New Music Released This Week (Aug 28 – Sep 1):
Lil Wayne, Timbaland, Justin Timberlake & Nelly Furtado Highlight This Week’s New Music Roundup was originally published on globalgrind.com
1. Sugarhill Ddot – Shake ItSource:Sugarhillddot
Harlem’s Sugarhill Ddot drops the smooth new single “Shake It.” via Priority Records. Full of confidence and not-so-humble brags, the breakneck banger entices people to get up and dance. The track is accompanied by a video that finds the East Coast teen soaking up the SoCal sun with a crew of ladies in tow.
On the Ayyolucas and A Lau (Ice Spice) produced track Sugarhill Ddot spits over a sultry fast-paced beat and gentle acoustic guitar. The budding rapper breaks down his appeal with the ladies. “She like, ‘Ddot, why you always playin?’ Cause little baby, you know that I’m famous.” It’s a carefree moment of levity from the often hard-charging young MC, who already knows how to get the party started.
In the Jedi The God (Sexyy Red) and Rari Digital directed video for “Shake It,” Ddot makes his way around Los Angeles. He goes on a scenic hike, delivers bars alongside the famed “Urban Light” display outside the LACMA, and posts up in the center of a thoroughfare. The track’s playful tone and flirtatious lyrics pair perfectly with the city’s picturesque destinations.
“Shake It” follows the rambunctious “Make A Mess” which made a From The Block debut and the Miami-inspired “3AM In The Yams,” Ddot’s lively collaboration with Luh Tyler. That track instantly made waves, hitting over a million video views in less than four days. Right out of the gate, V Magazine featured the song in its New Music Roundup, noting: “The new track has all the necessary ingredients to be your next summer anthem. Go add this celebratory track to your pregame playlist!”
Seemingly overnight Ddot has become one of the most buzzworthy artists in hip-hop. After two years starting at the age of 13-years-old, the talented teen garnered attention in New York’s burgeoning drill scene. To date he’s racked up over 30 million streams in the U.S. alone and over 50 million video views on YouTube. Now with “Shake It,” Ddot demonstrates his playful side while showcasing the explosive edge that makes him one of 2023’s hottest new artists.
2. VickTuff – Np Huddle VickSource:VickTuff - Topic
Talented artist VickTuff (@VickTuff), known for his unparalleled energy and genuine artistry, is set to take the music world by storm with his latest EP release, “No Huddle Vick.” The EP is a game-changing project that showcases VickTuff’s unique sound and dedication to his craft. Composed of 12-tracks, the project is some of VickTuff’s best work and is a testament to his commitment to growth as an artist.
With roots in Belle Glade and West Palm Beach, VickTuff’s real name, Ja’Kevious Vickers, tells a story of resilience and determination. His artist name, VickTuff, is a reflection of his belief in being “built for anything.” As he describes, “Tuff equals built for anything.”
“No Huddle Vick” is not just an EP; When asked about the theme behind the release, VickTuff exclaimed, “It’s all gas no breaks right now. There’s no stopping.” This sentiment is reflected in the high-energy tracks that make up the EP.
The heart of the EP lies in its authenticity. VickTuff shared, “It’s about the tape that I’m putting the most promotion behind to kick the door down.” He’s breaking barriers by emphasizing that every track on the EP is a freestyle, highlighting his ability to effortlessly blend creativity and raw talent.
VickTuff’s sound is in a league of its own, with influences from iconic artists like Lil Wayne, NoCap, Kodak, and Moneybagg Yo. He proudly asserts, “I have my own sound. I haven’t mimicked anyone in the rap game. It’s original.” For first-time listeners, he recommends starting with his track “LSU,” a perfect introduction to his captivating style.
With a powerful message woven into his music, VickTuff hopes his fans take away the lesson of self-belief. “That no matter what, believe in yourself and you can make it happen,” he emphasizes.
VickTuff’s EP “No Huddle Vick” is now available on major streaming platforms. Brace yourself for an electrifying musical experience that showcases VickTuff’s relentless spirit and unmatched talent.
Check out the EP ‘No Huddle Vick’ below:
Connect with VickTuff on social media to stay updated on his journey:
3. Khemist Mayfield – MexicoSource:KHEMIST MAYFIELD
Philadelphia’s own Khemist juxtaposes paradise and purgatory with his newest video for “Mexico.” The song focuses on the usage of heroin and overdose with shots of Kensington Beach in Philly and a paradisal beach in Mexico.
His lyrics give listeners the image of using drugs and the escapism the high brings to the users. The characters in the video are a woman at the beachside enjoying the sea and a woman dancing out in the streets with a less jovial expression compared to her beach counterpart.
The video opens with three different quotes about the drug trades on the corners of Kensington. Like the opening scene, the video closes out with another quote but from Styles P. “Just drove through some part of Philly and it scared me and depressed me at the same time. It was mad zombie looking people every few feet! They all looked sorta the same. Shit saddened me. Had to hit my man. He said that’s the badlands. All I can say was YEAH!,” exclaims P.
