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 and Tempest - “Not The One”
Zyah Belle has officially entered album mode and issued her latest single, “Not The One,” featuring Tempest. Both women remind listeners of their unique capabilities and sing-rap, warning they are “coming for necks.” The hypnotizing song is confident in sound and lyrics and invites all bad bitc*es to stand in their individuality and power.
Zyah Belle’s upcoming album Yam Grier is also due this fall.
“Yam Grier is representative of a woman that is reclaiming her time, agency over her body and voice through the generations,” explained the West Coast musician in a press statement. “Inspired by Pam Grier’s fierceness that she emoted in her prominent ’70s blaxploitation roles. Yam Grier is the embodiment of a woman who has finally come into her own, unapologetically.”
Nelccia - “Delusional”
R&B singer Nelccia has issued “Delusional,” a song about a tormenting affair that highlights the range of emotions a person can experience with love and heartbreak. It follows her earlier 2022 release “Someone.’
“Delusional” features stabbing lyrics which blows are softened by her soothing vocals as she sings descriptive stanzas such as “If I see you out in public with her / I might lose my mind / Sometimes I think about what if I just go ahead and kill you / And I’ma take my time.”
The rising Cleveland-bred singer has teased a completed EP to fans on social media.
Ms Banks - ‘Bank Statement’
Ms Banks combines a variety of musical styles including drill, Afro-pop, and R&B for her Bank Statement EP. On the nine-track EP, the musician raps and sings touching on a variety of subjects and proves herself as a well-rounded artist who is able to deliver on all of her abilities.
“A bank statement is necessary to prove a multitude of things, proof of address, proof of income, proof of name etc. My Bank Statement proves that women are multifaceted, we can be soft, we can be vulnerable but also a boss and tough. My Bank statement proves I am versatile and I can make bangers whilst killing any beat I jump on…”, shared the UK rapper according to Clash.
Standout tracks from the EP include “Favourite Girl,” “Party,” and “Bounce.” Stream Bank Statement here.
Icewear Vezzo - 'Rich Off Pints 3'
If you needed any motivation to get up, get out, and get something, Icewear Vezzo’s Rich Off Pints 3 is the perfect Ted Talk to inspire major moves. On the final installment of the Rich Off Pints series, the Detroit rapper makes it clear his success isn’t just financial but also a mental gratification of being in a new place in life.
“The phrase ‘Rich Off Pints’ isn’t literal, it’s about the mindset I was in around the time I started the series,” expressed Icewear Vezzo in a press statement. “I was like, ‘F**k the streets, I’m about to go all the way. I don’t care how broke I gotta go, I wanna live right and do the right thing.’ I had dreams of quitting the streets ever since I started hustling, and when I started thinking about Rich Off Pints, I developed the courage to do the work it takes to quit the streets completely.”
The gritty street rapper is joined on Rich Off Pints 3 by Lil Baby, Lil Durk, E-40, G Herbo, Key Glock, and more. Standout tracks include “On My Own,” “Whatever,” and “It’s On The Flo.”
Stream Rich Off Pints 3 here.
Omah Lay - 'Boy Alone'
On July 15, Omah Lay released his debut album Boy Alone which follows up 2020’s What Have We Done EP. The 14-track project features Justin Bieber and Tay Iwar. On the album, the Nigerian explores both his attributes and flaws, as he shares his experience with loss, love, and life.
“Boy Alone primarily describes my life being an entertainer and stereotypically expected to be extroverted, but on the contrary, I find company within and that’s where this album was made from; it’s also a tribute to my Dad who went by that nickname among his peers for being a man that lived on his own terms. I guess the apple never falls too far from the tree…,” expressed the singer in a press statement.
Standout tracks on Boy Alone include “bend you,” “I’m a mess,” “never forget,” and “attention.” Stream Boy Alone here.
Rico Nasty - 'Las Ruinas'
Rico Nasty’s latest mixtape Las Ruinas is proof that as an artist she is willing to take risks that ultimately pay off. The 17-track project is a full exploration of the many sounds that create the unique world the 25-year-old rapper inhabits. Whether she is vulnerable and soft, melodically rapping over a lush beat or raging over a punk rock guitar, Las Ruinas is Rico’s most introspective project to date.
“I finished this project with my hair in a mullet, and I was just embracing me and who I always wanted to be,” she said of the album to ELLE Magazine. “When you’re young, it’s hard to see how you’re gonna be in the future. So treat yourself and be proud of yourself.”
With 17 songs, the project features Bktherula on two tracks, as well as Tezzo Touchdown and Marshmello. Standout songs include “Gotsta Get Paid,” “Messy,” and “Blow Me.”
Stream Las Ruinas here.
Gwen Bunn - 'PHASE'
Gwen Bunn has issued a 12-track album Phase, the musician’s first full-length project since 2018. Released via Melody Dungeon Music, the album explores themes of romance and love through different stories and experiences. The multitalented artist wrote and produced a majority of Phase herself, with additional credits going to Bryan Michael Cox, Patrick “J. Que” Smith, and more.
Overall, Phase is a no-skips album that showcases Gwen Bunn’s whimsical vocals, her sharp musical skills, and highlights a refreshing voice in R&B and soul. Standout tracks include “2MANYTHINGS, “RUN & HIDE,” and “FADED.”
Stream PHASE here.
