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This is your next jam: Kanye West, AlunaGeorge, and more

This is your next jam: Kanye West, AlunaGeorge, and more

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Isaiah Rashad's smiling, Tinashe has energy, and Future's going inside the mattress

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Welcome back to The Verge’s weekly musical roundup. I’m Jamieson, I’m still your host, and I hope all of the readers scrolling from the Eastern Seaboard are appropriately prepared for this weekend’s blizzard. Charge your devices! Stock up on red wine! Throw every blanket in your home into a glorious pile! (Feel free to do the same even if you’re living somewhere snow-free.) I’m trying to do my part by picking a bunch of warm, crackling jams: there’s tropical pop from AlunaGeorge and Popcaan, soul from Anderson .Paak, and toasty sampling from Kanye West.

Remember to subscribe to our Spotify playlist if you haven’t already — it’s updated weekly! Let’s go:

AlunaGeorge ft. Popcaan, "I’m in Control":

AlunaGeorge’s tidy, clipped pop-R&B received an unexpected American boost last year when a DJ Snake remix of "You Know You Like It" snuck onto club floors and charts around the country. The British duo is planning on releasing new LP I Remember this spring, three years after debut Body Music. "I’m in Control" is the first single, and it has the same vague Caribbean tilt that characterized much of last year’s popular dance music. (It sounds a little like Ace of Base, don’t you think?)

Anderson .Paak, "Put Me Thru":

I’ve spent a lot of time this week listening to Anderson .Paak’s impressive new album Malibu, a sprawling collection of soul, hip-hop, and funk throughout which .Paak capably raps and sings. (He also played a major role on Dr. Dre’s 2015 comeback LP Compton. "Put Me Thru" is one of the album’s shortest tracks, but it packs a punch, bitter and crunchy like a strange piece of fruit.

Fatima Al Qadiri, "Battery":

Fatima Al Qadiri makes challenging, globally-minded electronic music, and she’s readying a new album called Brute for release on March 4th. (Her 2014 full-length debut Asiatisch used traditionally Eastern sounds to poke at Asia’s relationship with the rest of the world.) "Battery" fuses menacing horns and a robust low end to disembodied, wordless samples, and it makes for a creepy three-minute listen. More importantly, it comes with artwork depicting a Teletubby in navy riot gear. Tinky Winky meets trap, I guess?

Future, "Inside the Mattress":

Future had one of the busiest years in hip-hop history last year — he released two solo mixtapes, one LP, and a hugely successful collaborative tape with Drake — and he’s obviously not ready to slow down. Purple Reign came out last week, and "Inside the Mattress" is the tape’s clear highlight: it’s a victory lap, a celebration of Future’s insane work rate, and a bleak snapshot of life on the road, all rolled within a beat that sounds like it’s anchored by a melted NES.

Isaiah Rashad, "Smile":

Kendrick Lamar associate Isaiah Rashad has kept pretty quiet in the two years since releasing his impressive debut EP Cilvia Demo. If you’re not familiar with his work, "Smile" should make a decent starting point. Rashad isn’t as ambitious as Kendrick or as strange as his other TDE contemporaries, but he’s an intense, compelling rapper, and he should release a full-length album sometime this year. Keep your ears open.

Kanye West ft. Kendrick Lamar, "No More Parties in L.A.":

Are you ready for Swish? Kanye West’s new album is coming out in just a few weeks, and like the previously released "Real Friends," "No More Parties in L.A." suggests Kanye’s leaning back toward the soulful, obscure sound of the first half of his career. He can’t match Kendrick when it comes to lyrical pyrotechnics — then again, who can? — but it’s a joy to hear Kanye glide over an off-kilter Madlib beat without the intervention of acid-ravaged synths or frenzied drum machines.

Majical Cloudz, "Heaven":

Majical Cloudz’s new EP Wait & See collects a few tracks that didn’t make the cut for the solid LP they released last October, Are You Alone? All of the songs are worthy listens, but "Heaven" is the most impressive: it’s insistent, intimate, and obsessed with death, qualities it shares with a lot of the band’s best work.

Pet Shop Boys, "Inner Sanctum":

British electro-pop legends Pet Shop Boys are releasing Super, their first album since 2013 and 13th overall, on April 1st. "Inner Sanctum" is the first single, and it’s a timeless slice of luminescent dancefloor fodder. I have no way to test this, but I imagine it’d sound just as good in 1988 as it does now. The boys have still got it!

The Range, "Florida":

James Hinton is the producer who records as The Range, and his new album Potential (due out March 25th) relies heavily on sampled clips of anonymous YouTube users, people who vlogged and sang to tiny audiences for their own personal fulfillment. "Florida" takes a snippet of someone covering Ariana Grande and builds a lush, constantly mutating piece of music around it. Figuring out the story behind the song only makes it seem more impressive.

Tinashe ft. Juicy J, "Energy":

Tinashe’s new album Joyride still doesn’t have a release date, and the quality of songs like "Energy" isn’t making it any easier to stomach the wait. Mike Will Made It supplies a sublime, strange beat; Tinashe’s vocals are subtle and skilled; Juicy J shows up for a typically debauched, detailed verse. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable piece of contemporary R&B.

Here’s the running This Is Your Next Jam playlist — have an awesome weekend!

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed Two hours ago Better on the inside

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Richard LawlerTwo hours ago
The sincerest form of flattery.

