We know Fridays were always the least productive day in school, but there are a few lessons select artists are ready to teach fans as they navigate their respective romantic lives. Jozzy—the first signee under Diddy’s R&B label, Love Records—has dropped her debut EP, Songs For Women, Free Game For N****s. The androgynous project appeals to both men and women for distinct reasons, but we all know this is mostly for the ladies. The same can be said for Tink’s new album, Thanks 4 Nothing.
Chlöe and Chris Brown have unveiled their full collaboration from her upcoming debut album, In Pieces. Musiq Soulchild released the lead single from his Hit-Boy-produced album, Victims & Villains. Plus, we have new comebacks from Jidenna and JAWAN.mp3. Are you ready to get schooled? Tap in with VIBE’s top new R&B picks of the week.
Jozzy – Songs For Women, Free Game For N****s
Love Records’ signee, Jozzy, who was already dubbed the “R&B Biggie,” has released her debut EP. The GRAMMY-nominated songwriter is branching out as a front-facing solo act, and according to Diddy, is a “once-in-a-generation” talent whose music may “set a new standard for R&B.”
The 10-track project plays between Hip-Hop soul and contemporary pop while overall being sexy, enticing, and vulnerable with records like “She Asked Me,” “Nasty Interlude,” and “Alone.”
As explained in a statement, Jozzy shared, “This project is about sharing the true emotions women feel navigating relationships while giving men honest game at the same time. I understand both sides of the spectrum, because I have both masculine and feminine energy, which is why I believe the world will relate to the entire body of work.”
Chlöe Feat. Chris Brown – “How Does It Feel”
Despite the criticism that cocooned the announcement of this duet, it actually feels reminiscent of Chris Brown’s run of iconic female collaborations—Jordin Sparks (“No Air”), Keri Hilson (“Superhuman”), H.E.R. (“Come Through”), Sevyn Streeter (“It Won’t Stop”), and Jhené Aiko (“Drunk Texting”).
The Hitmaka production interpolates Usher and Just Blaze’s “Throwback” and samples Dionne Warwick’s “You’re Gonna Need Me.” Though several other men of R&B who could’ve easily slid on this track, it’s a solid followup to “Pray It Away,” the lead single from Chlöe’s debut solo album, In Pieces.
Chlöe and Chris balance out the masculine and feminine energy of figuring out at which point someone exactly f**ked around and found out. He sings, “I had the popcorn poppin’, we made a movie/ So many feelings involved, the way you do me,” while she adds, “Yeah, see that’s the thing about trust/ It’s never been about us/ ‘Cause we were doin’ too much.” Beyond the initial reservations, fans have declared this single Chlöe’s best release yet.
Musiq Soulchild – “beat of a slow dance”
As we pre-listened to Musiq Soulchild and Hit-Boy’s new album, Victims & Villains, it made sense for “beat of a slow dance” to be its lead single. It’s classic Musiq, the way fans have identified and loved him over the past 20 years. It also serves as the bait to reel listeners into wanting more. The album itself, though, showcases the neo-soul crooner in a completely new light.
During the album’s listening session, Soulchild admitted, “I finally found somebody I can cook with in an epic way. Now I’m about to start getting in my bag and see what’s there.” He later shared that although he has 10 albums and 14 GRAMMY nominations under his belt, those records were him doing his job. For him, this current era is a hard restart in the best way.
Tink – Thanks 4 Nothing
Tink returns with her latest album, Thanks 4 Nothing. Despite love not being a new focal point for the singer, this new LP is a candid narrative on the “grittier and more intricate aspects of relationships” by honing in on the scrutiny of toxic individuals, trust issues, and infidelity while still holding onto one’s sense of independence.
“I wrote this album specifically for single ladies. I wanted to give the girls a set of songs to play after the breakup. This is for anyone reclaiming their time. Reclaiming their joy. Reclaiming their Sometimes we have to appreciate the Good with the bad , hence Thanks 4 Nothing,” said the 27-year-old in a statement.
With lyrics like “How can I befriend you? Ni**as out here playin’ with my mental/ These days, you can’t even trust who you f**kin'” on “Fake Love” and “Rule number one/ Don’t speak on no p***y no boss b***h gave you/ Rule number two/ Ain’t n***a out here gon’ save you/ Rule number three/ No, these b***hes not me” on “Save Your Soul,” Tink is making it clear what she’s dealt with, what she’s no longer tolerating, and is offering free game on how other women can save themselves from similar situations.
Jidenna – “Blush”
Jidenna has come back home…to music that is. With his new single, “Blush,” from his upcoming third studio album, the artist invites us back into his embrace as he highlights the best parts of falling in love. In an effort to dismantle toxic masculinity, the 37-year-old raps, “I’m in love with your pearl, comin’ up in this world/ I mean your boys would call you gay when you crush on a girl/ That’s the way we was raised, in a way we was hazed […] When I love a woman I ain’t afraid to commit/ Only when we f**kin’ am I gon’ call you my b***h.”
With every sense aroused, thanks to the visual trailer (below), we welcome Jidenna back with open arms.
JAWAN.mp3 – “Still (For You)”
JAWAN.mp3’s first release of the new year, “Still (For You),” explores that lingering love post-breakup. The lead single—that admittedly took him two years to perfect—stems from his upcoming full-length project, Reverie: The Expansion, slated to drop in Spring. It’s the expanded edition of his 2021 EP, The Abstract.
“I don’t shy away from vulnerability in my music. It’s actually where I feel the safest expressing myself. And this single is no different,” the crooner said in a statement. “Making ‘Still (For You)’ was a way to reconcile my residual feelings from a past relationship. I’m basically saying, ‘I’m okay with things being over, but here’s what I’ll always hold for you.’” The sweet records oozes that feeling of “the one that got away” while also being grown enough to acknowledge when it’s time to move on.