1. Calabasas & Trinidad Cardona
Calabasas, the Los Angeles-based duo of Franskiiz and Watrcup whose intensely personal songwriting first attracted notice in 2018, teams up with 5 billion-streaming bilingual, multicultural, next gen pop singer Trinidad Cardona for the release of “Gentle,” the brand new single available at all platforms today via Def Jam Recordings.
“Gentle represents everything we are going through right now just not trying to force anything. Letting things come to us naturally. The session with Trinidad was exactly that, just free flowing and felt right from the very beginning,” said Calabasas.
Calabasas is known to bury personal experiences inside of bold and boisterous alternative pop, punctuated by hip-hop rhymes, electronic waves, R&B grooves, and cinematic flourishes. For the duo, “Gentle” is the latest chapter in a career together that goes back to 2018. Their breakout single of July 2020, “Believe In Me” hit #1 on Spotify’s Fresh Finds editorial playlist one week after release, amassing over 3 million streams.
The next Calabasas single, “Beaujolais” (October 2020) carried on the momentum, placing at #6 on Apple Music Hot Tracks, and landing on the Spotify editorial playlists Signed XOXO at #24 with over 3.5 million streams, and Alternative Hip-Hop at #3. The track peaked at #29 on the SoundCloud Top 50 US chart after surging over 2 million streams in just under a month. Their track “Gory Love” has almost 10 million streams on Spotify alone.
Rap was still a central element for Calabasas in the lustful, melodic “First Time Thing” that has amassed close to 13 million streams on Spotify (July 2021). But the duo’s wholehearted embrace of pop began in earnest the following month on “Voices” with Bay Area singer Marc E. Bassy (who they later supported on tour), now with nearly 1 million views. The track propelled them to a new high point, “The Mend,” an acoustic slow burner, “another amazing production of catchy guitar melodies, superb vocals, and beautiful songwriting that gets personal with what is going with their lives,” as Sheesh Media raved.
Trinidad Cardona became a household name in 2022, his first year as a Def Jam artist, when he became the first emerging bilingual, multicultural, next gen artist to launch the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ Official Soundtrack with “Hayya Hayya (Better Together)” featuring Davido and Aisha. First issued in April, the rousing reggae-meets-EDM anthem currently boasts over 103 million views. English and Spanish versions of the song were included on the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ Official Soundtrackalbum, released November 2022.
Following the viral global phenomenon of “Hayya Hayya (Better Together)”, Trinidad dropped the incandescent “Love Me Back,” a soaring torch song that melded hypnotic Afrobeats percussion and shimmering synths. “Love Me Back” (Fayahh Beat) with Robinson exploded virally in the spring of 2022, with over 3 billion views on TikTok and over 400,000 creates, over 4 million plays on Soundcloud, over 10 million streams on Spotify, and over 8 million lyric video views on YouTube. At the same time, the official “Love Me Back” video amassed over 10 million YouTube views.
“Love Me Back,” plus “Love Me Back” (Fayahh Beat), along with a special Spanish version and acoustic version, were coupled with two previously unreleased sped-up and slowed-down versions of the song (from notable TikTok producers xxtristanxo and Esteves) – for a mini-EP package released July 2022.
The odyssey of 23 year-old Phoenix, Arizona-bred Trinidad Cardona began with the futuristic R&B banger “Jennifer” in 2017. The viral hit scored over 12 million streams and over 53 million YouTube views. It led to his 2018 single “Dinero,” a sexy ode to toxic romances with its Miami-flavored rumba horns and driving beat. The track revived phoenix-like in 2021, as a #1 TikTok Viral chart sensation with over 65 million streams, that was the prelude to the 2022 FIFA phenomenon “Hayya Hayya (Better Together).”
2. Keke Palmer – FR FR
Multi-talented artist Keke Palmer is making waves once again as she releases her captivating music video and single for “FR FR”, from her newly released album “Big Boss.” This highly anticipated project showcases Palmer’s growth and artistic evolution as she continues to inspire and empower with her unique talent and unapologetic authenticity.
