R&B Fridays: Episode 135

I wanted to open this week’s episode with a breakdown of why the number 135 was special. Turns out, nothing of any significance is tied to the number, so that’s that.

A few decent posts to recap on from the week gone by, with Ed Sheeran and Yelawolf teaming up for the first track from their upcoming EP, John Legend hooking up with Ludacris for a solid R&B jam, the excellent Elle Varner dropping off a brand new mixtape for her fans to enjoy, and finally a fantastic chillout instrumental from MeLo-X.

All caught up? Good. Feel free to resume your browsing by clicking below for this week’s instalment. There’s also a surprise new feature included in this episode that we’ve been requested to add for some time. Mysterious.

Masspike Miles-Priceless ft. Raekwon

-A member of MMG who doesn’t really seem to have the profile he probably deserves, given he’s the only (male) singer in a collective full of rappers. Arguably, that’s due to a lack of exposure but features like this (and others on his Say Hello To Forever mixtape) will do him no harm at all, and Miles also holds up his end of the bargain with a great performance and strong beat selection. The production has that laidback and lavish MMG feel, and Masspike really brings out the versatility of such a backdrop with a blend of deliveries that switch between relaxing and rousing, whilst Rae’s gristly raps slide in nicely to round off an enjoyable effort.

Yuna-Live Your Life

-I have to say, I absolutely love this song. The production is excellent, as Pharrell serves up a soft, ambient soundscape full of soothing synths, bouncy bass and an organic-feeling percussion, with the end product one that has to be up there as one of his finest productions in a long time. Yuna’s whispery, frighteningly-relaxing vocals synergise superbly with Skateboard P’s work, bringing some simple and uplifting lyricism to add an injection of positivity to the track, making it a feelgood effort that will undoubtedly get a ton of plays on your iPod.

Jared Evan-Kill Me

-Another hybrid effort from Jared, and another very listenable one. The production seems to boast elements from pop, alternative and even heavy electro, and opens in an almost haunting fashion before stepping into an thick, bass-heavy style with a real head-nodding quality. Jared’s delivery on the verses brings even more intensity to the track, whilst his desperate, emotional hook further feeds on the power that runs through the track. A track that really feels like an intense 3 minutes, and you can’t ask for more than that.

Vaughn Anthony-Curiosity ft. Dunson

-Produced by the same team behind Vaughn’s brother John Legend’s Tonight from earlier this week, this is a rather different effort to the aforementiond with a bouncy, more feelgood style. It’s not anything to stylistically revolutionise anyone’s life, but is a simple, effective R&B/soul/pop crossover that plays up to Vaughn’s melodic strengths with a smooth yet lively production.

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