This week, a roundup of late-pass hiphop—stray singles I didn't get into earlier columns. Some are hits, some are obscure (though easily findable), and they're all worth hearing.
Alley Boy feat. Young Dro, "Tall" (MP3): Top Gear should make these guys correspondents. Asia Lynn, "Boyfriend in the Trap" (MP3): Producer JHawk evolves—the synth-horns and drums could have come from a 1985 Pop Art 12-inch—while Lynn's hard-girl rhymes get by mostly on energy. Cali Swag District, "Teach Me How to Dougie" (Capitol): The Sean Kingston & B.o.B. remix is cute, the Jermaine Dupri one less so, but stick with the original and thrill to the line "This beat was bubblegum, so I had to chew it." Dizzy D Flashy, "Tha Truth" (MP3): superb combination of back-in-the-day reminiscence and true-to-the-game statement of purpose (and surprising, given that his name is friggin' Dizzy D Flashy), with this bracing opener: "What happened to hiphop, when people used to write for days?/Now everybody want to be Lil Wayne." Donnis, "Eat You Alive" (MP3): sophomoric sex rap like it oughta be—funny, with no pretensions to its own sexiness.
E-40 feat. Clyde Carson & Husalah, "Lightweight Jammin'" (Heavy on the Grind): laid-back galumphing drum machine meets three suave guys with three different styles, plus a title hook that's not so much old-school as just plain old-man-proud, and rightly so. Elzhi, "Deep" (MP3): Steely vocal, shimmering-track boom-bap will never die. Jay-Z feat. Swizz Beatz, "On to the Next One" (Roc Nation): "Niggas want my old shit/Buy my old album"—and download this and this alone off that last pile of junk. Kanye West feat. Dwele, "Power" (Roc-A-Fella): Sure, call it a comeback—just not an event.
Nifty, "Undercover Freak" (MP3): throwback synth R&B—'82 synth glide, hand-clap-accented electro-funk beat, heavy vocal processing more Zapp than T-Pain—from the hiphop mixtape side of things, a nice switch. Rick Ross feat. Ne-Yo, "Super High" (Island Def Jam): The Teflon Don makes like a less liquid Biggie, Ne-Yo like the young Michael Jackson he's been aiming to for years now, the track like a sunset on a motherfucking yacht. Stophouse, "Horses in the Ghetto" (stophouse.bandcamp.com): "You know the flow colder than a cheap coat/Here in Minnesota when you walk in three feet of snow," "Charged up like a bus card," and one of the funniest videos of the year. YG, "Toot It and Boot It" (Island Def Jam): The usual we-don't-love-these-hos crud rhymes, faltering sideways piano hook, and near-plainchant chorus follow you around like a ghost.