Best Songs of the Week: Kendrick Lamar, Madonna and GZA
February is off to a great start as far as the music world is concerned. The Grammys came and went, Iggy Azalea didn't win the Best Rap Album award and Katie Perry brought out Missy Elliott and danced with sharks during the Super Bowl halftime show. More importantly, we have a fresh batch of tunes for your listening pleasure with our latest edition of Songs of the Week. Three tracks from Kendrick Lamar, Madonna and GZA make our list. Did your favorite song make the cut? Let us know in the comments below.
Madonna, the original naughty girl, has captivated the music world for three decades and continues to evolve with her artistry. This week, she released her new single, "Iconic," which will live on her upcoming Rebel Heart album, set to release March 10. Following a short intro courtesy of Iron Mike Tyson, Madonna holds court over the futuristic production with her lush vocals, creating a motivational number worthy of a few spins. A longtime supporter of rap, she decided to enlist Chicago trippy kid Chance the Rapper to lay a verse on the track. He makes the most of his opportunity, dropping a stand-out eight bars that will surely be getting him even more love in the pop world. Score one for Madonna and company.
The surprise entry this week comes via the new GZA cut, "The Mexican." Getting assistance on the production tip from Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, the Genius crafts the beat and handles the verses without breaking a sweat. Morello's show-stealing guitar riffs and the GZA's top tier rhyme skills make for a perfect marriage, resulting in "The Mexican" being the epitome of audio dope. Be on the lookout for GZA's upcoming LP, Dark Matter, which is sure to deliver more greatness such as that displayed on this number.
The biggest musical splash of the week comes in the form of Kendrick Lamar's latest release, "The Blacker the Berry." Featuring production by Boi-1da, with additional boardwork by Terrace Martin, the song is the first official release from the rapper's ominous sophomore effort, which seems to be right around the corner.
A barrage of high-octane bars, Lamar spits lyrics of fury without any regard for feelings or an ounce of remorse. The release was met with praise as well as critique, getting the conversation going about race and politics on social media. Comparions with transcendent works by the likes of Tupac Shakur weren't far behind either.
"The Blacker the Berry" has officially set the tone for Kendrick's return and if the new LP is anything like what we've heard thus far, it's a safe bet that K. Dot's project will be highly revered.