“1000” – N.E.R.D. ft. Future
Beginning with Pharrell’s signature four-count start, “1000”—the newest single from recently reunited N.E.R.D.—bounces around for four minutes, packed with samples and jittery exclamations. Pharrell calls out, “Holy shit it’s working, we all got in,” referencing the inclusion of members of N.E.R.D. and featured artist Future. The track bounces between the meaning of “1000” as luxury (thousands of dollars), the artists’ experience, and the amplification (1,000 percent) of N.E.R.D.’s and Future’s new lives. Pharrell’s unique beat-making tendencies are clear in the haphazardness of “1000.” The track moves from a hard-hitting, syncopated verse in which Future ends each bar with the word “thousand” to boast of his Rick Owens boots and Ferragamo belt (etc.), to a bridge featuring Shay Haley that could be over a chopped-up sample from Super Smash Bros. Looking at the track as a whole, it feels like N.E.R.D. can’t really make up its mind on where it wants to go with this song. The space and flow of the beat and accompanying vocals ultimately don’t really fit together. N.E.R.D.’s next record, titled No One Ever Really Dies, after their acronym, is due out Dec. 15 and will feature guests M.I.A., Ed Sheeran, Andre 3000, Gucci Mane, Wale, and Kendrick Lamar. Hopefully, it will have a greater sense of cohesion.
“Blissing Me” – Björk
The second song released in advance of Björk’s album Utopia, this track is an escalating electronic ballad about “two music nerds obsessing” who fall in love through swapping music. It starts out with a dream-like harp melody and moves to a rhythmic, experimental pop sound infused with oscillating hums and croons.
“Codeine Dreaming” – Kodak Black ft. Lil Wayne
Kodak enlists Lil Wayne on the final single before his Project Baby 2: All Grown Up to convey the dreamlike high caused by codeine and various other drugs. Kodak and Wayne both deliver similarly witty, wordplay-driven bars over a gliding, hard-hitting gem of a beat.
Featured Image by Columbia Records