Thanksgiving may be over, but there’s still plenty of music to be thankful for. The artists listed below have a knack for pushing the envelope sonically. From veterans Don Toliver and Babyface Ray to newcomers Ale Araya and Jeshi, there’s something for everyone. Check out this week’s list of R&B/hip hop picks below.
Freshest Find: Don Toliver, “Do It Right”
Don Toliver is special. The Cactus Jack signee’s new single “Do It Right” earns him this week’s Freshest Find for his interpolation of the S.O.S. Band’s 1980 hit “Take Your Time (Do It Right).” Produced by Jahaan Sweet and Boi-1da, the new offering features Toliver’s signature melodic vocals but this time, over a hip-hop, club-type beat. Inspired by Soul Train, the video is sees the Houston singer-rapper in a red 70s era suit at a fictional disco club called Lit City. The visual then transitions to a pool party. “Do It Right” is ushering in a new sonic era for Toliver, who has been teasing his upcoming album Lovesick for some time now.
Rihanna’s Best Collaborations: Calvin Harris, Eminem, Jay-Z, Shakira & More | Billboard News
Liv.e, “Wild Animals”
Along with her new single “Wild Animals,” Liv.e announced her sophomore album, Girl in the Half Pearl, is due out on February 10. The new track melds piano and bass loops with her harmonized vocals, and is accompanied by a stunning visual that she directed herself. “I really love the process of coming up with a vision and doing my best to ensure that it will come out just as it was in my imagination. I tend to use almost all my practices as another way to strengthen my trust and belief in myself,” Liv.e says of the directorial process.
Babyface Ray feat. Blxst & Nija, “Spend It”
Detroit favorite Babyface Ray gets in touch with his softer side on “Spend It.” Enlisting Billboard Hip-Hop/R&B Rookie of the Year, Blxst and singer-songwriter Nija, the Eastside native showers his girl with love and lavish gifts rapping, “Let’s go spend some time in Chanel/ Get your hair done and go paint all your nails/ Baccarat candles, change up the smell.” The romantic track is a refreshing move for the rapper, who typically opts for more hardened tales of street life, as he leans into the “Babyface” part of his name. – Neena Rouhani
Zack Fox, “sipping my tea”
Zack Fox is sipping his tea and spilling it too. Produced by BNYX, his new single “sipping my tea” sees the actor-rapper-comedian spitting random yet cohesive bars for a little over a minute. The multitalented artist has a knack for music, when he decides to make it — as most, if not all, of his songs are bangers.
Alé Araya, “treetops”
“treetops” is an anthem of radical self-love and self-acceptance. The new song captures Chilean singer Alé Araya’s unbound sound as it is a melting pot of sounds and influences including jazz, R&B, soul, Latin, pop, electronic music and beyond. “treetops” is part of a larger body of work that was born from a period of deep loss, and sees Araya return to herself powerfully and authentically.
Ayelle is more than someone’s girlfriend. On her acoustic new single, the Swedish-Iranian singer expresses her desires to want to be loved beyond her romantic status, singing, “What if I wanna be loved, what if I wanna be loved/ Like I don’t belong to, the one I make love to.”
Moyana Olivia feat. RHOME, “Next to Me”
Moyana Olivia and RHOME team up this week for the new single “Next to Me.” The former artist sings with fervor, delivering seasoned vocals about wanting her lover to always be by her side. The L.A. rapper then slides in to deliver bars from a male perspective. The duo also self-directed the song’s accompanying visual, which sees them enjoying a game night with their friends.
Continuing the group’s recent run of singles, Pivot Gang’s MFnMelo drops a solo effort, “Rumors.” Produced by Blake Wright, the Chicago rapper spits about staying locked in and blocking out the outside noise. “Self-sufficient is the mission, don’t let them retreat your vision/ Trust is instinct, be you/ That’s unique” he raps.
Joya Mooi, “Tears”
Ahead of her upcoming album, What’s Around the Corner, dropping in January, Joya Mooi released the hi-hat heavy new single, “Tears.” “‘Tears’ is about the feeling that comes to you when you finally lean into life, let go, and let the rain fall,” the Amsterdam-based artist said in a press statement. “Trying to embrace dramatic endings, resets, failures and the darkest phases that you’ve been through.”
Jeshi, “This Thing of Ours”
East London rapper Jeshi delivers a house-inspired new track on the deluxe version of his debut album, Universal Credit, which arrived earlier this year. “This Thing of Ours” sees the artist spitting over a house/hip-hop hybrid beat as the visual shows him in and out of phone booths and walking the streets of London.