Lupe Fiasco sure knows how to pick ‘em—by “‘em,” I mean up-and-coming female singer-songwriters whose talents deserve a national platform. Though she took a little longer to make her solo Booth debut than Words I Never Said hook woman Skylar Grey, Little Weapon/Hip-Hop Saved My Life collaborator Nikki Jean demonstrates equally strong potential on Million Star Hotel, a luxuriously-titled standout off her newly-released debut full-length. Here, space-age doo-wop-meets-modern-indie grooves collide with Beatles-esque melodies as the St. Paul representative (Twin Cities what up!) laces Sam Hollander‘s lush production with blissed-out lyrical imagery. Though I wouldn’t have complained about listening to Jean’s breathy, understated brand of vocal smoothness for the full record, there’s no arguing with the quality of this cut’s guest muscle; Fiasco returns the favor on the middle, and Roots frontman Black Thought caps the cut off with a humble, reflective closing 16. Has this dreamy selection left you intrigued? There’s plenty more where this came from on Nikki Jean’s Pennies in a Jar LP, released today and available now in stores and online.
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