Happy Monday! Before we get lost in the whirlwind of Grammy Week, we’re here to highlight some of the best new music by emerging R&B/Hip-Hop artists from the past couple of weeks. Rap girlies like Gloss Up, Kari Faux and Flo Milli caught our ears this week along with smooth cuts by JGrrey and Maesu. Don’t forget to spread the wealth with our Spotify playlist, linked below.
Freshest Find: Cordae feat. Anderson .Paak, “Two Tens”
Overtop a nostalgic hip-hop beat produced by none other than J. Cole and Grammy-winning producer Dem Jointz, Anderson .Paak opens “Two Tens” vivaciously, declaring, “Two friends and they both tens, lookin’ nice/ Too bent, I should call it quits but I’m not.” Both .Paak and Cordae toss the mic back and forth perfectly, displaying enviable synergy that leaves fans craving more collabs from the lively pair.
Gloss Up, “Head, Shoulders, Knees, Toes”
Gloss Up is on your head, shoulders, knees and toes. The nursery rhyme-inspired standout track appears on the rising Memphis rapper’s debut mixtape Before the Gloss Up — which also houses her single “Bestfrenn,” featuring real-life best friend GloRilla. The Quality Control signee is carving a lane for herself in the rap game, and is already proving to be a mainstay with her bars and wordplay, highlighted here.
With “Theirs13”, rising U.K. singer JGrrey touches on her various complexities through vocals similar to that of Macy Gray. The intoxicating single is a hazy meditation on love, identity, adoption and the transitional periods she’s faced as an artist and person, as she ponders the same question throughout: “Who am I?”
Taylor Hill, “i want you to know.”
After earning credits with big names like Justin Bieber, Summer Walker and more, producer/songwriter Taylor Hill is honing in on his own artistry. His funk-inspired new single “i want you to know.” explores the dichotomy of his personal point-of-view and God’s, sprouting from an argument he had with his now-wife at church.
Jordan Ward feat. Ryan Trey, “White Crocs”
“White Crocs” is the second single off of Jordan Ward’s upcoming debut album FORWARD. The rising singer tapped fellow St. Louis native Ryan Trey for the Lido-produced track, which sees the two trade thoughts on balancing a relationship while satisfying a partner’s expensive tastes. FORWARD, which will be released March 3, holds layers of significance for the artist both artistically and personally. “FORWARD, not only pushing our sound and creativity, but pushing to evolve and break cycles,” Ward says of the album title. “FOR WARD, a dedication to my family and our future. FOUR-WARD, my fourth project, but also a FOREWORD in my story being the debut album!”
Kari Faux, “Me First”
Kari Faux is putting herself first … as she should. “Me First” sees the Arkansas native expressing über-confidence as she delivers a self-love bop to set the tone for all the girls this year. Faux is one of many rap girls running laps around their male counterparts right now, with “Me First” being the latest addition to her arsenal.
TRAETWOTHREE, “Outside Like This”
On the precipice of Grammy Weekend, Cali upstart TRAETWOTHREE scripts a gripping tale set at a Grammy party, which could double as a Tyler Perry flick. “Outside Like This” is a cautionary tale about TRAE running into his ex-girlfriend at the awards-week festivities. The biggest blow? Seeing her chat it up with another dude right in front of his eyes.
Flo Milli feat. Lola Brooke & Maiya the Don, “Conceited”
As if the original wasn’t epic enough, Flo Milli’s “Conceited” is back, with a few new it-girls. Enlisting buzzing Brooklyn newcomers Lola Brooke and Maiya the Don, Milli breathes new life into her viral summer 2022 anthem. All three distinct voices shine through, from Milli’s theatrical tone to Brooke’s husk and Maiya the Don’s laid back approach.
Maesu, “Sex on GPS”
“Sex with me on location please/ I’ve been away for weeks,” croons L.A.-based singer, songwriter, and producer Maesu, providing a simple enough plea to catch the attention of listeners. The afro-fusion number is smooth and sensual with tons of replay value thanks to Maesu’s addictive flows and Tejiri Akpoghene’s silky production.
midwxst & Denzel Curry, “Tally”
Indiana rapper midwxst channels his inner Old Hollywood crime boss in the visual for his latest single, “Tally.” Produced by Charlie Heat and Kennedy Sabin and centering latin guitar and horn melodies, the track’s emphatic production adds to the visual’s theatrics, perfectly underscoring midwxst and Denzel Curry’s loaded verses.