Buckle up, ladies and germs. Mangoprism, a blog that is dormant yet majestic—the Mt. Rainier of blogs—is launching a monthly list of kick-ass songs called Mangoprism Selects. It is like McDonald’s Chicken Selects, but worse. But still good though.
How long will Mangoprism Selects last? Only time will tell. (Not long.)
Please enjoy the first installment below: June Tunes.
The Carters – “Apeshit”
The official song of summer 2018. Migos ad-libs: just incredible. Pharrell—you’re crazy for this one! When Beyonce demanded Vitamin D, I felt that.
Freddie Gibbs – “Automatic”
The best song from the most savage mixtape of 2018.
Rico Nasty – “Pressing Me”
The best song from the second-most savage mixtape of 2018.
Nao – “Another Lifetime”
Here is a pitch I sent to a couple publications that got rejected/ignored. It is pretty good—or so I thought—and 45% of the reason why Mangoprism Selects is now a thing:
While Nao’s last release “Nostalgia” recalled the sugary synthetic bursts of Whitney Houston’s upbeat love songs, “Another Lifetime” recalls the roiling synthetic swells of her 2016 album For All We Know, in which she forged her signature sound—an inventive fusion of funk and R&B that shaped ballads like roller coasters and took flight on the wings of her sweet falsetto.
“Another Lifetime” begins with Nao’s voice layered over vocoder as she bids a fond farewell to her ex in the fallout of their breakup. Regret, melancholy, and a faint but persistent hope give the song its color; the chance that they may reconnect in another lifetime affirms their love in this one. She repeats the affirmation: “I swear I won’t run / In another life, I’ll keep us bounded.”
In the song’s music video, Nao wanders the streets at dawn, ghost-like while the world sleeps. It is a tableau that recalls Maggie Nelson in The Red Parts: “To be alone in public, wandering at night, or lying close to the earth, anonymous, invisible, floating […] to make your claim on public space even as you feel yourself disappearing into its largesse, into its sublimity.”
Detroit Swindle & Tom Misch – “Yes, No, Maybe”
This joint came out in May and is technically ineligible for June Tunes. But I didn’t heard it until June, and it is great.
Lawrence – “Try”
Immaculate. Sounds like a Brasstracks/Nico Segal production, but is not. Would have fit in perfectly on Coloring Book. If it had been on Coloring Book, it would have been a massive hit. But it wasn’t, so it won’t.
Jonah Nillson – “Coffee Break”
Dirty Loops broke up last year. Here’s an epitaph: they were a band of unbelievable skill and questionable taste. After they disbanded, their lead singer and keyboardist Jonah Nillson signed to Quincy Jones. A couple weeks ago, he released his debut single, “Coffee Break,” in which raps about coffee dates and drums on the lid of his mug with two little spoons.