MF Doom is one of the most enigmatic rappers of all time, an artist whose turn-of-the-millennium hot streak ranks up there with any of the all-time greats. Since then, he’s drifted between various collaborative projects and collapsed plans, which is why, despite the intense promise of his supposed collaborative LP with grimy-as-hell Buffalo, New York rapper Westside Gunn, I have not had super high hopes of the thing ever seeing the light of day. We’re still waiting for Doom’s collaboration with Ghostface, you may recall.
And yet—there are now not one but two tracks released as WESTSIDEDOOM, first the raw, bleary “Gorilla Monsoon,” and now the even-better “2Stings.” Over a fractured and uneasy Alchemist boot, Doom sounds raspy, sleep-deprived, and brilliant, his syllables still packed with purpose even when they’re goofy as hell: “Pay attention / You can take that to the bank / Thanks, don’t mention it / ’Cause it’s all mine / Clear advantage like playing paddleball on adderall.” Westside Gunn rides in with his inimitable “AYO,” before spitting some awful memories about pistol-whipping and jetting down fire escapes. Who needs Ghostdoom if this thing ever actually comes out? [Clayton Purdom]
Lil Buck & The Top Cats, “Cat Scream”
Paul “Lil’ Buck” Sinegal is best known as a session guitarist for some serious Louisiana legends—from swamp-rock gods like Slim Harpo to zydeco icons like Clifton Chenier—but I was recently turned on to the killer funk and soul tracks he recorded in the late ’60s with a band of his own. Known as Lil Buck & The Top Cats, it appears the group only recorded four songs, released in pairs on 45s by La Lousianne Records. All of them have been re-released and are available on streaming services, and each one is worth a listen. While “Monkey In A Sack” has become the most famous (relatively speaking) of the group’s recordings, I’m more partial to its B-side, “Cat Scream,” where Sinegal’s furious picking leads a tremendous pack of unrelenting horns. [Matt Gerardi]
The Get Up Kids, “Don’t Hate Me”
This past April was the 20th anniversary of Four Minute Mile, the Get Up Kids’ full-length debut and one of my favorite emo albums. While I’d like to say that I’ve been listening to songs like “Coming Clean” and “Stay Gold, Ponyboy” to mark the occasion, the truth is they’re in regular rotation for me. Four Minute Mile isn’t as polished as Something To Write Home About, which at times feels like you’re listening to someone singing along to their Livejournal entries, which is kind of how Matt Pryor summed up the band’s early sound. But I was just as earnest in those days, which, now that I’m so emotionally calloused over, can be nice to revisit. [Danette Chavez]