“FR FR” is an anthem that resonates with listeners, delving into Keke’s desire for sincerity in her relationships. The track emphasizes the importance of trust and discretion, urging her partner to be authentic and avoid seeking validation from others. Keke’s confident delivery and lyrical prowess bring the song to life, highlighting the real energy she maintains throughout her success. Through “FR FR,” she explores themes of self-expression, independence, and staying true to oneself.
“FR FR is a deeply personal and empowering song for me. It represents the desire for genuine connections and the importance of trust in relationships. It’s about being unapologetically myself and staying true to who I am. I want fans to feel the confidence and strength that comes with embracing authenticity. The song is a declaration of self-assurance and a celebration of being the boss of our own lives,” said Keke Palmer.
“Big Boss” is a remarkable journey through Keke’s life, chronicling her rise in the male-dominated music industry. Written and directed by Keke herself, this visual album showcases her perseverance, self-love, unyielding faith, and indomitable spirit. Throughout the narrative, Palmer learns to trust her instincts and overcomes the greatest obstacle of all—herself.
Following the success of her “Virgo Tendencies” EP in 2020, “Big Boss” represents Keke’s continued growth and artistic vision. With its fusion of captivating visuals and powerful storytelling, this album promises an unforgettable experience for fans and music enthusiasts alike.
3. Jay Burna & STARR – “MAWD!”
“MAWD!” The newest single from Haitian American artist / songwriter,Jay Burna. Just in time for the summer, theKeylow-produced cut is the perfect song to get people pumped up for all the season’s upcoming festivities. The track featuresSTARR, and the two artists perfectly complement one another to deliver a fun, energetic record that everyone can vibe to.
Jay Burna has been making waves for years now, working with some of the biggest names in the game including T.I., Kid Ink, Khalil and Fetty Wap. Now working with incredible momentum once again, Jay Burna is fully focused on elevating his career to the next level, as well as his independent record label, Black Congress Music Group. And “MAWD” is a perfect front runner. The single will appear on his forthcoming project,Dear You, No More Apologiesthat’s set to arrive in July.
He released his independent debut albumFear Is A Liein 2015 that reached No. 45 on iTunes’ album chart. In Fall 2021, he would follow up with an EP titledTrophythat spawned one of his biggest singles to date, “U The Sh*t.” Assisted by Hip-Hop legend T.I., the song and video has amassed millions of views and streams since its release.
4. LÉA THE LEOX – Purpose
Brockton, MA born, LA-based genre-defying artist LÉA (“Lay-Uh”) THE LEOX (23 years
old) joined forces with Genius Distro to release her highly anticipated debut EP, PURPOSE in
Dolby Atmos®. PURPOSE is now streaming via Genius Distro on all streaming platforms, and
available in Dolby Atmos on Apple Music, TIDAL, and Amazon Music.
On PURPOSE, LÉA states: “What started as thoughts in my diary, blossomed into the
PURPOSE EP. After reflecting and healing, I am so proud to present this body of work to the
world. I hope that everyone who hears this is reminded that they are valuable and cherished.”
Produced and mixed by ObieIII in Dolby Atmos, PURPOSE combines elements of R&B, Folk
and Pop, bringing true artistry back to the forefront. Throughout the project, LÉA’s silky tone and
luscious harmonies are reminiscent of Yebba and Moses Sumney while her diverse catalog
brings to mind Kehlani and Lucky Day. Using real-life experiences as her inspiration, LÉA’s
lyrics touch on the duality of the human and spiritual experience– making her vulnerable yet
empowering, transient yet passionate. As a queer woman of color, LÉA owns her identity and
sexuality, masterfully producing fresh takes on everyday themes.
“LÉA THE LEOX is an artist that has impressed us since the beginning of her music journey and
we feel like people will connect with her music, voice, and songwriting,” said Kayvan Daragheh,Director of A&R at Genius Distro, “We’re excited to be a part of the journey and release ofPurpose.”
On Monday, May 15, 2023, music industry professionals and fans gathered at the Dolby
Screening Room in Los Angeles to have an exclusive first listen of PURPOSE in Dolby Atmos.
