New Music Released This Week (Jun 19 – Jun 23):
Young Thug, Usher, Muni Long & Cordae Highlight This Week’s New Music Roundup was originally published on globalgrind.com
1. Big Freedia – Central CitySource:Big Freedia
Big Freedia, the Queen Diva of Bounce, makes a triumphant return with her first album in nine years, ‘Central City,’ via her label Queen Diva (ADA Worldwide).
‘Central City’ arrives as a testament to Big Freedia’s unwavering commitment to her roots, her city, and the transformative power of music. It proudly embraces the intersections of Pride and Black Music Month, solidifying its status as an essential work that celebrates and uplifts diverse communities.
This long-awaited album features an all-star lineup of guest artists, including Lil Wayne, Faith Evans, Ciara, Kelly Price, Boyfriend, Kamaiyah, Sonyae, and The Soul Rebels. Together, they contribute to the eclectic and vibrant soundscapes that Big Freedia has meticulously crafted for ‘Central City.’
Transporting listeners to the bustling streets of New Orleans, Big Freedia’s ‘Central City’seamlessly weaves a tapestry of musical influences. “This album is like walking through the streets of New Orleans,” says Freedia, reminiscing on the people and places that make the city magical. “From Josephine to Melpomene, to Calliope and Magnolia. To Second and D to Third and G, Central City is all the places in between. This is the sound of Uptown New Orleans. It’s the people, the food, the culture, and the music. It’s a mixture of Black history, with a little bit of French, and that voodoo that creates a unique gumbo. And everybody wants a taste.”
In addition to promoting ‘Central City,’ the Queen Diva just launched a new original series, ‘Big Freedia Means Business’, with her longtime partners at FUSE. The show provides a captivating glimpse into Big Freedia’s prolific entrepreneurial endeavors. With her fearless drive and relentless work ethic, Big Freedia continues to make strides in various ventures, leaving an indelible mark on the industry.
Furthermore, visuals and even more new music are already in the works, promising an immersive and dynamic artistic experience for Big Freedia’s fans. With her unparalleled energy and boundary-pushing creativity, Big Freedia’s forthcoming projects are sure to captivate audiences worldwide.
But in the greater scheme of things, Big Freedia hopes her voice and platform as an unapologetically authentic artist will inspire, especially at a time when the rights of LGBTQ+ people are under constant attack. Through her music, performances, and relentless advocacy, Big Freedia continues to be a beacon of inclusivity and acceptance.
2. Lo Village – In My BagSource:Lo Village
Undoubtedly one of today’s most compelling musical collectives, Lo Village announce their highly anticipated new album, Yellow Brick Road, which is slated for release on July 14th via +1 Records. In celebration, they share their striking new single “My Bag” today. Lined with their signature style that not only thrills but is deeply palpable in nature, the track captures a universal standstill in life in which you search for its meaning, choosing to seek out a deeper purpose and fulfillment over the material gain. Yellow Brick Road houses a collection of tracks with captivating range and sees no sonic territory unexplored while brimming with depth that will cement the trio as one of music’s most essential artists.
The striking new body of work, Yellow Brick Road, soundtracks the trio’s return after a departure from music and reveals an extraordinary journey that transformed the trajectory of their art and lives. While on the cusp of a breakthrough that saw large critical acclaim following their beloved project, Lost In America, singer and songwriter Ama was suddenly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and everything stopped. Ama soon lost control of her voice and a return to music was unknown, while a journey ensued to treat and understand her MS with fellow members Kane and Tyler coming together to collectively support Ama above anything else. Yellow Brick Road chronicles this tremendous undertaking, the lessons learned and a new lease on life – the good, bad, and complexities of it all.
Hailing from Gaithersburg, Maryland, Lo Village is the brainchild of siblings Ama and Kane, and close childhood friend, Tyler, who set out to transform the music arena with a unique sound that is both incredibly profound and wildly thrilling. Pulling from their dynamic influences ranging from R&B, rock, pop, hip hop and deeply palpable lived experiences, they’ve brought to life a culturally robust, standout sonic identity years in the making. Their signature sound resides across sonic territories that provides a deep level of connection and belonging to listeners, originating from the group’s own desires from their younger selves. Their music has proven to be crucial within a time of heightened racial injustice and inequality by tackling socially and politically charged issues and earnest testimonies while remaining insatiable in nature.
With the release of their combined past projects, the trio has already amassed large critical acclaim from publications such as Billboard, Hypebeast, Pitchfork, Revolt, Lyrical Lemonade, Popsugar, Buzzfeed, Notion, Hot New Hip Hop, Okayplayer, Ones to Watch, Pigeons and Planes and many others. Their stunning ascend is one to not miss.
3. NOBY – BeforeSource:NOBY
NOBY releases his lush new single “Before” via Motown Records. The rising alt-R&B artist and Alabama native has been pushing boundaries with his provocative lyrics and haunting melodies, but this latest effort shows the silk-smooth way he can envelop the listener.
