Mic Drop: Songs That Make You Go 'Ooh'

Mic Drop: Songs That Make You Go 'Ooh'

Some summer songs are hyped-up bangers; this week's singles make you crave the perfect summer romance.

Lenny Kravitz – “Raise Vibrations”
Lenny Kravitz – “Raise Vibrations”
Screenshot: YouTube

Sweet mother of everything that is holy, someone call the “in my feelings” police (but not the racist ones) because for some reason #HotGirlSummer has left the chat this week and #SadBitchSummer has entered.

Okay, maybe not #SadBitchSummer but it’s very clear that this week, artists are taking a break from the hyped-up tracks that have been dominating the charts and have slowed it down a bit for those who are in their bag.

But I digress. We have new Doja and Tyler albums—which have been long awaited for the past two years—and tracks from each of our favorite Smith siblings, both of which are giving “angsty teenager” vibes (but in a good way). Jazmine Sullivan is also back with a follow-up to Heaux Tales, which makes me think another EP is coming in the near future because we stan an overarching storyline across multiple projects.

And if you bring your attention to the photo above, you will find our rock ‘n’ roll savior, Lenny Kravitz, submerged waist-deep in a new video for “Raise Vibration” directed by Mark Seliger in the Bahamas.

I wanna be where he is, to be honest—but since I can’t be in the Bahamas, or in a weird dystopian ancient Greece (I’ll give you three guesses on who is in that video) I’ll just replay this week’s featured tracks on a loop.

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Doja Cat – “You Right (feat. The Weeknd)”

Doja Cat – “You Right (feat. The Weeknd)”

This song is the epitome of “I’m in my bag and in a relationship—but also wanting to have a hot girl summer.” But that’s BDE (Big Doja Energy) for you. She’s at last dropped the new album, so we can stop listening to Hot Pink on repeat (okay, that might just be me). Doja has been on a very spacey and ethereal kick with her music recently, in both the tracks and the videos—and this video is no exception. She is the queen of pink (after Nicki, obviously), and this video is giving Grecian and Roman royalty and artistry. Also…The Weeknd happens to have a double entendre moment pouring a vessel of water on the kingdom Doja rules…so if you need me, I’ll be watching that part of the video on repeat for the foreseeable future.

June 25, 2021, Kemosabe Records/RCA Records (Pop/R&B)

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Duckwrth – “Make U Go”

Duckwrth – “Make U Go”

If there’s one thing Duckwrth knows how to do, it’s drop a funky bass line. “Make U Go” has a very chill vibe and clever hook/chorus (“Imma make u go / Oooooh”). The beat drop is akin to the one in “Nights” by Frank Ocean and speeds up to provide a sense of urgency as the song progresses. Duckwrth is definitely a “srapper” (sing-rapper), and that quality alone makes the song a banger. His lyrics and tone are confident and cocky in a very impressive—but also midly annoying—way. Hopefully the drop of “Make U Go” precedes a full album at some point this summer.

June 24, 2021, SuperGood/The Blind Youth (Hip Hop/R&B)

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Esperanza Spalding – “Formwela 6 (feat. Corey King)”

Esperanza Spalding – “Formwela 6 (feat. Corey King)”

Spalding has been on a roll the past few months, creating music specifically designed to evoke specific feelings in her listeners. In the past two weeks, Spalding released “Formwela 4” and “Formwela 5.” Her most recent release is appropriately very bass-heavy with moody vocals and lyrics to match. Corey King’s vocals fit into the song as if they were part of the instrumental line, hovering below the bass and Spalding’s vocals. “Formwela 6” gives the feeling of an underground jazz club and I feel like I should be wearing a smoking jacket and sitting under a dense cloud of cigarette smoke listening to her sultry voice and captivating instrumentals.

June 25, 2021, Concord Records (Jazz)

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Jaden – “Bye”

Jaden – “Bye”

I was not aware that ethereal punk rap was a thing until this song, but Jaden is proving this type of genre-bending is doable. The high-pitched and bell-like percussion at the opening is beautiful and compliments the acoustic guitar scattered throughout the song. “Bye” really does feel like a farewell to a past self or past life and a welcoming of another life and era. Also the vocal, almost barbershop quartet-like quality of the outro adds a boyish charm to the ending as it fades out.

