New Music Round-Up 12/14/18: Bruce Springsteen, Kodak Black, Vic Mensa, the Decemberists and More

Welcome to the BroBible New Music Round-Up, where we see what new music has been released this week and continue to participate in the Pentatonix drinking game. It’s simple. Every time they show up on TV: drink. Every time they come up on your holiday radio station of choice: drink. Every time they start beat-boxing and you think, hmm, that seems regrettable: drink. It’s tons of fun for the whole family. Trust me. Follow me @ryanoconnell79

Before we start, make sure to explore the 40 Best Hey Oh! Songs of 2018, which went up earlier this week. It’s not your traditional year-end list. Check it out. It’s almost as much fun as the Pentatonix drinking game. Almost.

Bruce Springsteen Springsteen on Broadway

The Boss has spent the past year on Broadway playing over two hundred solo shows that featured just himself, a guitar, a piano and a boat load of stories from his personal life and long and winding career. The show, which wraps up this weekend, has been packaged in both a Netflix special, which Stephen Hyden of UPROXX, says “loses none of its on-stage power,” and an album, which is both the soundtrack to the Netflix special, as well as a fond look back at Springsteen’s amazing run.

Over two discs, Springsteen mixes stories, anecdotes and song introductions with classics like “Thunder Road,” “The Promised Land,” “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out,” “Dancing in the Dark,” “The Rising,” “Born to Run” and more. Springsteen’s wife and band mate, Patti Scialfa, sits in on two songs, “Tougher Than The Rest” and “Brilliant Disguise.”

Offset Title: TBD

Yet another solo joint from a member of Migos, although by the time you read this, it might not have come out yet (SPOILER: IT DID NOT.) Seems like our boy Offset has been a little busy. I don’t actually think his personal life is the reason for the album’s delay, but that’s not stopping other people from thinking that. It really is a beautiful world we are living in.

Offset tweeted in early November that the album would be released on December 14th and it’s not like someone would ever lie on Twitter (SPOILER NO. 2: HE DID.) So maybe it comes out? (NOPE) Maybe it’s super dope and sets the world on fire? (NOPE) Maybe it doesn’t come out and we drown our sorrows in that Springsteen album? (LIKELY)

Or maybe, in the absence of a new Offset album, we simply turn to young Kodak Black, whose new album features Offset? See, the universe sometimes has a way of working things out for us.

Kodak Black Dying To Live

It’s only been a year since Kodak dropped his debut album, Painting Pictures, but in that time he has kept busy by releasing two mix tapes, Project Baby 2 and Heart Break Kodak, as well as appearing on other people’s tracks, such as Gucci Mane’s “Wake Up in the Sky.” For the life of me, I’ll never fully understand the difference between a proper studio album and a mixtape. But I also don’t understand things like where the conference table goes in The Office when Michael Scott calls meetings, so I’m just going to go with it. Some things in life are meant to remain a mystery I guess.

In addition to Offset, Dying To Live features only a few other guest spots, with Travis Scott, Lil Pump and Juice WRLD popping up on a couple tracks. Besides that though, it’s the Kodak Black show. On “Malcolm X.X.X.,” he pays tribute to XXXTentacion, who was murdered back in June of this year.

Kodak, who is currently making the rounds promoting the album, had a somewhat rocky appearance on Hot 97’s Ebro in the Morning Wednesday morning. At one point in the interview, the show’s host, Ebro Darden, brought up an ongoing sexual assault case Kodak is currently involved in. Things got a little tense before Kodak elected to dip out rather than continue the conversation, something Ebro later took issue with.

Kodak is currently facing sexual assault charges for allegedly raping a teenage girl back in 2016. The trial is set to begin in April and if convicted, Kodak could face up to thirty years in prison.

The Decemberists Traveling On

The Decemberists, the best thing to come out of Oregon since the subject matter for Netflix’s Wild Wild Country documentary, are following up their album I’ll Be Your Girl, which was released this past spring, with a short offering of outtakes from the recording sessions from that album. Whereas the band experimented with different sounds and styles on I’ll Be Your Girl, this new EP has them back in more familiar territory, in that it’s more laid back and full of harmonies.

And in case you are wondering, it too is light on guest spots from other rappers.

Atmosphere When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold (10th anniversary edition)

It’s been ten years since Atmosphere dropped When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold and as is the way of the world these days, here comes a tenth anniversary, DELUXE edition of the album. In ten years, when it’s time to celebrate this column, I’m going to drop a sick tenth anniversary release of it, complete with all the shitty jokes I elected not to use and a complete breakdown of this whole missing conference table conspiracy on The Office. WHERE DOES IT GO???

