If I were to draw a Venn diagram depicting “Hip-hop songs conducive to booty-shaking” and “Hip-Hop songs with a thoughtful perspective on female body-image issues,” the white space where those two circles intersect would likely be too small to see without a magnifying glass. Never the types to follow pop convention, however, Res and Talib Kweli of Idle Warship stretch the boundaries of that damn-near-microscopic space with Laser Beams, the latest release off their forthcoming deubt full-length. Here, DJ Khalil gets things moving with a upbeat, guitar-laced surf rhythm as the neo-soul crooner and the conscious-rap vet take aim at the vacuity of modern beauty standards—the former expressing her dissatisfaction in cryptically biting sung couplets (”Black girls in magazines, heart breakin’ out the seams…”) and the latter admitting the paradoxical allure of manufactured beaty (”Still I just can’t look away…”) on the back. Does this catchy cut leave you craving more alternative-pop bangers from the Northeastern trio (Graph Nobel rounds out the lineup, despite not appearing here)? Seek and you shall find on freshman collaborative set Habits of the Heart, scheduled to drop October 24, via Blacksmith/Element 9/Fontana.
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