That would be the marketing spin on this. The truth is, the thought occurred to me that as modern-day music listeners, we consume so much music on a daily and weekly basis that there have become two clear pools of choice when picking something to listen to: either a classic, old-school track or something relatively new. “What’s wrong with that?”, I hear you cry. “The vast middle in between those two”, I reply.
There are countless songs that lie in that grey area of being a little old, but nowhere near aged enough to be considered ‘classic’, and often they get overlooked. Several tracks may have been ‘ahead of their time’, and you’ll find them an almost brand new listen in today’s climate, or it may simply be revisiting an excellent track to recrete that ‘first time’ feel once again. Welcome to your friendly reminder of tracks we may have once loved (or even completely ignored), and enjoy the fresh yet familiar feeling that accompanies each one.
Rich Hil-Won’t You Tell Me ft. Kid Cudi (April 2010)
-I went off Rich Hil pretty quickly, but credit where it’s due: he picked one hell of a beat and hook man for this one. Released during Cudi’s near-invincible phase between 2008-mid 2010, he proved why he really was the go-to hook guy in this one, with a moody and fantastically melodic chorus that captivated listeners effortlessly. The reflective production enhances his work immeasurably, bringing a thudding percussion that works equally well with the isolated keys in the verses, and the more layered designs of the hook.
Kanye West-Christian Dior Denim Flow ft. Kid Cudi, Pusha T, John Legend, Lloyd Banks, & Ryan Leslie (October 2010)
-It’s little over a year old, but Kanye’s output since then has dwarfed the excellence found in his GOOD Fridays series, with this being one of several highlights from that collection. Whilst the track tailed off slightly for the last two verses, the addictiveness of the first half cannot be denied, as Kanye opened in a namedropping mood, Pusha delivered what is arguably one of his standout verses to date, and Kid Cudi and John Legend combined for an anthemic hook that is frankly irresistable. All that plus a superb production, and you’ll wonder why this ever left your playlists.
The Weeknd-The Morning (March 2011)
-An even shorter journey back than the above, this was the track that told me we’d found someone special in The Weeknd. Since House of Balloons, many have been turned off by his somewhat inconsistent output and increasingly Drake-esque attitude, but there’s no question that this song will stand above any failures or transgressions he has made or will make. The production is airy, atmospheric and utterly mesmerising, with a depth that seamlessly transcends genres, whilst the vocal work is frighteningly hypnotising from start to finish, without any real lyrical assistance. A real pure effort that quite simply works. I’m sure we’ve all spent some time away from this song having been slightly removed from his material in recent months, and revisiting this one will undoubtedly feel like the first time all over again.
Mr. Hudson-Everything Is Broken ft. Kid Cudi (June 2010)
-Aside from forgetting the track, it seems most have forgotten about Hudson himself. He’s been pretty much invisible since the release of this album (save for a killer Jay-Z feature), and it’s probably the disappointing reception of the Straight No Chaser album that caused his disappearance. This was one of its shining lights though, courtesy of a production with great pacing, and yet another top Cudi feature (having now featured on 3 of the 4 tracks here, there are no prizes for guessing who the inspiration was for this episode! ). Hudson’s vocals are solid throughout, though you feel he’s not quite as challenged as he should be here, and hence the introduction of Cudi is a welcome respite as he tears into track with a formidable flow on the tribal-style percussion, providing a brief yet very memorable appearance.