Attendees also enjoyed a mesmerizing live performance of “Purpose” and “When You’re Lonely”
by LÉA and ObieIII.
When enjoyed in Dolby Atmos, PURPOSE delivers an incredible immersive listening experience
for fans that deepens their connection with LÉA and her music. Dolby Atmos is an immersive
audio experience transforming how music is created and enjoyed. Dolby Atmos takes listeners
inside the music to reveal details with unparalleled clarity and depth. Whether it’s hearing the
layers of instruments move all around, catching the subtle breath a singer takes between lyrics,
or being enveloped in a wave of melodies, nothing compares to hearing music in Dolby Atmos.
LÉA’s latest single “Purpose,” title track of her EP, has garnered attention across press and
DSPs, including MTV’s Bop Shop, Spotify’s “Fresh Finds R&B,” and it peaked as #3 on
Audiomack, while the visualizer for her previous release, “When You’re Lonely,” offered the
perfect glimpse into the introspective world of the EP. As one of the participants of Dolby’s
Dolby Atmos Accelerator program, LÉA made waves at SXSW this year as a performer at
Dolby House. LÉA also created additional buzz after her live performances at Highland Park
Bowl, Culver Hotel LA, Adults Only LA, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Viper Room, Drom NYC,
The Rookery Chicago, and more.
After a long journey of self-discovery, LÉA is finally embracing her LEOX energy and is on track
to be the artist she was destined to be. Stay tuned for more from this rising star.
5. Nnena – Dumb Bitch Punch
Emerging rapper singer/songwriter Nnena returns with her new single “Dumb Bitch Punch” via RCA Records. Produced by KIZZO, the groovy guitar-heavy bass production highlights Nnena’s velvety voice and witty lyricism. She’s currently on her first-ever solo tour this month through Soho Househitting cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and more.
Last year, Nnena shared her single “PMTWGR.” Heavy on soul grooves, the song is confident and fun, using clever rhymes to address that pussy does in fact make the world go round!
Nnena showcased her range and versatility on her last EP …Just Cause. The four-track project features Childish Major, DaVionne and WESTSIDE BOOGIE – the latter on the standout track “Come Again.” Additionally, Nnena was featured on Insecure: Music From The HBO Original Series, Season 5 soundtrack with her memorable single “Fun,” which was the second highest streamed track on the album on Spotify. Nnena had her late-night television debut performing the track on The Late Late Show with James Corden.
An incredible writer, lyricist, rapper and vocalist, bursting with effusive energy and a massive personality, the Cleveland native, born Nnena Adigwe to Nigerian parents, credits some of her robust, descriptive storytelling impulses to her past screenwriting experience. Nnena began writing comedic sketches during college and that soon led to working on more full-fledged projects—the kinds of works that needed sound tracking. Rather than pay licensing fees, she tried her hand at making her own music. Her music reflects her eclectic influences ranging from Otis Redding to Millie Jackson, from Queen Latifah to Miriam Makeba to Kendrick Lamar and especially “Lauryn Hill, she molded me the most,” along with other neo-soul genre artists Musiq Soulchild and Jill Scott, as well from Drake, J. Cole, to Tiwa Savage.
Nnena is currently working on her debut album; stay tuned for more music coming soon.
6. Connie Diiamond – Underdog Szn
Popping off as one of 2023’s hottest breaking artists, rapidly rising Bronx spitter Connie Diiamond unleashes her anxiously awaited debut project, Underdog Szn, today via Def Jam Recordings. Across nine tracks, she flexes her raucous wordplay and hard-hitting hooks joined by guests such as Don Q, Dame D.O.L.L.A., and KenTheMan for the “Move (Remix).” Listen to Underdog Szn—HERE.
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.
Connie Diiamond consistently asserts herself as a rare gem. She’s not only piled up millions of streams and views, but she’s also incited the applause of NPR, Revolt, XXL, V Magazine, Okayplayer, HotNewHipHop, and more.
It’s Underdog Szn, and Connie Diiamond’s imminent takeover is underway!