I had little interest in Apple’s Dynamic Island, but once a developer built their spin on the idea for Android, I had to give it a try.

Surprisingly, I’ve found I actually like it, and while dynamicSpot isn’t as well-integrated as Apple’s version, it makes up for it with customization. Nilay’s iPhone 14 Pro review asked Apple to reverse the long-press to expand vs. tap to enter an app setup. In dynamicSpot, you can do that with a toggle (if you pay $5).


DynamicSpot app on Android shown expanding music player, in the style of Apple’s Dynamic Island in iOS 16.
DynamicSpot in action on a Google Pixel 6
Image: Richard Lawler
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TikTok
Richard LawlerSep 22
TikTok politics.

Ahead of the midterm elections, TikTok made big changes to its rules for politicians and political fundraising on the platform, as Makena Kelly explains... on TikTok.


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Richard LawlerSep 22
The Twitter employee who testified about Trump and the January 6th attack has come forward.

This summer, a former Twitter employee who worked on platform and content moderation policies testified anonymously before the congressional committee investigating the violence at the US Capitol on January 6th.

While she remains under NDA and much of her testimony is still sealed,  Anika Collier Navaroli has identified herself, explaining a little about why she’s telling Congress her story of what happened inside Twitter — both before the attack, and after, when it banned Donald Trump.


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Richard LawlerSep 22
But how does it sound?

Our review of Apple’s new AirPods Pro can tell you everything about the second-generation buds. To find out how you’ll sound talking to other people through them, just listen to Verge senior video producer Becca Farsace.


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Andrew WebsterSep 22
Our list of the best entertainment of 2022 keeps getting bigger.

We just added some notable entries to our running list highlighting the best games, movies, and TV shows of the year, including Return to Monkey Island, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, and Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. Sorry in advance for your free time.


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Richard LawlerSep 22
The Bootleg Ratio.

Policy Editor Russell Brandom digs into a phenomenon we’ve all seen on social media before:

I call it the Bootleg Ratio: the delicate balance between A) content created by users specifically for the platform and B) semi-anonymous clout-chasing accounts drafting off the audience. Any platform will have both, but as B starts to overtake A, users will have less and less reason to visit and creators will have less and less reason to post.

And now it’s coming for TikTok.


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Twitter
Russell BrandomSep 22
The latest Alex Jones defamation hearing is not going well for Alex Jones.

The Infowars host has already been hit with millions of dollars in damages for spreading lies about Sandy Hook — but today’s hearing suggests he could be on the hook for even more.


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Youtube
Dan SeifertSep 22
Here’s a look at a few Pixel Watch watchfaces.

Google is ramping up the marketing machine ahead of next month’s Pixel 7 and Pixel Watch event and has released a short video (via 9to5Google) highlighting the design and showcasing some of the watchfaces it will have. Most of them are quite simple, with just the time being displayed.

These videos always look great from a marketing perspective, but I think they poorly reflect how I actually use a smartwatch. I want the computer on my wrist to show me useful information like weather, calendar appointments, timers, etc, which means it’s never as sparse or simple looking as it is in these ads.


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Please stop trying to order the Hummer EV.

GMC is closing the order books for the Hummer EV truck and SUV after receiving 90,000 reservations for the controversial electric vehicle, according to the Detroit Free Press. It just can’t seem to keep up with demand, so the GM-owned company has decided to stop taking orders until production picks up. Maybe if the Hummer’s battery wasn’t the same weight as a whole-ass Honda Civic, it would be easier to manufacture, but I digress.

GMC is the latest automaker to run into the problem of EV demand far outstripping supply. Ford also is having difficulty making enough F-150 Lightnings and Mustang Mach-Es to fill all its orders. Waitlists for most available EVs are longer than my arm. Things are going to be tight until the auto industry is able to bring more battery factories and assembly plants online, and unfortunately that could take a while.


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Tesla recalls 1.1 million vehicles to prevent drivers from getting pinched by the windows.

The issue is that the windows would not recognize certain objects while closing, which could result in “a pinching injury to the occupant.” It’s a pretty enormous recall, covering some 2017-2022 Model 3, 2020-2021 Model Y, and 2021-2022 Model S and Model X vehicles.

Tesla said it would issue a fix via an over-the-air software update. Notably, nobody has been been injured or killed by Tesla’s ravenous windows, but I wouldn’t recommend sticking your fingers in there just to see what happens.


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External Link
Adi RobertsonSep 22
Congress is trying to make Google pay news outlets for links again.

The controversial Journalism Competition and Preservation Act — which would let news publishers negotiate payments for being linked by sites like Google — suffered a setback earlier this month thanks to a surprise Ted Cruz amendment trying to limit the platforms’ moderation options. After some negotiations between Cruz and sponsor Amy Klobuchar, it’s back for markup today, and it’s got critics even more worried than before.


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Adi RobertsonSep 22
Twitter asks a court to make its whistleblower reveal if he contacted Elon Musk.

The Delaware Court of Chancery has issued another couple decisions in the fast-upcoming Twitter v. Musk trial. It’s letting Musk add allegations that Twitter whistleblower Peiter “Mudge” Zatko received a $7.75 million payout from the company. Meanwhile, it punted on a Twitter request for details about whether Musk or his associates knew about Zatko’s whistleblower claims before he took them public — Twitter and Musk’s lawyers will fight that out in a September 27th hearing.