For most of its runtime, “Before” seems to fill the mix entirely, its gorgeous production finding every nook and cranny of the listener’s speakers or headphones. NOBY dances over it nimbly—sometimes ducking inside of it, sometimes gliding on top. Focused lines like “I was lost before” are sung deliberately, clear and doubled, while revelations just as stark are rendered as something closer to off-the-cuff utterances to himself. The effect is intoxicating, expertly planned, and improvisatory at once.
“Before” comes in the wake of NOBY’s Motown debut, “It’s Never That Deep.” Regarding that track, NOBY said, “‘It’s Never That Deep’ speaks to the contradiction of having high expectations for a lover without being able to fully commit. It encapsulates the realities of an unbalanced love affair that is never fully reciprocated.” Instead of picking sides or laying blame, the newcomer takes an unusually adult approach to modern love.
In 2020 NOBY released The Truest, a gorgeous, patient record that showcased his unimpeachable voice and knack for building and releasing tension. (The Truest includes breakout hit “What You Want,” which introduced NOBY to hundreds of thousands of listeners in a single stroke.) He’s also brought that ability to control the mood of a room into the physical realm, joining Yung Bleu on tour, helping export his unique sound to the world. With “Before,” NOBY proves he can construct a full realized universe all his own.
4. Raheem DeVaughn – The Summer Of LoveSource:Raheem DeVaughn
As fans across the globe celebrate the arrival of a new season, the three-time Grammy Nominated celebrated R&B singer Raheem DeVaughn has decreed this to be The Summer Of Love, with the release of his ninth album. The 12-track EP, available today on all platforms, is an ode to all facets of love; beginning on a steamy, sultry note and ending with the sweet promise that love can and will last well past the summer… if done right.
After kicking off the project with a computerized reminder of how committed he is to his title as The Love King, Raheem DeVaughn launches into a series of increasingly sexy tracks, with the lead single “All Night,” inviting a would be paramour to join the singer in an exploration of all that love can be. As promised when the song was originally released in May, “All Night” gently sets the tone for what’s to come as listeners continue on The Summer Of Love journey. “I want music lovers to be prepared for it to be provocative, grown, sensual and mannish, all while allowing their sexual algorithms to be serenaded by the sounds of the EP,” DeVaughn explained at the time. From there, the project builds towards a sonic climax, with the singer laying each provocative thought, desire and intention on the table with no holds barred. The seductive tracks building up to the project’s crescendo are supported by equally suggestive interludes that speak to the power of sex, leading into the blush-worthy “Let It Flow.”
From there, however, The Summer Of Love takes a turn from the physical to the emotional connections needed to grow a relationship beyond lust. Beginning with the “Pillow Talk” interlude – a reminder about the importance of building intimacy – Raheem DeVaughn gently brings fans back down to what should remain after even the steamiest sessions of love making. The project’s final three tracks – “Purpose,” “Heart Strings” and “This Is Love” – serve to bring the reason for the season back to the forefront. Throughout The Summer Of Love, Raheem DeVaughn’s brilliant, evocative songwriting and powerful, masterful vocal performances serve as a reminder of what has consistently kept the D.C. native’s name listed as one of the greatest R&B talents of his generation.
Ahead of the project’s release, Raheem DeVaughn embarked on the Summer Of Love tour, which has already seen him visit 13 cities across the country. The tour is currently set to wrap in the Atlanta suburb of Mableton, GA on September 23 after stops in Michigan, Maryland, and Ohio; though the singer has hinted that more dates may be added. If you’re not able to catch Raheem DeVaughn live, you can experience The Summer Of Love by connecting via Instagram: @raheem_devaughn.
For all media inquiries, please contact Syreta J. Oglesby at email@example.com or 201-658-3711.
5. Oxymorrons – Graveyard WordsSource:OxymorronsTV
Boundary-pushing melanated punk band Oxymorrons are thrilled to announce their highly anticipated album, Melanin Punk, will release October 20th via Mascot Records. Accompanying the announcement comes the project’s electrifying third single, “Graveyard Words,” which boasts more of the band’s diverse influences and innovative musicality.
“Graveyard Words” merges the captivating sounds of drum and bass with nods to the unique vibe of Turnstile meshed with a little bit of Kid Cudi. In an audacious exploration of their musical inspirations, Oxymorrons have again dared to create something entirely fresh and crafted a track that breaks free from conventions.
When asked about the inspiration behind “Graveyard Words”, Oxymorrons collectively explained, “It’s about speaking with intentions. Words carry weight and you can manifest positivity but also negativity with the things you say – on the extreme side of the spectrum it could cost you your life. It’s about the laws of attraction through words. The chorus sounds like a threat coming from an individual – like ‘yo watch yer mouth or I’ll f*ck you up’ – but it was really written from the perspective of the universe/karma warning us humans. A small example is we try not to use the word ‘hate’ in our vocabulary when describing something we don’t like. We’re not always successful, but just trying to remove that word so that we don’t attract hatred into our life and leave that portal open for hate to come through. You attract what you project, and we project positivity.”
