What do you know — winter is almost over! As you begin storing your boots and puffer jackets away, prepare for the season of rebirth and renewal with ten must-hear songs from the best of emerging R&B, hip-hop, and more. From Cochise’s active production and rhymes, to the laid-back feel of Cruel Santino, this list has everything to get your mind right for the springtime.
Don’t forget to share the wealth, with our Spotify playlist included below.
Cochise, “Do It Again”
Cochise has released another vibrant new single with “Do It Again.” Sporting business casual attire for the video, the Florida rapper is enjoying his newfound fame following the success of viral hits like “Hatchback,” “Pocket Rocket,” and his first Billboard Hot 100 entry “Tell ‘Em” (featuring $not), which peaked at No. 64 back in June.
J.I., “I Ain’t Gon Lie”
Brooklyn rapper J.I. hops on a drill beat for his new single, “I Ain’t Gon Lie.” “I ain’t gon’ lie, someone might die/ If they try reaching for these chains around my neck,” he threatens on the beat. The song is the first single from his upcoming project.
Atlanta rapper Bktherula has dropped a two-pack of new singles, “Keep da K” and “Coupe.” On the latter, the 19-year-old artist keeps it mellow as she raps about getting rich, getting high and everything in between.
Kaina, “Golden Mirror”
Kaina embraces love’s trickiness on her latest. “Love can feel like an illusion, but I see it everyday/ In your heart a golden mirror, someone to embrace,” the Chicago musician sings. “Golden Mirror” appears on her latest album, It Was a Home.
Duvy, “Like Me”
Toronto rapper Duvy links with Murda Beatz for the album cut, “Like Me.” The song appears on his recent debut album, Grasswayz, which was named after his neighborhood in Toronto. On the track, Duvy recognizes that he’s one of one, rapping “Hey slime, you ain’t never met no n—-a like me, grind like me/ You ain’t cut like me.”
keshi, “GET IT”
On his latest single, Vietnamese-American singer keshi deviates from his typically mellow alt-R&B sounds. “GET IT” is a powerful genre smorgasbord, carrying elements of R&B, Brazilian bossa nova, trap music and pop. And somehow, thanks to the burgeoning artist tying it all together, it makes sense.
Morray feat. Cordae, “Still Here”
It’s a North Carolina link up. Fayetteville favorite Morray recruits NC-born, Maryland raised rapper Cordae on “Still Here,” with both rappers bringing their distinct flavor to the laid-back, reflective track. The two acts compliment one another beautifully, as Cordae’s thoughtful rhymes hold their weight alongside Morray’s rugged melodies.
BlueBucksClan, “See the Difference”
Ladies, it’s time to raise those standards — because with BlueBucksClan, you’ll really see the difference. The L.A. duo, comprised of DJ and Jeezy, drape romantic lyrics with a thick layer of West Coast- and Detroit-inspired production on the title track of their See The Difference EP, as they cooly woo their love interests (one of which was an optometrist, get it?). The pair swap cheeky lines (“See these b—hes, they yo’ daughters, they look up to you”) over the booming beat, setting the tone for the four-track project.
Tiana Major9, “Try Peace”
Motown signee Tiana Major9 is choosing peace. On the vulnerable single, the British singer-songwriter details growth after heartbreak, opting for a healthier route with her latest love. The uplifting track comes ahead of Major9’s upcoming EP, Fool Me Once, releasing March 15.
Cruel Santino, “HEATING ROCKS”
On his latest offering, Nigerian artist Cruel Santino is going against the grain. The alté track from his latest project, Subaru Boys: FINAL HEAVEN, is warm, comforting and futuristic, embodying a number of genres carefully fused together, including afrobeats. The atmospheric cut is positioned early in the 21-track set, exciting listeners for the rest of their sonic journey.