We get it: With everything going on in the world, it can be difficult to carve out time to discover new music. Industry-pushed tunes that may not even bang with like that could also get in the way of you finding something that tingles your consumer taste buds.
Though new tunes are released throughout the working week, a majority of new material drops on Fridays. As a music fiend, I’ll be here each Monday to help you dig through some crates, in order to make things easier on your energy and your ears.
Unlike last week, this time around, there was a decent assortment of tracks that impressed me all over the board. I did my best to narrow down the picks into my top (and bottom) new music from the weekend and I hope you’ll take my recommendations into consideration.
Easily the smoothest new track I heard over the weekend. Whether you’re vibing out alone or trying to get that special someone in the mood, the Leven Kali-produced R&B track showcases both his and his featured guest’s vocals immaculately. And WHEW, that electric guitar to close out the song is just icing on the cake.
The subtle muted drum beat throbbing throughout the track is pretty gnarly, and then that futuristic, laser-like sound that comes in around the 2:10 mark fuses both Scott and Cudi’s signature styles incredibly well. I’m totally not mad at this new duo and did find delight in their name (Cudi’s first name is Scott, so it’s pretty cute). The song was released via the video game Fortnite, which I couldn’t care less about personally, but it seems interesting and shows that The Scotts know their audience.
“Don’t get you down, the world needs you now, you matter,” Ms. Keys sings on the beautiful piano track. The lyrics really will hit you in the heartstrings if you relate it to our current quarantined situation and the thousands of essential workers who are out on the frontlines. Keys performed the song on CNN, and it definitely gave me a little tickle in my throat. Personally, I don’t think there was a better time to have released a song like this, and Alicia Keys is the perfect and most poised person to have done it.
Isaiah Rashad’s “Why Worry,” a soulful, Crooklyn-produced rap song with R&B energy, whets the listener’s appetite for more new music leading up to his highly-anticipated forthcoming project. This is his first new song in four years, and it was well worth the wait. SiR also showed us that R&B isn’t dead with his energetic, Boogie-assisted joint “Rapper Weed” (and nope, that wasn’t a play on words).
If you’re looking for a great rap track with a delicious sample (the beat is generously borrowed from Charles Bradley’s “Strictly Reserved for You”), a top-notch beat switch-up and lyrical dynamism, please look no further than Ab-Soul’s “Dangerookipawaa Freestyle.”
Good job to that label.
You know, I didn’t think I’d enjoy this song nearly as much as I did, because when I think of Lil Baby, I’m not typically impressed. This song calls into the category of so many new rap songs: features a trappy beat and a sing-songy chorus. The chorus is catchy though and I think that his flow and cadence on the track is nice. It’s just...run of the mill. However, I can picture the Gen Z’ers really enjoying it, so, much like my addition of Playboi Carti’s “@ MEH” last week on the revisit list, you might as well acquaint yourself with it.
To be very honest, none of the songs on this list this week are flat out terrible, but they’re not particularly great, either. For instance, this Wiz Khalifa joint is most definitely a Mustard beat, but a Mustard beat doesn’t activate my twerk muscles as expeditiously as it did years ago. Megan Thee Stallion’s verse is the stronger of the two, despite her use of a flow I feel like I’m growing tired of hearing. This was also underutilization of Ty’s velvety vocals, and he usually helps a song. “Y U Mad” may have been a party song Wiz was clamoring for, but it was approached rather lazily.
This was incredibly repetitive to me, which is a disappointment considering some of the tracks in James’ catalog that showcase his ability to float that falsetto over a great beat, such as “Permission” and “Already.” This isn’t a remarkable song at all, and I know he can do better. The use of a vocal effect midway through “Selfish” doesn’t help, either, because he doesn’t need one.