5 For Friday: Jorja Smith, Footsie, Ty Dolla $ign & More

The music industry is a large ecosystem filled with multiple artistic expressions. This week we pool together a bunch of releases featuring songs by Summer Walker, Ty Dolla $ign and more. As artists continue to reinvent themselves musically we enter a ‘new normal’ and, frankly, welcome what is yet to come but until then listen to some of the best below.

Ramz – Scratch Cards

It feels like we’re witnessing the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly with the southside rapper Ramz. ‘Scratch Cards’ finds the once stigmatised rapper having the last laugh. He makes an impression on his latest offering which finds him on a drill outfit with big energy and graceful delivery.

Once a dreamer and now a doer, Ramz casts his gaze back to his humble beginnings and revels in the upward trajectory of his journey. “I remember doing night to the day shifts now I just hop out the spaceship,” he raps in a candid manner. Snapping on the 169 production built with saintly keys paired with propulsive drums. It feels like it’s all falling into place for the Mitcham Dreamer as seen in the Kirx Diaz directed visual where Ramz and his peers bounce together in jubilation.

Footsie – Reckless feat. CASISDEAD

Footsie and CASISDEAD keep up with nippy tempos on ‘Reckless’ which receives a visual treatment that coincide with the launch of Footsie’s new channel Studio 55. The visual is set in a DC thematic universe and features the duo spraying diabolical bars.

On ‘Reckless’ all hell breaks loose as grandiose orchestral music collides with grungy grime aesthetics in a free-for-all. High-octane strings and equally hypertensive delivery cranks up the tension with Footsie’s no-nonsense cadence, he raps: “if a man come round me talking sh*t, I make like a barber and fade man.” CASISDEAD adds on to the rough textures with his gravelly voice building on the intensity of the production. The masked rapper runs rampant on ‘Reckless’ with his clear-cut lines where he finds pleasure in success and receiving fellatio from chart-topping singers.

Ty Dolla $ign – Ego Death

Ty Dolla $ign has proven to be adaptable on a wide-range of sonic palettes and could be considered the talisman on feature songs. His acoustic take on Vic Mensa’s cock-eyed ‘Liquor Locker’ showed his range, and on ‘Ego Death’ Ty Dolla $ign amps it up to a new level.

To depart from our own self is what the title track suggests, but if you run through the entirety of ‘Ego Death you’ll soon realise that it stands at odds with Ty Dolla $ign’s output. The Skrillex and BoogzDaBeat production is a 3-in-1 package where seductive EDM and formless R&B converge. Ty Dolla $ign’s sedated notes reverberate over table-knocking percussion of the singer hanging onto the loss of his lover. A grandiose sample of Ultra Nate’s free precedes Kanye’s arrival in which he proceeds to —in typical Kanye fashion— talk his sh*t. “Everybody wanna’ talk everybody wanna’ type, ain’t nobody finna’ do sh*t”, he daringly raps as the production re-shapes. The spellbinding production by Skrillex and BoogzDaBeat coaxes your body to move once FKA twigs tunes in and polishes the cut with her pop-indebted vocals on the outro.


Summer Walker, Usher – Session 32/Come Thru (Live From The BET Awards 2020)

Summer Walker 2019 crusade saw her release her debut album, ‘Over It’, and accumulate a string of sold out shows for The First And Last Tour. The saga continues as she hits the stage for a live rendition of ‘Come Thru’, and ‘Session 32’ at the BET Awards.

In a casual living room set-up, the bonafide singer casts her subtle voice over plush chords that wash like sea waves onto shore. With a guitar in hand, the dazzling singer shows us the ropes in true R&B fashion on ‘Session 32’ backed by pink clouds and all-white furnishing. If ‘Session 32’ makes you feel like you’re floating then ‘Come Thru’ will smother you in a balmy embrace. Summer Walker and her band spruce up the Usher’s ‘90s classic with high-scale keys and luscious bass guitar grooves. Resulting in a rousing duet melding Walker’s pure notes with Usher’s agile vocals in a delightful medley.

Jorja Smith – Rose Rouge

In the words of Audre Lorde, “revolution is not a one time event.” Jorja Smith delivers a tender cover of St. Germain’s Rose Rouge and fans the flames of protest. Sampling the jazzy instrumentation with a modern-touch and calling out for solidarity.

The song opens with the voices of protesters fading into a paced drum beat coated in a squiggly sound-wave. Jorja Smith’s brisk and timely vocals land like a mantric instruction, “I want you to get together, put your hands together one time.” Dotting the score with low-lying notes complimented by sheer keys extending across the moving production embellished with free-flowing horns. The visual which is directed by Samona Olanipekun resembles a portrait with moments taken from the Black Lives Matter protest and powerful quotes from many notable figures.