Hip-Hop

First Beat: New Music From Pop Smoke, Lil Tecca, Baby Keem & More

Pop Smoke
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Pop Smoke attends the Louis Vuitton Menswear Fall/Winter 2020-2021 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on Jan. 16, 2020 in Paris.

For this week's edition of First Beat, Summer Walker gives Pop Smoke's "Mood Swings" a woman's touch, Lil Tecca and Baby Keem return to the fray, while MoneyBagg Yo and Blac Youngsta prove why Memphis continues to be a breeding ground for talented rappers. 

Pop Smoke feat. Summer Walker & Lil Tjay, "Mood Swings (Remix)"

Pop Smoke's posthumous success continues with the remix of "Mood Swings." Walker's sensual flare is an excellent addition to the already lust-filled track, previously anchored by Smoke and Tjay. After punching in a spicy verse about her bedroom escapades, Walker then floats behind Smoke's sing-song hook to add even more zing to the Hot 100 hit. 

Lil Tecca, Virgo World

After a smoldering release last year with We Love You Tecca, the 18-year-old returns with his debut endeavor, Virgo World. On his latest, Lil Tecca sharpens his songwriting abilities by gliding through island-tinged beats ("Our Time" and "Chemistry") while pairing up with rap power players Lil Uzi Vert, Nav and Lil Durk. Though Tecca didn't come out the gates with a slam dunk single like his 2019 smash "Ransom" this time around, he does a stellar job in satiating fans' appetites with a robust serving of 19 tracks. 

Baby Keem, "hooligan" & "sons & critics"

For most of 2020, Baby Keem remained mum, with his buzzy single "Orange Soda" keeping him in the conversation as one of rap's premier rookies. Today, Keem breaks his silence with a hearty two-pack of "hooligan" and "sons & critics." Keem's unshakable confidence and sturdy delivery gleams on the bundle, most notably on the latter track, which eerily sounds like his breakout single.

Tyga feat. Saweetie & YG, "Money Mouf"

Channeling the spirit of Yang Ying Twins for his "Salt-Shaker" inspired tune, Tyga recruits Saweetie and YG for this anthem. Adept at crafting party bangers, the "Rack City" MC stays true to form and deftly builds a fun hook listeners will surely rap way past the summer. The song's top highlight: Saweetie secretly shouting out Quavo on the verse ("Got the hottest n---a in the A in between my sheets!"). 

MoneyBagg Yo & Blac Youngsta, Code Red

Yo Gotti's business acumen has been on display for the last few years with the emergence of his label CMG. Today, two of his most significant signees, MoneyBagg Yo and Blac Youngsta, pair up for a collaborative project, which flexes Memphis' muscles on the rap scene. The 13-song collection includes a diverse array of records: collabs from Yo and Youngsta, solo tracks, and fun features including DaBaby, City Girls and  the boss himself, Yo Gotti. Even MoneyBagg's girlfriend, Ari Fletcher, makes a cameo on "Brain Dead." 

Angelina Sofia, "Invincible"

Songbird Angelina Sofia gets her crack at the pop world with the release of her single "Invincible." The debut is promising, as the singer reveals what love means to her as an evolving twenty-something in today's world. While she admits how entrancing romance can be, she's quick to acknowledge her faults as well: "I'm simple but complicated."