13 Beats of the Week: 4/1/22


Daniel Bernstein, Contributing Writer

1. “What You Won’t Do for Love,” Bobby Caldwell (1978)

Recommended if you like (RIYL): Joe Jackson, Elton John, Davido Bowie

“What You Won’t Do for Love,” is an amazing use of smooth vocals with jazzy R&B instrumentals, which results in a soothing listening experience about a one-sided relationship. Even since his success in the 1970’s, Caldwell has been consistently putting out music and touring. This song is perfect for setting a calm ambiance for an intimate dinner or cocktail hour. 

2. “Ohio,” Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (1970)

RIYL: Buffalo Springfield, Jeff Buckley, The Band

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young is the combined efforts of some of the most talented and experienced musicians and songwriters of the 20th century. Each member came from a popular band to form a folk supergroup in the 1970s. “Ohio” was written as a response to the shootings at Kent State University in Ohio, and echoed the themes of the many anti-war songs of the time.

3. “Riot!” Earl Sweatshirt (2018)

RIYL: Mac Miller, Tyler, the Creator, Freddie Gibbs

This fully instrumental track from “Some Rap Songs” runs for just over one minute, but shows Earl Sweatshirt’s growth as an artist when compared to his earlier music. Full of horns, groovy drums and a repetitive melody, this track is a perfect way to conclude his 2018 album. 


RIYL: 070 Shake, Injury Reserve, Death Grips

Each song released by BROCKHAMPTON is always unique, as each of their many members contributes their own style to a verse. Every track contains a catchy chorus and chaotic instrumentals. “1999 WILDFIRE” is no exception, with individual performances overlapping and interrupting each other throughout the song. 

5. “Recovery,” Frank Turner (2013)

RIYL: The Killers, Houndmouth, Two Door Cinema Club

English singer and songwriter Frank Turner channels his punk-rock roots into his upbeat acoustic and folk-inspired music. This song quickly goes from calm and peaceful to full-bodied and heavy with loud drums and piano performances over the chorus. Turner’s music is great to listen to on sunny days or if you simply want to experience some new music.

6. “Flake,” Jack Johnson (2001)

RIYL: Brett Dennen, John Mayer, Dave Matthews Band

Jack Johnson, possibly most well known for his work on the “Curious George” movie soundtrack, shares his songwriting talents and his guitar chops through the track “Flake.” This song comes from his debut album “Brushfire Fairytales” and is a great introduction to his discography, filled with mellow acoustic music. Johnson’s music is perfect for a chill afternoon when all you want to do is relax.

7. “B.Q.E,” Kota the Friend, Joeybada$$, Bas (2020)


This song is perfect to listen to on a spring day, with a verse each from three underrated artists. Kota the Friend delivers a great verse and chorus while also making room for both featured artists to shine. Kota the Friend finds a way to tastefully combine R&B elements with modern hip-hop to give a great listening experience.

8. “1539 N. CALVERT,” JPEGMAFIA (2018)

RIYL: slowthai, Denzel Curry, IDK

The opening song to JPEGMAFIA’s 2018 album “Veteran” begins with many fans calling him Peggy, one of his popular monikers. “1539 N. CALVERT” combines hard verses and quick delivery to prove Peggy’s talent as a vocalist. The title of the song references a studio and performance space in Baltimore that holds deep personal significance for JPEGMAFIA.

9. “Public Service Announcement (interlude),” Jay-Z (2003)

RILY: Jay Rock, Kanye West, DMX

This is a timeless classic from Jay-Z, full of wordplay and great bars all over a beautiful piano-centered beat. “Public Service Announcement (interlude)” is littered with vocal samples from many sources that add to the ambiance of the track. This interlude perfectly completes Jay-Z’s “The Black Album.”

10. “Drive In,” MED, Blu, Madlib, Aloe Blacc (2015)

RIYL: MF Doom, The Alchemist, J Dilla

This song is a star-studded collaboration from the 2015 collaboration album from MED, Blu, and Madlib. The beat is an iconic use of samples and Aloe Blacc delivers a great vocal performance over the classic Madlib instrumental. Both Madlib and MED worked with MF Doom in the past, and have earned much respect in the hip-hop scene both as producers and artists.

11. “Everybody Loves the Sunshine,” Netsky, Daddy Waku, Chantal Kashala (2020)

RIYL: Chris Lake, Sam Gellaitry, Disclosure

This song shares the same title as the primary sample and main influence as the track by Roy Ayers Ubiquity, but has a modern spin. This track loops the chorus and provides a great drum and bass drop that works surprisingly well with the sample. Netsky recruited some additional vocals for the track which make it a unique and enjoyable listening experience.

12. “Won’t Trade,” Q-Tip (2008)

RIYL: A Tribe Called Quest, Nas, Cam’ron

“Won’t Trade” by Q-Tip, one half of the legendary duo A Tribe Called Quest, shows the best of his production and rapping abilities in this song. The album cover for “The Renaissance” features the MPC3000, a key piece of technology used by many of the best producers of that era, including Q-Tip and J Dilla, who famously has his MPC3000 in the Smithsonian. 

13, “Gimmie Shelter,” The Rolling Stones (1969)

RIYL: Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, The Who

“Gimmie Shelter” is one of The Rolling Stone’s most popular tracks and has been used many times in movies and television. Mick Jagger’s vocals are accompanied by a plethora of background vocals in the chorus, leading to eerie but stellar-sounding performances.