AN EXCLUSIVE WEEKLY COLUMN BY ITEM MAGAZINE, OFFERING AN ARRAY OF NEWLY SELECTED UNDERGROUND & MAINSTREAM MUSIC TO BRING MUSE TO YOUR MONDAYS (AND THE REST OF THE WEEK, TOO!)
BY CONTRIBUTOR TRE FLOREZ
Hello iTEM Readers,
Welcome to 2018! The end of 2017 was a busy-busy time for iTEM Mag contributors and the Editor. We took some much needed time for rest, readjustments, studio work and project planning during our intermission, and we are happy to be back! This #MuzeMondaze playlist is kicking off our 2018 with a list of our top 18 songs that are keeping us inspired into the new year! Take a listen, enjoy, and leave feedback on what you’re vibing with, and what you’re not-so-into. We will be back next Monday with our weekly bangers.
1. Finesse (Remix) - Bruno Mars feat. Cardi B
Bruno’s latest single is a remix of Finesse, now featuring Cardi B. The pop superstar and the gaining momentum rapper, are the duo we never knew we needed. And then, as if it were nothing at all, this dropped.
2. Lemon - N.E.R.D. & Rihanna
Lemon was the first N.E.R.D. single to hear in years and man was it a treat. Don’t think you like the song? Watch the video (which was one of the best freestyle dance videos of 2017). It’s iconic.
3. Down to the Bottom - Dorothy
Dorothy needs love, and we’ve got it for her and this pick especially. “Down to the Bottom”, inspires just enough head-banging and all of the red-lip sass you need in your life. We can't wait to see them again, live in San Francisco this February. READ THE FEATURE ARTICLE ON DOROTHY'S FREEDOM TOUR HERE.
4. Pull Up - Star Cast
Fox’s hit show, “Star", has had all the fashion and music addicted since the airing of season one. We are patiently waiting and ready for season three to come back in 2018. But until then, Pull Up is at the top of our list!
5. Loyalty - Kendrick Lamar feat. Rihanna
With DAMN being one of 2017’s hottest selling and record setting albums, we just had to add this all time fav track to this playlist. Rihanna’s guest track is having us looking forward to staying loyal to her Navy, into this new year of fashion enterprise surprises.
6. On the Road - Syd
We first wrote about this song for the week of 9/11 and we are still in love with this gender-bending track. The chill demeanor of the song, as well as the changing sound dynamics within, have us craving more from the rising rapper Syd.
7. The Weekend - SZA
SZA had a very successful 2017, and the latest single from her album CTRL, “The Weekend” is our latest and timeless obsession. Check out the funky remix with Calvin Harris, too! The song is about how she “shares” her man with another woman, and well, SZA has the weekend shift apparently. Let the song inspire you to not do as she says and keep your own man.
8. My Song - H.E.R
The latest love letter of a song by H.E.R. is a beautiful ballad about the way she loves and how amazing the past loves of her life have her in her feelings. Start your year off right with the same feels from one of item’s all time favorite artists! H.E.R, is one of the most anticipated artists that we expect to shine even brighter in 2018. You can count on it; we just know it.
9. Crash & Burn - G-Eazy feat. Kehlani
Bay Area natives G-Eazy & Kehlani’s, "Crash and Burn", is a duet about how success can be taken away as quickly as it comes. Eazy’s 2017 album The Beautiful & Damned was released in mid December and this is one our top picks from the album. G-Eazy and Kehlani collabs always seem to do the Bay Area justice.
10. M I L K - LeiKeli47
In 2017, we spoke highly of the emerging masked female rapper from Brooklyn, covering the hit song “Miss Me”. Of course, we are still in love, except now we are blasting M I L K in the studio. The lyrics are about LeiLeki’s makeup and how hers make her skin look like milk. Comical, yes. And aspirational as always! With all the makeup goodness we got last year, we hope for this to be the theme song for all the fresh faced ladies rolling into the new year looking like bad bishes.
