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.
Laya - "Sailor Moon 2.0" Featuring Baby Tate
Laya teamed up with Baby Tate to issue “Sailor Moon 2.0,” an updated version of the fan-favorite “Sailor Moon” which was initially released in 2020. It also appears on Laya’s EP Um Hello which was released back in April. The two talents take the sultry, R&B track and remodel the song with a house beat and eclectic energy creating the perfect dance-ready track without losing the sensual essence of the original version.
“What’s Sailor Moon without her Sailor Goons? I had to tag in my girl Baby Tate for ‘Sailor Moon 2.0.’ She is so talented and brings so much to the table. I’m happy to have her slay this one with me,” explained Laya of the collaboration in a press statement.
Hitkidd - "Shabooya" Featuring Slimeroni, Gloss Up, K Carbon, And Aleza
Hittkidd combined the talents of Slimeroni, Gloss Up, K Carbon, and Aleza for the brazenly fun “Shabooya.” Giving the playground game at 2022 Hip-Hop makeover, each lady takes a turn introducing themselves and hyping up their peers.
The playful verses are decorated by affirmative adlibs that add an extra element to the nostalgic track. While each has a different style, their southern swagger and confident demeanor make an effortless posse cut where everyone gets their shine.
Individually, Slimeroni, Gloss Up, K Carbon, and Aleza all should be on your radar.
Nicholas Craven And Boldy James - 'Fair Exchange No Robbery'
Montreal producer Nicholas Craven and Detroit rapper Boldy James collaborated for Fair Exchange No Robbery, highlighting the depths of their respective skills. Additionally, fellow Detroit rapper Gue Wop is featured on the 10-track project. The album continues James’ lyrical-forward approach to nostalgically inspired, lush beats.
Standout songs include “Scrabble,” “Stuck In Traffic,” “Designer Drugs,” and “Power Nap.”
Bree Runway - "That Girl"
Bree Runway has released a new song and video “That Girl.” Produced by EASYFUNN, the energetic song showcases the starlet’s talent and lyrical abilities. The London-based musician is confident over the ballroom beat with a contagious energy that instantly transfers through the speakers. In the music video, Bree Runway delivers showstopping looks proving the song’s title true.
“I’ve been on a mini hiatus and there’s no better way to remind you that I’m THAT GIRL,” expressed Bree Runway in a press statement.
“This song automatically makes me feel like the main character in the middle of a sweaty club, and I’m just oozing sex, glamour, and confidence whilst everybody watches. It’s my everyday reminder of how fabulous I am, and it’s your new everyday reminder too – you’re automatically a 10 if you: turn this on, fuck with it, press play, and feel liberated, pumped up, and free.”
Chxrry22 - 'The Other Side'
Chxrry22 has issued her debut EP The Other Side. Released on XO Records, she shares Ethiopian heritage with the label’s founder The Weeknd, but also the talent to create honest music. Across seven songs, Chxrry22 explores the different aspects of maintaining life, career, and romance.
“The Other Side is about coming to terms with duality – we all have two sides,” explained Chxrry22 in a press release. “We can be both the villain and the victim in some story and this is me owning that.”
Standout songs include the previously released “The Falls,” “Call Me,” and “Wasteland.”
Monaleo - "Faneto Freestyle"
Monaleo’s cute and girly exterior is often juxtaposed with her lyrical content, and in fact, she raps about it. “Ho*s be thinking it’s sweet ‘cuz I like pink, and I like glitter,” she boasts on her latest freestyle over Chief Keef’s menacing “Faneto” beat. The song is another example of the Texas rapper warning she is not to be played with.
With defiant lyrics and memorable one-liners, the freestyle has expanded Monaleo’s fanbase with viral Tik Tok moments and delivered a surprise treat for long-time listeners. In the video, directed by Killerjack & Monaleo herself, she raps various perfectly pink settings including in front of a bubblegum pink Lamborghini, and a blinged-out Hello Kitty-themed glam room.
Zyah Belle - 'Yam Grier'
Zyah Belle has issued her anticipated debut album Yam Grier featuring the previously released tracks “DND” and “Not The One” featuring Tempest. Yam Grier is for bad bit**es who realize the power of self, made clear by Belle’s smooth, confident performance. The 14-track effort is an ode to honoring all aspects of physical, mental, sensual, and spiritual being.
“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,” explained Zyah Belle in a press statement.
Standout songs include “Back To Back” featuring Jordan Hawkins, “Spiritual Bath,” “Holding On” featuring Jay Wile, and AJ Claire, and “Make Your Plate.”
Josh Waters - "Gelato (Remix)" Featuring Kodie Shane
Burgeoning R&B singer Josh Waters added a new perspective to “Gelato” which was initially released in June. Updating the track with a remix featuring Kodie Shane, although the title teases sweet-tasting lyrics, “Gelato (Remix)” explores the downfall of a lustful romance.
While Josh Waters showcases his vocal range, covering various tones through the hook, Kodie Shane adds a new verse to the melodic song, offering slick lyrics and exclaiming “Ain’t no getting me back once you lost me.”
Alex Vaughn - "Talkin"
Rising R&B talent Alex Vaughn has issued the single “Talkin’.” The song is set to be featured on her forthcoming project The Hurtbook. The song explores the fall-out after a relationship ends where a he said, she said situation, threatens her peace. Vaughn recently released an official music video for the reflective song, directed by Annie Bercy and shot in Brooklyn, NY. In the visual, the vocalist sings her truth, expressing the song’s honest lyrics to her homegirls.
Su'Lan - "Forever Da Gang'
Su’Lan returns with their anticipated debut album Forever Da Gang. The spirited rap duo, composed of Saunsu (Su) and Emahalani (Lan), offers their unique sound over 10 tracks. The album, which features FIFTEENAFTER, explores new sounds for Su’Lan while staying true to their hard-hitting beats and assertive, braggadocious lyrics. With a clear disdain for broke ni**as and hating ho*s, the two ladies stand strong in their abilities to outlast them all.
Standout tracks include the previously released “Go Fund Me,” “Problem,” “Spin Off,” and Let’s Go.”
Amindi - "C Both Sides"
Amindi dropped off two new songs for a growing audience with the EP C BOTH SIDES. “CYCLOPS” was issued first by the Inglewood artist. In the confident song, she boosts herself up in every way possible.
“CYCLOPS is a self-affirming mantra in the form of a fire song,” Amindi explained in a statement. “It is full of manifestations for people who can’t be fu**ed with.”
Following “CYCLOPS,” she teamed up with Kenny Mason for “CENTIPEDE.” The collaborative track explores the concept of loyalty and what happens when lines are blurred.
DreamDoll - 'Life In Plastic 3'
DreamDoll has issued her first project of 2022 Life In Plastic 3. The mixtape is the third installment of her Life In Plastic series which was initiated in 2017. The Bronx-bred musician released the song “Ice Cream Dream” featuring French Montana as well as “You know My body” featuring Capella Grey ahead of the project.
With 8 tracks total, DreamDoll gives listeners an insiders look at her multifaceted experiences. Whether in the mood raw and raunchy or vulnerable and self-reflective there’s a track for multiple moods. Standout tracks include “Fantasy” featuring Kash Doll and “Misunderstood.”