Today is Friday, which means there’s a ton of new releases to look forward to from some of your favorite rap and R&B artists. To help you unwind and enjoy the new weekend, check out VIBE’s picks of songs you should play to close out your work week and recharge.
Jazmine Sullivan – “Tragic”
Producer Leven Kali serves up a sultry bop for singer Jazmine Sullivan to saunter over for this impassioned salvo, which finds the esteemed vocalist airing her grievances with a lover who has yet to match her energy romantically. And with Heaux Tales still dominating the conversation of best r&b projects of the year, a new body of work from Sullivan could make her name, and voice, inescapable for the foreseeable future.
Tyler The Creator featuring Lil Uzi Vert, Pharrell Williams – “Juggernaut”
Tyler, The Creator cooks up a rambunctious soundscape for this frantic offering from the rapper’s latest offering, CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST. Featuring guest appearances from Lil Uzi Vert and Pharrell Williams, with the latter turning in what may be his strongest lyrical showing of the past decade, “Juggernaut” finds the trio flexing amid narration from DJ Drama, bolstering the track’s free-wheeling feel.
Doja Cat featuring Young Thug – “Payday”
After initially teasing a snippet of the song on Instagram last year, Doja Cat has liberated “Payday” in full as part of her latest album release, Planet Her. Procuring a verse from Young Thug, who leans on his melodic sensibilities to match his costar’s animated vocals, Doja Cat serves up this long-awaited treat to her legion of fans while scoring what could be yet another Billboard smash to add to her resume.
Ski Mask The Slump God – “The Matrix”
Following various previews over the past year, Ski Mask The Slump God comes through with the official version of “The Matrix” along with the Floridian’s new mixtape, Sin City. Produced by Ronny J, “The Matrix” finds Ski Mask splattering his sinewy flow over a distorted bassline and dancing 808s, resulting in a trunk-rattling number that will turn any function upside down.
Evidence featuring Boldy James – “All of that Said”
“This my life, this is no poem,” Evidence raps on this sample-based salvo from Unlearning Vol. 1, the rapper/producer’s latest body of work, which finds him manning the boards while simultaneously hitting the booth. Joined by Detroit rhymester Boldy James, who turns in a visceral stanza that gives listeners a glimpse into the Motor City’s underbelly, Evidence keeps boom-bap enthusiasts on the edge of their seat with this enthralling number.
Young Rog featuring 6LACK, Freddie Gibbs – “Organized Chaos”
Virginia is for lovers, which makes it appropriate that Newport News native Young Rog touches on matters of the heart on “Organized Chaos,” a smoothed-out selection from the newcomer’s debut, Boy Next Door. “Maybe we should let love love,” the rapper/singer advises, before passing the mic to Freddie Gibbs and 6LACK, who help round out this breezy highlight that should place Young Rog squarely on listeners’ radar.
Hoodrich Pablo Juan featuring Icewear Vezzo – “Richest in the Building”
“I just counted up another million,” Icewear Vezzo brags on this collaborative effort with Hoodrich Pablo Juan from Juan’s Designer Dope Boyz project, which finds the pair basking in their wealth amid promises of creating generational wealth. Vezzo goes on the offensive, casually reeling off an opening verse in which he compares the color of his firearm to Kodak Black’s complexion and other witty couplets.
Beanz featuring Benny The Butcher – “As Seen On TV”
Pennsylvania native and Netflix Rhythm & Flow contestant Beanz looks to build on the momentum set by her standout appearance on the show with “As Seen On TV,” her new collab with fellow small-town wonder Benny The Butcher. Produced by Tasty, Beanz pays homage to The Notorious B.I.G.’s hook on Lil Kim’s crush on you before delivering a rewind-worthy verse that’s rife with heady couplets that speak to her aptitude. And the Butcher does what he does best, swopping in with a murderous verse that adds to his lengthy list of features.
EMPIRE signee Inayah drops off her new 6-song EP, Side A, which is led by the single, “Houston TX,” which includes a rare guest spot from H-Town rap legend Scarface, who gives Inayah the ultimate cosign at the beginning of the track. Giving her flowers to her hometown, Inayah sings about the lifestyle and vibes that define her city before listing off its long list of rap royalty, an indication that she’s fully in tune with H-Town culture.
ShooterGang Kony – “Over They Head”
Continuing his streak of rapid releases, ShooterGang Kony makes his return with “Over They Head,” the first single from the west coaster’s forthcoming solo album. Set to perform at Rolling Loud California later this year, “Over They Head” is a record that could put him in play for a breakout second half in 2021 and gets our nod of approval as a certified banger.