“Graveyard Words” follows the success of the album’s previous singles, “Enemy” and “Last Call,” which have garnered widespread acclaim and solidified Oxymorrons’ place as one of the most exciting and radical acts in music. Each release from Melanin Punk showcases the band’s exploration of new sonic territories while staying true to their rebellious spirit and unapologetic authenticity.
The band’s upcoming album derives its name from the concept of melanin as a unifying force transcending mere skin tone. Oxymorrons define melanin punk as an emblem of culture, a rebellious ethos, and a celebration of the shared human experience. The band sees themselves as representatives of the people, embracing the diversity that exists within humanity and using their music as a catalyst for unity. They share, “It’s about community, not division. Oxymorrons is for us, but the project represents the people and what brings us together. Our whole human existence is about connection. It’s everyone in the band’s uniqueness that makes us the crazy melting of sound and that’s a great analogy to how we feel about the world as a whole.”
Oxymorrons describe their Melanin Punk album as “a cinematic experience” and “the most unique mixed baby you have ever seen” that builds upon the foundation laid by their EP, Mohawks and Durags. While the EP introduced listeners to an array of energies and vibes, the album takes fans on an immersive journey within each individual song. Melanin Punk symbolizes the culmination of the band members’ diverse backgrounds, eccentricities, and flawless imperfections, resulting in an extraordinary artistic creation.
As they gear up for the album release, Oxymorrons will be smashing stages across the US on Corey Taylor’s solo tour. They excitedly shared, “Being co-signed by a legend and getting to rock out with him is insane. It’s the universe working its magic. Corey Taylor first heard us on ShipRocked at the top of 2022 on a beach. Now we get to do it on land!”
Fans should keep their ears to the ground for more music, merch drops, tour dates, and exciting partnerships to come. They can keep up with the band via their website: https://www.oxymorrons.com
6. Äyanna – GirlfriendSource:Äyanna
he captivating singer and songwriter Äyanna arrives with a new single “Girlfriend” and a dazzling music video. Primed to take the pop arena by storm, the young artist has already reached huge milestones through her undeniable one-of-a-kind talent including early cosigns from Stormzy, Summer Walker, Spinall and others. Featuring a striking mosaic of pop fused with R&B, soul and beyond, “Girlfriend” kicks off a fantastical series fashioned after a 2000’s rom-com sitcom that centers young love and the magic that envelops it. Directed by Priya Minhas, the stunning video introduces Äyanna’s kaleidoscopic world that follows the whimsical adventures of a hopeless romantic with her four best friends. Here, she encounters her crush at the London cafe she works in and a delightful fascination ensues. Combining mesmerizing choreography and Äyanna’s unrivaled voice, the release cements Äyanna as one of pop’s most exciting new artists.
Additionally, Äyanna has joined the ranks of celebrated LVRN artists such as 6LACK, Summer Walker, DVSN, Davido, Spinall, Baby Tate and more. With the support of the groundbreaking label and collective, it’s undeniable that Äyanna will solidify herself as a force in music and beyond.
Growing up in both East London and Jamaica, Äyanna’s music draws from the rich sounds of her upbringing imparted on her by her English and Jamaican-born parents, resulting in a style that’s both soulful, fresh and irresistible. She began singing at four years old and at nineteen she walked away from a promising career in law to pursue her dream of making music. Soon after, one of the first three songs she ever wrote, “Party Tricks,”became a big hit and has since amassed millions of streams.
Most recently, Äyanna made her worldwide television debut with an explosive performance at the European MTV Awards alongside globally renowned artists Spinall and Nasty C of their song “Power (Remember Who You Are)” with DJ Snake. The track is featured in the short film, The Flipper’s Skate Heist, that’s out now and it spotlights Äyanna’s dynamic songwriting and singing prowess. With so many monumental feats already under her belt, the young artist’s ascend is one not to be missed.
Äyanna on Girlfriend:
“I wrote ‘Girlfriend’ with Gale when I had a big crush on someone. It was the first time I’d felt such strong feelings and the day I wrote the song I was just feeling so overwhelmed and giddy. I said to Gale ‘let’s do something really fun and flirtatious’. The song starts with ‘if I wait any longer, you might make me spill over’ because at the time I really was wondering why he hadn’t asked me to be his girlfriend yet. I just love how to the point the song is, while still being so playful and fun.”
