Arts Desk

DMV Hip-Hop Happenings: Shit I Missed Last Week Edition

Here’s a brief rundown of notable releases from across the DMV hip-hop scene that you might've missed last week, plus a few Monday developments. In short, GoldLink discusses a whirlwind love affair, Dino B.A.M is a charmer, and Wale is a very busy man.

Can Mariah and Wale make another "Fantasy"?

Can Mariah and Wale make another "Fantasy"?

Sober Thoughts from GoldLink
The Virginia rapper has been on one hell of a run since releasing his critically-acclaimed The God Complex project in April. "Sober Thoughts," which was produced by Montreal’s Kaytranada, is his latest victory lap. The beat would’ve been right at home on Slum Village’s Fantastic, Vol. 2, and the late J.Dilla himself would’ve been proud of Kaytranada’s production. GoldLink spins the tale of a dysfunctional relationship, comparing it to the struggle of alcohol addiction. Ironically, the laid-back song was released just a few days before his 21st birthday. We'll drink to that, even if it is a few days late.

Dino B.A.M Isn’t Scared
In a post-Drake era in which rapper/singer hybrids are a dime a dozen, how can a multi-talented artist distinguish himself? Easy: Make good songs. Dino B.A.M, who hails from Virginia by way of Kentucky, released "Not Afraid," a radio-friendly summer track dedicated to every woman unashamed to do unspeakable things after 2 a.m. Producer Tone P, known for his work with Wale, Maybach Music Group, and Curren$y, crafts a beat that shows off his versatility—it's a departure from the heavily syncopated production that defined Wale’s The Mixtape About Nothing. Dino’s The Wave EP is due out in June.


Wale’s Busy Life
On Friday morning, Wale appeared on NBC’s Today alongside Mariah Carey to perform on the diva’s new song, "You Don’t Know What To Do."


The song, which will be featured on Carey’s 14th studio album, Me. I Am Mariah...The Elusive Chanteuse, hit the radio yesterday, and it’s not only summer-ready—it’s disco-ready. For Wale, it's a familiar sound from his Mark Ronson days (see: remixes of Lily Allen and Amy Winehouse songs on 100 Miles and Running), and, depending on your perspective on hip-hop and the trajectory of Wale’s career, you might agree that it's a good look for Folarin. It's no "Fantasy" remix, but that type of lightning rarely strikes twice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2YXXFQZ-tM
The avid wrestling fan also released "Razor Freestyle (Bad Guy)," a nod to Scott "Razor Ramon" Hall performed over a beat that samples the king of machismo’s entrance music. Loaded with wrestling references, it’s a freebie for fans who—like Wale and myself—grew up injuring themselves and their friends while practicing wrestling moves.

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