Thank goodness for these artists releasing music during quarantine

Yesterday was New Music Friday! And hot damn, hallelujah, there are some awesome songs and albums out today. Below is my review of some of the most popular and impressive releases this week.

  1. “The Adventures of Moon and Slim Shady” by Kid Cudi and Eminem
    Personally, I was not expecting these two to link up. They’ve been showing support for one another via Twitter for awhile now, but this marks their first collaboration. His flow sounds a lot more calm than usual but his lyrics are assertive as ever, dissing Drew Brees and people refusing to wear masks. I think the song is a great mixture between Mescudi and Mathers’ styles.
  1. “Do To Me” by H.E.R.
    H.E.R. has become one of my favorites recently, not only for her gorgeous voice but also for her effortless style and attitude. “Do To Me” strays from her most recent single “I Can’t Breathe” that was penned in response to the recent police killings such as George Floyd. Featuring a sample from the iconic “Bam Bam” by Sister Nancy, the Reggae inspired track narrates the hypnotizing effects of love.
  1. “Are You Even Real” by James Blake
    Blake co-wrote and produced the mesmerizing song. The musician has been keeping busy during the lockdown but performing covers of songs on livestreams by artists ranging from Nirvana to Stevie Wonder. The violins featured on “Are You Even Real” are especially beautiful behind Blake’s milky vocals. Blake has been recently featured on Apple’s “Behind the Mac” which gives viewers a closer look at the Grammy winner making music (you guessed it) on a Mac at home.
  1. “DYING 4 YOUR LOVE” by Snoh Aalegra
    Accompanied by a music video that dropped the same day, the new single is the long awaited follow up to her critically acclaimed album, – Ugh, those feels again. In anticipation of her sophomore album, the Swedish singer told BET that she has been working with a lot of other artists. Aelegra also announced that she is launching new merchandise, and half of the proceeds will go to Until Freedom, an organization that aims to diversify leadership and address systemic and racial injustice. 
  1. “Staccato” and “392” by Tory Lanez
    The Toronto hitmaker dropped not one but two tracks this Friday. Featuring Beyonce’s famous “To the left / to the left” lyrics, “Staccato” is uptempo and lighthearted while “392” is more hard-hitting and quite different from what I have heard from the rapper/singer before. Lanez has become recently independent but that hasn’t slowed him down. He was recently featured on Jack Harlow’s, “What’s Poppin” which is currently number 2 on the Billboard hot 100.
  1. “Be Like That” by Kane Brown
    I’ve personally not listened to Brown before but I am really enjoying his new single featuring Khalid and Swae Lee. Brown is a country singer and is actually the reigning American Music Awards’ Favorite Country Male Artist. Brown has previously collaborated with Khalid on Khalid’s “Saturday Night Lights” and has an upcoming collaboration with Nelly on a remix of “Cool Again.”
  1. “Natalie Don’t” by RAYE
    RAYE begs another woman to stay away from her boyfriend in “Natalie Don’t.” It was someone who she considered as a friend. Damn. The song is reminiscent of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene.” This song is included on RAYE’s upcoming EP due out later this summer.
  1. “Compensating” by Amine
    Featuring Young Thug, “Compensating” is one of a couple BOPS released this year leading up to the 26 year old’s next album, Limbo. Last month, Amine was featured on Disclosure’s “My High” and Disclosure commented that “[Amine’s] hilarious and may as well be a comedian. He writes so quickly and it’s amazing to watch.” Limbo drops August 7.
  1. Life on Earth EP by Summer Walker
    Follow-up from her critically acclaimed album Over It, the 5-track EP has her fans in a frenzy on Twitter. Walker hosted an exclusive listening event as well as a laser tag event in Atlanta where fans were able to listen to her new release safely and socially distant. Life on Earth is already on the iTunes top 10. My favorite song is “SWV” featuring producer and singer NO1-NOAH.
  1. “Love in My Pocket” by Rich Brian
    I have to give some love to 88 Rising’s, Rich Brian who has been showcasing his singing more and more in his recent projects. I’m here for it. But don’t worry, Brian teases his singing as well as rapping chops in “Love in My Pocket” which follows Brian’s recent hit, “Bali.” In the previous track’s music video, Brian uses a drone to deliver gifts to fellow artists during quarantine as well money to small businesses, community members and a restaurant to make 125 meals for the L.A. County Hospital.
  1. “Square Bitch” by MadeinTYO
    MadeinTYO and A$AP Ferg team up again, like for “Ned Flanders” which I loved. “Square Bitch” is catchy and fun but no word yet on his when the 28 year old’s next album will be.
  1. “Hate Me Now’ by Desiigner
    I don’t know about you. But I’ve been personally wondering what the “Panda” artist has been up to since his breakthrough hit and short stint with Kanye’s G.O.O.D. Music record label. Featuring similar ad-libs from “Panda”, “Hate Me Now” is actually a freestyle that samples hip-hop legend, Nas. I wouldn’t say I’m in love with the song but I’m not mad about it and glad he’s still making music!
  1. “Good To Know” (Acoustic) by JoJo
    This isn’t technically a new album I guess, but I have to shout out one of my favorite artists. JoJo released her highly anticipated album in May after transitioning to Warner Records from Atlantic Records. JoJo also released a music video to one of my favorite songs on the original and acoustic albums, “Think About You.” The acoustic version of the album highlights her impressive range and honey-like vocals.
  1. “Give Up” by Russ
    Shout out to the Jersey rapper. Russ was previously signed to Columbia Records but announced at the end of June that was back to being an independent artist. But he can do it all – mixing, producing, designing cover art, and obviously rapping and therefore, he was able to land a multi-million dollar deal with Columbia Records with a rare 50/50 agreement on releases that other artists wish they can land. In a recent interview with Variety, Russ calls out his fellow White artists and comments, “To not give back to the same culture that’s provided me a life and a living, is the definition of thievery, vulture, robbing.”
  1. “Inferno” by Abir
    It’s been two years since her debut project and “Inferno” is the first single of her sophomore EP, HEAT, that dropped Thursday, July 9. She says, “I’m a lot of things a Muslim Arab woman isn’t expected to be,” and spent the last couple years figuring out how her music should and can translate that. The accompanying video was shot in Marrakesh before the global shutdown.

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