Tag Archives: PartyNextDoor

R&B King Que

So yesterday morning, I saw a video from Jacquees, claiming he’s, “the King of R&B, right now, for this generation.”, I didn’t think much of it, and went on with my day, by the end of the night however, I logged back into the matrix, to find the shit trending, and everyone discussing who the King of R&B was, with the obvious names such as R. Kelly thrown in, plus the typical people desperate for validation, mentioning whichever names had not been said thus far, with Carl Thomas and Donell Jones amongst them.

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Fuck it !!!

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See this is exactly why I did not think much of the video when I saw it, because Jacquees, who is prepping for the follow up to his 4275 album, knew everyone would latch at the bait and they damn sure did. It reminded me of the time when T.I. jumped out the gate claiming to be, “King of the South”, and people were outraged, until the South basically confirmed it. If you’ve followed me for a while, you’ll know how highly I rate Que, while the majority may have only been introduced to him through the ‘Trip’ controversy, the young crooner has lead a resurgence of R&B today, amidst the Hip-Hop wave. While he may appear to be reaching, having only released his debut album this year, he’s not entirely wrong.

If he said Prince of R&B, nobody would have disagreed as much, unless you’re one of those people that just loves to argue anything. However, the miscommunication is when he says, “this generation”. (Aside of the controversy), R. Kelly is undoubtedly the King of R&B, many had heralded Trey Songz as the successor, as he stood alone in modern music, as someone that could actually sing. You also have Jeremih, or the phenom Chris Brown, who has the accolades to back it, but because they’ve been around for so long, they could be considered veterans, almost not of this generation, which brings us to the new crop.

In the past five years, Hip-Hop has continued it’s ascension (albeit backed by club anthems), while R&B has glimmered through rap’s melodic phase, with Drake leading charge, and while a case could be made for The Weeknd, he’s also transitioned into that popstar realm, which would see him out of the conversation. so then you have the likes of Ye Ali, TyUs, Brent Faiyaz, Daniel Caesar and Jacquees, while the first couple names are still relatively unknown on a mainstream level, just under Brent Faiyaz, the three have yet to make that commercial leap, where as Canada’s Daniel Caesar has had a great run of late, but has just been praised for his soulful music, beyond the genre, which leaves us with none other than, Jacquees.

I’ll even throw Tory Lanez in the mix, but he would be more so under that Drake umbrella of both Rapping and singing, unless he decides to challenge this and sing his way into contention, which by now, nobody would be surprised, because he is skilled in both sets, but it makes sense to consider sole R&B acts for this.

As much as I would like to cement that statement, especially with the unnecessary outrage, there are at least three other names who have really carried the torch for R&B in recent times, one being Miguel, who has given us consistent R&B with hints of experimentation and strong vocals. Ty Dolla $ign, who has provided soul throughout the charts, from production, songwriting, to even crooning adlibs for some of the biggest records of the year. Last but not least, PartyNextDoor. The latter can really be credited for the recent rise of R&B, from his contribution to Drake’s projects, his choice of samples, to penning the biggest hits for the biggest artists, but even through his own catalogue, it’s been modern day R&B with classic essences.

I’ve felt like PND was the new King of R&B, before I even heard Jacquees, and there is still some debate, with Jacquees being one of the more natural vocalists. If there was ever to be a sing off, Lamborghini Que would be a tough opponent, and with Party somewhat MIA at the moment, it would appear justified for Jacquees to feel like he is the King of R&B, right now, for this generation.

There is also room for the understanding that Jacquees is of a darker complexion to most of the recent ‘stars’, he isn’t the tallest and there are no other tricks or gimmicks (unless you count his statement as one) other than his ability to sing. You also have to consider the recent Soul Train awards, where you had the legendary Jon B and Donell Jones perform, yet Jacquees might have got the better reception for his performance. I enjoyed his album, and look forward to the next, but while he rides high off his recent success, the many talented and respected R&B acts who have struggled to make/maintain the impact he has had of late are unlikely to champion him, and so he most definitely has to deliver as such. Also a lot of the names being mentioned, like Donell Jones (who is on his album), have clearly passed the torch/encouraged him enough to feel this way.

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Preme – Hot Boy ft. Lil’ Wayne

“..I got the whole city on lock boy, I should dread my hair the way I’m feelin’ like a Hot Boy..”

RepsUp’s Preme made an impact in 2014 (as P Reign) with his Dear America EP boasting the underground hits Realest In The City and DnF. The past couple years we got his Off The Books EP, plus a couple cuts from the OVO affiliate which helped with the rebrand. Steady working away, he returns to the forefront with one of the catchiest tracks out, Hot Boy.

