The Washington Post

Critic’s Notebook: Gorgeous Children; 7 Days of Funk; R. Kelly

Notable recordings from the world of pop music.

Gorgeous Children’s new mixtape “Ice” is exquisite. (Courtesy of VASE.)

WARNING: The songs streaming below contain explicit lyrics.

Gorgeous Children

This rising duo’s extraordinary new mixtape, “Ice,” proves how vivid rap music can be 20 years after the fantastic arrival of the Wu-Tang Clan. Rapper Face Vega talks trash as viciously as anyone in A$AP Mob — but in a tone of voice better suited for booty calls — while producer Gila Monster frames all of that intimate bluster with beats that evoke sizzling grease, melting snow, shattering glass and disintegrating jazz.

7 Days of Funk

Snoop Dogg. Snoop Lion. Snoopzilla. Regardless of the suffix, he plays well with others. On Sunday night in Washington, Snoop shared the Kennedy Center stage with a slew of jazz icons to pay tribute to fellow West Coaster Herbie Hancock.

Now he’s teaming up with outsider-funk producer Dam-Funk as 7 Days of Funk for an eponymous debut of electro-funk head-bobbers. It’s Snoop’s strongest offering since 2004’s “R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta): The Masterpiece.” It might be Dam’s best ever.

R. Kelly

We raid R. Kelly’s albums for jaw-dropping punchlines, too often taking the man’s jaw-dropping musicality for granted. Too bad, then, that the scales have fallen out of balance on “Black Panties,” a new collection heavy with NC-17 babble but light on melodies that dare us to sing along. On the standout track, “Genius,” Kells admits that scandalizing the universe isn’t as easy as it used to be: “I know you heard it all before.”

Chris Richards has been the Post's pop music critic since 2009. He's recently written about the bliss of summer songs, the woe of festival fatigue and a guide on how to KonMari your record collection.



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