As a culture/genre/industry of its own, hip-hop houses a continuum within itself. You can have two songs that are based on syncopated rhythms with rhyming, metered vocals that are vastly different from each other in style, content, and audience.
Boom-bap hip-hop is perhaps least popular now than ever. A verse over a looped sample and staccato drums is now some 20+ years removed from the height of its esteem. The doesn’t mean it’s any less powerful of an iteration, or that it still can’t be tweaked to sound fresh in 2013.
Queens D.Light is a self-described griot coming out of Oakland, and when I first heard “Everything Special,” I was hooked by its brevity and earnestness. In less than two minutes, Queens freaks a lazy horn loop into self-assured and unapologetically positive music. There are no magnanimous boasts or shock statements and she weaves Yoruba and Kemetic influences without being self-congratulatory about it.
A film worker as well as musician, you can catch more of Queens D.Light on her Tumblr. “Everything Special” is the single from upcoming her debut project, California Wildflower.