For those familiar with his music thus far, it could be said he was still experimenting and finding his style, this track however, fits within what you may have heard already. I was nodding my head and humming along, as it starts of well, then I began to hear cadences I would attribute to PartyNextDoor, and Preme as a man first..isn’t the kind to bite another, but being part of the same camp, it could be a possibility, and so upon some research, it appears PND is a credited writer, so that makes sense. Back to the song though, I’m surprised it hasn’t been gaining more of a buzz, or maybe it’s just not reached England yet, either way, it’s a wavy number, and you can’t have a song titled Hot Boy and not think Lil’ Wayne (much like the late Bankroll Fresh’s smash of the same name). The inclusion of Weezy not only certifies the track but naturally adds a whole ‘nother element with the autotune heavy flow, from the sound of the inhale, back like he never left, full of quoteables as you can expect from the legend.

“Used to have some wings, had to get them shits chopped off”

The track may struggle to really translate into the plays it deserves, but it’s most likely a slow burner, despite it’s radio-friendly tempo, but more importantly it reintroduces Preme properly, and he can only continue to ascend from here forth, with his new project Light Of Day due to be released soon, it’ll be sure to offer a similar level of quality throughout. My only critique was based on not entirely knowing if it was Party on the latter part of the hook or Preme, but it’s since been confirmed (by the artist himself) that it is indeed PND, which I now I have to give credit to the blend of the vocals, because it’s an effortless transition. Overall, the song itself is a strong effort, more light hearted than his previous hits and a step in the right direction for another Canadian adding to the country’s seemingly unstoppable waterfall of talent.

The video, directed by Kid Art (who has come a long way from his breakthrough visuals for Vinny Chase), with his eye for a clean shot, and the various scenes blended together, give it some extra depth, adding to the track itself.

 

 

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Calvin Harris – Nuh Ready Nuh Ready ft. PartyNextDoor

Calvin Harris has had quite the trajectory, since my introduction to him alongside Dizzee Rascal (all those years ago), releasing a well received album last year with Funk Wave Bounces Vol. 1, he cemented himself even further, whilst me personally, I was highly disappointed that the project did not feature any British acts (or even Dizzee at least), as I just felt it was the perfect opportunity to merge and make that historical transition. So much that I may have been slightly put off, or I just did not gravitate to the music itself, but as they say, good music always prevails, and so we have his new single (which I have not stopped listening to since it’s release), Nuh Ready Nuh Ready..

It’s no secret, I rate PartyNextDoor highly, and so I was obviously going to check for this, and whilst PND can do no wrong, the production on this is really the standout. It’s one of those productions which make me want to pick at Calvin Harris’ brain as to why certain sounds were used, what were his influences and so forth. Whilst it’s a simplistic approach, the layers of sound and patterns put together are that of genius. It certainly stands out in it’s spotify radio playlist, and in many ways is defiant of any genre or boundary, as it definitely reminds me of a variety of feelings through songs I grew up to. Aside of his own catalogue, PartyNextDoor has been behind some of the biggest songs of the past couple years, and though this sound might be new for his fans, he sounds as in his lane as ever. From the trumpet intro opening the doors for the slithering synth, to hearing him in a patois dialect say, “me and di mandem”, I was sold despite no idea what was coming next, singing along to, “I’m not ready fi all dem tings”, before the effects and beat simultaneously kick in..sonically depicting that euphoric feeling of your favourite night out, to where I had to restart the song as I forgave Calvin, like a friend that let you down but you know they didn’t mean to.

The digital trip of a video compliments the record immensely, much like the audio it has a simple structure, with all it’s transitioning shapes and colours, in it’s retro style (again like the sounds within the production), basically visualising that euphoria I speak of. With the London backdrop and even seeing PND more prominent in something that will be viewed well beyond his own fanbase, it makes for a great video. When making a dance record, you would hope that it makes people move, and Nuh Ready Nuh Ready is most definitely that, a soundtrack for any night out, it’s quite the start to the year with what could well be one of the anthems of the approaching summer.

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Click artwork to listen on Spotify

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XX17 Spotify Playlist

With us closer to the end of the year, I’ve curated another playlist, this time a selection of some of the best and underrated Hip-Hop, Grime, Alternative and R&B tracks of the year, thus far. The playlist hosts American, British and French tracks, that varies in tempo and style, featuring the likes of Giggs, PartyNextDoor, Post Malone, Wale, Sampha, Toro Y Moi & many more..

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Majid Jordan – One I Want ft. PartyNextDoor

Majid Jordan have been considered OVO’s unsung heroes for some time, with their debut EP setting the bar incredibly high, whilst PartyNextDoor has to be credited somewhat for shifting the sound and bringing R&B/Soul back to the forefront. So you can expect quality as two of the most underrated acts link up for this wavy cut..