7. Breez Kennedy – Love Crazy (Blowing Up Your Phone)Source:Breez Kennedy
With a lithely powerful tenor and rare emotional courage, Breez Kennedy was born to be a loverboy. Pairing supple melodies with unfiltered memories of wounded relationships, he distills a reservoir of sensations through wide-eyed love songs—anthems for dreamers who aren’t afraid to get lost in their feelings. He fuses those gifts on the new Def Jam single “Love Crazy (Blowin Up Your Phone),” as mesmerizing as it is unabashedly heartfelt. Growing up between New Jersey and Florida, he quickly became a musical force of his own making. He was taken early on with the stylings of Chris Brown, wanting to emulate the crooner’s famous runs in his own songs. Breez would repeat those songs so much that his older brother nicknamed him Lil Breez—and the name stuck as his own talent began to crystallize. He’d won local competitions, and his solo offerings began getting attention. He originally signed to Standard Records at 15 years old and then beginning in 2020, self-recorded songs quickly accumulated thousands of streams after being uploaded online. Using TikTok, Breez also began previewing song snippets as viewers became familiar with his evolving sound. The spark was apparent, he was signed to Def Jam before he released any music because of the impact his previews made on social media. Since he surfaced, he’s collected cosigns from the likes of Swae Lee, Young Thug, and Lil Tjay, and now with new music at his back, he’s positioned himself to make sure his come-up is a continual one.
8. Fridayy ft. Chris Brown – Don’t Give It AwaySource:Fridayy Official
This week, Fridayy was included in XXL’s 2023 Freshman List as an R&B singer to watch. Building on a whirlwind year of unprecedented momentum that saw Grammy-nominated collaborations and SNL performances with the likes of DJ Khaled and Lil Baby respectively, quickly rising star Fridayy has grabbed the title of ‘Melody God’ and established himself as the go-to hitmaker in the hip-hop/R&B space. Now, Fridayy shared the visual for “Don’t Give It Away” featuring Chris Brown via Def Jam Recordings.
On “Don’t Give It Away” – the first from Fridayy’s forthcoming debut LP – a slick guitar loop snakes around a glitchy beat. Fridayy leans into the groove as he reminds, “Shorty, you know you can have it your way.” The visual finds Fridayy and Brown together in a casino, careful not to disclose their feelings too early. His simmering delivery bubbles into a fiery falsetto only for Breezy to roll through with an equally hypnotic cameo. Together, they deliver what promises to be the summer’s most undeniable up-tempo R&B anthem.
It arrives on the heels of “Know The Truth.” In addition to cracking 1 million streams, the music video has reeled in nearly 500K YouTube views. REVOLT praised it as “an ode to low inhibitions and sexually charged intentions,” and Attack The Culture raved, “His new ‘Know The Truth’ music video locks you in from the moment it starts up.”
Last year, Fridayy’s debut EP, Lost In Melody amassed millions of streams as well as praise from Billboard, XXL, Wonderland, Essence, BET, Revolt and UPROXX. Named by Ebony as one of “6 Music Artists To Know Before 2023,” Fridayy also continues to prove himself as both a producer/songwriter with artists like Coco Jones, Lil Tjay, Rod Wave and Vedo all releasing songs crafted by the hitmaker in recent months.
Already heralded in artist circles and being showered with accolades before the release of his first album, it’s still just the beginning for Fridayy…stay tuned.
9. Autumn Corin – Autumn In SummerSource:Autumn Corin
R&B songstress Autumn Corin is back with a new EP, “Autumn in Summer”, available on all digital platforms via Zooted Music.
The four-track project is the third installment in her “seasons” series, following “Autumn in Winter” and “Autumn in Spring”. “Autumn in Summer” is a vibrant and experimental project, featuring a mix of R&B, hip-hop, pop, dancehall, and worldly sounds. The EP follows the story of a young woman navigating relationships and life in the summertime, exploring themes of confidence, summer flings, and self-realization.
“Autumn In Summer” follows the successful format of “Autumn In Winter” and “Autumn In Spring”, with four tracks that showcase Corin’s eclectic and experimental approach to music. She borrows elements from pop, hip-hop, dancehall, and R&B, to create a fresh and dynamic vibe for this season’s EP.
The lead single, “Fly”, sets the tone with its heavy-hitting, hip-hop-influenced beats and punchy, piano-like stabs. The confidence-driven record gets listeners feeling empowered and ready to take on the world.
Accompanying the release of “Autumn In Summer”, Corin also delivers the vibrant visual for the lead single, “Fly” out now via her official YouTube channel.
“Fly” sets the tone with its heavy-hitting, hip-hop-influenced beats and punchy, piano-like stabs. Directed by Ronnie Lewis Productions aka LewisYouNasty, the video features an ode to Destiny’s Child’s classic “Bills Bills Bills” music video and the beauty salon culture of the late 90s/early 2000s.
“Taste Of You” and “Something Special” continue the summer fling theme with catchy hooks and nostalgic, 90’s and early 2000’s vibes. The two tracks bring a carefree, no strings attached energy that perfectly captures the essence of summer love.
The project closes with “When We’re Sober”, a slow and sultry R&B track co-written by multi-platinum songwriter Sam Hook. The record leaves listeners questioning the innocence of summer love and delving into the more confusing and wild aspects of navigating relationships.