7. A.R. The Mermaid – Sneaky Link
Bubbling up to the forefront of the game, rising Memphis rapper, magnetic personality, and visionary rarity A.R. The Mermaid uncovers a brand new single and music video entitled “Sneaky Link.” It notably marks her debut for 300 Entertainment.
Quirky whistling encircles a bouncy bass line on the track as the hi-hats sizzle. Over this bright backdrop, A.R. The Mermaid drops hilarious (and regrettably relatable bars) as she laments, “I just left my sneaky link house. That bitch can’t keep a secret!” The colorful accompanying visual quite literally brings these lyrics to life as she narrowly avoids being caught on the way out of a mid-morning tryst. Her outsized energy practically pops off the screen, and her quirky fashion sense and scorching style shine in each set piece.
Just coming up for air after a quiet grind, A.R. The Mermaid has buzzed out of Memphis as her city’s fieriest outlier. She has gained traction with the likes of “Let A Ho Play” and freestyles such as “No Motion.” At the same time, she has all the makings of a style icon with the vibrant presentation of a real-life anime heroine.
She’s the ultimate modern Mermaid…
8. Jastin Martin – Why Not?
Jastin Martin, the minimalist trap-soul singer-songwriter, producer and emerging soulful voice from Houston, Texas, weaves a breezy, positive vibe with “Why Not?” the brand new track and video available on all DSPs today via Def Jam Recordings. The infectious ballad is Jastin’s first new music since her breakthrough “Right My Wrongs” whose acoustic video performance has exploded with over 2 million YouTube views in its first month out.
Jastin is currently putting the finishing touches on MISS ME YET? her vibrant, rich upcoming debut project, showcasing her vulnerability and versatility as introduced on “Right My Wrongs” and “Why Not?” Release details of the album will be announced in the weeks ahead.
Born and raised in Houston, Jastin’s family exposed her to a musical kaleidoscope: Bob Marley and Brooks & Dunn (via her grandfather); Lenny Kravitz and Evanescence (via her mom); and zydeco (via her Louisiana grandmother). By 16, Jastin was making her first studio recordings. At age 20, attending the HBCU Grambling State in Louisiana, Jastin first picked up the guitar and eventually taught herself how to produce.
She began diligently posting original songs online in 2016, building a loyal organic following with her hushed, guitar-lined confessions. Her soft-spoken sultriness and hard-hitting candidness on early breakout tracks “Again” and “Reassurance” struck a chord with new fans. “Again,” for example, was a soulful take-down directed at a lying love interest that she wrote in a mere 30 minutes in her car.
“My writing is so detailed that I wouldn’t have to tell anyone a song is about them – they would know it,” Jastin says. That sincerity graces her posts on Instagram and TikTok, where she deconstructs her songs and offers valuable life advice, too. Whether she’s writing lyrics in her bedroom, at the local park, or figuring out a melody to a guitar loop from her rooftop complex, the process remains intimate, pure and organic.
“I’ll even cry sometimes when I’m just writing and playing my guitar at the park. It’s a feeling of emotion like no other,” she admits. That rawness translates into moody, silky neo-soul that’s as cathartic for her as it is comforting to listeners. “If I’m gonna give something of myself,” Jastin says, “I might as well give all of it.”
9. Khemist Mayfield ft. Black Buttafly – Dance For Me
Philly recording artist Khemist Mayfield is joined by Black Buttafly to deliver a vintage slow jam with his new single “Dance For Me” from his upcoming project A List of Demands. The seductive new track has Khemist painting a picture of being hypnotized by a lovely woman on a dance floor.
Weaving a blend of jazz, funk, and electric melodies “Dance For Me” provides a unique experience that’s both nostalgic and new. To add some extra heat to the track, the song closes out with some toe curling poetry from Black Buttafly. Her poetry mixed with Khemist’s storytelling compliments the soul of Philadelphia.
“Dance for Me” follows Khemist’s previous single “Night Night” featuring Dj Jazzy Jeff.
10. LAVI$H – We Make Sense
R&B singer-songwriter, LAVI$H shares a visual for his latest single “We Make Sense” out now via Def Jam Recordings. The single and the visual arrive ahead of the much anticipated debut EP form LAVI$H,You Made A Big Mistakeset to be released June 7.
