The Needle Drop

Q-Tip - "Don’t Go Breaking My Heart" ft. Demi Lovato (Elton John Cover)

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As a part of the upcoming Elton John tribute album, Revamp, Q-Tip and Demi Lovato have released a cover of John’s 1976 duet with Kiki Dee, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.” Revamp will feature various pop and rock stars reimagining the music of Elton John, while the concurrently released Restoration will find country singers offering their interpretations. Chris Stapleton’s cover of “I Want Love” coincided with this new version of “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.”

The Q-Tip and Demi Lovato cover is significantly funkier than the original and replaces the straightforward rock beat with a hip hop flair. The song was released with a music video that complements the cover’s moodier tone.

Q-Tip has described his reinterpretation of the song as returning a favor for Elton John’s appearance on A Tribe Called Quest’s “Solid Wall of Sound,” which appears on We Got It from Here…Thank You 4 Your Service.

Revamp and Restoration will be released on April 6 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s creative partnership.

-Owen Murray

N.E.R.D - "Lemon" (Drake Remix) ft. Rihanna

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Today Pharrell Williams debuted a new remix of N.E.R.D and Rihanna’s “Lemon” on Drake’s OVO Sound Radio. The original version of the track appeared on N.E.R.D’s album NO_ONE EVER REALLY DIES, which came out late last year.

Drake’s cocky and playful verse kicks off the song, replacing Pharrell’s opening verse. Rihanna’s stellar appearance remains unchanged, as does Pharrell’s outro. The changes to the instrumental are subtle, but succeed in making “Lemon” sound more like a Drake song.

Back in January, Drake released two new singles, “God’s Plan” and “Diplomatic Immunity.” He also had a significant feature on BlocBoy JB’s hit “Look Alive.” For the music video of “God’s Plan,” Drake went around Miami and gave away nearly $1M to those in need. Drake told fans at a Raptors game on March 9 that he is “working on this new album for the city [of Toronto].” Details about the album have not been released yet.

-Owen Murray

Leon Bridges - “Bet Ain’t Worth the Hand” / “Bad Bad News”

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“Bet Ain’t Worth the Hand” and “Bad Bad News” are the first singles leading up to soul singer Leon Bridges’ sophomore album, Good Thing. It's dropping May 4 via Columbia and follows his 2015 debut, Coming Home.

With these new singles, Bridges shifts slightly towards a more modern sound than what was on his last album while still clearly retaining elements of classic soul. “Bet Ain’t Worth the Hand” is a ballad that features a beautiful harp and string arrangement, as well as falsetto vocals from Bridges. On the other hand, “Bad Bad News” is a funky cut centered around a simple beat and bassline, with Bridges delivering some call and response vocals.

-Owen Murray

Flying Lotus - Blade Runner 2022 / Perfect Soundtrack Cuts

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Experimental hip hop producer Flying Lotus surprised his fans on Wednesday with seven new tracks uploaded to his SoundCloud. Flying Lotus has not released a full-length musical project since his acclaimed 2014 album You’re Dead. His horror movie Kuso, which he directed, wrote and contributed music to, premiered at Sundance in 2017 and has become infamous for being one of the most disgusting movies ever made.

Six of these latest tracks are taken from his soundtrack for the short film Blade Runner Black Out 2022. The last one, “Choo Choo,” is an outtake from the recently released thriller Perfect. Listening to these tracks it’s easy to tell that they were written as a part of a film score, but there are hints of Flying Lotus’ signature style interspersed throughout.

-Owen Murray