June 22, 2021, MSFTSMusic / Roc Nation Records, LLC (Punk/Rap)

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Jazmine Sullivan – “Tragic”

Jazmine Sullivan – “Tragic”

Sullivan really knows how to get someone in their feels while making them mad AF at their real or imagined lover. From the jump, she asks why she has to do everything in the relationship, expressing how she needs to “reclaim [her] time.” The production by Leven Kali ebbs and flows between hard and fast R&B to a soft and sensual beat. “Tragic” is the perfect song to follow Heaux Tales—which had an aggressive tone and “I’m done with being hurt” vibe this song builds upon. Sullivan released a teaser clip of “Tragic” on her Instagram early this week where she talks about love, sex and relationships with her closest friends.

June 24, 2021, RCA Records Label (R&B)

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Lenny Kravitz – “Raise Vibration”

Lenny Kravitz – “Raise Vibration”

Close-ups of this man’s lips? Emerging from the gorgeous water in an all-leather fit? Effortlessly walking through rocky terrain, glistening with what I am hoping is that bright and beautiful water and shirtless under a fantail coat? Unsure how any of these are questions because, why yes, Lenny “The DILF” Kravitz just released a five-minute video of his expert guitar playing and incredible cinematography. It’s almost as if the trend of rock music is coming back and he reemerged—literally—to prove who is king.

June 25, 2021, Roxie, BMG (Rock)

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Lou Val – “Escape to Paradise”

Lou Val – “Escape to Paradise”

This song is going to play on a loop in my head for the rest of forever. It is just so damn catchy. Toronto’s “Artist to Watch” Lou Val dropped his EP this week and “Escape to Paradise” is the track that closes out the whole thing. The EP Tayo and The Dreamer was released under the Soulection label and is clearly influenced by other Soulection tracks. Val’s voice is like honey dipped in sand—that is smooth and sultry but wrapped in a slightly gritty package. His sound and lyrics definitely connect with listeners (“tell me how to make things better / better”), evoking regular-degular dating problems anyone can—and no doubt has—dealt with on a day-to-day basis.

June 25, 2021, Soulection Records (Alternative R&B)

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Nao – “Messy Love”

Nao – “Messy Love”

The beats and percussion on this song are just *chef’s kiss*. They fit into the signature and traditional R&B beats Nao is known for using, but sit lower on the track than her other songs, allowing for her voice to truly be the star of the show. These lyrics have a very poetic feel to them, expressing that not only she is done with the messy love, but also needs to protect her energy.

You know, manifesting.

Her fans already know she has one of those vocal ranges that can be both uplifting and high pitched but also low and sultry, which adds to the poetic lyricism of this single. Nao has been hinting at an album over the past few months, and this is “the third single from the impending album,” according to Complex UK. All we know for sure is she is really tired of that messy love—and damn it, we are too.

June 21, 2021, RCA Records Label (R&B)

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Tyler, The Creator – “Juggernaut (feat. Lil Uzi Vert, Pharell)”

Tyler, The Creator – “Juggernaut (feat. Lil Uzi Vert, Pharell)”

However you feel about Tyler, at least he follows the tradition of releasing an album every two years, and here he’s keeping up with the current trend of combining angsty punk rock with rap and hip hop. His music and emotional range resonate with a lot of people and the way he is able to cater to a range of fans while still sticking to himself is commendable. He occasionally seems to be the type of musician who lowkey hates his fans, as he comes out with an album so sparingly and disappears for months at a time—but with this drop, it’s very clear that he loves us. Also, he talks about lemons on this track and then brings in Pharrell and I’m here for it.

For the past few weeks, Tyler has hinted at this album by releasing a song or two here and there. Now that it’s out, we are once again seeing the dynamic and unique production of his tracks and vocal techniques.

January 25, 2021, Columbia (Hip Hop/Rap)

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Willow – “Lipstick”

Willow – “Lipstick”

There’s a lot happening in this song. From the very heavy metal guitar and drums to the echoing vocals, Willow is truly immersing herself in the rock genre and proving she can maintain. A lot of her fans have grown up with her, and the way her music has transitioned makes a lot of sense, especially from a lyrical standpoint. This single has a lot of ballad-like qualities, but there’s a level of anger and pain that slips through the cracks. It seems she is, understandably, angry to some extent (much like the rest of the world) and that is clearly expressed in this track.

June 25, 2021, MSFTSMusic / Roc Nation Records, LLC

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