From current stars vowing to be better to legends sampling their own predecessors, this week’s roundup of new R&B releases has us ready to groove and reflect simultaneously.
Kehlani returns with the second single from their highly-anticipated third studio album, Blue Water Road. “little story” is a string-laden ballad paired with an equally riveting visual that highlights moments of being soft, carefree, and beautifully vulnerable as they sing about vowing to be a better partner.
“I want you to do it again/ I want you to love me again/ And complete our little story/ We got one hell of a story/ You’re a hell of an author/ You swear I’ll leave you at the altar/ Workin’ on bein’ softer,” they sing. They also took to Instagram expressing, “What can I say… a true little story. A song I really care about. A video I really care about. Enjoy it, it’s an honor to share it.”
Their 2-year-old daughter, Adeya, also makes an appearance towards the end of the video, to which they explained on Instagram, “my truest love. my biggest piece. my every moment. my bear. co star for life.”
On “2 seater,” Tiana Major9 and Smino link up for a love song with chords reminiscent of Mariah Carey’s “Always Be My Baby” simply about wanting to cruise around with your favorite person. “I love it when I’m in your car and I’m in your presence,” she sings before breaking into Floetry-esque bars on the bridge. This is the lead single from Tiana’s forthcoming EP, Fool Me Once.
In a surprise collaboration, Charlie Wilson joined forces with Babyface, Johnny Gill, and K-Ci from Jodeci for an uptempo dance groove, “No Stoppin’ Us.” The new single interpolates McFadden & Whitehead’s 1979 classic, “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now.” Some fans were anxious regarding the single when it was first teased earlier this week considering each crooner involved is a dynamic vocalist individually. But instead of competing, their vocals compliment one another. Charlie Wilson, Johnny Gill, and K-Ci are currently on the road together with their respective New Edition and Jodeci bandmates for The Culture Tour.
Rounding out Black History Month, Tank And The Bangas have released a new single, “Black Folk” featuring fellow R&B phenoms Alex Isley and Masego. The endearing ode to Black people, culture, and experiences featured on their upcoming album, Red Balloon, is spoken word at its finest, showcasing the most underrated moments of the neo-soul wave.
When speaking on the flawless collaboration, as Masego’s musicianship and Isley’s vocals elevate the poetic tune, Tarriona “Tank” Ball (lead singer of the band) shared, “There’s this moment in the song when we say, ‘Everybody from the 504/ Whatchu you think I came to LA for?’ My answer to that line was, I came out here for Alex Isley. I came out here because we had to capture this specific vibe in this specific place. I ain’t moving to no damn California, but I came out here for these artists.”