“Mexico” is a single from his latest album, A List Of Demands. The visual was also directed by Khemist.
Khemist can be found on Instagram @khemist_lv
4. Marzz – In The MorningSource:Marzz
Rising R&B favorite Marzz releases their new single “In The Morning”via Keep Cool/RCA Records. This is the first taste of new music from Marzz since the release of their Love Letterz(Deluxe) EP last year. The moody offering is driven by a simmering beat laced effortlessly with Marzz’s silky, lush vocals.
Speaking on the song, Marzz adds, “This song represents a feeling of waiting until the morning, getting excited of the unknown. It’s the wishful understanding of everything within a relationship. Sometimes we need understanding about falling in love when we’re not sure.”
It’s been a banner two-years for industry trailblazer Marzz as their 2021 debut EP, Love Letterz, solidified their place as a fresh face in the mainstream R&B scene. A captivating introduction to the Louisville starlets classic R&B and gospel influences. Love Letterz (Deluxe) released a year later with four brand-new tracks showcasing Marzz’s stratospheric growth.
From performing their hit song, “Countless Times,” at the 2021 BET Soul Train Awards to their late-night debut on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Marzz became the artist to watch. Garnering praise from the likes of Billboard who declared, “As for who’s got next on the R&B scene, Marzz can rightfully claim dibs” along with BET who stated, “…Expect lush, perfectly sung R&B…” from Marzz. Last year, they played a run of headline dates in support of Love Letterz and opened for H.E.R. on her North American Tour.
As an artist who blends their impassioned, choir-born voice with vulnerable lyricism and sultry production, Marzz hopes their music will fuel the listeners imagination to create their own narratives — almost like a magic spell.
Stay tuned for more new music from Marzz.
5. Jim Jones & Hitmaka ft. Jeremih – If You Want Me To StaySource:Jim Jones
The dynamic rapper and producer duo of Jim Jones and Hitmaka return with a lively single “If You Want Me To Stay” featuring Jeremiah. The visual has Jim and his crew having a fantastic time roaming the Big Apple. There are dancers in each borough displaying their crafty moves in the subways and various hallways that engulf the city that never sleeps.
Jim raps about what it takes for him to stay with certain people and women in his life. Jeremiah and Jim Jones complement each other throughout the Hitmaka production. The song is out exclusively on YouTube.
6. YNP Maine – AventadorSource:YNP Maine
Rising Louisiana rapper YNP Maine releases his bombastic new single “Aventador” today via Coke Boy Records / Priority Records. Buzzing with wild energy and whip-smart lyricism, the QUANTE produced track is emblematic of the teenage hip-hop star’s boundless potential and effortless showmanship. Alongside the track comes its accompanying music video showcasing the breakout star tearing it up in the studio with his crew.
“All through the club, I wore my gun,” YNP spits over in-your-face beats and melodic loops. “Security know, no checkin’ nothing.” The newcomer underlines his confidence and self-belief late in the song: “Always knew I had it in me way before they noticed it, before they noticed it.” Breakneck intensity and raw ambition is present in every syllable, making “Aventador” another winning entry in his burgeoning discography.
In the HV3 Visuals directed music video, YNP takes a call before heading to the lab. When he arrives, the track explodes as the young performer unleashes his skills, delivering the track with poise and gusto, practically shaking the building when “Aventador” arrives at the addictive chorus. The visualizer perfectly depicts what riding with the young rapstar would look like.
The track follows closely after “Aw Yeah,” a collaboration with fellow breakout star Ndotspinalot, as well as “Voices,” which was included on French Montana and DJ Drama’s Coke Boys 6: Money Heist Edition. That co-sign followed The Start, YNP’s breakout record from last year, which highlighted his unique spin on the sound that has dominated Southern hip-hop throughout the last decade.
Now, with “Aventador,” YNP Maine unleashes a new calling card that heralds his arrival as one of rap’s most exciting new artists.
7. Jharrel Jerome – Rap PackSource:Jharrel Jerome
Hip-hop artist and award-winning actor Jharrel Jerome releases Rap Pack – the first music pack in his previously announced 4-pack project titled Someone I’m Not. Composed of 4 tracks, Rap Pack includes his recently released single, “Chinatown,” and can be heard HERE.
Jharrel’s captivating and crisp rap skills are highlighted throughout the pack. His tracks are accompanied by sounds of piano, horns and strings – building for a grand sound next to Jharrel’s easy-to-appreciate vocals. On his track titled “The Cycle,” over a quirky yet mesmerizing production, Jharrel references the often-refuted but ever-accurate cycle of life’s priorities coming back to… money & women.
The release of Rap Pack is accompanied by a 7-minute multi-track video by filmmaker Shomi Patwary (A$AP Ferg, Diplo, Mark Ronson). The video was written by Jharrel and also stars the emerging musical mastermind. Showcasing music from Rap Pack’s tracks, the backdrop for the video is Jharrel’s hometown of New York City which also serves as the inspiration and foundation for many of his dynamic lyrics.
