New year, new picks. After all the unforgettable drops of 2022, we’re starting off strong in 2023 with the best cuts from this year’s emerging acts. From burgeoning talents like Ice Spice and redveil to longer-standing favorites like Kamaiyah and Trash Panda, we have an array of sounds to help you achieve all of your New Year’s resolutions.
And of course, don’t forget to share the wealth with our Spotify playlist, linked below.
Freshest Find: Trash Panda, “Doin’ Fine Today”
Thanks to Trash Panda’s latest single, we’re doing fine today, too. The band has dipped into a number of different genres over the course of its catalog, and this feel-good cut draws influence from ’70s funk and soul sounds — making for a perfect soundtrack to the week, and to the start of 2023.
Fresco Trey feat. Brezay, “Pull Up”
There’s something in the water in Memphis, and newcomers Fresco Trey and Brezay are adding to the city’s rich swagger with their new single “Pull Up.” Produced by Jeff Williams, the song is built on heavy bass with choir undertones as the two bounce off each other’s boastful bars with adrenaline-powered flows. “My inspiration for ‘Pull Up’ really came from the vibe of Memphis,” Trey explains in a press release. “We invited some local artists to come to the studio and vibe out. When I heard the beat, I jumped in the booth. Then my homegirl Brezay hopped on and killed it!”
Kamaiyah, “Thru the Week”
Kamaiyah is one of one. On her bouncy new single “Thru the Week,” the Oakland mainstay asserts that every day she’s hustling and getting money. As she should. “Thru the Week” follows the rapper’s recent project Keep It Lit, which was released back in December.
CJ Fly, “Have Knots”
On “Have Knots,” Brooklyn rapper CJ Fly reflects on his life and ascent as a musician. “We all that we got/ Used to dream about the day I see us all at the top/ I got goals of being rich because I was a have-not/ My life’s a movie and my story, it’s all part of the plot,” he raps over a NasteeLuvzYou-produced beat. The Pro Era/Beast Coast member also teased a new project to come in April, tweeting, “if you not a fan by February, you will be by April #FLY23.”
The intro track to his new EP Before We Crash, “Sensually” finds Texas-born newcomer Dende totally in love. The rising singer stretches his vocals in old-school R&B fashion, crooning that his lover is the centerpiece of his dreams.
Where redveil is from, they do it “2daside.” The PG County, Maryland native channeled his inner child for this self-produced new single, which finds him racing tricycles with his friends, playing with sidewalk chalk and cosplaying as Bob Ross to paint the Maryland state flag.
Young DrA feat. NLE Choppa, “Don’t Understand”
With the arrival of a new year, Young DrA is setting a few things straight. The Chicago newcomer joins forces with Memphis mainstay NLE Choppa on “Don’t Understand” as the pair deliver rumbling verses overtop a dark trap beat. “Don’t talk my language they don’t understand/ Don’t know my pain so you don’t understand,” Young DrA raps on the chorus.
BabyTron, “Mr. Hanky”
If there’s one thing BabyTron can guarantee, it’s smirk-inducing bars. Sampling Peter from Family Guy within the first seconds of “Mr. Hanky,” the Ypsilanti, Mich. native rattles off one witty rap after another, a distinctly Detroit beat sounding off behind him.
Daisy Veacock, “the things that you tell her”
Baring sonic similarity to U.K. favorite Lily Allen and infusing jazz influence à la Amy Winehouse, singer-songwriter Daisy Veacock delivers a potent yet laid-back single with “the things you tell her.” Daughter to professional saxophonist Phil Veacock, the South London vocalist hails from a musical background and is sure to capture listeners with the track’s clever melodies and relatable lyrics.
Ice Spice, “In Ha Mood”
Whether or not you think she’s our modern-day Princess Diana, one thing we can all agree on is that Ice Spice IS the moment. “In Ha Mood” is the Bronx rapper’s second release since breakthrough hit “Munch (Feelin’ U),” and is proving to be a quick success in social media, thanks to her simple approach to lyrics that the internet has come to love. Drawing sonic inspiration from the Jersey club scene and enlisting producer RIOTUSA (who is also responsible for both “Munch” and follow-up single “Bikini Bottom”), Ice Spice is clearly in the mood to take 2023 by storm.