The weather is heating up, and so are our Fresh Picks of the Week: new jams ranging from gospel-tinged R&B to fiery bids for rap immortality. Read on to find out more about this week’s latest and greatest, and don’t forget to share the wealth with our updated Spotify playlist below.
AUGUST 08 ft. ScHoolboy Q, “Cutlass”
It’s an L.A. link up: Singer August 08 joins forces with TDE wordsmith ScHoolboy Q on his latest EP, Towards The Sun. The pair reveal sex-laced rhymes, with August crooning, “Don’t wanna leave you waitin’/ I’m bendin’ corners in a cutlass/ We f–kin’ like we sayin’ ‘Goodbye.’” Produced by Soundwave and Terrace Martin, “Cutlass” is an early-evening vibe, featuring natural drums, reverb-filled vocals and ethereal adlibs.
Mychelle feels the pressure. On her EP opener, the soul-stirring singer opts for minimal production, reserving listeners’ attention for her introspective lyrics and instrumental finesse. While it was only recently released, Mychelle wrote “Pressure” during the pandemic’s early days, adding, “I kept thinking about what I needed to tell myself and I realized, there’s no need to apply so much pressure on myself.”
Mahalia, “Letter To Ur N(ex)t”
U.K. singer-songwriter Mahalia flips the script on her latest EP, with the deep cut, “Letter to Ur N(ex)t.” On the project outro, Mahalia levels not with her ex, but with his current girlfriend, unfolding the woes of their defunct relationship as a cautionary tale. The R&B storyteller’s bright tone cuts through the warm, muddy piano melodies, as she warns the mystery woman about their mutual lovers’ toxic ways.
Symba, “The GOAT”
After his hot streak of freestyles, Symba seeks rap immortality with his torrid new record “G.O.A.T.” The nimble lyricist namedrops Kendrick, Drake, and Cole, while pouncing on hapless MCs with his deft lyricism. With cosigns from LeBron James and Dr. Dre, Symba is a step closer to becoming a forceful name in hip-hop. — CARL LAMARRE
Dub Aura feat. Dave East, “Meech For President”
Harlem hyphenate Dub Aura flaunts his dexterity when paired with Dave East on “Meech For President.” The ominous soundbed allows both stars to throw a barrage of haymakers, catered to punchline enthusiasts. The standout track resides on Aura’s latest project, This One Is on Me, released this past Friday. — CARL LAMARRE
bLACK pARty, “Hotline”
bLAck pARty is on-call. Describing his sound as tropical funk, the L.A.-based artist expands on his knack for infusing psychedelic, 70s-inspired grooves with warm soul music for his new Lido-produced single “Hotline.” “Hit my hotline (hotline)/ Call me anytime, any day/ I am just a call away,” he sings for the first verse.
Arin Ray, “Gold”
Arin Ray is the gold standard. Continuing his slew of single releases (hopefully leading up to a new project), the L.A.-based singer delivers “Gold,” a lush romantic ode to a counterpart who not only exceeds his expectations in the love department, but crushes them. “They say I have the Midas touch/ Tonight I’ll be providing such,” he warmly croons. Arin, if you’re reading this, we’re ready for the album.
THEY., “Blü Moon”
After a two year hiatus, R&B duo THEY. is back with a ’90s R&B-esque new single called “Blü Moon. The sensual new track finds vocalist Drew Love gliding as he sings about seduction and letting go of old ways. “Time to bring back that classic smooth r&b feeling. Them late night summer car ride vibes,” the duo tweeted.
Headie One feat. Gazo, “22 Carats”
France meets England for Headie One and Gazo’s new drill single, “22 Carats.” The latter French rapper’s wishes finally came to fruition after reaching out to the London artist during the pandemic, as the two linked in Paris last year to record the stone-cold new track.
Debbie, “All Night Long”
Debbie sings with fervor on her new single “All Night Long.” Due to her church upbringing, the 23-year-old singer was primarily raised on gospel music. However, from her reflective but effortlessly relatable lyricism to her rich, resounding voice and her spiritual curiosity, Debbie sings like someone who has experience beyond her years.