Best Dressed at the 2017 Oscars

We’ve been blogging about the Oscars for four years now and watching them for about 20 – and that was hands-down the nuttiest night in our Academy Awards memory. From Denzel’s shocking loss to Viola’s triumphant win, Auli’i Cravalho’s otherwordly poise and composure to Lin’s endearing joy, culminating in the most INSANE deus ex machina ending we’ve ever seen – when the wrong envelope was opened and La La Land was announced the winner, only to have producers come out and confirm that the rightful winner as Moonlight – there was a whole lot going on. It’s almost enough to make you forget that it was an amazing night for fashion, too. Key word: Almost. Because no matter what insanity went on with the envelopes, we feel pretty confident about who the winners of our Best Dressed prizes should be.

Molly’s Picks

Janelle Monae in Elie Saab
I've been a Janelle Monae stan since The ArchAndroid, and I am having SUCH an

I’ve been a Janelle Monae stan since The ArchAndroid, and I am having SUCH an “I’ve been telling you all” moment right now. Things to know about Janelle’s fashion choices: for quite some time she only appeared in black and white tuxedos, but she has relaxed her “uniform” and now wears gowns, always in her signature black and white. Her albums center around a futuristic sci-fi mythology, a world populated by androids with lots of cool space allusions. I could see this look flopping on somebody else, but knowing Janelle’s penchant for black and white, and her fusion of sci-fi and soul, an Oscar gown where she looks like an intergalactic android empress is the best and, honestly, only appropriate choice. Also: that short hair and grecian headband: excellent.

Emma Stone in Givenchy
Like with Janelle Monae's look, I love Emma Stone's gown as much for what it represents as for how it looks. For a lot of us, Givenchy will always be synonymous with Audrey Hepburn, and in fact Emma is the first person to win Best Actress in Givenchy since Audrey. As I've said other years, I always love when nominated actresses dress with an eye towards the fact that this may be THE dress for them: the image that will be called up throughout their career and used in stories about them when they're old ladies. And with La La Land so glitzy and classic, this Old Hollywood look is a symbolic choice - a gown that could have been featured in one of the classic films Emma's character Mia grew up checking out of the library. A note about makeup: every single time I see Emma in a lip color, I think that it's HER color. Coral: her color. Bright pink: her color. This brick red: her color. She has a complexion for lipstick, which I didn't realize was a thing until just now.

Like with Janelle Monae’s dress, I love Emma Stone’s gown as much for what it represents as for how it looks. For a lot of us, Givenchy will always be synonymous with Audrey Hepburn, and in fact Emma is the first person to win Best Actress in Givenchy since Audrey. As I’ve said other years, I always love when nominated actresses dress with an eye towards the fact that this may be THE dress for them: the image that will be called up throughout their career and used in stories about them when they’re old ladies. And with La La Land so glitzy and classic, this Old Hollywood look is a symbolic choice – a gown that could have been featured in one of the classic films Emma’s character Mia grew up checking out of the library. A note about makeup: every single time I see Emma in a lip color, I think that it’s HER color. Coral: her color. Bright pink: her color. This brick red: her color. She has a complexion for lipstick, which I didn’t realize was a thing until just now. Also of note, Emma is sporting a small Planned Parenthood pin.

Ruth Negga in Valentino
Evidently the inspiration for this look was

Evidently the inspiration for this look was “pagan goddess.” I was going to say a more streamlined take on a demure Victorian look, but either way. I wouldn’t love the high neck and long sleeves on just anybody, but Ruth has such long, straight lines and I think it complements her perfectly. I love the contrast of the brighter, orange-y red with the deeper ruby on her headpiece and earrings. I find this dress to be a great example of dressing FOR your type (Ruth is this year’s pixie-like ethereal Irish nominee, after all), instead of against it. My only very minor gripe is that red dresses always look odd on the red carpet because of the contrasting tones. Note the blue ribbon for the ACLU.

Nicole Kidman in Armani Prive
Love the pillar dress, love the embellishments, actually love that this whole look is basically monochrome except for her lip color.

Love the pillar dress, love the embellishments, actually love that this whole look is basically monochrome except for her lip color.

Mahershala Ali in Ermenegildo Zegna Couture
Because we have to acknowledge that the men tried, too. Sometimes black-on-black can look kitschy, but the way this pulls together is pure elegance. I love that he went with a waistcoat and shirt, stayed black with the bow tie, and splashed it out a bit with the pocket square. And the shirt studs, besides? He is killing me. It's just so great to see a man having fun with accessorizing. Elegant, indeed.

