Around this time last year, the rapper Denzel Curry released a stunning collaboration with producer Kenny Beats called Unlocked. Their chemistry was undeniable as the two showed off a frenetic, fast-paced collection of songs with head-spinning wordplay, startling production and a healthy dose of humor. Now the two are back with Unlocked 1.5, an ambitious and complete reworking of the original record, with all-new mixes from Robert Glasper, Georgia Anne Muldrow and more, plus features that include Joey Bada$$, Arlo Parks and Benny the Butcher. We open this week’s New Music Friday with the song “Cosmic” and talk about the dramatic ways Denzel Curry and Kenny Beats have re-imagined a record that leaves you wanting more.
Also on the program: The surreal, shape-shifting hip-hop of Genesis Owusu, potent pop and rock from Ian Sweet and Adult Mom, the avant-garde jazz saxophonist Hafez Modirzadeh and more. WBGO and Jazz Night in America‘s Nate Chinen joins contributor Christina Lee, NPR’s Marissa Lorusso, WXPN‘s John Morrison and NPR’s Stephen Thompson, along with host Robin Hilton, as they share their picks for the best new albums out on March 5.
- Denzel Curry & Kenny Beats — Unlocked 1.5
Featured Song: “Cosmic”
- Ian Sweet — Show Me How You Disappear
Featured Song: “My Favorite Cloud”
- Adult Mom — Driver
Featured Song: “Wisconsin”
- Hafez Modirzadeh — Facets
Featured Song: “Facet 33 Tides”
- Genesis Owusu — Smiling With No Teeth
Featured Songs: “Centrefold,” “Drown,” “Smiling With No Teeth,” and “On The Move!”
- Jane Weaver — Flock
Featured Song: “The Revolution of Super Visions”
- Elizabeth and the Catapult — Sincerely, e
Featured Song: “Together Alone”
Other notable releases for March 5: Arab Strap — As Days Get Dark; Fruit Bats — The Pet Parade; Jesswar — TROPIXX; Jimbo Mathus and Andrew Bird — These 13; Kings of Leon — When You See Yourself; Tigers Jaw — I Won’t Care How You Remember Me.