Five on it photography – BTS press photo

This has been a surreal week in music – on the one hand, the BRITs (for all the lack of women nominees), actually seemed to be a pretty good time, and given that Tyler, Dave and Stormzy won awards, it wasn’t a bad haul.

On the other hand though, this week saw the horrible news of the death of Brooklyn artist Pop Smoke. He was one of the most exciting rap prospects, and it was so exciting seeing someone melding US and UK sounds – I think I am still processing that he is gone, to be honest.

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There was a tweet that I can’t find now which was speculating on how teenage rap fans must be feeling when, again and again, another favourite dies or is killed, all within the space of a few years (albeit all for different reasons).

And so this week I hope everyone is taking time for themselves to rest and process and be soft with themselves. Here is your five on it:

BTS – Map of the Soul: 7

Licks of punchy guitar, choppy bars, polished R&B-pop, slick marching bands  – BTS are back and very much on form, drawing expertly from pretty much every genre going. My BTS stan friend texted to say, “I’ve cried twice already and it’s 9am” so suffice it to say, it’s meeting Army expectations.

Yves Tumor – ‘Gospel for a New Century’

Yves Tumor makes such strange and beautiful music, with those glitchy glamrock sonics and his lithe drawl. This great, atmospheric new track is no exception, and comes ahead of a new album, Heaven to a Tortured Mind, out in April.

MEI – ‘I Don’t Know What’s Next’

Honestly what is in the water in South London? This is slow-burning, cosy, dreamlike R&B that speaks to self-love and confronting anxieties about the future. Lovely.

Rema x Rvssian – ‘Beamer’

When we spoke to Rema last year, he mentioned Bollywood an influence – and you can definitely hear a lilt of that kind of melismatic singing in this beguiling sunshine-infused track, a collab with legendary producer Rvssian.

Lady Donli – ‘Corner’ ft. VanJess and the Cavemen

One of our 2020 ones to watch, this is the new, Nollywood-inspired video from Lady Donli – think gorgeous looks and club heat to accompany this sweet little jam.

You can follow the Five on it playlist on Spotify:

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