Kelow Latesha - 'Turbo'
Kelow Latesha dropped the high-energy EP Turbo, offering fans a soundtrack to escapism through moments of self-expression, self-reflection, and self-care. Through seven songs Kelow Latesha lyrically weaves her way through vibrant and intense beats.
“Creating TURBO, I constantly found myself in a perspective where I had to turn up from such a low position, but I literally couldn’t think any other way to go than up … each record recorded has a lot of energy, A LOT OF JOY, and was a good time to create. I want each listener to take these pieces of me as a pick me up & motivation to go TURBO,” explained the rapper in a press statement.
Standouts include “He Ain’t Mine” featuring Asian Doll, where their combined energy gives the track instant replay value. In the defiant song, both rappers explore various rhyme schemes over the punk rock-inspired production by Suicideyear. Both artists’ styles are juxtaposed against each other for the perfect balance of attitude and swagger.
Stream Turbo here.
Kenny Mason - 'Pup Pack'
Rising rapper Kenny Mason looks to expand his territory with his 3-pack EP Pup Pack. The Atlanta artist is joined in the solo effort by DavidTheTragic on one track. It stands as his first release in 2022, following 2020’s Angelic Hoodrat and 2021’s Angelic Hoodrat: Supercut.
On Pup Pack, Kenny Mason balances his genre-blending sound of modern emo-rap and southern Hip-Hop music incorporating 90’s punk, and grunge styles.
After his breakout song “Hit” in 2019, Kenny Mason has continued to push his own creative boundaries. Recently, he was featured on “Stick,” a Dreamville collaboration with J. Cole, JID, and Sheck Wes from the D-Day: A Gangsta Grillz Mixtape. While making a lively appearance on festival stages from Rolling Loud, Wireless Festival, Bonnaroo, and more, in addition to making a surprise appearance at Coachella during JID’s set, Kenny Mason proves to be one to watch.
Doechii - 'she / her / black bi**h'
Doechii has released her TDE debut she / her / black bi**h showcasing her rhyme skills, vocal talent and creative prowess. The EP includes production from Kal Banx, Hit-Boy, Bankroll Got It, and Devin Malik. It is Executive Produced by Anthony ‘Top Dawg’ Tiffith and Anthony “Moosa” Tiffith Jr. and features Rico Nasty, Jst Ray, and SZA.
Across 5 tracks, Doechii manages to deliver a range of sound and style not heard in the full albums of many of her peers. Her strength is not only in her lyricism and delivery, but she also finds power in leaning into her own uniqueness.
“Many times I’ve been referred to as a “bi**h” as a way to gaslight me out of certain spaces, something I think many people can relate to in one way or another,” expressed the Florida-bred musician in a press statement. “Lots of people will call you various names for doing something differently.
“So I decided to take ownership of the ‘black bi**h’ and title my EP she/ her/ black bi**h and reclaim that motherf***ing power,” Doechii continues.” So if you’ve ever been put down for being yourself, just remember you’re powerful and unapologetic- these songs are for you.”
Stream she/ her/ black bi**h here.
Vedo And OG Parker - 'While You Wait'
R&B singer Vedo teamed up with producer OG Parker for the collaborative EP While You Wait. It was released as a precursor for fans before the next studio album. Throughout the eight tracks, Vedo flexes his songwriting talent and vocal skills over the expertly crafted beats.
“My fans have been really patient with me while I create my next album, so I decided to take a break and create something special with my brother OG PARKER to hold you over ‘While You Wait’ think of this as an amazing appetizer,” expressed Vedo in a press statement.
OG Parker added, “Vedo and I are both students of the R&B genre and have made hits in this industry on our own, so we felt it was only right to bring our respective talents together to create a project that was solid from top to bottom and also unique in a way only we could do it.”
Standout tracks include the first single “Face Down” which samples Jazmine Sullivan’s “Pick Up Your Feelings” and the second single “Come First” feat Baby Tate.
Stream While You Wait here.
Young Nudy - 'EA Monster'
Young Nudy keeps his 2022 momentum with the release of EA Monster arguably his strongest drop this year. Following two full-length LPs, DR. EV4L and RICH SHOOTER, the Atlanta-bred rapper glides over every beat on his latest release. With 11 tracks, the mixtape features production from Pi’erre Bourne, Mojo Krazy, Coupe, Rio Leyva, Nash, and Whatitdoflip.
Young Nudy combines murderous metaphors with introspective reflections, painting a colorful self-portrait. On EA Monster, Young Nudy stays in his zone, making sure listeners (and the opps) know he has the fortitude and finesse to stand on his own.
Ahead of the full project, Nudy dropped the song “Duntsane” featuring BabyDrill. Stand-out songs include “KitKat,” “Lunch Meat,” and “Sick Of Slime.”
Stream EA Monster here.
SiR - "Life Is Good" Featuring Scribz Riley
R&B singer and songwriter SiR issued his latest single “Life Is Good” featuring Scribz Riley via Top Dawg Entertainment/RCA Records. “Life Is Good” follows the release of “Satisfaction,” with both tracks promised on SiR’s forthcoming album.
In the song, the musician finds himself soulfully singing life’s pleasantries over warming guitar plucks. In the cinematic music video, directed by James Mackel, the lush song is juxtaposed against things not going quite as planned and falling apart.
’Life if Good’ represents how blessed you can be despite the hardships we sometimes face. Regardless of life’s trials, the detours always lead us to learn a greater lesson,” explained SiR in a press release.