10. The Hoodies – Summer of 69Source:The Hoodies
Canadian singerBryan Adams released his hit single “Summer of ’69” on June 17, 1985. On the heels of the Rock anthem’s 38th anniversary, the viral Rap sensations known as The Hoodiesshare their take on the original song‘s concept. Released to all major digital streaming platforms on this year’s summer solstice (6/21/2023), the new single finds brothers E-Class and Young Poppa claiming dominance ahead of the season with braggadocious raps over producer A2‘s chopped sample of the original melody and famous guitar riff. The Hoodies share the song’s Corey Hallam and Tiffany Abrams-directed music video, featuring Brady Watt and his band.
“‘Summer of 69’ embodies that summertime feel; Hip-hop with a strong rock & roll presence. Anytime you mix those two genres something special is made. Big shout out to A2 On The Beat In The Whip Tape coming soon! – E-Class
“‘Summer of 69’ is the perfect blend between Hip-Hop and Rock & Roll. It’s the best of both worlds. The video shows how the two sides meet.” – Young Poppa
The Hoodies released their latest EP What Pressure Makes via Asti Love/EMPIRE back in March of this year. The six-track project serves as a prelude to the duo’s forthcoming full-length album Hidden Gems, produced entirely by the legendary Kid Capri. The Hoodies are also set to release their In The Whip Tape later this summer.
11. Kenzo B – Top 2, Not 2Source:Kenzo B
Kenzo B, one of the leading voices in New York’s rap scene, presents her highly anticipated new mixtape, Top 2, Not 2, out now via Coke Boys/Warner Records.
It boasts the raucous and raw single “N.B.L.” Snaps set the tempo as she launches right into a rapid-fire flow. She promises, “High style and you know that I’m flying,” while her slick verses give way to a hazy hook underscored by ethereal samples. Flaunting six knockout tracks, she leans into a laidback cadence on the nostalgic and pensive opener “Chapters” with vivid storytelling. Elsewhere, ominous piano pierces the 808s during “Disrespectful.” she picks up the pace with more lyrical fire and a promise, “Fuck all the likes and the views, I’m just here for the money, bitches can’t get nothing from me.”
She notably set the stage for the project with “BFFR.” The track incited unanimous applause right out of the gate. The FADER declared, “It’s Kenzo B’s moment right now” and applauded “her charismatic take on drill, chiefly defined by a flow that whirls and slices like a tornado of razor blade.”
The project follows Kenzo B’s debut mixtape, Top Dawg, notably anchored by the single “Hood Love Story.” Kenzo’s skill of lyricism showed her willingness to get “deeper than music,” to which she received critical acclaim from Pitchfork, HotNewHipHop, Vulture, OkayPlayer, and The FADER. For Kenzo B, the bag is in sight with Top 2, Not 2.
12. Juice WRLD & Cordae – DoomsdaySource:Lyrical Lemonade
Award-winning music video director and culture-defining creator Cole Bennett and his multimedia company Lyrical Lemonade – the community-driven platform and YouTube channel with over 10 Billion views worldwide – today announce a partnership with Def Jam Recordings. Under this newly minted deal, Lyrical Lemonade proudly presents its debut single “Doomsday,” a fabled and recently unearthed collaboration between Juice WRLD & Cordae.
Cole and Cordae initially teased this chapter with a series of social media postsincluding the captivating whyrush? (A Short Film Directed By Cole Bennett), igniting widespread anticipation and speculation throughout Lyrical Lemonade’s 20+ million subscriber community, and hip-hop culture at large.
“Doomsday” – a bar-for-bar sparring round between Juice and Cordae over the Dr. Dre-produced Eminem classic “Role Model” – notably marks the first official collaboration between GRAMMY Award-nominated multi-platinum rapper Cordae and the late legend Juice WRLD. On the track, pensive, provocative, and powerful bars collide with an apocalyptically catchy hook, entwining two respective styles in one dynamic vision. With Bennett in the director’s chair, the accompanying music video unfolds as an event-level spectacle, using technology to frenetically morph Cordae into Juice WRLD and back while chaos unfolds around them.
13. Young Thug – Business Is BusinessSource:Young Thug
GRAMMY Award-winning, multiplatinum, chart-topping artist, fashion disruptor, and Young Stoner Life Records Founder Young Thug presents his new full-length studio album, BUSINESS IS BUSINESS—available now via Young Stoner Life Records/300 Entertainment.
It notably marks his first full-length solo album since 2021’s Punk, which bowed at #1 on the Billboard 200. The latter proved both personal and introspective, broke barriers in music, and shifted culture.
Last week, a QR code appeared on Thug’s Instagram, attracting curiosity and buzz to http://www.businessisbusiness.biz. Today, as the countdown ended, he delivered the surprise arrival of the 15-track album, BUSINESS IS BUSINESS.
When asked about the album, Young Thug simply replied with “Business is Business.”
BUSINESS IS BUSINESS boasts collaborations with 21 Savage, Drake, Future, Lil Uzi Vert, Travis Scott and more. A thought-provoking image of Thug in court serves as the artwork for the album.