Because we have to acknowledge that the men tried, too. Sometimes black-on-black can look kitschy, but the way this pulls together is pure elegance. I love that he went with a waistcoat and shirt, stayed black with the bow tie, and splashed it out a bit with the pocket square. And the shirt studs, besides? He is killing me. It’s just so great to see a man having fun with accessorizing. Elegant, indeed.

Brie Larson in Oscar De La Renta
Brie looks pristine and icy and beautiful, exactly how you should look while forking over an award with a pursed-lip smile while gently seething. The length is fantastic, I love the train and I don't always love trains, and the architectural structuring on the front of this is perfectly matched with the contrasting fabric finishes.

Brie looks pristine and icy and beautiful, exactly how you should look while forking over an award with a pursed-lip smile while gently seething [Annual reminder that Brie Larson is a Good Person]. The length is fantastic, I love the train and I don’t always love trains, and the architectural structuring on the front of this is perfectly paired with the contrasting fabric finishes.

Traci’s Picks

Taraji P. Henson in Alberta Ferretti

Taraji kept it classic and cool in a gown fit for Hollywood royalty. The neckline cut is perfect, the slit on the leg isn’t too high, and the best part is that this velour dress isn’t black – it’s navy blue.

Auli’i Cravalho in Rubin Singer

Like Moana coming out from the sea, Auli’i stepped into the spotlight and straight to our hearts. In addition to her outstanding performance with our boy Lin-Manuel during the show, this SIXTEEN YEAR OLD wore this gorge flowing gown on the red carpet. The white dress with gold accents was classy but just unique enough to stand out from the crowd. It also reminds me of water, but maybe I’m too into Moana.

Ava DuVernay in Ashi Studio

Ava might not have walked away with the gold last night (we’re of the mindset that she should have won, but whatever), but she sure did make a statement with this stunning gown by Ashi Studio, a designer based in Lebanon. The country is 54% Muslim, and Ava chose them specifically as a “small sign of solidarity.” We need people like you, Ava.

Isabelle Huppert in Armani Privé

I haven’t even seen Elle, nor have I seen anything Isabelle Huppert has been in, but she looks like Hollywood royalty in this gown. The 63 year old donned a dress perfect for her age, with just enough sparkle to shine in a sea of youngins.

David Oyelowo in Dolce & Gabbana

More and more men are taking risks with color on the red carpet, and David Oyelowo is rocking a black and white suit coat with modern details, and we are all for it.

 

Playlist of the Month: Revolution Starts Monday

We are sad, afraid, and angry. We do not feel like this because the presidential candidate we supported lost. We feel like this because hate won. Very soon, though, we need to get to work. The president-elect’s campaign promises, actions (mocking a reporter with disabilities, using racist language about immigrant groups, intimidating a rape accuser who has live witnesses to his rape of her as a 13 year old child… please do not make us list it all), and now, 100-day plan show that our fellow Americans are in danger of losing their hard-won rights and basic safety. Already, hate crimes are occurring nationwide because hatred has been given a voice. We believe that love and goodness can win, but now we have to fight for it. We’ll take a little time to regroup this week, but the revolution’s imminent.

My Shot (Rise Up Remix) – The Roots feat. Busta Rhymes, Joell Ortiz & Nate Ruess

We could have made it through 2016 without Lin-Manuel Miranda, but it would have been much, much worse. We already loved the original My Shot for capturing both the revolutionary spirit of colonial America and of the present day. The new remix, released on the Hamilton Mixtape, takes it to 2016 and the present-day oppression of communities of color.

Fight Song (Democratic National Convention cover) – Rachel Platten

I never liked this song until this version premiered during the Democratic National Convention and reduced me to tears. It was a hopeful moment as we looked forward to the triumph of reason over reactionism, experience over showmanship, and for the love of all things holy, finally a woman in the position of Commander in Chief. It takes on a new meaning now, doesn’t it?

Alright by Kendrick Lamar

Alright became the unofficial anthem last summer when Black Lives Matter activists took the streets, and it was the perfect song – a track touching upon the unbearable pain and struggle while facing adversity in a seemingly hopeless situation. But the message was clear – we gon’ be alright.

