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Song Of The Week: EarthGang’s “Aretha” Is a Thunderous Ode to the Queen of Soul

DMX, L Devine, Lime Garden, and Sleater-Kinney also dropped essential tracks this week

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EarthGang Aretha Song Of The Week
EarthGang, Photo by Grizz

    Song of the Week breaks down and talks about the song we just can’t get out of our head each week. Find these songs and more on our Spotify Top Songs playlist. For our favorite new songs from emerging artists, check out our Spotify New Sounds playlist. This week, Atlanta duo EarthGang return with another #GhettoGods freestyle.

    Sampling the Queen of Soul is a bold move, but former Artist of the Month EarthGang are up for the task on “Aretha,” the latest installment in their #GhettoGods freestyle series. The “Bridge Over Troubled Water” flip allows the Atlanta duo to take listeners to church and bear witness to Olu and WowGr8’s confessional rhymes.

    Olu, who co-produced the beat with Yudu Gray, sets the tone by calling their latest single a failure (“‘Options’ dropped, barely made a sound, damn/ I guess we let Nas and Cole down”) and then sharing the burden he feels as a Black man with a voice to give hope to those in his community who can’t speak up for themselves.

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    WowGr8 continues the theme, rapping about creating a legacy and not wasting his gift. “More verses, less interviews/ This what I’m addicted to, this all I’m committed to,” he promises, before bragging that he’s been this talented since he was in the womb.

    Some Dreamville fans were let down that EarthGang’s forthcoming sophomore album Ghetto Gods didn’t drop the same day as Cole’s The Off-Season, but “Aretha” is a nice holdover in the meantime.

    — Eddie Fu

    Honorable Mentions

    Griff — “One Foot In Front Of The Other”

    Fresh off her win at the 2021 BRIT Awards as this year’s Rising Star, Griff delivers on that promise with “One Foot in Front of the Other,” the title track to her upcoming mixtape of the same name. Over plinky synth and strings, the 20-year-old pop singer details an Auto-Tuned tale about bouncing back after a painful breakup, letting listeners in on the secret that healing doesn’t always happen in a straight line. The song’s whimsical video only adds to its hopeful message, with Griff finding her way to peace in a pair of dainty, puff-sleeved tea dresses while surrounded by lyrical choreography from a bevy of modern dancers. Heartache might, as she croons, “just take longer to heal these days,” but Griff has thankfully provided the perfect soundtrack for that process.

    — Glenn Rowley

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