Happy July? How are you? Whenever folks ask how I’m doing as of late, I always tell them that I think I’m doing okay because it’s honestly getting a little bit difficult to even parse out what okay means from day to day. Is it just surviving each day? Getting more than four hours of sleep a night? Or only dealing with two panic attacks a day as opposed to three or four? It’s all a bit unclear. But what is clear is how important it still is for us to keep shining a light on the artists who manage to break through the malaise that the moment evokes and put something new into the universe. This month I’m excited to share a track from one of my students this past year in my hip hop songwriting class I taught at Brown. Even when he was in my class, I was impressed by his powerful delivery and dynamic, boastful raps so I was excited when he reached out to me to share a new song he’d released. What I love most about this track is the way he is able to play with collective nostalgia by invoking Biggie both through the production style and his delivery, while adding his own unique spin. Wherever you are, give it up for this month’s First Thursday pick, my student ATM King with his new single “Dapper Don.” Once you’re done giving the track some spins here make sure you support the rest of my First Thursday picks here.