Arts Desk

DMV Beats: Wale’s “Bad” Milestone, Ras Nebyu’s Sporting Life

"Bad" Goes Platinum

Wale hit a new milestone this week as "Bad," his slow-burning ode to heartless women, went platinum. The song, which also features singer Tiara Thomas, is Wale’s very first platinum single. With three-quarters of 2013 complete, it’s safe to say that the rapper has had a good year: The Gifted became his first No. 1 album in July.

 

Maybe now he can continue to use his Twitter powers for good. —Julian Kimble

Hail Mary

D.C. feels like a shitty sports town these days, so maybe we should put faith in the Washington Slizzards, of which Ras Nebyu says he's the quarterback and point guard (two different sports, we know). "Ras Griffin the third," he says at the top of "Uptown Ethopian Tupac," produced by Innerloop leader Scrilla Ventura. From there, the rapper riffs on everything from Georgia Avenue to his personal evolution: "When I go to sleep at night, I pray to Jah that I'm awake/I pray to Jah that I don't stay the same person from yesterday." If only RGIII were that humble. "Uptown Ethiopian Tupac" will be on Scrilla's forthcoming #TWLVPCK mixtape, out Oct. 15. Ras Nebyu's Ras Griffin III: Uptown Rookie of the Year is out in November. —Marcus J. Moore

Damu in Space

Jazz titan Sun Ra was once preoccupied with outer space. In interviews, he claimed to be from there, and used his music as a way to reconnect with his origin. And while I'm not sure D.C. producer Damu the Fudgemunk feels the same way, it seems he's taken cues from Sun Ra's intergalactic approach to composition. On his recent instrumental album, Spur Momento, Damu blends random vocal clips, wafting synthetics, and muted drums for something that's rooted in 1970s funk, but reaches for a place beyond this planet. Spur Momento is peppered with cosmic soul; each song is layered with obscure artifacts from musical yesteryear. Maybe space is the place. —MJM

Laelo and Lyriciss Go Hard

"Whatcha standin' around for?!" asks rapper Laelo on "Wild Out," his hard-charging new single with Lyriciss. The rappers keep it simple over methodical chimes: Laelo claims he has the best flow in the DMV and asks the ladies to "twerk sum'n." Lyriciss, who sounds remarkably comfortable on a trap beat, piles on the conceit: "I'm a handsome nigga, but I'm ugly, too ... I hold it down and you love my sound, so ya boyfriend gotta play the number 2." No humble brag here. —MJM

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