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.
Ivy Sole – Candid
With the album Candid, Ivy Sole is just that. Exploring themes of family, mental health, romance, and more, the musician showcases rap skills, vocal talent, and passion for perseverance. Throughout the album, Sole shares a deep love and reverence for heralded acts such as Lil Wayne and Missy Elliot, especially on “Call Me,” the project’s lead single and standout song. Another notable track from Candid is “Bamboo,” a personal and poetic song the artist described upon its release as “a lamentation for love that never makes it to the light, but more aptly the dismay, confusion, and longing that comes with unreciprocated willingness to step into light together.”
Buddy – “Wait Too Long” feat. Blxst
Los Angeles natives Buddy and Blxst teamed up for “Wait Too Long,” as the two artists put their love interests on notice. The groovy song finds them struggling to find the perfect pace in new romantic journeys. While they wish to speed things up, the women at the center of their respective stories prefer patience. The song arrived with the announcement of Buddy’s sophomore album, Super Ghetto, due on March 25.
LightSkinKeisha – “Pop Sh*t Queen”
In 2021, LightSkinKeisha promised fans more music, and so far, the rapper has issued two singles in 2022 with more to come. While the second single, “Try Me,” has flavor, “Pop Sh*t Queen” sets the tone. On the track, Keisha’s arrogant attitude is echoed by her bold, slick lyrics. While only two minutes long, LightSkinKeisha initiates her own coronation and dares anyone to come for her crown.
Duke Deuce – “Falling Off” feat. Rico Nasty
After teasing the song during Rolling Loud, Duke Deuce has officially released “Falling Off” featuring Rico Nasty. On the high-energy, crunk track, both rappers use a brash tone and assertive lyrics to claim dominance and supremacy. Together, Duke and Rico make a fun duo and match each other’s styles without losing any of their uniqueness.
Thuy – “Figured You Out”
On the path to a career breakthrough, Thuy is making her way as a singer-songwriter with something to say. The rising R&B artist has released the music video for “Figured You Out,” a song about working through the complicated obstacles of a toxic affair. The Vietnamese American musician adds an optimistic perspective with the visual she describes as a “playful video with a bit of satire,” making sure to center womanhood and moving forward as opposed to being stuck on a man as the focal point.
Crystal Caines – “Late Night”
Crystal Caines is no industry newbie and has established a career as a rapper, singer, producer, and engineer throughout the past decade. On her latest release, “Late Night,” she sings a personal narrative over a quiet storm instrumental. The track explores the dangers of being “caught in a daze” in a relationship and the impact it may have on a person’s well-being. Sharing the song on Instagram, the Harlem-bred artist revealed it marks the beginning of a fresh chapter as she “embark[s] on a new journey of self-expression.”
Zach Zoya – “Strangers In The House” feat. Soran
Not wanting to be around people you don’t know is a relatable feeling explored by Canadian musicians Zach Zoya and Soran on “Strangers In The House.” A warm coziness is felt from the lyrics as the track progresses. The song was a natural collaboration for Zoya, as he noted in a press release, stating, “I think that’s why it’s such a stripped-down, organic song mostly made of vocal harmonies and an earthy drum and bassline. I wanted it relaxed and void of pretentiousness – just a faithful representation of our emotions. It’s explicit, honest, and very literal. We wanted the listener to feel like they were on the couch, living the moment with us.”
IV4 – Get Rich And Cry Trying
IV4 enlisted Jeremih as the sole feature for her debut 8-track mixtape, Get Rich & Cry Trying. The St. Louis-born musician tests her abilities, creating an assortment of musical styles showcasing her range. The standout track, “Can’t Find Love in L.A.,” finds the singer exploring her desires for intimacy despite having trouble finding a source. Her whimsical vocals add softness to other tracks such as the emotional “Bloom,” a song which, in a press release, she stated, “speaks to who I am as a new artist, a creative and how I feel about dropping my first project.”
Su’Lan – “When I Call You” feat. Capella Gray
West Coast rap duo Su’Lan linked with Capella Gray for their newest single, “When I Call You.” The melodic song features group members Saunsu and Emahalan showing a different side of their artistry, taking a laid-back approach instead of the brash lyrics and delivery they’re known for on raps. Capella Gray adds an East Coast flair to the hook, on which he hopes a potential love interest stops playing and pulls up whenever the phone rings.
Che Noir – Food For Thought
Che Noir’s Food For Thought puts listeners in her shoes as her lyrical capability and raw delivery paint a portrait of her East Coast experience. “Ladies Brunch,” a posse cut featuring fellow Buffalo-bred artists Armani Caesar and 7xvethegenius, stands out as a testament to all three rappers’ rhyme skills. Another standout, “Table For 3” featuring 38 Spesh and Ransom, also proves Che Noir to be a skillful team player. Overall, the album adds to Noir’s continuing story as a rapper, songwriter, and producer, and leaves fans waiting to see what’s next from the emcee and the Buffalo rap scene in general.