11. Toosii ft. Future – Favorite Song (Toxic Version)
As “Favorite Song” jumps into the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 and achieves Platinum certification, Toosii drops a striking new version of the track – “Favorite Song” (feat. Future) [Toxic Version]. In the powerful new first verse, chart-topping, GRAMMY®-winning superstar Future takes the stage. Looking into the crowd, he’s hit by memories that unleash a flood of feelings for a past love. Listen to “Favorite Song” (feat. Future) [Toxic Version] HERE.
The new version of “Favorite Song” will be included on Toosii’s debut album, NAUJOUR, along with the original version of the song and “Favorite Song” (with Khalid) [Remix]. See below for the album’s full track listing, which Toosii revealed earlier this week. Set for June 2 release by South Coast Music Group/Capitol Records, NAUJOUR is available for pre-order / pre-save HERE. Toosii will kick off a U.S. headline tour in support of the album on July 26. See below for itinerary. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com.
12. Antha Pantha – Brick By Brick
Antha Pantha was inspired by her own personal journey when creating this song. She was at a crossroad, torn between making others happy and doing what was best for herself. The result was a vicious and unapologetic verse that will have you feeling empowered and ready to take on the world. “Brick by Brick” is all about taking control of your life and using your hardships and battles as the bricks to build your own empire. After listening to this song, you’ll feel inspired to start building your own empire, brick by brick.
When asked about the inspiration behind the song, Antha shared, “To me this song represents building your own empire in the midst of your circumstances. While all the bull shit and distractions are going on around you, you still need to build.” She adds, “At the time I recorded this song I was at a crossroad, between making others happy and doing what makes me happy. This was basically the statement that I don’t give a fuck no more and I choose me.”
“Brick By Brick” follows Antha’s recent singles “Real Bitches” and “B.W.A,” which garnered support from Noisey/VICE, HotNewHipHop, Consequence, DJ Booth, HipHopDX, Revolt, Ebro Darden and more.
Obsessed with music, theater, and dance since she was a child, Antha made waves in Harlem with her outsized personality and undeniable talent. Her magnetic qualities attracted the attention of childhood friend A$AP Ferg, who quickly became a close collaborator (you might have seen them at the 2023 GQ Creativity Awards together). Antha first earned mainstream attention in 2019 when she appeared on songs from Ferg’s Floor Seats series of EPs, most notably on the buzzing single “Wigs,” which also featured City Girls. In 2020, Antha went toe-to-toe with Ferg once again on the Hit-Boy-produced “Mask.”
13. RJAE – Why
New Orleans artist, RJAE has dropped his newest single and music video, “Why.”
Produced by Whois7even, Wire Shark and Alek Beats, RJAE’s melodies in the chorus take on an iteration of Dido’s colossal throwback, “Thank You.” The visual, directed by Levi DeSantis, portrays RJAE dreaming of experiencing true love for the first time only to wake up realizing it was a nightmare, which leaves him wondering if that’s one of the many reasons his heart has gone so cold.
The track continues to showcase RJAE’s lyrical depth and explores more deeply his vocal and artistic range through by blending hip hop and R&B genres, which can also be heard in his latest freestyle cover of Jhene Aiko’s “W.A.Y.S.”
The new track and music video release arrives off the heels of RJAE’s recent opening appearance on hip hop legend Lil Wayne’s Welcome To Tha Carter Tour just last week. No stranger to performing on the road, RJAE has also opened for No Cap during his nationwide Mr. Crawford Tour.
RJAE has also showcased his versatility on the Never Broke Again tapes AIN’T 2 LONG, Never Broke Again: The Compilation Volume 1, and Never Broke Again Presents: Green Flag Activity with artists P Yungin, Rojay MLP, NBA Herm, NoCap, Quando Rondo, Meechy Baby, among others.
The hybrid artist has also received public cosigns by genre heavyweights like mentors A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie andYoungBoy Never Broke Again. RJAE continues to rapidly ascend as the next leading breakout star from the NBA camp.