Following today’s release of Rap Pack will be the anticipated releases of Trip Pack, Love Pack and Trap Pack – which together form Jharrel’s debut album project – Someone I’m Not – releasing in late 2023.
Racking up over 5.5M streams on Spotify alone with his debut release “For Real (feat. Kemba),” Jharrel continues to make waves as an artist-to-watch, garnering acclaim from Billboard, UPROXX, BuzzFeed, Essence, and more. He followed things up with his 2022 single “Someone I’m Not,” which The FADER praised for “the beat’s soulful motions and Jerome’s punched, introspective bars.”
This year on-screen Jharrel starred in and served as an Executive Producer on the Prime Video series I’m A Virgo by writer-director Boots Riley. The series was met with wide praise and adoration, reflected by the show’s “certified fresh” score of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. He was soon after seen co-starring in the Steven Soderbergh MAX series Full Circle, and is mid-production starring as wrestler Anthony Robles in the film, Unstoppable, from Producers Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.
8. Tmcthedon – Headshots / JaydaSource:Tmcthedon
9. Robert Finley – You Got It (And I Need It)Source:Easy Eye Sound
Robert Finley released “You Got It (And I Need It)” the third single from his highly anticipated album, Black Bayou, due October 27 via Easy Eye Sound.
“You Got It (And I Need It)” is a swaggering soul number that showcases Finley’s sleek falsetto and growly vocals over laid-back grooves and killer solos.
Finley recorded Black Bayou at Dan Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound Studio in Nashville. It’s the fourth time the duo have worked together, although for this record they did things a little differently. Rather than write songs beforehand—as they did on 2017’s Goin’ Platinum and 2021’s Sharecropper’s Son—they devised everything in the studio, with Auerbach leading a band of some of the finest players around: drummers Patrick Carney (The Black Keys) and Jeffrey Clemens (G. Love & Special Sauce), bassist Eric Deaton, and legendary Hill Country blues guitarist Kenny Brown along with vocalists Christy Johnson and LaQuindrelyn McMahon—who just happen to be Finley’s daughter and granddaughter. They worked quickly, devising their parts spontaneously and getting everything in one take.
Black Bayou, is a portrait of North Louisiana from an insider who’s lived there all his life. It coalesces all of the vibrant genres bubbling in the bayou from southern soul, jazz, folk, blues, rock and roll and more. A vivid collection of songs that depict life in North Louisiana, with Finley playing the role of charismatic and knowledgeable tour guide. Tales include surviving the jaws of an alligator on “Alligator Bait,” a true story of his grandfather using him as bait to catch an alligator when he was a child. “Nobody Wants To Be Lonely” is a poignant track spotlighting the generation forgotten in nursing homes across the nation. Songs like “Miss Kitty,” a tale of lust and love are an instant induction into the canon of the blues tradition. In all, a collection set to establish Finley as perhaps one of the last true bluesmen of our time and a truly original Louisiana storyteller who evokes the place and its unique culture for the rest of the world.
“It’s amazing to realize how much of an impact Louisiana has had on the world’s music,” says Dan Auerbach, “and Robert embodies all of that. He can play a blues song. He can play early rock and roll. He can play gospel. He can do anything, and a lot of that has to do with where he’s from.”
If Finley’s previous albums established him as a formidable blues and soul artist – overcoming losing his sight in his 60s to become a music star – Black Bayou, Finley hopes, will help put North Louisiana on the musical map and launch the next generation of stars. Finley still plays small clubs around the region—even the occasional nursing home. Rather than move to where the music industry is, Finley is bringing the industry down to Bernice and working to boost regional acts and has plans for a new local recording studio in the works. “We got a lot of good talent down here in North Louisiana, but nobody’s really done much with it.” Finley stated, adding, “A lot of people just haven’t had the opportunity to record—or even just be heard. It worked for me, so I might as well try to help someone else get discovered, too.”
10. No Guidnce – Yeah YeahSource:NO GUIDNCE
Undeniably music’s most exciting new supergroup, No Guidnce releases their rousing new single titled “Yeah Yeah” today. A continuation of the signature sound that has quickly cemented the group as rising stars in the R&B arena with global reach, the track leans into the mischievous nature that can sometimes arise in love or more so, lust. Undeniably thrilling and brimming with their collective soaring talent, the track is yet another testament that the sky’s the limit for the young stars who time after time continue to confirm that there is just simply no one like them today.
Having only ever released their first track just this past March and with only six songs under their young belts, the group has quickly achieved milestones rarely seen with new artists including receiving large praise from beloved artists such as Summer Walker, Timbaland, Babyface, Labrinth, Miguel, Lucky Daye and Boyz II Men themselves. Additionally, the group has racked up millions of streams on Spotify and views on TikTok, amassing over 2.8M followers on Tik Tok and not to mention over 1 billion views last year alone. The group also has six of the most-viewed R&B videos of all time across the platform and were the sixth most-viewed/followed artists on TikTok within the UK last year, coming out of the gate with a robust social media following that they carefully and rigorously built by hand. Their massive worldwide success couldn’t be clearer as they recently sold out their first ever shows in Europe and the United States with fans lining up for hours to get a glimpse of the wunderkinds.