11. Live in the Moment - Portugal. The man
In 2017, Portugal. The man’s “Woodstock” album turned heads and became one of the top alternative albums of the year. Live in the Moment not only complements our identity of being 'in this exact moment' but it is a catchy, warm song, that can really pull in new fans. Give it a listen and also take a gander at the full album. We promise the alternative genre fans, you will not be disappointed!
12. Saved - Khalid
2017 was also a huge year for young newcomer, Khalid. His debut album American Dream was a huge success after his lead single “Location.” His most recent release, Saved is a light and upbeat song about how he keeps his crushes number saved (in his phone) so that one day he can try to make his move. If you came into 2018 single, this song may just be the one to save you.
13. Honey - Kehlani
R&B superstar-newcomer Kehlani is always reinventing her sound for fans, with this track being a much lighter sound. Featuring just her voice and an acoustic guitar, the track is beautifully written and very raw. The track is about a female lover and what she loves about her most. We cannot - CAN NOT - wait for Kehlani’s new album and to see her live again and again and again. So until then, enjoy honey.
14. Ride Slow - Russ
2017 was surely also the year of rapper Russ. With his debut studio album, “There’s Really a Wolf”, debuting halfway through the year and made waves on the top 100 charts. The multi-talented rapper has been popular with the young adult crowd for the past few years and has really made his mark on the hip-hop scene, in such a very short amount of time. His latest, Ride Slow, is punningly more slow and somber than we are used to; but is a great post-breakup song for you newly single readers. Russ never does the same thing twice! He stays mixing it up.
15. All the Stars - Kendrick Lamar & SZA
Kendrick Lamar, the executive producer for the upcoming and highly anticipated Marvel film, Black Panther, has released the first single from the soundtrack - All the Stars. The song is slow to the recognizable SZA tempo style, but has smash lyrics like a typical Lamar track. But nothing is typical about these two musical hustlers! Get it fam.
16. Filthy - Justin Timberlake
Justin Timberlake is set to take the big stage at this year’s Superbowl Halftime Show and is releasing his next studio album "Man in the Woods", shortly following. The first single, Filthy, is a sexy, but safe groove in the realm of JT’s more recent work. We are so digging it; the end really has a vibe of its own, for sure.
17. God Save Our Young Blood - BØRNS & Lana Del Rey
BØRNS’ new single is very transic and so, the featured Lana Del Rey fits right in with the theme. God Save Our Young Blood, is about a new fling and how fast they are moving; which quite frankly, some of us can relate to.
18. Symptoms - Devin Dawson
Before the release of his first studio album, Dark Horse, Devin Dawson released “Symptoms". It is a post-breakup track with deep lyrics. Devin’s voice is sultry over the part country - part bluesy music. It’s safe to say this may be our first full on Country music obsession! Never thought you’d hear a streetwear magazine say that, now did you?
Tyler J. Drinnen, is the Founder and Editor in Chief of iTEM MAGAZINE,
a poet and freelance fashion writer, photographer and abstract visual content producer.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media Studies from Sonoma State University, where he wrote a weekly Opinion Column For
The Star, dabbled with his own radio podcast format, titled Saturday Nite Scandal, and helped to create one of the first of 25 Professional Student Lead PR Firms in the USA.
From there on, he continued his work by interning with Sonoma Discoveries Magazine and then shortly after wrote and interned for Fashion School Daily, where he solidified his love for feature writing and working with emerging talents from around the world.
In December of 2016, he received an Honorary Master of Arts in Fashion Journalism from the Academy of Art University. And what an achievement that was, to be the first in his program to have graduated a full semester early. Bringing him to four degrees in a short five and a half years, nothing will stop him from bringing art to the eyes of many.
He has worked in the fashion industry for nearly a decade, from commercial retail management to corporate level ghost writing. Now - he the poet - T.J.D. takes his life public with the independent launch of the urban California lifestyle based fashion-art movement, iTEM MAGAZINE: A Platform For Rising Artists.