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.
KenTheMan – Hard On A 304
KenTheMan issued two new tracks, “Feelin Sexy” and “Join Em,” on her latest drop Hard On A 304. The project is inspired by her 2020 breakout EP, 4 Da 304’s. In the songs, the Houston rapper makes it clear that she is versatile in style. “Feelin Sexy” takes a softer, more raunchy approach while “Join Em” calls out men who live double lives with defiant, dominant lyrics.
Coast Contra- Apt. 505
Coast Contra issued their debut album Apt 505 as a testament to learned experience, growth, and possibility. The Philadelphia Hip-Hip collective explored classic rap sounds and unique, modern takes on the 17-track project. Named for the apartment building where they met and cultivated their style, Apt 505 finds RioLoz, Eric Jamal, and twin brothers Taj Austin and Ras Austin flexing a keen sense for storytelling and a clear point of view. Standout tracks include “Get The Worm,” “Pimpin Benjamin,” “Queen & Slim,” and “Explicit.”
Price – The Price EP
Following a stand-out performance during VIBE’s NEXT Showcase during the 2022 South By Southwest Conference and Festival, Price issued The Price EP. Standing at seven total tracks, the project features Wyclef Jean, Elhae, Wale, and Big K.R.I.T.
Issued as his first major release as a solo artist, the project proves Price is a rapper with a lot to say and the skills to say it. “My goal truly is to just get fans to really get to know who I am more. I’m hoping that I’m conveying my story and my life experiences properly to where a fan could just tell a person everything about Price,” the Motown representative said of the EP to VIBE.
Ravyn Lenae – “Light Me Up”
Chicago-born singer Ravyn Lenae returned this month from a brief hiatus with new music for eager fans longing to hear her whimsical voice on new tracks. On “Light Me Up” she delivers just that. The R&B ballad showcases the 23-year-old artist’s vocal talent and ability to evoke emotion through song.
“Light Me Up is about exploring the unknown with a new love; leaning into those tingly feelings while letting your guards down. This song highlights the beauty of allowing someone to truly see through you,” Lenae expressed in a press release.
Midwxst – better luck next time
On the EP Better Luck Next Time, 18-year-old musician Midwxst lets it all out. The project follows 2020’s Secrets and three 2021 projects: SUMMER03, BACK IN ACTION, and BACK IN ACTION 2.0, highlighting Midwxst’s real-time evolution. Starting off with an interlude, the latest drop finds the Indiana-bred artist spiraling through a range of emotions as he sings and raps over guitar-heavy instrumentals.
Thuy – “Inhibitions” feat. P. Lo
Los Angeles-based R&B singer Thuy teamed up with Bay area representative P-Lo for the light-hearted track “Inhibitions.” In the song, Thuy hopes to navigate around her anxious, shy feelings and offer honesty to the “only one” who gets her in the mood. The Vietnamese musician called the track one of her favorite songs on Instagram, sharing excitement for fans to finally enjoy the fun sound.
Steelo – Eldorado Excursions
Steelo Brim has officially released his debut project Eldorado Excursions. With 13 tracks, featured artists include Vic Mensa, Chuck Inglish, Price, BJ The Chicago Kid, Arin Ray, Buddy, Fabolous, and more. He shared on Instagram how the album is named for his dad’s Cadillac, where his relationship with music began.
“Not that it was my first time ever hearing music but it was my first time truly taking it in. That collective of music from D’Angelo’s Brown Sugar, Tony! Toni! Tone! Son’s of Soul, Do Or Die Picture This etc helped shaped my ears and when making this project I embodied that and those smooth ultra black memories I had growing up,” he wrote.
Although his musical influences are clear on Eldorado Excursions, Steelo’s uniqueness shines on deeply personal tracks with intimate lyrics and clean production.
Leikeli47 – “LL Cool J”
Leikeli47 has issued a new song, “LL Cool J,” set to be featured on her forthcoming album Shape Up, due April 15. The song’s title is an acronym (not the same as the Queens-bred rapper’s) standing for “Ladies Love Cool Jewelry,” a very on-brand statement for Leikeli47, who is typically accessorized in an array of gold hoops, rings, and chains. “LL Cool J” is described in a press release as combining “47’s love of Black culture with her deep knowledge as a rap historian.” Her confident lyrics tell stories of women who know what they want and how to get it.
WTM Milt and Babyface Ray – “Erotic City”
The laid-back flows of WTM Milt and Babyface Ray make a night in “Erotic City” sound passively enjoyable. The two midwest artists kick off the song with a slightly sped-up version of the Prince track bearing the same name. Unlike the 1984 pop track, which is a sexual statement of an iconic artist’s desire for “creamy thighs,” the 2022 “Erotic City” finds the two rappers detailing their trek from the trap to the stage and the lifestyle that comes with it all.
Col3trane – “Plus Minus” feat. Erick The Architect
UK R&B singer Col3trane has teamed up with Erick The Architect for his latest release, “Plus Minus.” In a press statement, the musician revealed he sat on the soft, detailed song for three years, explaining, “It was all recorded in the room on a cold night in London, and I think the song really mirrors that energy.” “Plus Minus” ultimately explores the wide range of ups and downs that come with any relationship and the internal struggle it takes to see them through.