Free Music Round-Up: Raury, Ty Dolla $ign, Rico Love & Melat

Musashi Ono

Ty Dolla Sign

This was an exciting week for free music. Raury released a precocious album debut, Ty Dolla $ign and Rico Love delivered R&B-drenched projects and rising singer Melat channeled vintage hip-hop/soul on her EP.

Raury's Indigo Child (Album)
Raury aims for a powerful, cohesive statement on Indigo Child (Aug. 25): he's unafraid of big guitars and enthusiastic choruses. He splices the album together with recordings of fights between him and his mother (much like what Kendrick Lamar did on his lauded good kid... m.A.A.d. city). Raury's "Superfly" isn't a Curtis Mayfield cover while it feels as so-- it's a bare bones piece of power-pop that extends its reach by stripping away all unecessary elements. Pretty smart for an 18 year-old.

Ty Dolla $ign, Sign Language (Mixtape)
It's been a good year for Ty Dolla $ign. He released his first major label EP, Beach House. In addition, he watched his own song "Paranoid" garner chart success, wrote a hit for Chris Brown and contributed to the theme song for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. This week, he released his latest mixtape, Sign Language, which includes guest verses by Rick Ross, YG and Wiz Khalifa, alongside Ty's sweet, multi-tracked croons. While DJ Mustard has a few songs on the effort, Ty also expands his range by working with Atlanta beatmakers like Metro Boomin,' FKI and Dun Deal. Sign Language is not as lush and ambitious as his Ty's last project, Beach House 2, but it's full of the hedonism that is quickly becoming his trademark.

Rico Love, I Sin (Album)
Rico Love released I Sin on the one year anniversary of his debut EP as a solo artist, Discrete Luxury. That EP included "They Don't Know," a slinky, swaggering song that became a top 15 R&B/Hip-Hop hit. Since Discrete Luxury, Love released I Sin, and helped write "Odio," the collaboration between Romeo Santos and Drake that became a numer one hit on the Latin pop charts. For his latest project, Love recruited a number of collaborators, including established stars like Future and rising artists like Bobby Shmurda, who currently holds the No. 2 spot on the Twitter Emerging Artists chart. On the track "Interlude," Love says "I don't wanna be known as no R&B singer. I don't wanna be known as a rapper. I just wanna be known as an artist." Hitmakers like him aren't bound by genre.

Melat, Move Me (EP)
Melat's Move Me is a collaboration with producer Jansport J; the two artists show a strong ear for '90s R&B, using crisp beats and old soul samples to create songs that are hard around the edges but gooey in the middle. On "Revelation 8:2," Melat sings "some people call me crazy, some people call me mad/ but I'm just singing about a love, a love I wish we had." Many of the songs share this sense of wistfulness and longing. Melat saves the best for last though, ending with the title track which is a breezy celebration of romance.


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