“Prima Donna” (feat. A$AP Rocky) by Vince Staples

If you haven’t heard this EP yet, I’m not sure what you’re waiting for. Hot off the heels of his incredible debut LP Summertime ’06Prima Donna EP is decidedly different but no less impactful despite its brevity.

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“Deacon Blues” by Steely Dan

“I cried when I wrote this song
Sue me if I play too long
This brother is free
I’ll be what I want to be.”

The duo of Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, collectively known as Steely Dan, are summed up best by these lyrics from “Deacon Blues” off of their masterpiece album Aja. Equally renowned for its technical prowess, both musically and in production, as well as its painstaking recording process, the result is a timeless gem of an album with almost mythical qualities.

Each song is a short story of sorts, with the overarching theme of otherness– those that don’t quite fit in yet are too far gone to do anything but embrace the strangeness. The result is a brilliantly haunting album with “Deacon Blues” serving as the weighty centerpiece.