Today, an estimated 60,000 songs are uploaded to Spotify daily. It’s easy to miss good music when there’s so much of it available. ICYMI is VIBE Staff Writer DeMicia Inman’s monthly roundup of singles, albums, EPs, and mixtapes that may have passed you by.
Zyah Belle - "DND"
With jazzy instrumentals and an equally soothing tone, Zyah Belle continues to grow her building R&B/soul empire. On “DND,” the multi-talented singer-songwriter calmly reminds anyone hoping to disturb her peace that their efforts will not be matched. Empowering the important message of prioritizing self-care, the Bay Area musician is in her own world, making sure her own needs are met before filling the void for others.
“This song reminds me not to care too much! Living life on ‘DND’ means being carefree and always accepting of myself! It just feels good! I believe that the energy I invoke while creating can be transmuted to whoever is listening. So, whether you twerk or two-step, you can’t listen to this song and not move your body!” expressed Zyah Belle in a press statement.
“DND” comes as Zyah Belle’s first single from her forthcoming album due this September.
Ambré - '3000°'
New Orleans musician Ambré enlisted Masego, BEAM, Jvck James, Destin Conrad, and Jay Electronic for the deeply personal 3000° EP. The project, which includes eight tracks, is an intimate love letter to NOLA from Ambré’s homegrown point of view. Ambré’s songwriting skills shine as the stories explored on 3000° are brought to life by her unique, melodic tone. Highlights from the project include the slick “Drake And Drive,” and the sensual “I’m Baby,” featuring Jvck James.
“This body of work means so much to me because it reflects how I view myself, where I come from, and my loved ones…This is a love story set in the most magical city. New Orleans made me who I am; make no mistake about it. Hopefully, my fans and new listeners will also feel the heart of it and become immersed in the world I have created in this EP,” expressed Ambré in a press statement.
3000° was inspired by both Juvenile’s 400 Degreez and Lil Wayne’s 500 Degrees. It features production from Ambré herself as well as Myguymars, Mike N Keyz, and Louie Lastic.
KenTheMan - "No Panties"
Produced by Beezo, OG Parker, and Romano, KenTheMan’s “No Panties” is a fun, raunchy track that highlights the rhyme skills the Houston rapper brings to the table. In the song, KenTheMan is not shy about her sexual skills and what she will and will not accept from potential suitors. Making use of Wax-A-Million’s BET Uncut classic “Ain’t Got No Panties On,” the Texas-bred musician’s southern accent adds a unique flair to her straight-to-it lyrics, not hiding her carnal desires in metaphors and innuendos. The simple, yet effective beat powered by the steady boom of an 808 makes the track the perfect song for summer nights out where dancing leads the agenda.
“I can’t wait for these twerk videos,” she wrote when sharing the song on Instagram.
The song follows KenTheMan’s two-track bundle Hard On A 304 and she is set to release her debut album later this year.
BeMyFiasco - "Outside The Lines" Featuring Little Brother
While “Outside the Lines” was issued in October 2021 on her album Where I Left You, BeMyFiasco and Little Brother updated the storytelling track with complementary visuals this month. The song explores the vulnerability of love and the reality that comes with evolving relationships. Directed by Andrew Klein and Effie Speridako, the video is more than aesthetically pleasing. The heartwarming music video follows a couple who engage flirtatiously with each other, seemingly in their own world as the people around them are gradually touched by their vibrant energy. Set at a small house function, “Outside the Lines” provides the smooth, groovy sound for dancing and subsequently passing out on the couch.
Where I Left You was issued as BeMyFiasco’s debut album, executive produced by Phonte (who intended the work to serve as a love letter to the work of Timbaland, Missy Elliott, and Da Bassment Crew aka the Swing Mob).
Guap - "Pose" Featuring Wiz Khalifa And Curren$y
Dropping the 4000 from his stage name, Guap looks to usher in a new era of music. His EP, GUAP, is set for release on July 8th.
“I grew tired of hearing the same thing over and over, sonically,” added Guap. “I found myself doing too much and not enough of it for myself. With this name shed, it’s time to be me again. It’s time to just be cool again. So I rounded up the ‘Kings of Cool,’ “GUAP, Wiz & Curren$y. Who is cooler than us?”
On “Pose,” all three rappers take flex hard over a ride-ready beat produced by Drew Banga. Wiz Khalifa kicks off the track, rounded out by a hook and verse from Guap, and closed with a top-level feature from Curren$y.
“It was awesome to team up with Guap,” expressed Wiz Khalifa in a press statement. “We all had a great time making the track.”
Xavier Omär - "Tarantino"
R&B singer Xavier Omär issued the smooth “Tarantino” and it stands as a masterclass in dirty macking. On the Sango and Stwo co-produced track, the singer lists off all the ways in which he outranks the current partner of a love interest and leaves nothing off the table. The upbeat track takes a direct approach to shooting your shot.
“This song is about my Dad trying to get at my Mom in college when she was already engaged,” the singer-songwriter detailed. “I wanted to step in my Dad’s shoes to tell the story in a modern way because I could never imagine that kind of confidence for myself.” Omär’s vocals are a perfect match for the production, which was done by Sango and Stwo. His rich harmonies cut through the moody synths like butter.
“Tarantino” comes ahead of Xavier Omär’s b l u r r EP on Friday, July 22nd.
Duke Deuce - 'Crunkstar'
Duke Deuce lets listeners into his world on Crunkstar, showcasing new styles and sounds alongside his signature crunk-fueled anthems. In all of his menacing glory, Duke Deuce is a direct descendent of the Memphis-bred crunk and Hip-Hop artists that paved the way, and his dedication to Southern rap authenticity makes the album an electric listen. Opening with Duke Deuce yelling “how the f**k y’all feeling,” in twenty songs the rapper opens the mosh pit.
While the album is grounded in hype anthems, there are moments of vulnerability and openness from Duke Deuce as he ventures into new sounds.
Standout tracks include “Just Say That” featuring rising star Glorilla, “Falling Off” featuring Rico Nasty, “Money Bandana” featuring Doe Boy and Babyface Ray, “Hell Nah” featuring Co Cash, Glitter Girl Gloss, and Slimeroni, and “Running Out Of Love.”
Kelow LaTesha - "Titanic" Featuring Goonew
DMV representative Kelow LaTesha puts her uniqueness and creative skills on display in “Titanic.” The upbeat song features a posthumous feature from Maryland rapper Goonew. “Titanic” is a prideful boast of both rappers’ swagger and status. Kelow LaTesha’s playfulness and wit are balanced in both the song’s lyrics and her delivery which includes both flow and pitch changes throughout each verse, and the music video is equally as colorful.
“Titanic was just literally fun from the beginning, to mix, to video shoot. There’s nothing not fun about it. I first laid the hook & Mannyvelli the producer was recording me and was like ‘yo Goon will f**k wit this.’ Goonew stepped in from the other room & was just on go & was so smooth literally. I knew instantly this record was gonna go,” Kelow expressed in a press statement.
The song stands as her second new single of 2022 and comes ahead of her project Turbo, set for release later this year.