Inspired by the weaponization of Young Thug’s art against him, 300 Elektra Entertainment Chairman and CEO Kevin Liles has spearheaded the Protect Black Art movement to limit the use of creative expression against artists in courtrooms. It has already inspired legislation signed into law California, the passage of bills in state houses in Louisiana, Missouri, and New York, as well as the introduction of the RAP Act at the federal level, which today has 22 co-sponsors. Notably, the California law has already led to an appeals court overturning a conviction, calling the prosecutor’s usage of lyrics “prejudicial” and stating the “remaining evidence was not strong.” Liles said, “This is a movement, not a moment. The prosecutorial overreach in the case against Jeffery – a great father, CEO, and leader in his community – has awakened the artistic community to the growing attack on their First Amendment rights.”
14. Kidd Kenn – Everywhere I GoSource:Kidd Kenn
Kidd Kenn, the 20 year-old Chicago hip-hop sensation delivers on the promise of his first brand new single + pseudo video release of 2023, “Everywhere I Go” available today via 4TH & B’WAY/Def Jam Recordings.
“Everywhere I Go,” written by Kidd Kenn, Sean Ross and James Kaye, and produced by Ross and Kaye, is the first advance music from his forthcoming new EP arriving later this summer. This August, will be his first-ever appearance at Lollapalooza in his hometown of Chicago. He will also be appearing at House of Luv: Afro Pride Performance in Los Angeles on July 8th.
“Everywhere I Go” marks the first new music from Kidd Kenn since he dropped his Grown EP in July 2022, which included the single + video releases “Body,” “At It Again” (a reunion with Delli Boe), “Want Not A Need” featuring Baby Tate, and “Do Dat At” featuring Erica Banks. Kenn described “Body” as “a song meant to make people feel really good about their bodies, to really let go of their insecurities and feel confident in themselves.” To support the release of “Body,” he played a round of live dates around Memorial Day weekend, including the So What Festival in Arlington, Texas, WeHo Pride in West Hollywood, and Taking Black Pride In Seattle.
The Grown EP was Kenn’s follow-up to his provocative“B4” (Remix) featuring Saucy Santana (November 2021).The remix was preceded by “Get Lit” (August 2021), a classic high energy track featured in EA’s Madden ’22videogame soundtrack.
Prior to that came the raw, hard-hitting Problem Child (June), a 6-song EP whose single + video releases spanned nearly a year, including: “Freestyle,” Kenn’s viral collaboration with Delli Boe; “Gold Digger” featuring Dess Dior; “Moves” featuring Rico Nasty (which was synced in the Apple Watch Series 6 online ad); and “Good Day.”
“Good Day” was featured in the summer 2021’s Target x NY Pride ad, supported by Kidd Kenn’s gala performance at the Youth Pride/NYC Pride virtual festival sponsored by Target. In addition to the City Girls #PussyTalkChallenge, Kenn has received support and co-signs from Grammy®-winning artists Cardi B, Lizzo, Megan Thee Stallion, and Lil Nas X, along with Chance The Rapper, Saweetie, Young M.A, Kehlani and more. The momentum has not let up since Kenn was first brought onstage by Kehlani at the San Francisco Pride Festival in June 2018.
As reported by BET, “Kidd Kenn’s verse during the Hip Hop Awards’ ‘Digital Cypher’ was a crowd favorite, so much so that a snippet of the verse went viral.” Kenn appeared as the first openly LGBTQAI rapper to performing the elite Cypher, alongside LaKeyah, Toosii and Symba. The influential annual all-star cypher collabo always draws tens of millions of views.
Kidd Kenn made headlines when he was selected for GLAAD’s prestigious list of “20 Under 20: Young LGBTQ People Shaping The Future of Media and Activism,” presented by Teen Vogue. He was later nominated for a GLAAD award for “Outstanding Breakthrough Artist.” Kenn was also included in OUT Magazine’s influential OUT100 List.
The buzz behind Kidd Kenn has been explosive, with PAPER, Fader, XXL, Hot New Hip Hop, Nylon, Teen Vogue, Office Magazine, Interview Magazine, and other tastemakers all rallying behind the young artist. Nylon called him a “rap phenom,” and Fader dubbed him “Chicago’s Next Teen Sensation.” Summer 2019 saw him perform at multiple virtual Pride festivals including MobiFest, Wynwood Pride, Pride South Side and more. Kidd Kenn’s huge organically grown web following currently includes over 270,000 Instagram followers, over 2 million video views on YouTube, over 532,000 followers on TikTok, and over 5.8 million likes.
15. Tyler Cole – Bad JokeSource:Tyler Cole
Rising genre-bending singer, songwriter, producer, and screenwriter, Tyler Cole releases two solo singles “Good Drugs//Bad Joke” via Def Jam Recordings.
The two tracks are the first taste of new solo music from Cole and gives fans a window into what is to come. To accompany the release Cole also shares the cinematic and high energy video for “Bad Joke,” directed by Mattias Russo-Larsson (Jeleel!, Saint Levant).
