beat, the background thump keeps the tempo, reverberating as if blasted too loudly through a vibrating speaker and now I can picture myself driving slow homie to this. Okay, the kazoo has grown me, too.—Danielle Cheesman

Dex Lauper, “Wavy”

Cyndi Lauper’s son is singing trap music, y’all! (Yes, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”-Cyndi Lauper.) “Wavy” is the debut single from Dex Lauper’s new project. With affectation that puts you in the mind of Lil Uzi, Dex has written a super-catchy song that will get stuck in your head after one spin. Summer is all about bragging and swagging, so a song with the central premise of “I’m so wavy” is right on time.—Driadonna Roland

Rocky Banks, “Funny Guy”

“It’s kinda funny” how haters come out in masses when you reach a certain level of success. Nah, it’s not funny. And Houston artist Rocky Banks’ doesn’t think so either in his new single. Despite its name, Banks uses the common phrase within his hooks to discuss the irony of toxic people and relationships, especially as it correlates to the new level of success that he has earned. As we saw with Michael Phelps and Chad Le Clos, losers focus on winners and winners focus on success. Funny right?—Erin Ashley Simon


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