Meek Mill and Roddy Ricch, "Letter to Nipsey"
A day after Meek Mill and Roddy Ricch performed a tribute to Nipsey Hussle at the Grammys, the two released a new collaborative single that continues to pay homage to the late rapper and offers a compelling personal portrait of Nipsey's impact on their lives.
"Letter to Nipsey" starts with Meek's intimate, first-person account of the days after Nipsey's murder: "I just left your viewing at the Staples Center / Obama wrote you a letter, yeah you made it. I ain't finna sit here, act like I'm your main homie / But when we lost you, it really put some pain on me."
Ricch, who appeared on Hussle's final single, "Racks in the Middle" (which earned them a Grammy), follows up with a heartfelt, fully-sung chorus that shows the role the elder Hussle occupied in the mind of his young protégé: "Had to stare through these tears, 'cause I see you every time my eyes close / Asking myself why you had to go, but only God knows."
august brown, Los Angeles Times
Destroyer, "Have We Met" (Merge)
Dan Bejar has made a long career out of unpredictability. He's the mastermind of Destroyer, but his Vancouver, B.C.-based band shifts constantly. Musically, his albums have veered from glam rock to yacht rock; lyrically, they have gone from prolix screeds to cryptic missives. The 13th Destroyer album turns to synth-pop. Bejar collaborates with his longtime producer (and sometimes New Pornographers bandmate) John Collins and guitarist Nicolas Bragg, and they create settings where sounds bubble in and out of the mix, locking into chipper hooks ("It Just Doesn't Happen") or turning to dissonance ("Kinda Dark").
The songs are rarely linear: They're full of striking pronouncements and non-sequitur humor (see the self-reflexive "Cue Synthesizer"). Each Destroyer release creates a fascinating world, but then Bejar walks away from it.
STEVE KLINGE, Philadelphia Inquirer
• Green Day, "Father of All [bleep]"
• Cadillac Three, "Country Fuzz"
• Lone Bellow, "Half Moon Light"
• Stone Temple Pilots, "Perdida"
• Richard Marx, "Limitless"