While monsoon always brings with it traffic snarls, in most Indian metros, traffic jams are now a given in any season or time of the year. It is a no-brainer that music is the best stress buster. Especially when it comes to traffic. Though music is a very personal choice, here is my list of a few international tracks that are making waves on the charts and are sure to make the waiting in traffic bearable…
If you feel like singing in the rain, go right ahead!
1. Passionfruit by Drake
Not just because this song is the best that new Drake can be. He is not that weak and cheerless rapper anymore who only cried about failed relationships and a career going south. The song is not quite a dancehall imitation, but rather, it blends his version of the Jamaican genre with undertones of adult contemporary – rendered in a strong and confident voice, not a wobbly or vibrating falsetto. “Passionfruit” showcases the best things about the rapper: his sensitivity, his ability to craft a dance-worthy beat, yet a playfulness and a certain amount of positivity. The song’s soft drums—accented with snares that flutter rather than hit will pair perfectly with the soft drumming of raindrops.
2. Mask Off by Future
This trap rap/ Southern hip-hop number can best be described as hypnotic – one that you will be compelled to play on a loop. The cold dark and minimal production sets a great stage for Future’s typical lazy/slurred trap rapping. The flute lick in the background is not the only highpoint of the score. The drums aren’t abrasive either, sitting perfectly in the mix, and with just the right about of bass needed in a traffic snarl. The flow of the Atlanta rapper’s voice is also intriguing – from a bouncy, playful delivery to rapping like he’s half asleep in the middle of counting his money. In just a two week period, the track became a dominant presence at Spotify, garnering over 17 million plays in the U.S. alone. Listen to it – you will know why.
3. Unforgettable by French Montana
French Montana teamed up with Rae Sremmurd’s Swae Lee on this track that relies on Afrobeats to make it the trippy number that it is. The video, that was shot in Kampala, Uganda shows locals having a good time with French and Swae Lee, and we see them hitting some crazy dance moves in unison. The poignant return to his motherland in Africa is underscored by French’s strong connection to the Triplets Ghetto Kids, and to the emotional crowds of Kampala locals who embraced him on his journey. The pure joy they take in their music and dancing transcends the extreme poverty of the region. The entire project is now the subject of a deeply uplifting documentary film as well. Numerous celebrities, including Travis Scott participated in the ‘Unforgettable Dance Challenge’ on social media for the single that was originally released on French Montana’s birthday in November of 2016, but quickly removed from all streaming services and websites shortly after the song was made public. In April of 2017, French announced the re-release of the infectious track that promises to take your rain-infused euphoria to another level.
4. Swalla by Jason Derulo ft. Nicki Minaj & Ty Dolla $ign
Reminiscent of Robert Palmer’s iconic Eighties videos, “Swalla” features Derulo dancing, singing and strutting alongside a quartet of similarly styled models. But that is not the only thing that is charming about this number. Swalla starts off with a tropical house vibe. That’s followed by a monster chorus that makes this dance-pop/ electro-pop/ dancehall/ pop-rap number a no-brainer for every party for the next six months. Dolla $ign does sing way better than Derulo. Try it, it will lift your spirits quite a bit.
5. Attention by Charlie Puth
His debut album, Nine Track Mind was panned universally, but with Attention, Charlie Puth redeems himself. The single from his sophomore album is true to Puth’s organic sound while putting a surprising R&B flare on the overall aesthetic. It is a smart and suave R&B/pop experiment. Puth’s falsetto was among his strong suits on Nine Track Mind, and it’s even stronger on his performance on “Attention” – save for that moment where his voice cracks…briefly. And I’m not going to spoil it for you by telling you where. Talking of lyrics, the best lyrical moment occurs on the pre-chorus: “I know that dress is karma, perfume regret / You got me thinking about when you were mine…” The groovy beat and the noticeable charm are simply bonuses in the long run…or, your drive.
Text by Mr Nakulogic