This week on a new edition of First Beat, SAINt JHN returns with a fresh single after the success of “Roses,” Benny the Butcher teams up with some rap all-stars and Phora nets a huge feature. Check out our picks below.
SAINt JHN, “Gorgeous”
After netting a top five entry on the Hot 100 with his electronic bop “Roses (Imanbek Remix),” SAINt JHN eyes more trophies before exiting 2020. His new single “Gorgeous” is a swaggering party anthem that’s a fitting soundtrack for JHN, who’s enjoying the best year of his budding career. Whether he’s flaunting six chains or blasting his records on repeat, he’s quick to boast and explain why everything he does is “Gorgeous.”
Phora feat. Jhené Aiko, “Stars in the Sky”
Though the last few weeks have been turbulent for Phora — who nearly took his own life in early September — he makes a triumphant return with “Stars in the Sky.” The long-awaited collaboration is melded together by Phora’s love-soaked lyrics about his perfect match while Aiko’s angelic vocals prove to be the cherry on top for the rapper’s comeback single.
Benny the Butcher feat. Lil Wayne & Big Sean, “Timeless”
This lyrical trifecta executed by Hit-Boy might appear odd on paper, but sonically it works. With Benny the Butcher gnawing his way up the ranks with his fierce wordplay over the last two years, he collides with rap royalty on his new track and walks out unscathed. Despite the glitzy lineup, The Butcher’s grime-and-grit delivery outmuscles his counterparts: “What’s a king to a God, n—a I’ma live forever.”
Trey Songz, Back Home
After a three-year hiatus, Trey Songz skates back into the R&B sphere with his robust effort Back Home. With a whopping 22 tracks in tow, Songz drives solo for most of the project, but also tag teaming with Summer Walker, Ty Dolla $ign, and Swae Lee over the course of his eighth studio album. Rather than chase a home-run smash, the Virginia crooner floats back to his 2005 I Gotta Make It days, and whips up a sweet medley of sturdy deep-cut-type tracks such as “Circles” and “On Call.”
REASON, New Beginning
After sculpting a scrappy debut with 2018’s There You Have It, TDE newcomer REASON is ready for his New Beginning. His 14-track collection exudes promise, as he spars with lyrical superstars in JID, Vince Staples and Rapsody, while also stretching out his vibe sonically and becoming more of a fit under the TDE family tree. Highlights include “Pop S–t,” “I Can Make It” and the story-telling jam “Fall,” about aspiring MCs looking to break through the industry.
Papoose, Endangered Species
The New York MC storms back with his 12-track effort and proves why he continues to age like fine wine with his wordplay and agility. “Kickback” bleeds ’90s rap, with Papoose and Conway The Machine doling out ferocious jabs over menacing production. When Pap isn’t skewering hapless MCs for recreational purposes, he’s pledging his loyalty to his wife Remy Ma on “Maturity.”
WRKINSILENCE, Step Into the Night
Upcoming singer WRKINSILENCE doesn’t mind breaking hearts for fun. On “Step Into the Night,” he openly admits his missteps and why he isn’t one to be trusted when it comes to love. “You should have learned from your friend,” he admittedly sings over the dark soundscape.