This weeks’ top singles feature a blast from the past, as J. Cole places TLC firmly in the spotlight with “Crooked Smile.” Kanye West unleashes a CDQ snippet of “New Slaves,” and Wale, Rick Ross, and Lupe Fiasco provide food for thought on “Poor Decisions.”
J. Cole & TLC Address Body Image Issues In “Crooked Smile”
Several weeks ago, J. Cole announced that one of the guests he would be including on his Born Sinner project was TLC, consisting of T-Boz and Chilli. Picking up where the popular ’90s and ’00s R&B group left off with their hit song “Unpretty,” “Crooked Smile” addresses issues of tying self-worth to physical appearance, with the Roc Nation artist using his own grill as a jumping off point for the discussion.
Rhymes Cole: “They tell me I should fix my grill cause I got money now / I ain’t gon’ sit around and front like I ain’t thought about it / A perfect smile is more appealing but it’s funny how / My shit is crooked look at how far I done got without it / I keep my twisted grill, just to show them kids it’s real / We ain’t picture perfect but we worth the picture still / I got smart, I got rich, and I got bitches still / And they all look like my eyebrows: thick as hell / Love yourself, girl, or nobody will / Oh, you a woman? I don’t know how you deal / With all the pressure to look impressive and go out in heels / I feel for you / Killing yourself to find a man that’ll kill for you.”
Kanye West Provides A CDQ Snippet Of “New Slaves”
Several weeks ago, Kanye West debuted the explosive “New Slaves” by projecting the video onto sides of buildings worldwide. Now, a CDQ snippet of the track has finally been released, letting fans clearly hear the cut.
The screenings ran into some issues, with Houston and Baltimore shutting down later projections, citing safety concerns.
Previously, Kanye performed the song on “Saturday Night Live.” The track will be included on Yeezus, which drops June 18th.
Wale, Rick Ross & Lupe Fiasco Address Priorities On “Poor Decisions”
Wale showed his range this week when he came up with the interesting pairing of Rick Ross and Lupe Fiasco. While it would be natural as an MMG artist to collaborate with Ross, Wale showed that he still maintains introspection by linking with Lupe Fiasco as well on “Poor Decisions.”
The cut addresses how youth lack direction, and financial success sometimes only exacerbates the consequences, with Ross making keen observations: “I can take you to the far side / Poor decision makin’ plagued you niggas’ lives / You sellin’ crack up on your momma porch / While she still goin’ through her new divorce / He has a thrill as he raise his voice / When he really needs to raise his boys.”