Playlist of the Week

Connor Swingle, Contributing Reporter

A Tribe Called Quest – “We The People…”

Legendary New York jazz-rap pioneers A Tribe Called Quest (ATCQ) returned this week with their new album “We Got It From Here, Thank You 4 Your Service.” Coming out 18 years after their previous album and just months after Phife Dawg passed away in March,We Got It From Here” stays true to the incredibly groovy, tug-of-war MC approach that made ATCQ legends in the first place. “We The People…” enters with a thick synthetic bass line that keeps this political anthem driving forward, leading to the Q-Tip’s refrain of resistance.

Source: sound of

Minutemen – “Maybe Partying Will Help”

The Minutemen’s behemoth of an album “Double Nickles on the Dime” clocks in at 80 minutes over 43 songs and successfully broke punk from its cookie cutter roots. “Double Nickles” is a punk album by way of funk, country and jazz. Delivering stream-of-consciousness lyrics that were as obtuse as they were specific, guitarist D. Boon used humor and dissatisfaction to convey his political messages. On “Maybe Partying Will Help” Boon delivers ironic lyrics that resonated with my collegiate tendencies. “What of the people who don’t have what I ain’t got?  Are they victims of my leisure? To fail is to be a victim, To be a victim of my choice. Maybe partying will help.


Gil Scott-Heron – “Home Is Where the Hatred Is”

Gil Scott-Heron is considered, by many, to be the godfather of rap. You may know him as the sampled voice on “Who Will Survive in America,” the final track on Kanye West’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.” Appearing on the first of many collaborations with jazz musician Brian Jackson, “Home Is Where the Hatred Is” is the fourth track on Scott-Heron’s debut studio album “Pieces of Man.” The album’s loose jazz and soul instrumentation creates a beautiful backdrop for Scott-Heron’s voice. Scott-Heron’s expertise is his ability to juxtapose his soulful voice with his powerful spoken word poetry and calls for revolution.


Woody Guthrie – “Tear the Fascists Down”

Known for using a guitar emblazoned with the statement “This machine kills Fascists,” Woody Guthrie used his music to document the folk songs of the working class in the American midwest during the Dust Bowl. In 1950, Guthrie moved to Brooklyn where he wrote about his contempt for his landlord, Fred Trump—Donald Trump’s father. He had this to say about him: “I suppose that Old Man Trump knows just how much racial hate he stirred up in that bloodpot of human hearts/When he drawed that color line.” There is more to the poem, but he continues to accuse Fred Trump of profiting off the encouragement of racial tension.


YG feat. Nipsey Hussle – “FDT”

YG’s sophomore album “Still Brazy” positions him as someone caught between his semi-celebrity status and his Compton roots. Producer Terrace Martin has tackled projects as diverse as “To Pimp a Butterfly” and Herbie Hancock’s upcoming album. His influence is seen wildly here, as YG’s sound becomes a homage to West Coast G Funk. Album standout “FDT” starts off with YG recounting his first experience hearing Trump on the radio. He goes on, saying “now that we know how you feel, here’s how we feel.” YG delivers on his promise with a catchy chorus that we’ll be hearing for the next four years.