Spring is in full effect, and as the temperatures rise, so does the heat index for new R&B/Hip Hop releases. This week, I’ve hand-picked the freshest songs by emerging artists that will keep you motivated and wanting to go outside. From Chase Shakur and Daniel Caesar’s romantic reflections, to Millyz and iann dior’s rap bangers, the list below has a range of sounds covered. Enjoy.
Freshest Find: Daniel Caesar feat. Rick Ross, “Valentina”
You can always bet on a Rick Ross collab — especially when it involves talent from north of the border. On the follow-up deluxe version of his third album NEVER ENOUGH, Daniel Caesar recruited the Maybach Music head honcho for a verse that brings to mind Ross’ 2011 contribution to Drake’s “Free Spirit.” Atop the cool-toned, synth-centric groove, Caesar sweetly serenades a love interest with nostalgic lyrics and melodies. Towards the end, he sets up Ross, who adopts Caesar’s tender approach: “Making love like it’s war when it’s really peace/ I just wanna make you smile, can I see ya teeth?” he raps.
Chase Shakur, “sink or swim”
For his Def Jam debut, Chase Shakur gave us a taste of his upcoming project it’s not you, it’s me. “sink or swim” sees the Atlanta singer questioning whether he and his partner will survive a rough patch. With its staccato hi-hats and bassline, the song sounds right out of the ’90s.
Khi Infinite feat. Pusha T & Chase B, “Lights Please”
Khi Infinite says God threw him an alley oop with “Lights Please.” The Virginia artist made the song last fall and sat on it for a while before taking a chance and sending it to Pusha T to gauge his interest. Not only did the two collaborate, but they also formed a friendship. Khi then connected with Chase B, who added finishing touches to the rollercoaster of a song.
Low.bō, “Ricochet (Ndigo Flip)“
Alongside his band ndigo, Low.bō flipped his single “Ricochet” by blending his honeyed vocals with additional instrumentation. Fusing a wide palette of influences that range from alt-R&B to indie rock, the 24-year old Baltimore native is honing in on vulnerable songwriting and live production to create his signature sound.
Mahalia, “Terms and Conditions”
There are terms and conditions to Mahalia’s love. Guarding her heart, Mahalia hops in her rap bag throughout parts of this new anthem to assert that she’s no longer taking s–t from a man. “If you want my love, then let’s discuss the man you’re required to be/ If you tell me lies, you get three strikes/ There’s no coming back, boy please,” the U.K. singer declares on the chorus.
Millyz continues to apply the pressure with his revered Blanco series. The sixth installment finds the Cambridge, MA MC slinging steely raps coated with sugary melodies. Whether he’s sparring with hard-nosed stars Jadakiss (“Moon Roof”), G. Herbo (“Becoming”), or Berner (“Scriptures”), Millyz’s dexterity remains unmatched. He even shows promise as a mainstream threat when he switches gears and floats over radio-friendly heaters like the Rvssian-produced “Yoyo.”
Joyner Lucas feat. Future, “Blackout (Not Now, I’m Busy)”
After previously working with J. Cole and Lil Baby, Joyner Lucas reels in another blockbuster feature with Future on “Blackout.” The unruly twosome is defiant, spewing venom in every direction as they embrace their toxic personalities. “Heard that was your wifey, I turned her to my whore,” spits Future over the bombastic beat. “Blackout” is the second single off Lucas’ upcoming effort, Not Now, I’m Busy.
iann dior, “10×3”
We want a summer that sounds like this. Iann dior’s latest offering “10×3” is two minutes of witty captions (“If time is money, then why would I spend it on you?”), carefree energy and positive vibes. The track features a simple beat, centering thumping kicks and a tucked synth loop that reminds us of something you’d hear in Super Mario Bros.
Mozzy feat. YFN Lucci, “WE ACTIVE”
Sacramento-born rapper Mozzy joins forces with YFN Lucci on his latest single, “WE ACTIVE.” The CMG signee isn’t allowing time behind bars to stop him from voicing what’s weighing on his heart, rapping about both betrayals and successes. In the visual, YNF sits across from Mozzy, delivering an equally unforgiving verse overtop the RippOnTheBeat-produced instrumental.
You into Kaytranada? What about Aminé? If the answer is two yeses, then let us introduce you to Kaytraminé. The duo has joined forces for an album arriving May 12, and it’s sure the rock the summer. If the dynamic duo wasn’t cool enough already, they brought the king of cool, Pharrell, into the mix for new single, “4EVA.” The cut is bouncy, laidback and perfect to soundtrack the warm days to come.