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Gucci Mane's Dirty Cup and other essential tracks

Radric Davis, better known by his stage name Gucci Mane, is an American rapper.

Hip-Hop: Dirty Cup

Gucci Mane featuring 2 Chainz, from the forthcoming Trap House 3: The Guwop Edition (1017 Brick Squad/Asylum/Warner); streaming here

Gucci Mane is the mush-mouthed Alfred E. Neuman of rap, rhyming about toting uzis and slugging back sizzurp with a perpetually befuddled "Who, me?" persona. But as simple as his hooks may be ("my cup so dirty / my cup so muddy / dirty cup, dirty cup, damn I got a muddy cup"), his rhymes can be dazzling. The star of director Harmony Korine's forthcoming Spring Breakers rhymes "flick," "slick," "quick," "TwitPic" and "pool stick" (and a couple of other, less savoury "-ick" words) in the space of two lines, shifting effortlessly between boasting about his girlfriend and shrugging at being accused of attacking someone with a pool cue in the early 2000s. "Be all you can be, don't be like me, mane." The army ain't easy, but being Gucci is doubtlessly harder than it sounds.

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Pop-rock: Eyes like Sky

Frank Ocean; unreleased single streaming here

From the first chiming acoustic guitars and hope-and-change lyrics, you may think this was a lost track from Train or the Goo Goo Dolls, not neo-soul critical darling Frank Ocean. But there's a crooked line from Joni Mitchell through Prince to this kind of social conscience-flaunting pop-rock, and even if the lyrical conceit is a smidge corny for some tastes, there's no question Ocean can nail a vocal in a wide range of styles.

R&B: Heaven for the Sinner

Bonobo featuring Erykah Badu, from the forthcoming The North Borders (Ninja Tune); streaming here

The earliest Chicago house music frequently invoked the gospel tradition, and Erykah Badu may have been thinking of it when she turned stalwart British down-tempo producer Bonobo's glistening, moist and sun-dappled beat into a song about salvation. "God is ready, when you're ready," she croons, but we sinners get a taste of heaven anyways – especially when the strings come in.

Indie-dance: Pretty Boy

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Young Galaxy (remixed by Peaking Lights), from the forthcoming Ultramarine (Paper Bag); streaming here

Now that they've fully embraced the dance side of their sound, Young Galaxy seem comfortable enough to nod back to the pop-rock they started with, in a roundabout way. Pretty Boy is as anthemic as the Who's Baba O'Riley yet musically subdued; remixer Peaking Lights turns it into a dance-floor filler reminiscent of New Order (Love Vigilantes, The Perfect Kiss and Age of Consent for those keeping score at home) with added bleeps and hand drumming.

Hip-hop video: BBQ Sauce

Sean Price featuring Pharaohe Monch, from Mic Tyson (Duck Down); streaming here

If you enjoyed the vintage aesthetics ofArgo's titles, then this video from Boot Camp Clik co-founder Sean Price will basically make you lose your mind. Not only is there a veritable avalanche of archival footage, and lens filters making Price look like he was in it, the recitation of achievements such as being inducted into "The Dingleberry Pines Equestrian and Polo Club." Bonus points for Pharaohe Monch's hilarious n-word warning: "White people please do not recite the chorus, if you do we'll wash your mouth with Lavoris." (That's a mouthwash, honky.)

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About the Author
Editor, Globe Unlimited (Business)

Dave Morris joined the Globe and Mail in 2010 as Associate Editor of Report on Business Magazine. Born in St. John's, he graduated from Princeton University in 2003 and has written for publications including The Walrus and Maisonneuve. He has been nominated twice for Canada's National Magazine Awards. More

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