14. Steven Malcolm – Monster
After releasing his career-defining albumTreein 2022,5x GMADove Awardnominee Steven Malcolmreturns with this monstrous new single. The song, produced by Jimmy James and Dayme highlights Steven’s battle with inner demons. Over rapid 808s and synthesizing bass lines, he depicts the disruptive forces aiming for his flesh. Steven’s swift flows are delivered in a melodic riddim that nods to his Jamaican roots. The powerful lyricism fortifies LZ7’s poignant hook,“There’s a monster living underneath / If I said there wasn’t I’d be lying through my teeth / So will I finally find me and find the real me / Will I finally find me and set the monster free.”
“I’ve always loved the drill sound,”says Steven.“I wanted to go beyond the surface and talk about something we all struggle with, the inner evil desires.”
This is Steven’s first collaboration with the UK-based trio and single release since last summer’s breezy anthem“Summertime”with rap iconSnoop Dogg.
15. Genia – False Prophet
Genia, the uncategorizable singer, rapper, and fierce R&B phenom from the streets of Victorville, California, who found her groove earlier this year on her aptly-titled “Introducing” smash debut single + video via Def Jam Recordings – which hit #1 on the Soundcloud New and Hot: R&B Charts – rides once again for the underdogs on “False Prophet,” the new single + video. Genia has stated that this is the final advance music prior to the release of 4PM IN THE VILLE, her debut mixtape.
Back in February, Genia released five different versions of “Introducing” – A Capella, Sped Up, Slowed Down, and an instrumental outside of the original. She also revealed a new music video treatment of the single. In that spirit, in the run-up to the release of 4PM IN THE VILLE, Genia will be filming live performance “garage band” versions of “False Prophet” at home in Victorville, along with covers of classics including Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly With His Song,” Janet Jackson’s “Let’s Wait Awhile,” and so on. In other Genia news, check out her opening up for fellow Def Jam artist Coco Jones live at Echoplex in Los Angeles HERE.
Last month, Genia-followers were treated to two other tracks: “Jaded,” an emotionally charged confession (“Ask me how I feel/ I’m’a say I’m jaded”); and Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams.” Genia adds a touch of her own magic to the original, infusing the performance with a certain grit and spirit as the warm guitar tones are plucked on a Fender Strat. Global Grind touted the track on its “New Music Roundup.”
Genia has spent a lifetime using music as a form of therapy. “I feel like I make music for everybody,” she says. “But mainly for women to feel badass. I wanna feel like I have the power. I wanna feel like I’m that bitch. That was kind of my thing: to make bad bitch music, but also to make vulnerable music, almost like somebody’s reading my diary. If only one person finds peace in my music, then I know I’ve done my job.”
16. Chase Shakur – x’s n o’s
Fueling widespread buzz with millions of streams and acclaim from Billboard, KAZI., and more, rising Atlanta-based singer and songwriter Chase Shakur reveals a brand new single and music video entitled “x’s n o’s” via Def Jam Recordings today. Listen HERE and watch the music videoHERE.
The track laces a laidback beat with an otherworldly loop. Over this backdrop, he flexes his dynamic range. Right from the jump, he leans into a smooth cadence as he reminds, “‘Cause you know karma comes in different ways,” before he pleads, “Tell me is my love enough.” The accompanying visual unfolds as a day in the life of Chase. Directed by frequent collaborator Khari McLoud, he links up with family and friends in his hometown, while experiencing the ups and downs of his relationship. It threads together vignettes of Atlanta through his eyes, welcoming audiences into the heart of his world.
It also lands in the wake of the buzzing “sink or swim.” The latter has already amassed north of 1.5 million Spotify streams and counting in addition to attracting critical acclaim. Billboard touted it among “R&B/Hip-Hop Fresh Picks of the Week” and proclaimed, “With its staccato hi-hats and bassline, the song sounds right out of the ’90s.” Rated R&B noted, “‘sink or swim’ ponders the future of a relationship that seems to be going through some hiccups.” Lyrical Lemonade attested, “Additionally, his rhythmic ability to emphasize certain sounds, notes, and words makes every track feel mixed and mastered to perfection.” Meanwhile, KAZI. put it best, “Chase Shakur is projected to be a household name in the near future.”
