13 Beats of the Week: 3/4/22


Daniel Bernstein, Contributing Writer

1. “fafo,” Zack Fox (2021)

Recommended if you like (RIYL): Larry June, IDK, The Alchemist

Zack Fox is a multi-talented comedian and rapper whose track “fafo” comes from his debut studio album. This track combines Southern-inspired beats and flows with lyrics aimed at his frustrations with the world. Elements of his goofy personality bleed into his music, resulting in a uniquely entertaining listening experience.

2.  “Yeah (Bonus),” Mac Miller (2014)

RIYL: Saba, Action Bronson, Joey Bada$$

Mac Miller’s 2014 mixtape “Faces” was added to streaming services late last year, and included official releases for many of his underappreciated songs. One such track “Yeah (Bonus)” concludes the mixtape and is layered with eerie melodies and lyrics. The addition of “Faces” to streaming services marks another posthumous release from the Pittsburgh rapper.

3. “Got to be Real,” Cheryl Lynn (1978)

RIYL: The Isley Brothers, Ray Charles, Bill Withers

Cheryl Lynn’s iconic track “Got to be Real” is a perfect glimpse into the disco scene of the 1970’s. This song has been featured in many TV shows and movies and is working to become an anthem for the 20th century. Full of funky and upbeat instrumentals, this song will never fail to put a smile on your face.

4. “Money for Nothing,” Dire Straits (1985)

RIYL: Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers, Steely Dan, The Police

This classic rock track features one of the most iconic intros and guitar riffs from the 80’s. A timeless classic, “Money for Nothing” is one among a list many other famous tracks by the Dire Straits. It was even sampled by Waka Flocka Flame and French Montana in the 2011 track “Promise.”

5. “Runnin’,” The Pharcyde (1995)

RIYL: A Tribe Called Quest, Gang Starr, The Roots

“Runnin” is a hit song from the group The Pharcyde, featuring the group rapping over a beat by the legendary hip-hop producer J Dilla. This track features Dilla’s trademark off-beat drums and each member delivering powerful bars and a mesmerizing chorus. 

6. “Call Me,” St. Paul & The Broken Bones (2014)

RIYL: Alabama Shakes, Leon Bridges, Aloe Blacc

“Call Me” is a perfect song. From the mellow horns to the vocal range and supporting guitar, it feels timeless. This track from St. Paul & The Broken Bones sounds like it could have been released in the 1990’s, with a slightly gritty feel that adds to the ambiance of the listening experience.

7. “Westside, Right On Time feat. Young Jeezy” Kendrick Lamar (2012)

RIYL: Jay Rock, Childish Gambino, ScHoolboy Q

This SoundCloud exclusive track is a collaboration between T.D.E. frontman Kendrick Lamar and 2000’s hip-hop star Jeezy. “Westside, Right On Time” features a 1970’s funk sample to introduce the track, with both Lamar and Jeezy delivering verses that make the song sound better with each listen. 

8. “Rio,” Duran Duran (1982)

RIYL: Depeche Mode, The Cars, Joe Jackson

This new wave classic by one of the 80’s most influential bands, Duran Duran, combines psychedelic instrumentals with funky melodies to create one of their most popular tracks. “Rio” is a perfect opening track to Duran Duran’s 1982 album that shares the same name.

9. “White Flag,” Dido (2003)

RILY: KT Tunstall, The Cranberries, R.E.M

Dido provides one of the most soothing vocal performances in recent memory on the track “White Flag.” The chorus is extremely memorable and works with the instrumentals to provide one of the most relaxing listening experiences. Dido’s discography is full of beautiful tracks and talented vocals.

10. “Master of None,” Beach House (2006)

RIYL: Tame Impala, Grizzly Bear, Cults

One of Beach House’s most popular songs, “Master of None” is a perfect introduction to the production powerhouse duo. Eerie vocals appear on many tracks from their discography and work to add to the aesthetic of the music. The guitar that cuts through the layered instrumentals is a highlight from this song.

11. “Little Black Submarines,” The Black Keys (2011)

RIYL: The White Stripes, Greta Van Fleet, Passion Pit

Leading off with a slow and drawn-out intro, this song culminates in a powerful change in instrumental that never gets old. Powerful guitar riffs full of distortion and drive mark the switch, while many of the lyrical themes stay the same throughout the performance. The Black Keys offer an insight into late 1980’s rock with their alternative approach to contemporary music.

12. “Gravity feat. Tyler, The Creator,” Brent Faiyaz (2021)

RIYL: Miguel, EARTHGANG, Kota the Friend

This collaboration between R&B star Brent Faiyaz and polarizing hip-hop figure Tyler, The Creator works to be greater than the sum of its parts. “Gravity” features toned down vocals, a verse from each artist as well as production by DJ Dahi. The instruments even include a guitar performance by the legendary Steve Lacy.

13. “At All,” KAYTRANADA (2013)

RIYL: Disclosure, Free Nationals, The Internet

This primarily instrumental track from the legendary producer KAYTRANADA is a series of vocal and instrumental chops from Chaka Khan’s “I Know You, I Live You.” The drum pattern layered with the sampled melody works to create organized chaos in a modern house-esque electronic package.