DOPE Digest is a weekly roundup of pop culture miscellany, with succinct analysis from our contributors.
Demi Lovato feat. Cher Lloyd – “Really Don’t Care”
syvo: This video came out a few weeks ago, and I must say: this song is pretty much everything I want in a summer jam, guys. I feel like this should be getting more attention, especially as we settle firmly into the backlash against “Fancy.” I love the energetic and celebratory tone coupled with the intensely bitter lyrics, which nimbly adapt the immortal Swiftian concept of “we are never ever ever getting back together…like, ever.”
Additionally, I know Nicki Minaj is enjoying some renewed relevance, but have you guys heard of my current favorite female rapper? CHER LLOYD! As longtime readers/listeners are aware, I’m a pretty serious, pretty shameless Cher Lloyd fan. That means I have to defend her even when she raps, which she seems to locate as her “true” artistic calling. It almost totally works in a certain remote way here. No?
BK: Another day, another Cher Lloyd SMASH. Demi has been relatively quiet since Heart Attack and I’m glad to see her back in the ‘relevant young pop-star’ mix. This song proves that Cher and Demi belong in the conversation with Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, Jessie J and Iggy Azalea in the race for best song of the summer. Who is having that conversation, you ask? Probably just me and you syvo, but whatever.
Personally, I can’t get enough saccharine pop music and I hope they (whoever they are) keep churning it out.
AMC’s Better Call Saul Teaser
syvo: This new teaser is so short, yet so sweet. It’s been less than a year since Breaking Bad‘s conclusion left a hole in so many lives; even the smallest reminder of such a fantastic modern work goes a long way. Saul was the show’s best character apart from the two leads, and it’s an interesting move for AMC to shift the tone and focus with this kind of quirky prequel. I think this show will be good, but probably not the kind of A-list good that forces me to watch it (no new shows, no no new).
BK: I have tried over and over to find fault with Breaking Bad, and over and over again I fail completely. That show was amazing – I loved it and I miss it. Every single person gave a career-defining performance, and perhaps no one more than Bob Odenkirk. A versatile character actor for two decades ( I didn’t remember him from Wayne’s World but I do now), it’s great to see someone so talented and underexposed get such a highly-anticipated show.
I agree with you syvo, I think it will be a solid show and perhaps even better than that. Vince Gilligan is a great show-runner and Odenkirk is charismatic enough to carry a show on his own. I’m hoping for the best, and anxiously awaiting a longer trailer. Seriously, 10 seconds? Come on.
Say Lou Lou feat. Lindstrøm – “Games for Girls”
syvo: We’re big fans of Swedish dancey dream-pop around here. This new track from Miranda and Elektra Kibley makes me wish the two would drop a full-length already. But alas, it doesn’t look like we’ll see Lucid Dreaming (à Deux) until early 2015. Until then..
eBK: I’m a big fan of Say Lou Lou as documented on this site, and I was excited to get word about their new single ‘Games for Girls’. Unfortunately, I haven’t come to love it as quickly as I did ‘Everything we Touch’. Their latest track is much less danceable and less instantly-catchy, but does still have enough appeal that I’m sold on this band.
They don’t have any American tour dates until the Fun Fun Fun festival in Austin in November, and that’s almost enough reason to make the trek down south. That and the BBQ.
I’ll be on the lookout for their NYC show.
Theory of Everything Trailer
syvo: Braden, are you ready for a story about true love, crippling disease, timeless existential ponderings, and the elusive unification of theoretical physics? I damn well hope so, bro! The coming Stephen Hawking biopic has remarkable upside potential, but will require a very deft touch lest it devolve into vagaries, sentimentality, and self-parody. It’d hard to tell; director James Marsh is primarily a documentarian and this is the first original screenplay by writer Anthony McCarten. Personally, I’m super on-board.
BK: I had major reservations about watching this trailer at all, and I’m not totally sure why. I’ve always been quietly fascinated by Steven Hawking, especially the more human aspects of his story. It feels particularly cruel that the smartest man in the world became a prisoner in his own body, but then I guess I shouldn’t feel too bad for him since he’s done more from that wheelchair than most able-bodied people will do in their whole lives.
The film itself looks surprisingly sweet, and if it can avoid getting bogged down in the sentimentality it might be a sleeper.
Jeezy feat. The Game and Rick Ross – Beautiful
BK: Two weeks of Jeezy in a row!? Well of course!
This week’s track shows off the quieter side of Young Jeezy as he brings a couple of rap stalwarts along for the ride – The Game and Rick Ross. As much as I love a good Jeezy jam (and I do), it’s hard not to notice that he is the worst rapper on this track. The Game and Rozay are both on point and sound as good as ever. Its good to hear a group of rap’s elder statesmen giving the Drake’s of the world a run for their money.
syvo: I’m liking this track. Any time Rick Ross can be involved in anything, I support it as a matter of social responsibility. His last album was beyond underrated.
DOPE Throwback: Big L – “Put It On”
syvo: In the cliched Millennial debate between Biggie and Tupac, I’ll always choose Big L. “Put It On” is the first track off of Lamont Coleman’s debut album Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous, and MAN is it a track. His schematic rhyme structure and impossibly smooth flow are as exciting to hear today as they were in 1995. The record was an instant classic and continues to resonate today; at once funny, mean, cynical and socially conscious, Big L accomplished on one album more than most rappers do with ten.
BK: Big L was a genius and this track is as good as there is in hip-hop history. That is not a hopped-up DOPE Digest exaggeration, it’s a simple fact. I’l be listening to Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous for the rest of the day and I suggest you all do the same.