Immigrants (We Get The Job Done) by K’naan, Snow Tha Product, Riz MC, Residente

Racism and immigration were at the center of the election over the past year, thanks to an outrageous comment said on the same day He announced his candidacy: that Mexicans are rapists who bring drugs into the country. Blah blah, wall, blah blah. Around the same time, Hamilton was a hit Off-Broadway and preparing to make its move to the Richard Rodgers where it continues to live. In Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down), Alexander Hamilton and Marquis de Lafayette high five after saying the line, “Immigrants: we get the job done”. Word on the street (and IRL when we saw Hamilton) is that very single performance, this line gets an individual cheer. Because we all know it’s true and immigrants are the foundation of this country.

So what was brilliant for Lin-Manuel and co. for the Hamilton Mixtape was to take that line and turn it into its own track. Not only that, but features artists who themselves are immigrants or align with more than one country/nationality. K’naan, a Somali Canadian poet and rapper, kicks off the track by saying “I got 1 job, 2 jobs, 3 when I need them/I got 5 roommates in this one studio but I never really see them”, letting y’all know they weren’t going to sugarcoat the truth in the song. Interspersed with lyrics from Yorktown, Snow Tha Product, a female Mexican American rapper, comes in adding, “there ain’t a paper trail when you living in the shadows/We’re Americas ghost writers the credit is only borrowed.” That’s followed by Riz MC aka Riz Ahmed, a British Pakastani (who you might know from The Night Of), who spits, “Who these fugees what did they do for me but contribute new dreams”.

The last verse belongs to Puerto Rican rapper Residente, who’s 1/2 of of Calle 13 and whole halves (?) of Lin-Manuel – they’re cousins. He’s known for not holding back when it comes to his political beliefs in his music, and this is no different. In fact, his entire verse is in Spanish, as if they’re letting us know that the we’re entering an era that isn’t just dominated by one culture or race anymore – it’s diverse AF. Speaking to the Latinos in particular, he says, “We are like plants that grow without water/Without an American Passport/Because half of gringolandia is really Mexican terrain.”

Cold War by Janelle Monae

There is work for everybody now – for teachers and lawyers and journalists and parents and many others – and artists are a big part of the change we’ll need. Janelle has always beautifully put words and music to the struggles that millions of Americans are facing. We’re going to need her for these next four years. This is a cold war, you better know what you’re fighting for.

Formation by Beyonce

Beyonce’s Lemonade era kicked off with the release of Formation, an unapologetic black power and female anthem that had even people from middle America singing “I like my baby hair with baby hair and afros/I like my negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils”. But her message is also one of believing that she (and her fans) can do anything they set their mind to, even if there are people trying to take her down or suppress her voice.  “I dream it, I work hard, I grind ’til I own it/I twirl on them haters”

Soy Yo – Bomba Estereo

This went semi-viral earlier this year because of the adorable little girl in the video, but the message to keep singing, dancing and being yourself even if others don’t like it is one we need right now. Other thing we need right now: Spanish, lots of it, everywhere, because now we have a president-elect who says things like “bad hombres” (AND pronounces it “hambres.” So maybe he just hates angry dudes? But nah.)

Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down) by the cast of Hamilton

The phrase “the world turned upside down” kept popping up in my head when it became clear what the election results were, because it felt like everything I thought I knew was wrong and everything I feared would come true did, like we were in an alternate universe. I was obviously in the Denial step of the five stages of grieving. But this song – in the historical context – it tells the events that happened during the Battle of Yorktown, the last major battle of the Revolutionary War. A. Ham went (A.) Ham on the British, forcing them to surrender. But the number itself includes a multitude of inspirational lines that are ever more relevant today (and some I already mentioned before). We have Hamilton: “so the American experiment begins” and all his “My Shot” reprisals, in the anger and focus in spy on the inside Hercules Mulligan: “See, that’s what happens when you up against the ruffians/We in the shit now, somebody gotta shovel it!/Hercules Mulligan, I need no introduction/When you knock me down I get the fuck back up again!”, and in this exchange we must remember to this day:

Laurens: Black and white soldiers wonder alike if this really means freedom

Washington: Not. Yet

The Day Women Took Over by Common

A lot of us had hoped we were voting for the first female president on Tuesday, but just because she didn’t land the title of president-elect, it doesn’t mean she’s the last one to run for the high office. In Common’s track, off his new album Black America Again, he pictures a world where peace and unity truly exist on the sole fact that women are in charge. And I hope this hypothetical world isn’t as far off as it seems.