Comprised of Londoners Zeekay, Ebubé, Josh & Kaci, No Guidnce proves that R&B is more alive and necessary than ever. Their debut Is It A Crime? EP was born from collaborations with an all-star team of producers & writers on the project that include Victoria Monét (Ariana Grandé, Nas), JR Rotem (Rihanna, Bad Bunny), Akeel Henry (Giveon, John Legend), Lunchmoney Lewis (Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne) & Theron Thomas (Lizzo, Usher) to name just a few. The release established a new lane in music that will undoubtedly transform the music landscape unlike we’ve ever seen before.
More to come from No Guidnce very soon.
11. Kye Colors – GlideSource:KYE COLORS
12. 38 Spesh & Conway The Machine – GoodfellasSource:Benny the Butcher
Aligned with a similar set of core values, T.C.F. and Griselda have long maintained a mutual respect and prosperous working relationship with one another.
38 Spesh is coming off perhaps his biggest year ever in 2022, as he released fan favorites 7 Shots (which was highlighted by Kevin Durant as one of his top 5 albums of 2022 and even named Spesh his favorite rapper) and Beyond Belief with Harry Fraud.
Conway The Machine followed up his Shady Records major label debut, God Don’t Make Mistakes, with his recently released solo album, Won’t He Do It, and Drumwork’s first official label compilation Conway The Machine Presents: Drumwork The Album; on which Spesh & Conway provided a foreshadowing of things to come with “Lalo.”
After announcing their collaborative album, Speshal Machinery, with “Latex Gloves” featuring Lloyd Banks, Spesh and Conway are back with the project’s second single “Goodfellas” which features Benny The Butcher.
Musically adjacent for nearly a decade now, “Goodfellas” furthers the chemistry that Spesh, Conway, and Benny have previously exhibited on “Three Missiles” (from Benny’s My First Brick), “Band Of Brothers” (from Spesh & Harry Fraud’s Beyond Belief), and past joint projects Stabbed & Shot & Trust The Sopranos.
“Everybody knows that Benny and I go way back, but me and Con have been down forever too” 38 Spesh reveals. “Trust and Griselda have been the biggest names in upstate for years, but now we’re some of the biggest names in the game—period!”
38 Spesh & Conway The Machine’s Speshal Machinery will be released on September 8 via T.C.F. Music Group.
13. Chase Shakur – it’s not you, it’s me…it’s loveSource:Chase Shakur
Continuing to buzz as an artist to watch this year, rising Atlanta-based singer songwriter Chase Shakur reups and reignites his acclaimed it’s not you, it’s me EP with a new Deluxe Edition entitled, it’s not you, it’s me…it’s love. Listen to it’s not you, it’s me…it’s love (Deluxe)
Chase expanded the original project with three brand new tracks, including the single and music video “nite.” This nocturnal anthem highlights his dynamic vocal range over cinematic beat-craft. While the accompanying visual translates this energy to the screen and showcases his charisma. The project also now boasts new tracks “exit 65” and the emotionally charged “you’re so lovely.”
In support of the project, he hits the road on the “It’s Still Love Tour” across North America. The headline run kicks off on October 30 in Houston, TX at White Oak Upstairs, visits major markets across the country, and concludes on November 21 in Atlanta, GA at The Masquerade Hell. Get tickets HERE.
it’s not you, it’s me has already piled up nearly 10 million streams and counting. Earning widespread critical acclaim, office raved, “Shakur defies genre expectations and delivers a unique sound that synthesizes the various elements of hip-hop, funk, soul, pop, and R&B into forward-thinking music deeply rooted in Black culture.” Rated R&B noted, “Musically, It’s Not You, It’s Me maintains a spacey focus from top-to-bottom, while Shakur delivers on the title lyrically.” UPROXX touted “X’S N O’s” among “All The Best New R&B From This Week That You Need To Hear” and proclaimed, “The captivating single is the perfect backdrop for Shakur to show off his dynamic talents and smooth lyricism.”
The ten-track body of work immerses audiences in his world. It picks up where he left off on his 2022 fan favorite EP, It’ll Be Fine, which chronicled the ups and downs of a tumultuous romance. As the sequel,it’s not you, it’s meexplores the breakup. Over the course of the project, the relationship reaches its denouement against a soundtrack of shadowy R&B punctuated by otherworldly sonic flourishes and stunning vocal conjurations from Chase, tracing the trip from“no more cryin’” through “i know you’ve been lonely.”
Stay tuned for a whole lot more from Chase Shakur soon.
