Singles File: Ghostface Killah, Maria Taylor, Big City, Kid Cudi, Montt Mardie
A weekly playlist for the listener with a one-track mind.
Ghostface Killah featuring Novel: "Message From Ghostface" Ghostface dispenses Dr. Phil-caliber romantic advice over a neo-soul beat on this hastily assembled track. Among other things, he warns against impetuous hookups with abusive, crack-dealing gangstas, even if they smell delicious.
Maria Taylor: "Cartoons and Forever Plans" A former Azure Ray singer turned criminally underestimated solo artist, Taylor specializes in narcotic electro-folk. This happy-ish, countrified new track, from her upcoming "LadyLuck," also features a preternaturally subdued Michael Stipe.
Big City: "How to Rob an Industry Hipster" On this reworking of 50 Cent's classic "How to Rob," the Philly rapper takes on the not-exactly-pressing problem of hipster rappers vs. the regular kind. Other things that make him understandably cranky: skinny jeans, the Neptunes and Asher Roth.
Kid Cudi: "Sky Might Fall" The hipster rapper in chief gets an assist from mentor Kanye West, who produces this trippy (and maybe unfinished?) exercise in multi-tracking. Currently featured in the trailer for the "Transformers" sequel, this may or may not appear on Cudi's sure-to-be-monstrous summer debut, "Man on the Moon: The Guardians."
Montt Mardié: "Det Basta i Varlden" (R. Kelly cover) The Swedish singer specializes in soulful, native-language covers of American R&B classics, for some reason. His latest is a seriously, surprisingly lovely cover of "The World's Greatest."
-- Allison Stewart