​Yes or No, Vol. 6: Kendrick Lamar, The Decemberists & K. Michelle


Y: Kendrick Lamar’s “i” already replaced “Happy” as the official optimist’s anthem. The video is just as spirited. A dance party leads into scenes of Kendrick bopping happily while passing people on the street, including a wino and a domestic abuser. Not really a beautiful day in the neighborhood, but he makes the most of it. I had a hard time connecting with this song at first beyond my appreciation for its positivity, but it’s grown on me. [YouTube]

Y: On “Maybe I Should Call,” K. Michelle’s debates whether love is worth rekindling a tricky relationship with a dude who’s got a baby. “Heart feeling useless/ Probably should’ve used it less,” she sings. Turning trifling situations into gospel is clearly her sweet spot. [VIBE]

N: The answer to whether we needed a DJ Mustard remix of Clean Bandit’s “Rather Be” is no. The extra bass and chopped and screwed elements just get in the way.[Stereogum]

Y: The Decemberists’ “Make You Better” deals with the loss of a great love that’s “not so starry-eyed anymore.” It’s from their album, What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World (all album titles should be so straightforward) and it’s ready for a fall rainy day playlist. [Stereogum]

Y: A miserable employee has a meltdown in Diarrhea Planet’s “Kids” and it reminds me of Office Space. When you’re stressed, just run half-naked in the streets. [Stereogum]

N: In “Julius Caesar,” a masked French Montana shows off his fleet of (rented?) cars as director Elf Rivera drops in visuals of the Vegas skyline and Caesar art. These things have nothing in common. Nothing to see here. [Complex]

Y: Nick Jonas’ nasal delivery is a little more tolerable on this remix of “Jealous,” featuring Tinashe. [That Grape Juice]

Y: Teyana Taylor’s album, VII, has a slow and sexy vibe to it, and an old soul spirit. I’m not crazy impressed with her vocal range, but Kanye’s description of the album as “so R&B, so black, so hood” is accurate. [iTunes]

Y: Miguel’s raspy morning voice is the best part of Ludacris’ “Good Lovin’,” a song for all the lonely people. [Hypebeast]

Y: On “So Good,” Rochelle Jordan uses her breathy falsetto to shit all over an ex and explain that she’s better without him. P.S. the sex was bad. [This Is RnB]

What else did you hear this week?

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