Next up, Chase will embark on the recently announced the “it’s not you, it’s me” Tour for the month of June. He takes the stage Baby’s All Right in New York, NY on June 13 followed by a hometown gig in Atlanta, GA on June 15 at Aisle 5 and finally a stop in Los Angles, CA at Peppermint Club on June 20. Purchase tickets HERE.
“Sink Or Swim” was the first taste of Shakur’s newest project, it’s not you, it’s me, an expansion of his widely acclaimed 2022 release, It’ll Be Fine. The new long-player is a mesmerizing meditation on life after a complicated relationship, in which vulnerability mingles with toughened scars, resulting in a work that situates Shakur as steely and willing to learn from his own failures. Release details of it’s not you, it’s me will be announced in the weeks and months ahead.
Stay tuned for a whole lot more from Chase Shakur.
17. Queen Naija – Words Of Affirmation
After persuasively challenging men to step up with their actions on her early 2023 hit “Let’s Talk About It,” Queen Naija turns her attention to the power that positive words can have in a relationship on her new single, “Words of Affirmation.” With her sultry, silken vocals, she calls for “communication, affirmations, appreciation.” Released today by Capitol Records, “Words of Affirmation” is available for download / streaming HERE. In the lead-up to the single’s release, she shared the inspiration for the song – and her own words of affirmation – in this TikTok post.
Queen wrote “Words of Affirmation” with producer Mike Woods (G-Eazy, Tink, Ty Dolla $ign), who also produced her 2022 smash “Hate Our Love” ft. Big Sean, which 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 debut album, missunderstood, is her fourth single to be certified Platinum, and “What’s My Name,” Queen’s collaboration with Fivio Foreignft. Coi Leray, has gone Gold. In 2022, she teamed up with Babyface on “Game Over,” a track from his Girls Night Out album, and toured with Mary J. Blige.
Hailed as “the first soul star of the social media generation” by The New York Times, Queen has amassed over 5.4 billion combined global streams in her career to date. “Equipped with a smooth and sultry voice and infectious energy each one of her R&B ballads are real, honest, and relatable,”observed FLAUNT. HotNewHipHophailed Queen as “one of the most talented figures in R&B right now.”
Soul Bounce said, “‘Let’s Talk About It’ is exactly what we’ve come to expect from Queen Naija. The singer gets real, raw and honest as she addresses the men out there who aren’t taking care of business…” The Source praised the “slow-burning but unstoppable new single.” Check out the official video for “Let’s Talk About It,” which features BMF star Demetrius “Lil Meech” Flenory Jr.,
18. Lil Tony – Try Me
Rising hip-hop star Lil Tony releases the striking video for his new single “Tried Me.” Listen HERE via Priority Records. Jam-packed with fresh energy and trippy, dazzling imagery, the video is the perfect companion piece to the audacious, swagger-filled track. Watch it HERE. The unforgettable visualizer arrives on the heels of the 17-year-old’s bombastic mixtape TKEY — listen HERE. “Must not see diamonds, must not see Lil Tony f****n’ shining,” the rising artist spits over Dezeioun’s trap beats and ominous melody. “I go through shit too, I thug it out — I ain’t f****n’ whining.” From day one, Tony hasn’t shied away from speaking his mind and this is no exception. That defiant attitude also shines through in the just-released visual. In the surreal visual, the teenage rapper has a conversation with himself — literally. Through the magic of technology, Lil Tony takes notes as another Lil Tony shares his thoughts. It’s a striking and unforgettable way to introduce the fiery track. The Atlanta upstart then chills with his homie in a stairwell and waves around a gun to prove he means business. Lil Tony may be a newcomer in the rap game, but you’d never know from his confident presence and dizzying lyricism. The arrival of his mixtape TKEY marks the culmination of years of honing his craft and building momentum in his hometown. With the arrival of his “Tried Me” video, the young performer showcases the full extent of his artist and underlines the fact that he’s only just getting started.