On April 14th Derek Smith aka Pretty Lights released a single, ‘Around the Block’ in suspense of his forthcoming album “A Color Map of the Sun” (Pretty Lights Music). ‘Around the Block’ is in some ways a testimonial to what everyone already knows and loves about Pretty Lights: the beats, the bass, the samples, masterful blending of electronica and hip hop. It kind of sounds like some spacey vintage Buffalo Springfield with a break beat and Talib Kweli throwing down some Brooklyn love. In other words, it’s dope.
What’s especially impressive is that Kweli isn’t just sampled, he’s featured – and shines! No longer, it seems does Pretty Lights have to rely on cutting in rhymes and verses here and there; this track marks the beginning of what one can only hope to be a torrent of artists willing to collaborate, instead of being recycled, to make more of these tasty beats.