On the releases, he shares: “Releasing these two songs together is the perfect complement, not just because of the dichotomy of good vs. bad, but because of the sonic range between the two songs. Together, I feel like they say a lot about me as an artist.”
These releases follow breakout hit “Meet Me at Our Spot” with WILLOW – the duo released the track under the name THE ANXIETY. The track and video have been streamed over 750 million times worldwide. The duo performed the track at Coachella in 2022.
On the film side, Cole co-wrote a screenplay “Da Understudy” which has been picked up by Amazon Studios with Spike Lee directing.
Listen to “Good Drugs/Bad Joke” and keep an eye out for more from Tyler Cole coming soon.
16. Tyler Cole – Good DrugsSource:Tyler Cole
17. Muni Long ft. Usher – Hrs & Hrs (Remix)Source:Muni Long
Muni Long releases “Hrs & Hrs” Remix with Usher after demand for the song reached fever pitch following their first-ever performance of it at the Lovers & Friends Festival on May 6.
One of the most streamed and buzzworthy artist in R&B today, Muni has exploded since the success of “Hrs & Hrs.” In addition to nettingover 250 million streams and peaking at #1 at Urban & Rhythmicradio, the track rose to Top 5 atApple Music, and hit #17 on the Billboard Hot 100. Muni was embedded in Grammy history when she took home the 2023 award for Best R&B Performance for “Hrs And Hrs.”
Before her soulful, conversational songwriting and powerful vocals caught fire around the world with “Hrs & Hrs,” Muni Long spent a decade as one of the best-kept behind-the-curtain secret weapons in the industry. Her journey as a much-in-demand songwriter, co-mingling R&B, rap, and pop, resulted in a diverse catalog of hits accumulated by Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Madonna, Chris Brown, Ariana Grande, Mary J. Blige, Kelly Clarkson, and Selena Gomez, to name a few.
18. 2 Eleven & T.F. – Skanless Levels 4Source:2eleven
While he was born in Sacramento, T.F. spent his formative years in Los Angeles. Living in a Crip-heavy neighborhood known as the “50’s,” as a young teen, he choose getting jumped in over getting jumped. An attempted bank robbery, followed by a parole violation leads the then 18-year-old to being incarcerated for the first time. While imprisoned, T.F., along with other incarcerated prisoners fought southern California wildfires, to prevent smoldering blazes from incinerating more acres, mountains, hillsides, and homes; nearly dying in the process.
Though T.F. has recorded songs dating back to as early as 2006, a final prison stint stunted his goals until he was released in 2012 and he began recording in earnest again. T.F has spent the last decade gradually ascending to become one of LA’s sharpest pens, along the way expanding his brand and catalog. A few guest appearances (including “Tookie Knows II” with Schoolboy Q) brought him early recognition and set the stage for his solo work; including Blame Kansas (2022) a collaborative project with Roc Marciano, which featured collaborations with Conway The Machine, Flee Lord, Crimeapple & Mephux, and his Skanless Levels series with producer 2 Eleven (which has featured collaborations with Larry June, Conway The Machine, Jay Worthy, G Perico and Trizz among others).
Now, 2 Eleven and T.F. have linked back up for the release of their new collaborative project, Skanless Levels 4, which is now available. You can also watch the new video for “Special Sauce” which features Roc Marciano.
Skanless Levels 4 features appearances from Roc Marciano, Jay Worthy, Rome Streetz and Trizz.
19. Genia – 4PM In The VilleSource:Genia
Genia, the uncategorizable 21 year-old singer-rapper and fierce R&B phenom from the streets of Victorville, California, sets the time for 4PM IN THE VILLE, her debut mixtape available at all platforms via Def Jam Recordings. (Please see complete track listing below.) Genia also dropped a new video for “The One.”
Genia found her groove earlier this year on her aptly-titled “Introducing”smash debut single + video – which hit #1 on the Soundcloud New and Hot: R&B Charts. She then rode out again last month for the underdogs on “False Prophet.”
Back in February, Genia released five different versions of “Introducing” – A Capella, Sped Up, Slowed Down, and an instrumental outside of the original. She also revealed a new music video treatment of the single. In that spirit, in the run-up to today’s arrival of 4PM IN THE VILLE, Genia filmed live performance “garage band” versions of “False Prophet” at home in Victorville, along with covers of classics including Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly With His Song,” Janet Jackson’s “Let’s Wait Awhile,” and so on. In other Genia news, check out her opening up for fellow Def Jam artist Coco Jones live at Echoplex in Los Angeles.
Genia-followers were also gifted two other tracks in May: “Jaded,” an emotionally charged confession (“Ask me how I feel/ I’m’a say I’m jaded”); and a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams.” Genia adds a touch of her own magic to the original, infusing the performance with a certain grit and spirit as the warm guitar tones are plucked on a Fender Strat.
