Lil Nas X, Lil Uzi Vert and Lil Duval make your week a lil easier: your Press Play-list for the week of Nov. 16

Bart Carmody, Arts Editor

It seems like every week now, we’re mentioning a new, unexpected, obscure collaboration between artists far out of each other’s genres and timelines.

This week’s playlist is no exception– Future and Lil Uzi Vert dropped their long-anticipated collab “Pluto x Baby Pluto,” complete with both hard-hitting collaborative tracks and solo tracks from each artist. And far more unforeseen is the absurd collab between nostalgia-pop electronic duo 3OH!3 and current rulers of PC Music 100 gecs, with their single “LONELY MACHINES.”

All this and more, here’s your Press Play-list for the week of Nov. 16.

Billie Eilish – “Therefore I Am”

Kicking off this playlist sounding like a mean, catchy chorus machine is pop sensation Billie Eilish with her new short, sweet and delightfully spiteful new single, “Therefore I Am.” The song immediately opens up with Eilish bluntly singing “I’m not your friend,” only a portion of one of her catchiest choruses yet. Eilish then breaks into several verses that alternate between alluringly intimidating vocal sections and spoken-word sections that manage to capture the same self-aware malevolence that her notorious #1 hit “bad guy” does. Be sure to pair this drum-heavy banger with the accompanying music video, in which Eilish creates chaos in L.A.’s empty Glendale Galleria mall, hopping counters and looting concession stands to perfectly match this malicious new track.

Future & Lil Uzi Vert – “Real Baby Pluto”

After releasing two singles earlier this year, and teasing a collaborative project on several occasions, trapstars Future and Lil Uzi Vert had the world praying that their fabled “Pluto x Baby Pluto” project was finally underway. And sure enough, on Nov. 13, the two delivered. With the deluxe version standing at 24 tracks, the project is unsurprisingly a collection of back-to-back bangers. The track “Real Baby Pluto” specifically sounds more like an Uzi song featuring Future, but the two rappers still manage to shine without outshining the other, delivering some of their fastest-spit bars in a while. Complete with an unmistakable, piano-filled beat by Atlanta’s very own Zaytoven, it’s a track that fits perfectly in an album of fresh trap anthems.

Lil Nas X – “HOLIDAY”

After taking the world by storm in 2019 with the omnipresent “Old Town Road,” the remix king Lil Nas X is back with his first official single in almost two years, season-appropriately titled “HOLIDAY.” Featuring production by Tay Keith and Take a Daytrip, the song is one of the rapper/singer’s more braggadocios, yet trap-centric, jingles. Apt for a holiday-themed track, the synthesizer-driven beat is crisp, icy and cool, but isn’t spared by any of Lil Nas X’s flair for self-awareness, as just one of the several clever bars on this thing are “I snuck into the game, came in on a horse/I pulled a gimmick, I admit it, I got no remorse.” Just as fun as the song is the Gibson-Hazard-directed music video, and with Michael J. Fox and even Santa Claus himself being some of the cameos present, it is absolutely worth the watch.

3OH!3 & 100 gecs – “LONELY MACHINES”

Now, at the risk of catching any flack for such a hot take, it’s arguable that 2008’s version of PC Music duo 100 gecs was the tongue-in-cheek electronic duo 3OH!3. And what better time for the two pop icons to come together than in the incredibly weird year of 2020? “LONELY MACHINES” is the first single of the year for both artists, and is additionally 3OH!3’s first official single since 2016 – and the “DONTTRUSTME”-homaging line “You tell your boyfriend if he still got beef/That over time, it’s gonna give him heart disease” – shows that the two have not lost their tongue-in-cheek touch. The two duos’ obscurist pop productions mesh together perfectly to form a tumultuous laser-filled single, along with one of Laura Les’s trademark in-your-face verses popping out perfectly in the middle of the track. The track is tumultuous, grating and overall fun. “About a year ago, Nat and I found ourselves unsigned, unmanaged and frankly, under no pressure to just create and have fun,” Sean Foreman of 3OH!3 said in a press release, “so we did just that.” While we wait to see which unthinkable music collaboration 2020 gives us next (even Kate Moss x Young Thug wouldn’t even surprise us anymore), be sure to tune into the frantic frequencies on “LONELY MACHINES.”

Amaarae – “SAD GIRLZ LUV MONEY” feat. Moliy

Just this past week, Ghanaian-American artist Amaarae dropped their debut full-length project “THE ANGEL YOU DON’T KNOW.” The project is full of the rapper, singer and producer exhibiting her afro-pop production and vocals, while not restricting herself to the genre alone. “SAD GIRLZ LUV MONEY,” featuring Moliy, is one of the more simplistic and honest tracks on the LP, complete with a mellow dancehall-esque beat and pitched-up, soft-sung vocals that whistle pleasantly throughout the track. It’s one of the more light-hearted moments on the LP, that celebrates, as Moliy sings it, getting their “mula-la-la,” complete with a Wyclef Jean “Sweetest Girl Dollar Bill” reference and all.

 2 Chainz – “Can’t Go for That” feat. Ty Dolla $ign & Lil Duval

Sending the playlist off on a calm and collected note is the buttery-smooth new track off 2 Chainz’ most recent album “So Help Me God!,” “Can’t Go for That.” The track features a brilliant Hall & Oates sample, as well vocals from the spotlight-stealing feature kingpin himself, Ty Dolla $ign. The outro is arguably the highlight of this track, as Hall & Oates, 2 Chainz, Ty Dolla $ign and comedian Lil Duval all sing the hook together, turning the track into an all-out jam session. The music video is one you don’t want to miss, either, as 2 Chainz pays tribute to Outkast’s “Hey Ya!” by playing the role of every band member in a 70’s/80’s-esque live TV performance, complete with grainy screen effects and some incredibly suave wardrobe choices. With features from Kanye West, Lil Wayne and Brent Faiyaz, “Can’t Go for That” is merely the tip of the iceberg in this album full of unforgettably smooth hip-hop & trap hits.