14. Timbaland, Nelly Furtado & Justin Timberlake – Keep Going UpSource:Timbaland
Four-time GRAMMY Award-winning iconic producer, songwriter, and artist Timbaland delivers the hottest reunion of the year on his new single “Keep Going Up” featuring Nelly Furtado & Justin Timberlake. It notably marks the legendary producer’s first official solo single in over eight years and his artist debut under the partnership between his own Mosley Music Group and Def Jam Recordings.
These three first famously joined forces on the 2007 global smash “Give It To Me.” It toppled the Billboard 200 at #1 and has generated nearly a billion streams. It also graced Timbaland’s 2007 platinum-certified full-length Shock Value, which crashed the Top 5 of the Billboard 200.
From the jump, Timbaland’s signature sound remains as instantly recognizable as ever. A head-nodding drum groove and thick bassline underline dynamic verses from Nelly as she repeats the chantable chorus like a mantra, “I keep going, I keep going, I keep going up.” Meanwhile, Justinflexes his hypnotic high register through rich layers of production. When they come together, there’s still nothing quite like the chemistry between them!
The track originated from Beatclub, the immensely successful Timbaland founded music creator platform, and its members, Last Trip to the Moon. After a one-on-one session with the group’s production team members Brandon Stewart and Brandon Cordoba who created the beat (a regular service the Beatclub platform offers to its users), the rest was history for Timbaland, in what he now refers to as “the call that ignited the spark.” Shortly after, Timbaland added his signature production style to the track, and brought in Timberlake and Furtado as featured vocalists. Watch a special making-of-the-track video HERE.
This week, ESPN announced that Timbaland and Justin Timberlake will curate music for select Monday Night Football games during the 2023-2024 season. The curated music from Timbaland and Timberlake will run in Monday Night Football promotional spots, live telecasts and pre-game shows for 7 weeks this season. ESPN amped up excitement for the arrival of “Keep Going Up,” teasing a snippet across its programming.
“Keep Going Up” sets the stage for Timbaland’s EP due out this fall!
15. Connie Diiamond – Ghetto & RatchetSource:Connie Diiamond
Returning with more heat, rapidly rising Bronx spitter Connie Diiamond serves up a scorching new single entitled “Ghetto & Ratchet” today via Def Jam Recordings.
On the track, an ominous beat sets the tempo for a flurry of fiery lyricism from Connie. She rips bars over a thick bassline and delivers an instantly unforgettable hook, “I’m sorry, baby. I live in The Bronx. My bitches is ghetto and ratchet.”
It continues a hot streak she ignited with her debut project, Underdog Szn, earlier this summer. Beyond posting up millions of streams, the latter earned widespread critical acclaim. In a massive feature, V Magazine noted, “Connie Diiamond has remained Hip Hop’s best kept secret for almost a decade, but now she’s ready to step out from behind the curtain and take her place in the spotlight.” XXL proclaimed, “Overall, she’s focused on good vibes and elevation, the latter of which she’s surely been doing.” OKAYPLAYER touted it among “8 New Albums You Need To Hear This Week” and Rap-Up attested, “Her use of fierce hooks and calculated wordplay is helping her profile rise with the release of every song.”
Across nine tracks on Underdog Szn, she flexes her raucous wordplay and hard-hitting hooks joined by guests such as Don Q, Dame D.O.L.L.A., and KenTheManfor the “Move (Remix).”
The standout track “Move” caught fire to the tune of 1 million streams and counting, while even Lebron James co-signed her by proclaiming on his Instagram story, “Man she bodied that shit!!! WHOA.” Built around a sample of the Ludacris classic “Move Bitch”[feat. Mystikal & I-20], she tears through the production with razor-sharp rhymes and practically incinerates the beat with scorching bars.
It’s Underdog Szn, and Connie Diiamond’s imminent takeover is underway!
16. Blu & Real Bad Man – Bad NewsSource:Realbadman
After teaming up with Boldy James to release Real Bad Boldy (2021) and Killing Nothing (2022) and linking up with rising star Pink Siifu for Real Bad Flights (2022), and earlier this year, Serpent, with Kool Keith, Real Bad Man returns with his new collaborative endeavor, Bad News, with west coast stalwart Blu; which is now officially available, along with a new visual for the album’s title track.
While Real Bad Man has proven to thrive in the continuity and structure of creating full projects with his emcee(s) of choice, Blu has also similarly flourished within those bounds over the course of his distinguished career.
“My name (Blu) is synonymous with being the bearer of ‘Bad News.’ Anytime you speak the blues, it represents just that to people; and Blu only speaks the blues. The themes on Bad News are centered on battle rap, it’s for the heads that missed the cipher and it packs a heavy punch” Blu asserts. “I am honored to do this project with Real Bad Man and add it to his elite collection of projects with great emcees. The music came out excellent, which is always the most important, and I was able to creatively express myself freely. “The Golden Rule” (featuring C.L. Smooth) and “Hebrews” (featuring Planet Asia) are my favorite tracks because I got to collaborate with two artists who have influenced and molded my sound and style more than pretty much any other artists in Hip Hop. Thank you to the OG’s, and thank you Real Bad Man for giving me the platform to shine.”
