The 5 Best Songs We Heard This Week: All Kendrick Everything

With our intrepid music editor Jillian Mapes braving SXSW this week, it’s fallen to those of us still left at snowy Flavorwire central to keep you updated on the best songs of the last seven days. Happily, it’s been a hell of a good seven days for music, largely thanks to one K. Lamar, who released a flat-out masterpiece over the weekend. As well as Kendrick, though, there’s new Leonard Cohen, along with a bunch of other interesting stuff. Click though to listen.

Kendrick Lamar — “u”

Really, this week’s column could just be, “The Best Songs We Heard This Week: Every Damn Song Off The Kendrick Lamar Record.” But if we had to choose one, at this point it’s probably “u,” which functions as the album’s conceptual centerpiece. As I discussed earlier this week, the song forms a dramatic contrast with lead single “i,” and finds Lamar questioning himself and everything around him. — Tom Hawking


 

Leonard Cohen — “Never Gave Nobody Trouble”

“I never gave nobody trouble,” confesses Cohen on this unreleased original, which was recorded at a soundcheck on his recent world tour, “But it’s never too late to start.” Our hero is growing old disgracefully, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. This track will apparently feature on a new live record called Can’t Forget, which is due out on May 18. — TH


 

Chic — “I’ll Be There”

Chic’s Nile Rodgers is having a Moment — and he’s been having it for a while now, thanks to Daft Punk’s 2013 album, Random Access Memories. He and his band Chic are releasing a new album in June, and it’s their first since 1992’s Chic-ism. This new single, which is a collaboration with house producers the Martinez Brothers, is basically straight out of the late ’70s, and it’s all the better for it. The Karlie Kloss-starring video ain’t bad, either. — Shane Barnes


 

Flatbush Zombies feat Skepta — “Redeye to Paris”

A latter-day Three Six Mafia beat with a shout-out to Whole Foods (“It’s organic!”) — such is the state of New York rap these days. Seriously, though, this is pretty ace, and it features UK grime MC Skepta, whose endearingly accented flow sounds not unlike Tricky on early Massive Attack records. — TH


 

Blur — “There Are Too Many Of Us”

In which Damon Albarn, et al take on the subject of overpopulation. This is a curious piece of work — it sounds like some sort of lost Albarn side project rather than anything Blur have made together in the past. This isn’t to say that it’s bad, and if anything it’s interesting that Blur are still exploring new musical ideas together, but it takes some getting used to. — TH