Mavis Staples

Mama Mavis, oh
Mama, they tried my patience
Obama is gone, who is left to save us?
So together we mourn, I’m praying for my neighbors
They say the devil’s at work and Trump is calling favors
You say I’m dangerous, I speak for the nameless
I fly with the vultures, I be with them bangers
If change don’t come, then the change won’t come
If the bands make ‘em dance, then the rain gon’ come
—  Gorillaz feat. Mavis Staples & Pusha T, Let Me Out

Gorillaz || Let Me Out
feat. Pusha T & Mavis Staples


I was tagged by @popliar to post some sweet jams and it only took me like 2 weeks to condense my current jams into something manageable and not discordant (plus that gave me a chance to listen to the new Kendrick). This isn’t a mix because I’d have to cut an EXID song and my heart can’t handle that, but you could play this like a mix if you wanted.

  1. Miss You - Monsta X: I think in the past, this might have ended up as more of a ballad, but instead it has a really nice beat. Though I also like the bridge where the beat drops out and it’s just the piano and the vocals and rap keep the rhythm instead. Good jon, Jooheon.
  2. How Why - EXID: I think the absence of Solji from this ep forced EXID to let the instrumentation play the role of her power vocals and the result is a really chill and laid back collection of songs. There were definitely songs like this on Street (their previous full-length) but it’s definitely been refined. The inclusion of the sounds of the ocean at the beginning and end is chef’s kiss perfect.
  3. Really Really - Winner: So different from Winner’s last release, but they’ve also lost a member so I guess I’m not too surprised. It’s much more in line with what’s popular in music right now with that tropical house sound. It really suits their vocals and rappers though, so the song works. Shoutout to all those LA dancers in the video. But can YG’s obsession with low riders be over now?
  4. The Sun, The Moon In Love - Kisum ft. Pizza: I like this song better than the single Kisum put out with this newest EP. It’s got a great dreamy sound that contrasts well with her delivery, and I don’t know anything else Pizza has done, but he keeps the dreamy mood for the chorus.
  5. 1 Night - Mura Masa ft. Charli XCX: There are actual steel drums in this song, so I’m here for it. I haven’t listened to a ton of Charli’s stuff on her own, but I like her vocals here. Can you tell this list had a certain tone to it?
  6. Velvet - EXID (LE solo): In the grand tradition of Songs LE’s Written about Sex (see: Cream), Velvet is sensual and mature and suits LE’s voice. And just like Cream, you don’t have to know the Korean lyrics to understand what this song is about.
  7. Loyalty. - Kendrick Lamar (ft. Rihanna): A full version is hard to find for free, but god, this beat is everything. I want to grind up on someone when this song comes on? That’s helped by Rihanna being all over the track, but lord the beat.
  8. Bad Love - Seohyun: Some smokey horns and Soehyun’s voice make for another catchy song that I like more than her title track (though I like Don’t Say No plenty). The bridge steps up the instrumentation rather than stripping it down and that makes it great for pumping your fist while singing along. 
  9. Gajah (Elephant) - Gaeko ft. RM: I linked a lyrics video rather than the music video, since there’s some animated body-horror stuff in there. A song about the pressures of life and how you have to keep moving (like an elephant?). Love the trippy guitar sounds in particular. Gaeko’s a legend and his experience shows and Rapmon’s verse holds up well next to him. The instrumentals at the end would be great if they led to something else on a record, but there’s no other release from Gaeko right now, so they seem pointless? RELEASE AN ALBUM GAEKO.
  10. Let Me Out - Gorillaz ft Mavis Staples & Pusha T: New Gorillaz is always a time for joy, but this is my favorite of what they’ve previewed so far. Trust Damon to use Mavis Staples’ voice to its full effect.
  11. Change - RM x Wale: Of course a collab between Rap Monster and Wale would be both about real shit and still uplifting? The piano and pizzicato strings of first two verses, and then the change for the third verse that gets a little darker, a little more serious. Catchy as hell.
  12. Paradise - GOT7: Jinyoung wrote a song that hits all of my tropical house weaknesses and makes me want to shake my butt every time I listen to it. Mark low-talking in my ear throughout the entire song is just unfair.
  13. Memory - Brave Girls: @renquise has it right that this song feels like a sing-a-long in the car, upbeat and joyful. It’s great to hear Hyeran on the track, even if she couldn’t promote Rollin’.
  14. Outro: Wings - BTS: I loved this song before I saw BTS live, but the live version is perfectly placed in their show as the first song of the encore, great for jumping out of your seat as you hit that end-of-concert exhaustion/euphoria state, so now I have even more goodwill towards it. A classic 90s house sound that’s hiding a modern EDM-trap breakdown that lets J-Hope shine twice in one song. His flow serves both rhythms really well. I don’t call him Trap King Hobi for nothing.

Mavis Staples - We Shall Not Be Moved

Horrifying thought.

It came to me the other day, Ibrahim Ferrer died 4 years after recording “Latin Simone”. Ike Turner died two years after recording “Every Planet We Reach is Dead.” Bobby Womack and Lou Reed died shortly after being on Plastic Beach. I’m scared. Someone protect Mavis Staples And Grace Jones!


Prince - Graffiti Bridge

Paisley Park / Warner Bros Records, 1990

Guest artists on this release include; The Time, Mavis Staples, Tevin Campbell, George Clinton, and The NPG.

Art Direction – Tom Recchion
Artwork (Logos) – Margo Chase
Artwork (Cover Illustration) – Steve Parke


“Over the past eight years, Michelle and I have invited some of the best writers and musicians, actors, dancers to share their gifts with the American people, and to help tell the story of who we are, and to inspire what’s best in all of us.” —President Obama paying tribute to this year’s Kennedy Center Honorees: Mavis Staples, Al Pacino, James Taylor, Martha Argerich, and The Eagles.


ICYMI ~ Gorillaz on The LSSC …