But back to Atmosphere, When Life Gives You Lemons was the seventh album released by Ant and Slug and represented a shift for the duo, with Slug swapping out a strongly POV, lyrical style for the stories of the others. The production is toned down as well, especially when compared to the more assaulting and bombastic production of 2005’s You Can’t Imagine How Much Fun We’re Having. The album was also one of the more commercial successfully releases for Atmosphere, having debuted at #5 on Billboard’s Top 200 chart.

The limited edition. deluxe, anniversary release features “2 metallic gold LP pockets housing double gold colored vinyl with lemon scented labels and black dust sleeves, free digital download card containing full album MP3’s, two bonus tracks “Keyboard” & “Vanity Sick” and live performance video footage from Atmosphere at First Avenue.” It also features a children’s book by Slug, as well as copies of his lyrics.

Atmosphere also released Mi Vida Local earlier this year.

Vic Mensa Hooligans

Here is something I recently learned about Vic Mensa. That dude has nearly died twice. Twice! The first near-death experience happened when he was trying to sneak into Lollapalooza back in the day and fell off a 30-foot bridge, getting zapped with fifteen thousand volts in the process. Then two years later, he was involved in a serious car accident.

“Those are the reasons why I got ‘Still Alive’ tattooed on my stomach,” Mensa told Rolling Stone back in 2015. I’d hope they are also the reasons why he hopefully has good health insurance. Vic Mensa, I’m worried about you.

Mensa is back with a new EP, the follow-up to 2017’s The Autobiography, which was his studio debut. Named after the crew he ran with growing up in Chicago, Hooligans features Ty Dolla $ign, Charlie Wilson, G Herbo and G-Eazy. Mensa has also made amends with his fellow Chicagoan, Kanye West, who he publicly expressed frustrations with after Kanye’s infamous pop-in at the White House a few months ago.

“I’ve really been coming to see that particular situation through a different lens as well,” Vic said to host Ebro Darden (popular dude in today’s column.) Mensa talked about issues members of his own family are dealing with and how experiencing them first hand changed his perception of Kanye’s actions. Adding that he’s “not even mad at ’Ye no more. I feel for him because that shit is crazy. Bipolar people, they go through it.”

Various Artists Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse

The soundtrack to the animated Spidey film is stacked. Alongside Crocs-enthusiast Post Malone, who previously dropped his collaboration with Swae Lee, “Sunflower,” there’s Nicki Minaj, Anime, Vince Staples and the self-proclaimed, but much disputed king of R&B, Jacques.

Lil Wayne is there as well, appearing on “Scared of the Dark” with Ty Dolla $ign and the late XXXTentacion.

This Week in Ginned-Up Outrage

The Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame announced it’s class of 2019 Thursday morning. Radiohead, The Cure, Janet Jackson, Stevie Nicks and Def Leppard are among those who made the cut. Congratulations.

But you know who didn’t make the cut?


You know, the dudes who created an entire genre of music, albeit one that took a turn down a road we’d all be happy never traveling down again. It’s Rage Against the Machine people! Who are these “1,000 artists, historians, and music industry members” as well as fans that are voting in this election? Can we point any fingers at the Russians? Is there something fishy going with mail-in votes? Have we counted all the votes from troops overseas?

Ugh. I’m starting to think that some things just don’t matter anymore.

The Christmas Music Check-In

Now that we’ve all decided that Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” is our new go-to Christmas song, we should spend more time looking for the random Christmas songs that will fill out the back-end of our Christmas party playlists. For instance, Amerigo Gazaway’s A Christmas Album.

Gazaway is a producer who has made a name for himself concocting delightful mashup albums. He meshed Yasiin Baye (Mos Def) and Marvin Gaye, he introduced Fela Kuti to De La Soul, and most recently, he put Nina Simone and Lauryn Hill together.

On A Christmas Album he continues to do what he does best: mix the old with the new. He drops sampled break beats behind beloved Christmas classics. And the best part? No Pentatonix dude! It’s a loss for those playing the Pentatonix drinking game, but a win for everyone else.

Hey, What’s Kanye Up To?

It’s always worth asking.

I’m not sure the world is capable of handling that if it were to happen. Hell, I’m not even sure Bob Dylan could handle that.

Oh, Kanye also had himself a pretty busy Thursday night.

How is That Super Bowl Halftime Show Looking?

Uh, not great. But hey, thanks for asking.

And Now, Something to End On


Ryan harbors a constant fear of losing his keys, prefers flip flops, and will always choose cereal if it's an option. He maintains his own blog, Giddy Up America, and has previously contributed work to UPROXX & Heavy. Ryan is on Twitter: @ryanoconnell79