13 Beats of the Week: April 22


Daniel Bernstein, Contributing Writer

“THANKFUL (feat. Lil Wayne & Jeremih),” DJ Khaled (2021)

Recommended if you like (RIYL): Roddy Ricch, Bryson Tiller, Brent Faiyaz

“THANKFUL” by infamous producer and industry legend DJ Khaled hails from his most recent full-length project, “Khaled Khaled.” This song incorporates beautiful choral vocals and a rhythmic guitar sample, displaying Khaled’s production expertise. Both featured artists deliver great verses, and Jeremih’s soulful voice pairs well with the choir for a very catchy chorus.


Satellite,” Guster (2006)

RIYL: Milky Chance, O.A.R., American Football

A unique and tasteful combination of acoustic guitar and synthesized melodies can be heard throughout the track “Satellite” by Guster. The most commercially successful track from the Boston-based band combines aspects of indie, emo-rock and alternative genres in a beautiful way. The song’s bridge works especially well with mellower vocals than the rest of the song, and riffs that call back to earlier parts of the song make this track come full circle.


“Tondo,” Disclosure (2020)

RIYL: Chris Lake, Jamie xx, Duke Dumont

Disclosure channels a mix of summer vibes and rhythm in a groovy package with “Tondo.” The track delivers a light and energetic listening experience and is perfect for a sunny day outside or in the car. 


“Good Day,” Nappy Roots (2008)

RIYL: Big Pun, Skee-Lo, Rich Boy

“Good Day” is one of the best feel-good songs of all time, with a catchy piano melody and a children’s choir singing the chorus. The unexpected combination of rap verses and the whimsical chorus works surprisingly well in this timeless track. 


“You Were Right,” Rüfüs Du Sol (2015)

RIYL: Toro y Moi, Flume, SG Lewis 

Rüfüs Du Sol combines pop vocals and a beat that is reminiscent of dream trance electronic music. The production trio won an ARIA Award for Best Dance Release for “You Were Right” in 2015. This track has a perfect drop for most dance music sets and playlists.


“Ventura Highway,” America (1972)

RIYL: Grateful Dead, Seals and Croft, Jim Croce

“Ventura Highway” features one of the most iconic acoustic guitar licks of the 70’s, with Dewey Bunnell crooning lyrics on top. This guitar melody is sampled in Janet Jackson’s “Someone To Call My Lover” and shows the strong influence rock music often has on the pop genre. Despite facing a plethora of changes in the band’s roster over the years, America still remains together and active in the 21st century.


“Ghost Town,” The Specials (1981)

RIYL: CAKE, Marcy Playground, Counting Crows

This song features a very ominous vibe, as the title suggests, filled with deep horns and creepy vocals. Pitched-up vocals at the end of the chorus create an uneasy and haunting feeling for the listener. “Ghost Town” appeared in the soundtrack for two installments of the Skate video game franchise, and offers a fresh, modern sound. 


“I’m Just Snacking,” Gus Dapperton (2017)

RIYL: Still Woozy, Dominic Fike, Clairo

The 2017 single from indie-pop singer-songwriter “I’m Just Snacking” captures the best aspects of his singing, production, and instrumentation. Channeling 90’s and retro influences, Gus found success through the internet and went on to write music for the show 13 Reasons Why. The New York native has released two full-length albums which showcase his talents and musical prowess.


Scenario,” A Tribe Called Quest (1991)

RILY: Busta Rhymes, The Roots, Mos Def

One of the most celebrated collaborations in hip-hop is from the iconic duo A Tribe Called Quest and Busta Rhymes in “Scenario.” As one of the first features in his career, Busta Rhymes delivers an incredible verse with crazy flows and unpredictable rhythms. This song is great to check out if you want a snapshot into some of the best of 90’s era hip-hop. 


“Melissa,” Allman Brothers Band (1972)

RIYL: Eric Clapton, Cream, Twiddle

The soothing vocals in “Melissa” make this song a pleasure to listen to. The Allman Brothers Band delivers great guitar, vocal, and rhythmic performances throughout their discography. Unfortunately, Duane Allman was killed shortly after this song’s studio release, and his brother Greg performed it at his funeral.


“By Design,” Kid Cudi, Andre Benjamin (2016)

RIYL: Lupe Fiasco, A$AP Rocky, Kanye West

Kid Cudi does a perfect job mixing melodic vocals and hums, groovy lyrics and flows, and tasteful instrumentation in “By Design.” These aspects are further complimented by Andre 3000’s hook on the track, which ties all the aspects together. Andre, half of the legendary Atlanta duo, Outkast, has delivered featured performances on a few albums in recent years, and each time never disappoints. 


“Amber,” 311 (2001)

RIYL: Sublime, Slightly Stoopid, Sugar Ray

311’s music is very reminiscent of the slower jam rock from bands like The Grateful Dead and Phish, but adds their own 90’s twist and influence. “Amber” is a very relaxing song, working with minimalist aspects to create a serene listening experience and would pair well with watching the sunset. If you’re a fan of the Red Hot Chili Peppers or Sublime, 311’s music would likely resonate with you.


“Reptilia,” The Strokes (2003)

RIYL: Franz Ferdinand, Cage The Elephant, The White Stripes

The Strokes earned praise over the past decades for their celebrated indie-rock releases. “Reptilia” is no exception, with great guitar riffs, incredible solo performances, and raspy vocals that together make a perfect combination.