“I’ve been a fan of Blu’s for a while and we’ve worked together here and there on some one-offs, but I knew a whole project together would be special” Real Bad Man adds. “Blu has a really unique way of looking at the world, but through a Los Angeles filter. I’m psyched we got to come together and make Bad News.”
Blu & Real Bad Man’s Bad Newsis now available at all DSP’s.
17. Doja Cat – DemonsSource:Doja Cat
GRAMMY award-winning global superstar Doja Cat releases her new track and music video, “Demons”today viaKemosabe Records / RCA Records. The music video was filmed in Los Angeles, CA and directed by Christian Breslauer(SZA/Chris Brown) and Doja Cat. The video features a special cameo from Emmy-Award winning actress, Christina Ricci (“The Addams Family” / Netflix’s “Wednesday”). “Demons” made its broadcast premiere on MTV Live, MTVU, MTV Biggest Pop and on the Paramount Times Square billboards.
Doja Cat has just been announced as a performer on the 2023 “VMAs,” airing LIVE from New Jersey’s Prudential Center on Tuesday, September 12th at 8PM ET/PT where she is nominated for 5 Awards including- Video of the Year, Artist of the Year, Best Collaboration, Best Direction, and Best Art Direction.
Last month, Doja Cat released her official single, “Paint The Town Red”, which made history by reaching No. 1 on Spotify’s Top 50 – USA chart; this is the first time in Spotify history that a rap song from a solo female artist has earned the top spot on the charts. Additionally, Doja Cat’s “Paint The Town Red” hit #5 on Billboard Hot 100 chart and #3 on Billboard Global 200. The “Paint The Town Red” music video was directed by Nina McNeely (Miguel / Fergie) and Doja Cat and was shot in Los Angeles, CA.
At the start of the summer, Doja announced her first North American headline tour, “The Scarlet Tour” beginning this fall with special guests Ice Spice and Doechii. Doja Cat was also featured on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar last month for “Icons issue.”
18. Queen Naija ft. Youngboy Never Broke Again – No Fake LoveSource:Queen Naija
Multi-platinum powerhouse Queen Naija remains on a hot streak, teaming up with hitmaking rapper YoungBoy Never Broke Again for the empowering “No Fake Love,” out today via Capitol Records. Accompanied by a feel-good, VHS-inspired video, the sizzling single, which samples Amerie’s seminal 2002 hit “Why Don’t We Fall In Love” comes on the heels of two other slow-burning stunners this year in “Let’s Talk About It” and “Words of Affirmation.”
Co-written by Queen and NBA YoungBoy, “No Fake Love” kicks off with a warning: “You betta be careful,” the R&B songstress belts out before rumbling beats drop in. Over glimmering production, she continues to make her case. “I got the power to make ‘em wait for me,” she declares on the commanding hook. When YoungBoy slips in, he’s just as self-possessed—if not a little on guard. “I ain’t watchu like, then coach me,” he lets loose in his nimble flow. “I love you, but this I don’t need.” As the song slides back into the hypnotic hook, Queen gets the final word, unleashing a powerful mantra: “I’m a force by myself; every time, IMMA bet on me.”
Hailed as “the first soul star of the social media generation” by The New York Times, the Detroit-bred artist has amassed over 5.8 billion combined global streams in her career to date. Earlier this year, she celebrated the five-year anniversary of her breakthrough double-platinum smash “Medicine.” It’s just one award in her long list of accolades.
Queen’s 2022 smash “Hate Our Love” ft. Big Sean hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Adult R&B Airplay chart and has been certified Gold by the RIAA. In addition, “Pack Lite,” from her 2020 debut album missunderstood, is her fourth single to be certified Platinum, and “What’s My Name,” Queen’s collaboration with Fivio Foreign ft. Coi Leray, has gone Gold. With bold singles and major collaborations like “No Fake Love,” she keeps proving to be an unstoppable force.
19. Camidoh, Vybz Kartel, Miss Lafamilia & DJ Lara Fraser – Taxi ManSource:Camidoh
BET Award-nominated afropop sensation CAMIDOH, Jamaican dancehall legend VYBZ KARTEL, and one of the UK’s most exciting female artists MISS LAFAMILIA have joined forces with award-winning DJ and producer DJ LARA FRASER for the massive new single titled ‘TAXI MAN’. Produced by UK legend Toddla T (Stormzy, Little Simz, Idris Elba) and award-winning Ghanaian producer Streetbeatz (Stonebwoy, Fuse ODG, Sarkodie), ‘Taxi Man’ is a majestic dancehall and afrobeats fusion offering that is sure to bring the sun back out and keep the summer vibes going.