Genia has spent a lifetime using music as a form of therapy. “I feel like I make music for everybody,” she says. “But mainly for women to feel badass. I wanna feel like I have the power. I wanna feel like I’m that bitch. That was kind of my thing: to make bad bitch music, but also to make vulnerable music, almost like somebody’s reading my diary. If only one person finds peace in my music then I know I’ve done my job.”
20. Hania Rami ft. Patrick Watson – Dancing With GhostsSource:Gondwana Records
Hania Rani, Polish composer, experimental multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, announces her new studio album Ghosts, due October 6 on Gondwana Records. The album signifies a bold departure from her previous work – embracing improvisation, darker synth sounds, boundary-pushing vocal techniques– and features guest artists such as Olafur Arnalds, Patrick Watson and more. “Dancing with Ghosts” featuring Patrick Watson is out today, accompanied by a music video directed by Sara & Nadia Szy and conceived by Hania. This follows the first single “Hello” released last month – both portals into the new, haunting yet playful world of Hania Rani. Pre-order Ghosts + Listen to “Dancing With Ghosts” Here
When Hania Rani reintroduced herself this spring with “Hello”, the preliminary taster for her then unannounced new album, Ghosts, it most likely startled many who’ve come to love her work. Otherworldly yet upbeat, its mischievous melody, eloquent Rhodes piano, sparkling synths and nimble rhythms offered little indication of the New Classical style with which she is sometimes associated. But then anyone who has seen Rani live in the last two years can testify Rani’s art is constantly evolving, and, just as the album’s title suggests Rani passes repeatedly and gracefully between musical worlds: as composer, singer, songwriter, and producer.
Ghosts is the sound of an artist finding her own voice, finding new stories to tell and perhaps sharing her music as intended for the first time. It builds on her earlier successes Esja (2019) and Home (2020) with an expanded yet still minimal setup of piano, keyboards, synths (most importantly her Prophet) and centers her mysterious, bewitching voice.
As the name suggests the album is sometimes eerie, even haunted, these qualities underlined by Icelandic arranger / Hjaltalín member Viktor Orri Árnason (Jóhann Jóhannsson, Hildur Guðnadóttir, Hauschka) and mixing engineer Greg Freeman(Peter Gabriel, Goldfrapp, Portico Quartet). But its spirit is warm, beckoning the listener into an ambitious double album that unfolds at an exquisite pace, informed by revelatory, exploratory live performances like 2022’s livestream from Paris’ prestigious Les Invalides, which has earned 3.7 million views to date. “I love long albums,” says Rani “and I would love people to listen to this as a concert because it’s actually shaped in this way.”
Ghosts is also an album of collaborations: Rani is joined sometimes by bassist and Moog player Ziemowit Klimek, who also appeared on Home. Patrick Watsonbreathes unearthly life into the ethereal “Dancing with Ghosts” and Portico Quartet’s Duncan Bellamy contributes vital loops to the intricately constructed “Don’t Break My Heart” as well as the track “Thin Line.” She is also joined by friend and musician Ólafur Arnalds, with whom she wrote and recorded “Whispering House,” which casts a peaceful spell.
The lyrics are partially inspired by a two-month residency in a small studio in Switzerland’s mountains, where Rani was working on a soundtrack – released earlier this year as On Giacometti – for a documentary about Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti. “Where I stayed was once an old sanatorium in an area which used to be very popular, but now there are huge abandoned hotels where the locals say ghosts live. I mean, it’s kind of a local belief system – these ghosts even have names! – but once you’re deep into nature or some abandoned place, your imagination starts working on a different level. Things definitely happened that were maybe a little uncomfortable: glasses breaking and stuff like that.”
Rani grew up in a Catholic country where “a lot of rituals and traditions still go on in the countryside and some people believe that ghosts are people not ready to die.” Her setting encouraged her to investigate these themes further: “Dancing with Ghosts”, for example, examines ideas of being absent in one’s own world, and “Hello” addresses the liminal state between wakefulness and sleep.
“The edge of life and death,” Rani summarizes, “and what actually happens in between: this was what really interested me. Even singing the word ‘death’ was quite a shock. It’s such a weird word to say out loud, and people are afraid of it, which I found extremely interesting. Most of the songs probably still talk about love and things like that, but Ghosts is more me thinking about having to face some kind of end.”
If Rani’s debut Esja was about exploiting her principal instrument, and Home saw her take steps towards a fuller expression of her art, Ghosts is where she unites her varied interests on what might even be considered her first ‘real’ album. Drawing upon a fondness for diverse artists like Enya, The Smile, James Blake and Pink Floyd – not to mention her admiration for her guests – and evoking Stina Nordenstam’s delicacy, Keith Jarrett’s flair, Kate Bush’s artistry and Pink Floyd’s probing inclinations, it combines a lifetime’s musical experience in one miraculous, cosmic world. Say hello, then, to something quite unlike anything you’ve ever heard. It’s the sound of HANIA RANI.