Singles Roundup 1/28

Story posted January 28, 2019 in CommRadio, Arts & Entertainment by CommRadio Arts & Entertainment Staff


Beck - "Tarantula"

Beck’s latest cover, “Tarantula”, is inspired by the Netflix film Roma. Originally performed by UK band Colourbox, it is a very slow, poetic sound, incorporating the use of piano as well as echoing vocals. The cover takes a new and darker tone to it, in contrast to the more funky and experimental original version. The track clocks in at about 3:48, approximately three minutes shorter than the original as well.

Beck does a fantastic job channeling the likes of Peter Gabriel in his vocals, while also tapping into the tones of the movie. This track is very dark, sad, and can leave the listener in a bit of a trance. Beck puts out a performance that is much different in comparison to his last album, in a way that is both captivating and yearning for more. – Jack Grossman

Choker – "Petrol Bliss"

22-year-old artist from Michigan, Choker has grown an explosive underground following in recent years. After two very solid albums in 2017 and 2018 respectively, he returns in early 2019 now with a quick, 3-track EP titled Mono No Moto, that teases his musical styling and overall general vibe.

The opening track “Petrol Bliss,” brings in his usual atmospheric sound; wavering keys in the background, soulful backing ad-libs via himself, then at around the 30 second mark he cuts it all for a little vocal riff "what a trip, never slip, I don't miss, I go Gilbert in 06." It's on those last three words that Choker pulls off his smoothest transition to date, into a structurally complex, yet easy to follow beat that the young artist absolutely bodies.

A problem with this track however is that Choker leads into his vocal likeness to Frank Ocean; which albeit sounds like a compliment many strive for, but the flow, alongside the voice, is like an extra verse in the Frank track "Biking", it's almost uncanny.
That aside, Choker is a brilliantly bright new artist that looks to know exactly what he's doing every step of the way. – Matthew Dunn

J. Cole – "Middle Child"

Before the release of “Middle Child,” J Cole wiped his Instagram clean and left fans wondering what was in store. Cole used his social media platforms to create hype reminiscent to how he released KOD last April, after announcing it just four days prior. Cole’s first Instagram post after starting fresh was on January 21 and was the artwork for the single, accompanied by the release date of January 23. The title “Middle Child” derives from Cole’s belief that he is the “middle child” of rap. Cole explains that he is stuck in the middle of two generations in verse two, when he raps, “I'm dead in the middle of two generations, I'm little bro and big bro all at once. Just left the lab with young 21 Savage, I'm 'bout to go and meet Jigga for lunch.” Cole is explaining that he is in a position where he is young enough to be influenced by the older generation, but old enough to be a mentor to the new generation. There is also speculation that Cole is throwing shade at Kanye by referencing the twitter meltdown he had, as a reaction to Drake’s relations to Kim Kardashian. The lyrics reference sneaker sales and taking personal drama to the internet, but does not mention Kanye directly. There was also speculation that Cole’s 2016 single “False Prophets” was a diss towards Kanye. As for the song itself, the clean championship-type beat makes it easy to listen to and Cole’s lyricism is sharp as always. The single does not compare to Cole’s best work, but deserves a listen. It seems that Cole is trying to tell fans there is more in store after a successful 2018, “This gon be a tough year for haters ❤️” said Cole on Twitter. – Connor Trask


Soulja Boy – "Cut Dat Check"

In the last few months, Soulja Boy has been subject to a plethora of news articles, controversies and many, many memes. Soulja Boy has also been making some bold claims about his place in the rap game. From asserting he is the reason Drake is who he is to claiming he is the best rapper out right now. Before the recent controversies and memes, Soulja Boy was relatively quiet on social media about his musical outings. With all that being said, Soulja Boy is seeking to further prove his status in the rap game with his new single “Cut Dat Check.” Unfortunately, Soulja Boy’s newest musical outing doesn’t do much to separate him from his contemporaries. “Cut Dat Check” features a laid back Soulja Boy rapping in the same stagnant flow he has been accustomed to over the last few years. Soulja Boy’s delivery stays consistently low-key throughout the entirety of the track, which wouldn’t be a bad thing if his lyrics in “Cut Dat Check” were not just as bland. The instrumental is a simple drum and synth combo. This minimalistic style is not inherently a bad thing, but is executed so painfully repetitive on “Cut Dat Check” that it only succeeds in hurting the songs replay-ability. This is most prevalent in the songs hook, which is the same stale beat layered with Soulja Boy repeating the title of the song, with only slight variations. “Cut Dat Check” sounds more like a throw away track than a single meant to stand on its own. If Soulja Boy is going to back up some of his more bold claims as of recent, he needs to put more effort and energy into the music he releases going forward. – Zach Hall



Jack Grossman is a junior majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email

Matthew Dunn is a junior majoring in print journalism. To contact him, email

Connor Trask is a senior majoring in telecommunications and minoring in business arts. To contact him, email

Zach Hall is a senior majoring in Broadcast Journalism. To contact him, email