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Tuesday Reviewsday: Frank Ocean, Nicki Minaj and more

Singer Nicki Minaj (L) and rapper Lil Wayne of Young Money accepting a BET award in 2014 (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for BET)
Singer Nicki Minaj (L) and rapper Lil Wayne of Young Money accepting a BET award in 2014 (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for BET)
Kevin Winter/Getty Images for BET

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If you love music, but don't have the time to keep up with what's new, you should listen to Tuesday Reviewsday. 

Every week our critics join our hosts in the studio to talk about what you should be listening to in one short segment. This week A Martinez is joined by Oliver Wang -  music writer, scholar, and DJ.

Here are his picks:  

Artist: Your Old Droog
Album: Packs
Song: White Rappers

Oliver talked about New York’s Your Old Droog back in 2014, when many people - including myself - thought he might have been an alter-ego for Nas. Need a reminder why? Here's a video from that year - Nutty Bars:

Turns out, Droog simply is a protege of the Queens legend, a 20-something rapper who clearly went back to the ‘90s hip-hop era and mastered every nuance of it. On this new album, he still delivers that golden era goodness. 

Artist: Frank Ocean
Song: Chanel

This was a surprise release from the other week - a one-off song that, musically, sounds like it could have come out of his “Blonde” sessions from last year but lyrically has a bit more form to it unlike the more meandering tracks off that aforementioned album.

What’s funny is that Ocean gives a shout out to Chanel on the song and Chanel followed up a few days later with a shout out to Ocean but both are clear in stating that there is not “Frank Ocean Chanel” campaign. At least, not yet. 

Artist: Valerie June 
Album: The Order of Time
Song: Long Lonely Road 

June made a big splash in 2013 with “Pushin Against a Stone,” and after nearly four years, she’s back with her latest album, “The Order of Time.”

When we talk about great voices, there’s the ones that are technical marvels - Ella, Frank, Aretha - and then there’s the ones that are all about their texture, how the voice feels against your ears, if that makes any sense, and Valerine June has this remarkable, absolutely stunning instrument at her disposal where she sounds like one of those oracles who look young but have been alive for a 1000 years and are filled with mystical wisdom. 

Artist: Nicki Minaj
Song: No Frauds

Remy Ma dissing Nicki Minaj a few weeks back with her epic “Shether”

Nicki took a minute but rather than releasing a more off-the-cuff, mixtape-style cut, she went fully produced, invited Lil Wayne and Drake to join her, and hit back with “No Frauds” which makes up in surgically precise hits what it lacks in furious anger.

You get the feeling that while Remy came hard, in the end, Nicki’s playing chess, not checkers.