Driven by trademark dancehall soundscapes with its groovy bassline and lush synths, ‘Taxi Man’ is bookmarked by Camidoh’s sweet R&B and afrobeats melodies, and a sultry and harmonious vocal performance from Miss LaFamilia, with Vybz Kartel holding the centre and doing what only the legend can do. The infectious track also comes with an innovative portrait-style music video directed by burgeoning filmmaker Amane Akbaraly that takes us behind the scenes into a day in the life of Camidoh, Miss LaFamilia, and DJ Lara Fraser at the renowned Zap Studios in the heart of London’s Camberwell.
Coming on the back of the success of tracks like ‘Dull Colour’ and ‘Come Sit Down’, Jamaican dancehall king Vybz Kartel has been having a resurgent summer this year, while Miss LaFamilia just released what is shaping up to be the UK track of the summer ‘Harder’, and Camidoh, on the other hand, is riding high following his nominations at this year’s BET Awards and The Headies (Africa’s equivalent of the Grammy Awards), as well as the success of his critically acclaimed debut project L.I.T.A – together all three artists form a formidable force on ‘Taxi Man’ with DJ Lara Fraser.
Speaking about the inspiration behind ‘Taxi Man’ and how the exciting collaboration came together, DJ Lara Fraser says, “The song is a feel-good summer vibe about spreading love and being loyal to your girl. We linked up from all over the world for this one, and I loved every step of the process”, with Miss LaFamilia adding that, “it was so much fun making this record, I can’t wait for everybody to hear it”, and Camidoh touching on what it was like for him to work with Vybz Kartel on the song, sharing that “it’s always great vibes when you get to do a record with a legend”.
20. Mr Eazi – AdviceSource:Mr Eazi
Grammy and Latin Grammy award-winning global music superstar MR EAZI shares new music today (September 1) along with the title for his long-awaited and highly anticipated debut solo album. New offering ‘ADVICE’, produced by Ghana’s M.O.G. Beatz, is the third single from the freshly-named The Evil Genius, set for release on October 27, 2023. The 16-track album is now available for pre-order here. Mr Eazi is also the latest artist to be featured in VEVO’s original content series Ctrl., with a stirring, defiant performance of the drill-infused ‘Advice’ out today in support of the track’s release.
Mr Eazi recorded ‘Advice’, with its dark, grimy tones, during a particularly heavy moment in his life, as he watched some of his longest-held relationships crumble under the weight of his success. Sharing his inspiration for the track, Eazi shares, “When you first come up [as an artist], everybody is in love with you, then they want to draw you down. People begin to betray you. If you’re able to survive this stage, you go untouchable. But this is the hardest stage.”
The lyrically dense ‘Advice’ also namechecks a number of African martyrs including former Democratic Republic of the Congo president Joseph Kabila and Ken Saro-Wiwa, a Nigerian writer and activist whose 1995 hanging inspired domestic and international outrage, with Mr Eazi adding, “I was coming from a place of having that energy.”
Record over a two-year period in some of Mr Eazi’s favourite cities, from Ouidah and Cotonou in Benin, Kokrobite and Accra in Ghana, and Los Angeles and New York City in the United States, to Lagos in Nigeria, and Kigali in Rwanda, The Evil Genius features Mr Eazi’s most personal work, as he dives deeply into subjects like love, betrayal, loneliness, and family, expressed through three distinctive acts.
Speaking on the album’s title, Mr Eazi explains that The Evil Genius title is his way of embracing a perception that his business smarts and ambitions disguise hidden agendas. “There’s been this low-key notion that Eazi is this calculated bad guy, and I started to fight this narrative. Then it hit me: This album is me fighting the ‘people pleaser’ in me, and accepting that image. By the time you listen to this project from beginning to end, you will have met ‘The Evil Genius.’ If you still think I’m the bad guy, so be it.”
In a first-of-its-kind fusion of African music and art, Mr Eazi commissioned visual artists from across the continent to create a unique, physical art piece to represent each of the album’s 16 tracks. For ‘Advice,’ he tapped Nairobi, Kenya-based artist Alphonce Odhiambo, known as Alpha ODH, whose acrylic painting speaks to the track’s defiant lyrics.
As he travelled through Africa recording the album, Mr Eazi forged relationships with visual artists whose work he encountered along the way. Noting a lack of collaboration between Africa’s exploding pop music scene and the continent’s fine art creators, Mr Eazi personally handpicked 13 artists, representing eight African countries, inviting them to collaborate in a process he describes as ‘informal and instinctual’. According to Eazi, “Inviting artists to create for the album was from my passion for creativity and expression. I formed a true bond with many of my artist friends. The artworks visually unlock the ideas, emotion, and energy within my music.”
Ahead of the album’s release on October 27, Mr Eazi is inviting the public to experience the music alongside the art at several multi-sensory exhibition listening experiences. The exhibition debuts at Gallery 1957 in Ghana – a significant country for Mr Eazi, where he began his recording career and first rose to fame – from September 13-18. Following this inaugural presentation, the exhibition will travel to London as part of the renowned 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair at Somerset House from October 12-15. Additional exhibition announcements in other cities are forthcoming.
