Every year, Adult Swim makes summer innovative and fresh with their Singles series. Over the course of 19 weeks, the company drops free songs by a slew of established and rising artists, touching on rap, electronic, pop, indie rock, and more. This year’s crop gives us new songs from Cherry Glazerr, Owen Pallett, Yung Lean, and Peaches already. It’s a dream come true. The best part? You get to download every single song for free.
This week’s track, “Worth It”, is a phenomenal collaboration between Detroit rapper Danny Brown and New Jersey producer Clams Casino, that sees them on top of their game both as individuals and as a pair. It’s as low-key of an instrumental as Brown’s “Grown Up”, and this, in a similar vain, discusses childish ideals — only this time from the flip side. He grapples with the shadows of fame, nonstop vices, and inescapable detachment, questioning the worth (hence the title) of it all. That doesn’t prevent him from starting off by throwing shade at other rappers–“Smoke ’til I get a head rush / Lookin’ at you rappers like breakfast / No apologies for what Imma do to ya / Imma take that game like I’m a sore loser”–although, arguably, it runs in chronological order of a rise and fall.
If “Worth It” is the pinnacle of second guessing at the height of a career, Clams Casino does all the work to make us believe a double-edged sword hurts even when it’s encrusted in gold and jewels. The producer knows how to mix. Aquatic submarine-like beeps call out, droning on until urgency becomes neutral, shifting above the quiet rustle of a shaker and scattered upright bass. There’s a few hustled yelps in the background between miniature rewinds and snares, occasionally splicing things up until it all pops for a short second while a girl’s vocal sample (“Who do you think you are, big shot?”) calls out amidst the haze. This is the sound of drugged up anxiety numbing its own fears.
Give it a listen below: