Baker's Dozen: Lil Zay Osama, Toni Braxton, Rx Papi, and One For TikTok

Baker's Dozen: Lil Zay Osama, Toni Braxton, Rx Papi, and One For TikTok

Baker’s Dozen is a weekly thing for paid subscribers where I share a playlist and some thoughts on the music I’ve been listening to.

Jerge, "Orange"

Last Magic Tape 100 cut, promise. Listen to that perpetual build! Would sound good in a crowd outside.

Lil Zay Osama, "Emotions" [ft. Lil Tjay]

Emotions, emotions. Emotions, emotions. Really simple melody that feels affecting regardless, good single.

Narrow Head, "Bulma"

What do I even make of the Narrow Head album from last year? This track sounds like a post-grunge Loveless, and there's a few jammers that are similar. Sometimes it sounds like if Built to Spill were covered by Deftones. Oh, what's that sound? Why, it's just music to my ears, my friend.

Doves, "Carousels"

Gotta love Doves. I still remember (and have mentioned on Twitter several times) going to Virgin Megastore in Times Square before seeing a Broadway show with my parents and buying Doves' The Last Broadcast, The Notwist's Neon Golden, Clearlake's Cedars, and the Wrens' The Meadowlands. Or maybe I got The Last Broadcast some other time? Whatever. Anyway Doves had a pretty good track record for a while (Kingdom of Rust slapped) and then they took a long break, the comeback record from last year didn't blow my mind but this song is vintage Doves right here.

Indigo Sparke, "Everything Everything"

A former colleague who I love and respect greatly manages Indigo Sparke, so I had to listen to the album several times to make sure I actually liked it. Good news! I do. Hard to pick a fav from it but this one is solid.

Alan Braufman, "The Fire Still Burns"

No embed for this, sorry. Very much not a jazz guy but I like the melodic swing of this one, seems like I gravitate more towards jazz with some sort of ascendant melody but hey, this is my shit to work out, not yours.

Sam Prekop, "Park Line"

The Sea and Cake are one of the most reliable bands of all time, and I mean that as a compliment. I fucking love them. Sam Prekop's solo releases are a lot more unexpected in terms of the sounds they present, his latest one from last year goes hard on some early electronic sounds, very Kraut-y at times and I do think it's probably one of his better solo releases? Just my take.

Toni Braxton, "O.V.E.Rr."

Huge fucking mood, look at God. The last Toni Braxton record had some serious jams, love the way this one burns just like an American Spirit.

Screwstache, "Cancun (SEGA EDITION)"

Of course a video game-themed remix of an unreleased Carti song would be a TikTok hit—would anything else make sense? Went away with my wife and friends last weekend and there were lots of bad (just kidding, very good!) attempts at doing the dance that's affiliated with this song. I was later informed that there was an attempt at Irish step dancing, even. Impressive.

Bizzy Banks, "Beautiful"

Normally I share stuff that I straight-out love on these posts. I do love Bizzy Banks, quite a bit—but I also think it's fucking hilarious that he ends what is a pretty strong drill mixtape with a cover of Jesse McCartney's "Beautiful Soul." It's, like, not terrible either. But it's mostly just bewildering and I'm always here for that, too.

Lana Del Rey, "Tulsa Jesus Freak"

Maybe an all-timer for me in the LDR canon? Idk. Chemtrails Over the Country Club feels like it had no critical impact this year and I'm fine with that, if only because those who see it as a good album (and it is, maybe one of my faves this year so far) can simply enjoy it without outsized hand-wringing from people who don't feel her vibes to begin with. Anyway, we're getting into Kanye territory with her, where I'm increasingly like "I'm just listening to the music and not really trying to hear about whatever stupid shit she's saying in interviews." Luckily, everything about Kanye's whole deal turned out just fine, so.

Rx Papi, "One Last Dance"

If it were 2011, we'd be having a whole micro-discourse about Rx Papi's whole deal; it's 2021, so instead most of the discourse these days is about whether eating the BTS McDonald's meal is cultural appropriation or something. There are things about Rx Papi that I am absolutely drawn to like a moth to a flame—his delivery, the stream-of-consciousness punchlines, rhyming "John Wayne" with "John Wayne" with "John Wayne." Wish he would cut it out with the homophobic stuff, there's a reason why I can't stand Roc Marciano a bunch of the time. So why is it that I can't stop listening to Rx Papi? Because in between shouting stuff like "I'm in this bitch like I'm in this bitch," he zooms in and has moments of personal vulnerability like this: "Ask my momma a hundred times for J's / I knew she wanna do it from the look in her face / But at the same time she can't afford it / I did a burglary to get Jordans / Every kid in my class had the new Jordans / That shit made me not like Jordan." Pretty good!

Kizis, "Kiss for the Valley"

The Kizis record is, like, eighteen hours long, and it's full of ideas. I highly recommend it if you're someone who likes to be surprised by music. (Kizis used to record under Mich Cota and also made beguiling music under that name as well.) I love this track, it takes a few twists and turns but really comes together fascinatingly near the midpoint.

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Jamie Larson