Best Dressed Of Super Bowl 50

Just think: we are now two days past the biggest fashion night in the American football calendar! I grew up rooting for whichever Super Bowl finalist had the best uniform (except for the years the Buffalo Bills were in play, which: the less said the better). Through the iconic halftime shows and national anthems of our youths – Whitney and M.J., anyone? – to the fashion “controversies” of the 2000s – you really don’t want to get me started on Janet and J.T. – Super Bowl Sunday is the most fashion excitement you’ll find in a football game all year. So how did Super Bowl 50 stack up? I’d say it was one of the best Super Bowls yet, sartorially speaking.

Here are the best of the best, in no particular order:

The Super Bowl Logo

So many of us learned Roman numerals through the ever-changing Super Bowl logos – or, for us Catholic schoolers, through a healthy mix of Super Bowl logos and Bible stuff. I liked the unchanging tradition of it, the insistence on being way more fussy than necessary because the Super Bowl is football’s fanciest day. Roman numerals are like when numbers wear a tuxedo – just classy as hell. But to be honest, Super Bowl L looks stupid. We all know it looks stupid. It sort of just looks like we’re saying it is a large Super Bowl. The NFL realized that, and the resulting logo is way better than a large letter L.

Blue Ivy Carter (and her friend Apple)

#superbowl50 jacket game

A post shared by Gwyneth Paltrow (@gwynethpaltrow) on

Somehow Head B.I.C. is always two and a half years old in my brain, so when I see photos of her she always seems like the most self-possessed, mature toddler ever. But no, baby Blue is four now, and her neon bomber jacket reminds me of all of the best parts of being a 90s kid. Also wearing a pretty great jacket: Apple Martin, a smaller Gwyneth Paltrow.

Beyonce’s Dancers

A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

What’s better than one Angela Davis? An entire troop of dancing Angela Davises. And in case you missed what they were going for, check out those Black Panther/ Malcolm X hats. And in case you still REALLY weren’t sure, they will tell you with a Justice for Mario Woods sign. FYI: the leather outfits were designed by Zana Bayne and she has some great behind-the-scenes photos of the day on Instagram. Pam Grier tweeted about the halftime show and I hope she appreciated that her iconic 70s look is back in style.

Kevin Durant

Did you know that Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder is also a photographer? And since we’re talking about fashion here, did you know that Kevin Durant looks really, really good in street clothes? Okay, so a black t-shirt and ripped jeans aren’t exactly something to write home about but… I don’t know, maybe they are?

Lady Gaga

This outfit reminds me of Lady Gaga’s version of being an elementary school teacher, where they’d wear a turtleneck, chunky sweater, and jumper that all related to the same theme. You know, Miss Frizzle style. I find Gaga’s version of really flooring it, outfit-wise, to be so endearing. She’s in a shiny pantsuit, for Pete’s sake (by Gucci, because Gaga’s still Gaga). And since she’s singining the national anthem, that shit is RED.  With blue nails. And red eyeshadow. And because it’s football, she has the Gaga equivalent of Texas cheer mom hair. The shoes? Stars and stripes. And if you couldn’t tell, I say all of those things with complete affection. Pair this with a note-perfect rendition of the Star Spangled Banner and we have a pop star even your granny would love – fun, patriotic, respectful, and really committed to a theme.

Beyonce

Here’s something I don’t think we talk about enough: how Beyonce has made a signature look out of not wearing pants. She’s such a big deal that we all accept this long sleeve, no pants look and don’t even mention that usually, humans wear something on their lower half. This look was classic Beyonce, but the military styling was also a perfect fit with Formation. We’re told (by designers Dean and Dan Caten) that any resemblance to a certain other iconic Super Bowl halftime show look was strictly coincidental:

Janelle Monae (and company)

I’m a sucker for a “(Product) Through The Years” commercial format anyway, but this Pepsi ad was really remarkable. I loved Janelle’s classic James Brown suit, Madonna garb, and modern sequined look. Keep an eye on the background dancers: they look just as great. Now let’s get Janelle a halftime show of her own, why don’t we? And a 2014 Grammy nomination, please, because I still maintain that she should have had one.

