Episode 195: Run the Jewels

“JU$T”

 

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Rapper Killer Mike and rapper/producer El-P first met in 2011. They both had established rap careers, but they entered a new era when they started making music together as Run the Jewels in 2013. They’ve been nominated for a Grammy, and they released their fourth album, RTJ4, in June 2020. Like all of their albums, they made it available to download for free. In this episode, El-P and Killer Mike break down the song “JU$T,” which features guest vocals from their frequent collaborator, Zack de la Rocha from Rage Against the Machine, and guest vocals from Pharrell Williams.

You can buy or stream “JU$T” here.


Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

footnotes
Nicholas Ryan Gant
Aquemini – Outkast album
Lord Infamous
Project Pat
Migos
Death of Eric Garner
Shure SM57 microphone

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Episode 194: Dua Lipa

“Levitating”

 

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Dua Lipa is a Grammy-winning singer and songwriter from London. Her second album, Future Nostalgia, came out in March 2020. It hit #1 on the charts in thirteen countries, and it was shortlisted for the UK’s Mercury Prize.

Dua co-wrote the song “Levitating” with some of her closest collaborators, including producer Stephen Kozmeniuk, AKA Koz. In this episode, Dua and Koz break down “Levitating” and how Dua’s childhood memories shaped its sound.

You can buy or stream “Levitating” here.


Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

footnotes
Jamiroquai
Prince
Blondie
Roland VP-330 synthesizer
Sarah Hudson – co-writer
Clarence Coffee Jr. – co-writer
Austin Powers
Stuart Price – producer
Bosco Kante – talkbox player

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Episode 193: Selena Gomez

“Lose You To Love Me”

 

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Selena Gomez is a singer, songwriter, and actress, who’s spent most of her life in the public eye. She started her acting career as a child, and put out her first albums as a teenager. She’s had three number one albums and eight Top 10 hits, and in 2017, Billboard named her Woman of the Year. At one point, she was the most followed person on Instagram, and the details of her life are constantly discussed in tabloid headlines.

So, when your private life is that public, how do you write a song about something as personal as heartbreak? Selena teamed up with the Grammy-winning production duo Mattman & Robin, who she’d worked with before. And she turned to her longtime songwriting collaborators, Julia Michaels and Justin Tranter. Julia Michaels is also a Grammy-nominated artist in her own right, and Justin Tranter, also a Grammy nominee, was named BMI’s 2017 Pop Songwriter of the Year. The three of them have written 10 songs together, including this one, “Lose You to Love Me.” The song came out in October 2019, and went on to become Selena’s first number-one hit. It went double-platinum in the US, and was named one of the best songs of the year by Vulture and Billboard. In this episode, Selena, Julia and Justin break down how the song came to be, from the initial writing session to the final additional production touches from Finneas.

You can buy or stream “Lose You to Love Me” here.


Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

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