Spring is upon us, and the emerging and underground class of R&B and hip-hop acts have all the tunes you need to get ready for the fast-approaching equinox. From the moody sounds of Jordan Ward and 6lack to bouncy rap tracks from Pap Chanel and Young Nudy, the list below is sure to have something for every music lover.
Freshest Find: Jordan Ward, “Pricetag/Beverlywood”
Jordan Ward’s Lido-assisted song “Pricetag/Beverlywood” earns this week’s Freshest Find spot. The song is a standout track from his new album, Forward. Overtaken by moody chords, the first half of the song transports listeners as Ward sings, “That’s my currency, when you break down you often turn to me/ I been a–ed out in emergencies/ And never got the same from you or urgency.” The track then transitions into “Beverlywood,” an acoustic tale of hardship and growth referencing the time Ward was temporarily uprooted due to an emergency.
On his latest project, UGLY, slowthai reveals to listeners the grueling life lessons he has come to learn with unapologetic vulnerability. The U.K. master storyteller is known to wield his power through gripping visuals and raw lyricism, with “YUM” proving to be no exception to the rule.
Elli Ingram feat. Mahalia, “Fool’s Gold”
Singer-songwriter Elli Ingram bares it all on her latest offering, “Fool’s Gold.” Assisted by fellow U.K. artist Mahalia, the Amy Winehouse-inspired vocalist tells her lover she’s fed up over a slow groove singing, “It don’t mean s–t/ If you don’t kiss my lips.”
6LACK, “Since I Have a Lover”
“This took longer than I promised,” opens 6lack on his latest release — a spoken word titled “A Letter to My Fans”– adding, “but some promises are meant to be broken.” After a five-year hiatus, the Atlanta hometown hero announced his upcoming album alongside the recited letter and title track single, “Since I Have a Lover.” The song is reflective of a new chapter for the critically acclaimed singer-rapper, as he free-falls through a gray and rainy sky into a dilapidated home. “Since I have a lover, no more lonely nights/ The type of love that you supply, can’t televise,” he declares overtop a breezy pop beat.
Shann Aberdeen, “Prayers 4 You”
Canadian singer Shann Aberdeen’s latest offering envelops listeners in warmth and care, the singer dedicating “Prayers 4 You” to “everyone who’s ever shared their love with me, and for those I’ve ever felt compelled to share mine with.” Aberdeen, who formerly sang back-up for artists including Daniel Caesar and Don Amero, shows undeniable vocal prowess on the irresistible and timeless R&B cut.
Pap Chanel, “Left, Right”
If you want to be pretty and paid, take a page out of Pap Chanel’s book. Luckily, the budding Atlanta rapper is handing out free game on her latest offering, “Left, Right.” The track carries a militant theme, as Pap Chanel lets it be known that she’s keeping everyone in line.
THEY. feat. Yung Bleu, “In the Mood”
Dante and Drew are a dynamic duo. The two paid homage to ‘aughts’00s-era R&B in the video for their new Yung Bleu-assisted single “In the Mood.” “We wanted to make something smooth that still had that knock to it, kinda like the uptempo joints that Donell Jones was known for back in the day,” the duo says in a press release. THEY. also announced the upcoming album Nü Moon is slated for release on April 7.
“Moral” is the latest addition to Canadian singer Avenoir’s catalog of druggy, tell-all ballads. The song is the new artist’s first release of the year, and he’s preparing to release his debut project in the near future.
Kenny Mason, “Avatar”
On his new EP 3, Kenny Mason gives us a glimpse into the new sounds he’s approaching. “Each song has an intentionally distinct sound to highlight a different concept,” he says in a press statement. “These are essentially my three favorite songs made after RUFFS. Enjoy :)” “Avatar” is the glitchy, hi-hat and bassline-driven rap offering from the EP’s trio of tracks.
Young Nudy, “Brussel Sprout”
“Brussel Sprout” is the bold new intro to Young Nudy’s new album Gumbo. The East Atlanta rapper has a knack for amusing song titles, and here he raps about — what else — making money.