Chris Martin

This is on my “bworst” list: gross word, but I mean a combination of best and worst. It’s not technically good, but it’s so very Chris Martin that the second I saw it I was like “oh, of COURSE.” As in, of course he’s wearing a line of Lisa Frank yoga clothes designed for a production of Godspell. Oh bless the Lord my soul. Also the second I saw his little face peeking out between Beyonce and Bruno Mars, I knew he was going to be a meme – so I do want to call attention to the fact that I think he did well and I liked his rainbow color scheme.

Can We Make ‘The Maya Rudolph Show’ A Regular Thing?

It seems like these days, nostalgia has more cache than innovation. Fusion cuisine isn’t as cool as old-timey donuts and pies (this girl isn’t complaining). Full, proud mustaches – the likes of which you last saw on your dad and uncles in family photo albums, circa 1976 – have gone from ironic hipster style to … normal, non-ironic hipster style (by the way, when I lived in Buffalo I dubbed it The Mustache Capitol Of America, and I am still waiting for them to capitalize on that title). And last night The Maya Rudolph Show, a throwback variety show hosted by the ridiculously endearing Maya Rudolph, aired on NBC. The reviews are in, kids, and … I didn’t read them. Didn’t need to, frankly. I’m sure the variety show is a love it/hate it format, but I loved it. The genre is steeped in nostalgia, but The Maya Rudolph Show remained charming, rather than becoming charming’s hideous partially-formed conjoined twin – precious.

The Maya Rudolph Show was a one-time only event, but with our TV schedules cleared of all but the worst reality TV for the summer, I have to ask: can we make The Maya Rudolph Show a regular thing? Here’s why:

Maya Rudolph, Of Course

A great variety show needs a great host. That’s what separates the Carol Burnett Show from Donny and Marie, Your Show Of Shows and The Muppet Show from The Brady Bunch Variety Hour. And they don’t make better hosts than Maya Rudolph, a true triple threat: singing, acting, and making me spit Diet Coke onto my coffee table with a single eyebrow raise.

Maya’s delivery is always just on that next level. It’s like all of Maya’s characters are working so hard to sell it; like they’re all putting on little shows even in regular conversation. Take her Beyonce impression, for example. You can see the real Beyonce underneath the Beyonce persona going “hey, are you guys getting this?”

… And Her Friends!

SO MUCH STAR POWER – and the show actually made good use of them, instead of doing that thing where the whole joke is just the celebrity guest walking out on stage. Kristen Bell helps write Frozen II, making up a song that really matches the caliber of Disney’s sequels (sample lyrics: It’s cold today, Like really cold/ I’d kill for it to even be lukewarm). Sean Hayes, Fred Armisen and Andy Samberg are seriously put to work as ensemble players, appearing in almost every sketch. Then there are the random guests. The opening number, alone, featured a pony, the Laker Girls, a guy spinning a plate, and British schoolchildren. Considering Maya has plenty of comedy friends from her time on SNL, and she is so talented and fun that half of Hollywood would probably love to work with her, I think you could easily fill a season with special guests if Andy Samberg and the British schoolchildren are already booked for the rest of the summer.

Silly Sketches

Network TV could use a bit more goofiness in the usual weeknight ‘cops ‘n doctors’ lineup. It’s nice to go to sleep after a bit of lighthearted silliness. The best example from last night? This sketch where Maya and Fred Armisen play the voices from your GPS to uncanny perfection. You know that Franken-accent that your GPS has – the stilted pauses, the weird diphthong that’s probably what’s going to happen when the Northern Cities Vowel Shift meets up with the Southern Shift once we all learn how to talk from the internet? And how you have to repeat yourself several times until it knows what you said? I can’t stand this silliness on my GPS, but I love it on my TV.

How About That Musical Guest?!

Variety shows are heavy on the music – see the great 70s-style opening number and the Kristen Bell sketch for evidence. Yet, it’s still fun to take a musical break in the middle of all of that music. Last night the adorably energetic Janelle Monae proved why her Electric Lady album should have been nominated for a Grammy. I love that a variety show could sneak live music onto primetime television (outside of the 37 different country music awards that are always preempting whatever your favorite show is).

Earnestness (Or: I’m Bored Of Cynical Television)

There was nothing sappy about the show. Variety shows are cheesy by definition, and sap would take it a bit too far. But am I crazy for thinking that the lullaby that mom-of-four Maya and new dad Chris Parnell sang was oddly affecting? The lyrics were about how babies are always spewing gross liquids and crying and how you usually wouldn’t accept that behavior from anyone, yet you love them. It worked because obviously Maya and Chris really love their kids, but you can say that while still admitting that your kids are seriously kind of disgusting. It was especially welcome in today’s mommy-blogger culture, where everyone’s kids are these creative, articulate little pixies doing Pinterest art projects and wearing vintage rompers from Etsy. Really, there’s a lot of poop and vomit.

