As Beyoncé’s RENAISSANCE continues to dominate these musical streets, fans are thankful she’s been pacing her rollout to allow for other acts to get their music moments in before 2023 Grammy submissions cease. With new albums coming from Babyface, Ari Lennox, Jessie Reyez, and The Isley Brothers, these legends and artists of the new age aren’t letting up. The Isley Brothers took the more sultry route while Babyface is fully intent on making a Waiting To Exhale soundtrack, part two. Meanwhile, Ari and Jessie surprised fans with the announcements of their sophomore albums.
Get into these New Music Friday releases.
Ari Lennox – “Hoodie”
Your favorite Shea Butter Baby is back. Earlier this week, Lennox teased her latest song, “Hoodie,” the first single from her sophomore album, age/sex/location. Switching gears from the infectious “Pressure,” Lennox’s new arrival is a request that most women don’t make: to take men’s hoodies. On the song, it also feels like the clothing item is a stepping stone to getting into something else. The allure and mystery of what she’s putting down has fans ready for her new album due on September 9.
The Isley Brothers & Beyoncé – “Make Me Say It Again, Girl”
The Isley Brothers and Beyoncé are gunning for the Best Traditional R&B Performance Grammy category with their new collaboration, “Make Me Say It Again, Girl.” The duet is a modern rendition of the group’s 1975 classic of the same name. The indulgent slow jam is the epitome of blue-lights-in-the-basement and grown folks’ business. It’s nearly impossible to tell these vocals weren’t recorded together. Additionally, the record is the lead single from The Isley Brothers’ new album, Make Me, arriving next month.
Babyface & Kehlani – “Seamless”
Babyface has released the second single from his forthcoming album, Girls Night Out. The Kehlani-assisted track was less of a duet, compared to his previous release with Ella Mai. However, it feels fun to witness such a seasoned artist experiment with artists of this generation. “Seamless” feels more like a Kehlani record featuring Babyface, which works well as the feel is supposed to be reminiscent of his classic Waiting To Exhale soundtrack with a fresh perspective from the music’s current leading ladies.
Regarding the track, the crooner explained in a statement, “I worked with Kehlani many years ago, and I am just so proud of who she has become as an artist and also how well she knows herself and her fans. I am really honored to have her collaborate with me many years later for such a special project and I love the song we created. Kehlani is one of one and a true superstar.”
Girls Night Out is slated to premiere on October 21.
The Game Feat. Chris Brown, Chlöe, and Cassie – “Universal Love”
While seeing the tracklist from The Game’s new album, Drillmatic: Heart vs. Mind, one can’t help but be personally drawn to the album’s final track and not be disappointed. Sampling Janet Jackson, Q-Tip, and Joni Mitchell’s Velvet Rope classic “Got ‘Til It’s Gone,” it appears Cassie may have taken over Janet’s vocals in the background while Chlöe and Chris make their presence very known. The song as a whole is a testament to Game’s tender side, and he should consider making a visual for it.
Jessie Reyez – “MUTUAL FRIEND”
Jessie Reyez returns to the scene with the lead single from her sophomore album, Yessie. On “MUTUAL FRIEND,” the alt&B songbird relinquishes the burden of a past lover and makes a beautifully heart-wrenching declaration regarding her independence. Yessie picks up where her 2020 debut, Before Love Came To Kill Us, left off and arrives on September 16.
Jade Novah – “Trip”
Jade, who is currently embarking on her Moon in Pisces Tour, shares her new single, “Trip.” From her upcoming EP of the same name, Jade explained, “From my active imagination to your ears, this project is a musical reflection of love and accountability while healing. s/o to my heart, sacral, + third eye chakras and the work we’ve done to take up space.” The full project will be available on August 26.
Tyga – “Sunshine” Feat. Jhené Aiko And Pop Smoke
This remake of Lil Flip’s “Sunshine” is a tale of young love. The Mike Crook and DJ Swish co-produced song showcases a softer side of late rapper Pop Smoke. When speaking on the record and Smoke’s posthumous verse, Tyga explained, “Pop Smoke was a legend in the making and I wish we could’ve collaborated together more. It’s a been a great experience working with his mother and brother to pay homage with this song and contributing to keeping his legacy alive—the smoke will never clear.”
Aside from Lil Flip making an appearance in the visual, Pop Smoke’s mother, Audrey Jackson, and brother, Obasi Jackson, share a special message at the end of the video. The latter can be heard on the record as well, saying, “It shows there was love in his heart with a story to tell and his legacy was more than Drill music. I’m glad that he gets to be seen in a different light.”