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Music

The track earning breakout Compton rapper Roddy Ricch millions of YouTube views

Roddy Ricch performs at the 7th annual BET Experience at Staples Center.
Roddy Ricch performs at the seventh annual BET Experience at Staples Center on June 21, 2019.
(Scott Dudelson / Getty Images)

Wilkes, “Shivaya” (Leaving)

Last autumn bassist Sam Wilkes loaded a bunch of AstroTurf into the Highland Park Ebell Club to dampen the acoustics, rolled in some high-fidelity recording gear and invited some musicians and listeners to join him for a session. The first piece from the resulting recording is a cover of an Alice Coltrane song, part of an eight-track instrumental album called “Live on the Green” that comes out Nov. 8.

A velveteen recording that exudes warmth, it showcases Wilkes’ skills at tapping low frequencies as the seeds of melodic ideas. Wilkes eases through “Alma,” a slow ballad featuring, as with all of the album, frequent collaborator Sam Gendel on alto sax, keyboardist Jacob Mann on Roland and Korg synths, Christian Euman on drums and dueling guitarists Adam Ratner and Brian Green.

On “Sivaya,” Wilkes harnesses a 1977 Alice Coltrane composition to create a swirl of meditative cocktail jazz. Best is “Descending.” Originally issued on Wilkes’ 2018 self-titled album, this new version is propelled by a synthetic rhythm, around which Wilkes and band build a transfixing circle of sound.

Roddy Ricch, “Start Wit Me (feat. Gunna)” (Atlantic)

The new video from the 20-year-old breakout Compton rapper opens with a drone shot that shows his neighborhood from above. Soon we’re inside one of the homes. Over the next three minutes as Ricch conveys grim drama while walking with a Rolls-Royce, the clip documents the various stages of an ambush murder: the angry living-room debate among the participants; the gun-cocking moment they commit to doing the deed; the drive up the block; and the killing itself. (Warning: The below clip contains cussing.)

Across front-loaded couplets that name check basketball players Scottie Pippen and Larry Bird, brands Givenchy, Cartier, Barney’s and Bentley and rap couple Cardi B and Offset, the artist pours forth with the confidence of a center-stage attraction. Taken from his forthcoming album, tentatively titled “Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial,” the clip won’t win him any awards from Crimestoppers. But in the few days that it’s been on YouTube, it’s already earned him millions of views.

Brainstory, “Beautyful Beauti” (Big Crown)

Self-described purveyors of “some stoned-out West Coast swag,” this trio of Inland Empire musicians lays it all out on the first video from their upcoming album, “Buck” (Nov. 15). As a clean, picked electric guitar loops to introduce the melody, the three are shown opening a cabinet to find a quartet of weed canisters.

Smiling like Cheech Marin, singer-guitarist Kevin Martin picks a strand called Beautyful Beauti, grinds the flowers and rolls four joints. He, bassist-brother Tony Martin and drummer Eric Hagstrom light them up and smoke them. And smoke them. Then they hop on 10-speed bikes to go for a ride.

Raised just east of San Bernardino in Rialto, brothers Kevin and Tony Martin were born into a musical family — their father, Big Tone, assumes lead vocals on “Peter Pan” — and that sibling connection is apparent. Mixing soul, funk and rock with a lovely casualness, the band can sound like a slowed-down, psychedelic Sublime one moment and a soulful version of the Grateful Dead the next. That it was recorded at noted analog studio the Diamond Mine in Queens, N.Y., is apparent in the recording’s warmth.


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