21. Emma Ogier – Too Young For ThatSource:Emma Ogier
Rising singer and songwriter Emma Ogiershares her new single, “Too Young For That,” out today on Olympic Recordings. It’s her third single released thus far, following her debut “First Base” and the “compelling and thought-provoking” (Ones To Watch) “Consider Me A Winner.” All three tracks will be included on Emma’s upcoming debut EP, due out later this year.
With “Too Young For That,” Emma continues to introduce listeners to her Americana-flavored indie-pop sound and undeniable lyrical prowess. Wading through the muddy emotional waters of young adulthood, Emma reminisces on a relationship that took place during most of her formative years. “‘Too Young For That’ is about love that has been separated physically but still holds ties mentally,” she says.
Hailing from Houston and currently based in Nashville, 19-year-old Emma Ogier is quickly making a name for herself. Drawing inspiration from established artists like Lori McKenna, Phoebe Bridgers, and Joni Mitchell, her unique sound blends elements of country and indie pop, creating an evocative atmosphere that captures the hearts of her listeners. Her talent has not gone unnoticed by her musical heroes, as evidenced by Maggie Rogers joining her for multiple duets on TikTok.
She’s already performed shows in Nashville and Los Angeles, and recently wrapped up a US tour supporting Michaela Slinger. As she continues to gain recognition and accolades, there’s no doubt that Emma Ogier is poised for a successful breakthrough this year.
22. Lil Wayne – Kat FoodSource:Lil Wayne
23. LAYA – BET THATSource:LAYA
After turning up the heat all summer, Staten Island R&B sensation LAYA presents her anxiously awaited new EP, BET THAT, out today via Warner Records.
The seven-track body of work finds the genre-smashing siren in the zone. She flexes confidently and runs her own world unapologetically.
Among many standouts, the single “Ain’t Playin’” layers breathy vocals above a laid back beat. Her delivery barely cracks a whisper as she declares, “I ain’t playin’ wit you,” only for DJ airhorns to wail across a danceable bridge. She sets the tone with the opener and title track “Bet That.” Ominous orchestration gives way to the sound of an engine revving in the distance and an otherworldly beat laced tight with guitar. Meanwhile, this boss proceeds to lay down the rules from the get-go, “We don’t discuss shit at the function.” On other end of the spectrum, “Left, Right GO!” moves in lockstep on a dreamy march. Then, there’s “Psycho Bitch.” A slinky bassline and head-nodding beat can’t contain her manic energy or soulful delivery. She wonders, “Can we be alone? I feel a stroke of luck coming on.”
She initially paved the way for the project with “F’d Up” and, most recently, “Need 2 Know.” Of the latter, SoulBounce wrote, “The creative singer-songwriter catches her man slipping and has questions that need truthful answers in her new single ‘Need 2 Know’,” and Rated R&B observed, “While something about its vigorous production recalls Rihanna’s “Kiss It Better,” its lyrics differ. Regarding her romantic relationships, LAYA insists on honesty even if it may cause discomfort.”
“Need 2 Know” stands bold alongside LAYA’s 2022 viral hit “Sailor Moon 2.0” with Baby Tate and her sultry cover of Missy Elliott’s “Sock It 2 Me” for Amazon Music’s Women’s History Month campaign. After a breakthrough 2022, which included her debut EP Um, Hello, LAYA proves she’s here to stay.
You can Bet That…
24. Ndotspinalot & Miyaa V – Don’t LackSource:NDOTSPINALOT
Bronx breakout Ndotspinalot releases the fiery new single “Don’t Lack” with Miyaa V, via Priority Records. Fast-paced and intense, the track finds the teen rappers delivering rapid-fire lyricism and undeniable charisma. The banger’s accompanying music video delivers a snapshot of Ndot and his collaborator putting on a show in New York’s Times Square.
“I’m back on my shit,” Ndot begins ominously over blistering percussion and string arrangements, before passing the mic to Miyaa for an equally explosive verse. It’s the latest ferocious anthem from Ndot, who has already made a name for himself by delivering bars with a pace and wisdom well beyond his years. As always, the teenager represents NYC’s thriving drill scene with pride and precision.
In the music video, Ndot and Miyaa set up shop in the center of Times Square to showcase “Don’t Lack” with their friends, offering up boundless energy. The camera never stops moving as the teens unleash their bars upon the masses. The video features a few wonderfully ghoulish filters as well, at times turning Ndot and his crew into zombies and skeletons—making for a memorable ride.
Ndot’s latest single follows the epic “SPINALOT,” another showcase of the up-and-comer’s dazzling magnetism. “Don’t Lack” is just the latest in a string of tunes that suggest that Ndotspinalot is rap’s next breakout star. As an indie artist, he put up big numbers with “RPT,” “2 Twin Glocks,” and “Bestie,” which has racked up 8.8 million Spotify streams and counting as well as 5.3 million YouTube views. Now, with Priority Records in his corner, the young rapper is poised to change the game.