What Are We Watching This Summer, Anyway?

All of the shows that follow a ‘regular’ season have already ended, or are wrapping up this week. Mad Men is doing a stupid split-season, so that’s almost done. Orphan Black is on Saturdays, and let’s be real, we’re all going to watch all of Orange Is The New Black within 72 hours of it launching. Other than catching up on shows on Netflix, there’s no real tv going on from May through September. Usually I don’t really watch television in the summer, but if The Maya Rudolph Show became a regular thing, I think a lot of us would be willing to spend an hour a week watching an all-singing, all-dancing, adorable bit of TV nostalgia.

Playlist of the Month: Summer Jams

Well folks, we’re well into the summer season now, and the sun is showing itself a little more often than it was a couple months ago. School’s out (which I’m assuming doesn’t effect most of our readers, but you can still feel the freedom in the air), the dresses and sandals come out from the closet, and eating ice cream and fro-yo everyday is more acceptable than in the winter months.

So to celebrate the season, here are our favorite jams for this summer. No ‘Call Me Maybe’, but a few good picks for 2013.

Enjoy the entire playlist on Spotify!

Traci’s Picks

We Can’t Stop – Miley Cyrus

I have no shame in saying I love Miley. She doesn’t give a fuck, and that’s why I appreciate her. Do I think the music video for this song is appropriate for her younger fans? Not really. But do I think she did it because she can and she looks good while twerkin’? Yes. It’s her party she can do what she wants.

Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke ft T.I. and Pharrell

This song should come with no explanation. Sex.

Disclosure – Latch

I first heard this song on a recent episode of So You Think You Can Dance, and ever since I found out what the song was, I haven’t stopped listening to it. Like it will end and I will immediately play it again. Plus nothing says summer like SYTYCD.

The Way – Ariana Grande ft. Mac Miller

Don’t know who Ariana Grande is? She’s a Nickelodeon starlet who’s 19, but has a lot of tween fans. Sound familiar? She’s still in her innocent phase, but boy does she have a great range.

Cruise – Florida Georgia Line ft. Nelly

Need a song to play while you’re driving through the country? Here’s your jam.

Miss Movin On – Fifth Harmony

I’ve mentioned Fifth Harmony here before, and again, no shame in liking them. They’ve come such a long way since they were thrown together on The X Factor, and this is the perfect first single for the girls to release as a hopeful summer hit (and their acoustic version is balls to the wall amazing). I have big hopes for these gals!

Molly’s picks

Q.U.E.E.N. – Janelle Monae feat. Erykah Badu

As soon as I heard that Janelle Monae and Erykah Badu were collaborating I was like “okay, then, that’s my new favorite song.” Like, before I even heard it, because how could you go wrong? And let me tell you, I was not disappointed. I will say, though, that this one’s a grower. The first time I heard it I was like yeah, it’s pretty good. Then by listen 4 or so I was all, this jam is my JAM.

Get Lucky – Daft Punk feat. Pharrell

First of all, who would have thought this would be the summer of Pharrell’s comeback as a featured artist? Second, I have plenty of fond memories of dancing to One More Time, and there’s always room for more Daft Punk. Third, it’s only the first day of summer, but I can already tell you that no Summer 2013 playlist would be complete without Get Lucky and Blurred Lines.

Gun – Chvrches

Once you get over the thing of like, “wait, I just pronounce it “churches, right?” this is pretty great.

Diane Young – Vampire Weekend

Ezra. EZRA. Nice work. Love the old-school rock vibe they have going on here. I feel like I’m going to get a malt and watch a drag race. My knowledge of the 50s is mostly based on Grease.

Cocoa Butter Kisses – Chance The Rapper

First time I heard Chance the Rapper, I was like what the hell is this Adam Sandler-impression-sounding guy even doing? But I’ve come around, and Acid Rap is def one of THE mixtapes of the summer.

If you want to add a chill jam to the list, I suggest Wakin On A Pretty Day by Kurt Vile. If your summer needs more Kanye, well, primarily I recommend listening to 2005-era Ye because that’s the BEST. But I’m seriously feeling Black Skinhead this summer too.