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 weekend. Check out VIBE’s picks for the songs you should check out to close out your work week and soundtrack your weekend festivities.
YoungBoy Never Broke Again – “Smoke Strong”
Incarcerated rap star YoungBoy Never Broke Again continues his dominant run in spite of his current circumstance, unleashing his latest body of work, Sincerely, Kentrell. A robust collection that finds the Louisiana native running roughshod over a collection of backdrops, the album includes standouts like this festive number celebrating his victories over the opposition and the expansion of his bank account.
Westside Gunn feat. Conway the Machine, Benny The Butcher – “Hell on Earth, Pt. 2”
Griselda’s Big 3 goes bonkers over music production by Sovren on this hard-boiled cut from new Westside Gunn’s Hitler Wears Hermes 8: Side B album. A nod to Mobb Deep’s classic 1996 album, Hell on Earth, and lead-single of the same name, Westside and his cohorts stand strong on the frontlines, with a barrage of bars that would make the Crime Rhyme Houdini more than impressed with the gesture.
Ne-Yo – “What If”
Ne-Yo is back with mellow hip-swaying bop, “What If.” He questions the alternative if he’d never left an ex. The visual opens with him in front of a broken mirror before breaking into a dance number playing on the elements of fire and water. The single has also an Afrobeats element—perfect for parties and festivals.
G-Eazy unveils the sequel to his debut album, These Things Happen, which finds the Bay Area rep teaming up with a mix of West coast luminaries and international superstars. Romano, OG Parker, and Hitmaka cook up a sparse, yet brooding backdrop for G-Eazy and costar YG to saunter over, accounting for one of These Things Happen, Too‘s more appealing cuts.
Tweet – “Neva Gonna Break My Heart Again”
Tweet, best known for her debut hit “Oops (Oh My) is back with a new single. Her latest release “Neva Gonna Break My Heart Again” features her soothing, soft vocals delicately declaring herself invincible from heartbreaks experienced in the past. The ballad is a reminder of the importance of protecting personal peace. – DeMicia Inman
Morray – “Bad Situations”
Morray reflects on unfortunate incidents and circumstances on the North Carolina rap crooner’s latest single. Recently nominated in the BET Hip Hop Awards’ Best New Artist category, Morray, is set to go on tour with J. Cole for The Off-Season Tour.
Maxx Moor – “Not Us”
The Bronx, N.Y. rising newcomer is a blend of neo-soul and contemporary R&B with his newest single, “Not Us.” Fresh off his debut at Lights On Fest, Maxx Moor effortlessly showcases why he should be on your radar as he sings about why his relationship is enough.
Larry June and Cardo – “Don’t Try It”
Larry June and Cardo link up once again for their latest collaborative effort, In The Late Night, a quick-strike EP, which finds the dynamic duo building upon the chemistry they established on previous offerings. Filled with tunes to zone out to while hitting the road for your late-night excursions, “Don’t Try It” is among the most addictive, as June gives listeners a glimpse of his day-to-day over a hazy backdrop constructed by Cardo.
NAO – “Good Luck” feat. Lucky Daye
Alt-R&B songbird, NAO, returns with her third studio album, And Then Life Was Beautiful. She’s joined by Lucky Daye for “Good Luck,” where they exchange harmonies—“I was drunk on love, now I’m sober / There’s no one to blame, let’s go our separate ways”—about karma coming back to bite post-breakup.
Things get taken to the brink as Dark Lo teams up with Havoc on the title track to their collaborative album, which finds the Philly spitter volleying bars over production from the QB-bred production wizard. Featuring Styles P, who lets off a grisly stanza that serves as a complement to Dark Lo’s intense couplets, this standout finds the pair taking their rhyme skills to the extreme. Pun intended.
GIVĒON – “For Tonight”
The breathtaking crooner seamlessly channels Sam Smith with his new single, “For Tonight.” Blissfully in denial about the status of a relationship, Givēon sings, “lead me on but leave before the morning comes” in this heart-wrenching ballad. Though he’s not particularly begging in the rain, one scene in the visual where he’s singing in the rain over the failed relationship suffices.
Blu – “Everyday Blu(e)s”
Los Angeles rhymer Blu returns with The Color Blu(e), a project that channels the magic and energy of previous material that had tastemakers tagging him as a potential savior of the west. Produced by Daniel Andrew Rojo, this snazzy number is sure to get feet moving and is emblematic of Blu’s immense talent, which he continues to expand on and realize despite his veteran status.
Hitmaka – “Quickie” feat. Queen Naija and Ty Dolla $ign
In a collaboration we never knew we needed, Hitmaka connects with Queen Naija and Ty Dolla $ign for a new sneaky link anthem. Note: This song is not for someone looking for love. It’s all about lust and dropped just in time for cuffing season.
Offset Jim feat. Babyface Ray – Make No Sense”
With his new album, Rich Off The Pack, due for release next month, Offset Jim celebrates the announcement with “Make No Sense”—the rapper’s latest loosie and first single from the album. Featuring Detroit spitter Babyface Ray, “Make No Sense” is a bouncy affair that gives listeners a preview of the firepower they can expect on Jim’s forthcoming album, which also includes contributions from EST Gee, Kenny Beats, Aitch, and ALLBLACK.
Swae Lee & Jhené Aiko – “In The Dark”
“Sativa” collaborators Jhené Aiko and Swae Lee reunite for “In The Dark” from the Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings soundtrack. The uptempo bop is perfect for a light dance session or for late-night cruising. The song treads around the topic of honesty, especially as Aiko’s airy vocals coos about being “somebody’s reward.”
Lakeyah and DJ Drama feat. OG Parker and Tyga – “In Person”
“Excuse the French, but I only speak in flex,” Lakeyah boasts on this upbeat salvo from the Milwaukee native’s Gangsta Grillz mixtape, My Time, which includes production from OG Parker, as well as a guest verse from Tyga. Reveling in their attractive physical features and lavish lifestyles, Lakeyah and Tyga connect for a collaborative number that packs an ample amount of replay value and doubles as one of the superior offerings from the mixtape.
Anthony Hamilton and Jennifer Hudson – “Superstar”
What was once simply a cover of Luther Vandross’ timeless ballad, “Don’t You Remember,” is now an official track from Hamilton’s latest album, Love Is The New Black. He’s joined by Jennifer Hudson’s enticing tone as the pair go back and forth on the modern rendition. Produced by Cardiak (the genius behind H.E.R.’s “Damage”), the instrumentation compliments the track’s breakdowns, making for the perfect slow jam.
Kari Faux feat. Yung Baby Tate – “Look @ That”
Kari Faux laughs at the haters and detractors on this remix to “Look @ That” from the deluxe version of her 2020 album, Lowkey Superstar. Featuring a clutch guest appearance from Yung Baby Tate, this number finds the pair going ham over a soundscape constructed by Danio and Faux herself and gets should breath new life and bring additional ears to the raptress’s latest stimulus package.
OT9 Beno – “Catalina”
Fivio Foreign affiliate OT9 Beno heads the second wave of 800 FOREIGNSIDE’s musical takeover with “Catalina,” a catchy, uptempo selection from the rapper’s latest long-player, Fully Active 2. Commanding the ladies to “Drop it roll it, do that sh*t I like,” Beno asserts himself well, showcasing his melodic stylings amid menacing rhyme spills, making for a record that should thrust the Brooklynite to the forefront of his borough’s drill scene.