The midtempo track is a great example in highlighting their ability to create, with their catchy melodies and premium sing-a-long value, the song really has essences of both (as expected), with their vocals contrasting each other, over the hypnotic production. Much like the song, the video is crispy, not so complex, but more of a creative concept, with it’s angles and transitions, as they walk through the corridor, looking for the one they want, down to the fade out towards the end. With such acts, there’s no room for criticism, but rather enjoy the vibes provided and same goes for the video, it’s well created and executed perfectly by director Adrian Martinez, with it’s abstract narrative. I’m a fan of both, and though I am well aware that they can create even more or possibly better, I enjoy this regardless.

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Nardwuar Vs PartyNextDoor

Nardwuar is undoubtedly one of the most unique, pioneering and even prestigious interviewers beyond generations, although, in recent, I do feel that there may have been some over-saturation with guests who may not be so deserving. However, this is well deserved all round. The man that loves to interact, with one of the least interactive stars of today, the talented, PartyNextDoor.

Not only are we blessed with some history and facts that we might not have been able to depict through his music, this is also a chance to get to see/hear from the low key R&B talent, for fans especially, it’s a treat and an insight to the man behind the music, his personality and even vulnerability as a person, being in front of the camera in such circumstance. It doesn’t disappoint (until it ends of course), with the interviewing legend bringing gifts based around his Jamaican & Trinidadian heritage, and learning the importance of the SpaceJam soundtrack and the influence of R. Kelly in the musician’s life. It’s also great to see PND shout out the up coming producers, G Ry (a big part of his recent Colours 2), and also one of my favourite producers on the rise, Bizness Boi (who contributed towards PX3).

“Brr-Brr, Fer-Fer, gang. We gon’ let Nardwuar hang..”

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PartyNextDoor – Colours 2

It’s no denying that PND is quietly been at the forefront of the new R&B/Soul wave, though his first two projects may not have directly shown such with it’s electro-fusion, he proved his diversity further with the release of Colours, it boasted cuts such as Let’s Get Married, (the ever so personal) Girl From Oakland and the fan-favourite Travis Scott featured Jus Know. That project acted as a segue for his third album, which further cemented his status as one of the premier talents, leading to writing credits for some of the biggest songs of the year, including Rihanna – Work. Still one to let his craft do the talking, and with glimpses of his talent provided through features, he dropped the sequel to Colours (following suit of his simply titled projects), with Colours 2.

What makes PartyNextDoor important, is his ability to dictate the sound, it’s authenticity aside, the Mississauga crooner continues to pioneer. A highly talented producer himself, Colours 2 sees him work once again with fellow Ferina member, up and coming producer G Ry, this time on the majority of the project. G Ry is most certainly one to listen out for, along with the likes of Bizness Boi, they’re bringing the soul back into productions, reinstating that depth that makes it connect so strongly with a listener.

Colours 2, like the original, is 4 tracks deep, but it truly is quality over quantity, as each track is a moment in itself, starting with Peace of Mind, it’s laid back, Party keeps it G as he checks in with his lady whilst out on the grind, it’s an ode to love, and putting ‘her’ first. Having recently penned hits for DJ Khaled (Shining ft. Beyonce & Jay-Z and Wild Thoughts ft. Bryson Tiller & Rihanna), his writing ability is getting the recognition it deserves, and Freak In You is another example, combined with his unique cadences, PND really executes a record like no other. This homage to the Jodeci classic Freak In You, with lines like, “rush rush rush, baby, just like Kimora Lee..”, only PND could pen such a simple line with such complex definitions, as he oozes confidence throughout the record, not before he’s unafraid to unveil vulnerability, on what sounds like a chart smash, Low Battery.

There have been jokes regarding him hiding the record, to keep it for himself, but within that humour, there is a point being made, that if this was released by any other major recording artist today, it would be a sure fire hit. “Have you ever lied? It’s a dumb question, baby girl, ’cause everybody lies, but did you lie..with someone else?..”, over the uptempo melody, to give it such context rather than some generic sing-a-long bullshit, is exactly why PartyNextDoor has developed such a strong and loyal fanbase. Just when you think that was the best, the tempo slows down, and he captivates you with the final track, Rendezvous, as he tries to make sense of what ‘she’ wants, he continues to spring metaphors effortlessly, “How many times did I get you wet, that night I pulled up to the dock..”, while most artists today are loud over social media, he keeps it all in the music, which not only gives it depth, but a stronger sense of authenticity, and relevance as he pays homage with lines like, “I’m not fooled by the money that you got, you still Jenny from the muthafuckin’ block..”

To share from experience and make it so relatable for audiences is no easy task, unless you’re PartyNextDoor it seems. As much as I am a fan of his own productions, with G Ry, they’ve really crafted and put together a very strong soulful offering, raising expectations for his next album even further.

 

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