Spring has sprung, and as temperatures heat up, so does the music, and I’m going to save you the sifting, by handpicking the hottest tracks by rising R&B/hip hop artists. This week, I’ve highlighted an array of easy listening from Lo Village and Veeze to Ric Wilson, 6lack and more. Enjoy.
Freshest Find: Ric Wilson, Chromeo & A-Trak, “Clusterfunk”
Ric Wilson, Chromeo, & A-Trak have joined forces for the uber-wavy collaborative project, CLUSTERFUNK. Ahead of the nine-track set arriving March 31 via EMPIRE, the trio released the tantalizing single “Clusterfunk.” On it, Wilson delivers a number of unique flows, effortlessly melding the old and the new in a sonic ode to his hometown of Chicago.
Lo Village, “On Your Way”
After years of healing and growing, Maryland trio Lo Village has returned with “On Your Way.” For the group, the robust single “exists as a reminder that the journey doesn’t begin until you look within and bet on yourself. You will run in circles until this is understood,” the group says in a statement.
BLK ODYSSY feat. Bootsy Collins, “Honeysuckle Neckbone”
“Honeysuckle Neckbone” tells the story of a remorseful man who has lost his first love. The recurring phrase “sweet like candy“ references the intimate, addicting times the lovers shared, but also the bittersweet taste candy leaves when over-indulging. BLK ODYSSY linked with bassist Bootsy Collins to capture his ability to fuse jazz instrumentation with R&B/hip-hop melodies.
“If I had a dollar for every time these n—as hate, I’d be rich like Jay and Ye,” Veeze opens on his new single “GOMD.” The Detroit rapper declares that he “got rich with Babyface [Ray]” as the two came up “making plays.” On “GOMD,” Veeze expands on his calculated wordplay using woozy metaphors and similes to compare his success to that of other artists and public figures.
Rory feat. Jay Electronica and reggie, “Enough”
Rory recruits Jay Electronica and reggie for his new single, “Enough.” The single’s alt-soul rhythm is paired with a cinematic visual that sees Rory and his dog aimlessly roaming around a couple’s house. “Enough” is a single from his upcoming album, which he’s been curating for the last three years with new talent in the R&B space.
Donald Glover’s new thriller Swarm has been all the rage since premiering last Friday (March 17). Alongside the show, which stars actress Dominique Fishback, the creators also released a Swarm EP via RCA, featuring (of course) Childish Gambino, KIRBY and the series’ central fictional pop star, Ni’jah. “Agatha” is a bold rap anthem from Ni’jah, who is played by Nirine S. Brown.
Alex Vaughn & Ari Lennox, “Demon Time”
Alex Vaughn has quite the crew of homegirls. On her latest offering, HOMEGIRL PACK, she enlists R&B queens Ari Lennox, Summer Walker and Muni Long across three tracks. “Demon Time” proves to be a standout moment, as Lennox and Vaughn harmonize like honey, outlining their sexual conquests unapologetically.
Princess Nokia, “angels & demons”
On her latest break-up-centric EP i love you but this is goodbye, Princess Nokia goes the softer route — save for on “demons & angels.” “I would cover us in blood/ With a knife to a dove/ ‘Cause forever is my angle,” she yells passionately over the somber chorus.
6lack, “fatal attraction”
6lack has irresistible singles down to a science. On “fatal attraction,” the East Atlanta mainstay sticks to his foolproof formula, delivering vulnerable verses overtop romantic pianos and trap drums. The track arrives ahead of 6lack’s upcoming album, Since I Have A Lover, set to arrive March 24.
Amaarae, “Reckless & Sweet”
Amaarae is bringing all the sensual energy on “Reckless & Sweet.” The Ghanaian singer’s whispery tone pulls listeners in, while the delectable visual and body-swaying production keeps us all eyes and ears for the two-and-a-half-minute ride.