Another week, another round up of the songs you can’t afford to miss in emerging R&B and hip-hop. Today, we’re bringing a healthy dose of 808s and hi-hats by way of rap-centric offerings from PGF Nuk, 26AR and Eem Triplin, among others. But not to worry R&B lovers, West London songstress Hope Tala and FLO are here to dip you in a sea of ethereal harmonies and melodies.
Don’t forget to share the wealth with our Spotify playlist, linked below.
Kalisway, “Can’t Tell Me Nothing”
Kalisway takes a sharp turn from her funky ways, delivering a high-powered rap anthem with “Can’t Tell Me Nothing.” The track is confident and flavorful, the Toronto artist proving her versatility and vocal range through fresh flows and ping-ponging tones.
PGF Nuk ft. EST Gee, “Not Opps”
Chicago rapper PGF Nuk joins forces with CMG signee EST Gee on “Not Opps.” While track fits the mold when it comes to its dark, menacing production, Nuk’s tone and flow set the song apart, complemented by EST Gee’s contrasting tone and delivery.
Hope Tala, “Is It Enough”
Is it enough to know what we’re fighting for? That’s the question U.K. singer-songwriter Hope Tala poses on her latest offering. Tala ruminates over questions that bind humanity together, circulating around inescapable societal ills including racial injustice, reproductive and gay rights. “It’s in our blood, all of this love,” she gently sings, “But is it enough?”
$NOT feat. Night Lovell, “MS PORTER”
“Ms. Porter” can be best described as a universally praiseworthy song. From $NOT’s ear-worm hook to Canadian rapper Night Lovell’s dark, perfectly stacked verse and Eem Triplin, Charlie Miles and Robbie Soukiasyian’s minimal, warm production, the single oozes pensive emotion and nostalgia, carrying the best of rap’s past, present and future.
26AR, “Walk Em”
Brooklyn drill isn’t going anywhere, and 21-year-old rapper 26AR is here to make sure you know it. The Brooklyn native pulls from New York legend Styles P, with a slowed-down sample of the Queens-born rapper’s iconic 2002 single, “Good Times,” as he brings the track into 2022 with a fresh approach.
rei brown, “Neptune”
On his intergalactic new album Xeno, rei brown is on a journey of self-discovery. With “Neptune” he is deep in his head, singing, “Lately I’ve been laying in my bedroom/ Caught up in the thought that we’ll be dead soon/ How much longer till we’re out of headroom/ Still it’s raining diamonds up on Neptune.” Sonically, Xeno as a whole has a little bit of everything with “Neptune” leaning on both R&B and hip-hop elements with acoustic guitar, hi-hats and 808s paired with rei’s soft vocals.
FLO, “Feature Me”
Rising R&B trio FLO is everything the R&B/hip-hop world needs and more. Through their sound and style, the U.K. outfit embodies the late ’90s girl group aesthetic. On their new song “Feature Me,” which appears on their just-released debut EP The Lead, FLO harmonize perfectly over staccato hi-hats and drums as they sing about taking the lead with their lovers. FLO is comprised of Jorja Douglas, Stella Quaresma and Renee Downer.
Emotional Oranges, “Bounce”
It’s the middle of the season, but it’s certainly not too late for summer bops. L.A. R&B fixtures Emotional Oranges delivered just that with their new song “Bounce.” Produced by West Coast legend DJ Quik, the duo said the song came together seamlessly. “The hook started off freestyling some meaningless words about $ and then got too lazy to change it,” they say in a press release. “Then gave the song a generic title and shot the video in one take with an iPhone on a breezy L.A. summer night. Boom, ‘Bounce.’”
Doechii, “Bitch I’m Nice”
Doechii is, well, nice. Since the Tampa artist announced her deal with TDE, she has hit the ground running, proving just how nice she is in all realms of her artistry. Fittingly, “B–ch I’m Nice” finds her showing off her rapid cadence while switching flows left and right. “B–ch, I’m nice/ Got a b–ch cleaned up right/ That n—a might got racks, but he ain’t my type/ I’m the best thing in your life/ Know this p—y good, and it purr, but it still got bite,” she raps.
Eem Triplin, “Heartbeat”
PA rapper-producer Eem Triplin is one to watch. The 21-year-old is honing in on his artistry and his new single “Heartbeat” is latest proof that he is a star in the making. Produced by him and Charlie Myles, Eem flexes lyricism and his quirky vocal tone over a piano-led, hi-hat-driven beat, saying, “I never said I was perfect, I’m being honest, babe/ No I ain’t mean to just hurt you, I mean that honestly/ You say I wasted your time and want me to give it back.”