It’s Monday yet again, which means you could probably use a fresh batch of R&B/hip-hop releases to help you power through the week. From the dark purple trap beats of Pi’erre Bourne to Jorja Smith’s soul-bearing lyricism, this round-up is guaranteed to have something to match every mood.
Don’t forget to share the wealth with our Spotify playlist, linked below.
Pi’erre Bourne, “Groceries”
In an interview with Pitchfork from 2018, Pi’erre Bourne said that if his beats were a color, they’d be dark purple. For his new single “Groceries,” the artist/producer released an accompanying visual featuring purple everything. Naturally, part of the video takes place in a grocery store — where he brags about and flashes his money, before getting robbed by three women who steal his purple car with purple lights and drive off in purple smoke. The song is fire, though.
Larry June, “Wait On Me”
Bay Area rapper Larry June has a way of making music that’s sounds refreshing and is reflective of his healthy lifestyle. On “Wait on Me,” he questions the loyalty of the people around him in true West Coast fashion. “I been dealing with so much fake love, I swear this s–t starting to weigh on me/ I know they know me everywhere I go, that’s why I gotta keep that thang on me,” he raps calmly. As someone who grew up on the East Coast my whole life, this single makes me want to move out West and change my phone number.
MfnMelo and squeakPIVOT feat. Frsh Waters, “Handheld”
MfnMelo and Frsh Waters teamed up for a new single called “Handheld.” Produced by squeakPIVOT, Melo and Squeak are gearing up for the release of their new project En Route. With their recent releases, this handful of Pivot Gang artists have solidified their spot in the column for three weeks now — a true testament to the quality of their music and how consistent their chemistry is.
Having released her first song as a musician in 2020, L.A.-based singer Jenevieve is the epitome of a promising new talent. Her latest single and video “Eternal” positions her as an artist with an interesting duality: In one scene, she’s covered in flowers and in the other, she sports baggy streetwear. Jenevieve is one to watch.
Bryce Vine, “Blame It On Me” and “The Game” (feat. Thutmose)
Bryce Vine dropped “Blame It On Me” and “The Game” in a two-pack EP titled Mixed Feelings. Both ride catchy beats and serve as perfect background music for long summer days ahead.
Courtney Bell, “Lemon Pepper Freestyle”
Taking his turn over Drake’s “Lemon Pepper Freestyle,” Detroit’s Courtney Bell reflects on his own journey, offering seeds of wisdom sprinkled throughout his skillfully composed recollections. “Never had a choice we only took in what was given/ Mom and daddy passed down the bloodline of addictions,” he raps, recalling generational traumas while roaming the streets of a deserted downtown Detroit.
Jorja Smith, “Burn”
On this Be Right Back deep cut, British songstress Jorja Smith seemingly lets listeners into her innermost dialogues. Gliding over a smooth, bossa nova-inspired beat, the British songstress reminds herself of her own vulnerability, singing, “You burn like you never burn out / Try so hard you can still fall down.” Be Right Back is Smith’s sophomore album, arriving three years following her debut album, Lost & Found.
Domenic Haynes, “Crazy”
Solidifying his status as one of the most vocally distinct R&B up-and-comers, Domenic Haynes croons to the object of his affection on this feel-good summer single, ahead of his upcoming project. The 20-year-old Tampa native delivers a performance far beyond his age, riddled with heartfelt falsettos and passionate confessions, in perfect harmony with the track’s funky production.
A.Chal, “High Horse”
On his latest single, “High Horse,” Peru-born rapper A.Chal talks his s–t, while showing the struggles of humble beginnings. With a contagious hook and politically charged visuals, the Queens, NY raised artist and producer delivers a bold single, equal parts catchy and conscious.
Dusty Locane, “ROLLIN N CONTROLLIN, Pt.2 (PICTURE ME)”
Brooklyn drill artist Dusty Locane is back with a follow-up track to his 2020 “Rollin n Controllin” freestyle, the latter garnering over 22 million views on YouTube. In an ode to a Tupac classic, Locane utilizes a soulful female vocal sample throughout the two-minute track, delivering boastful, concise bars in his signature rasp.