Don’t be fooled by his boyish looks. R&B neophyte August Alsina is one of the hardest up-and-coming singers out. Nothing about his music is romanticized. He sings about street life. And as he wails about hard times, he blends charming melodies with R&B bars. Alsina’s certified gold single, “I Luv This Shit,” featuring Trinidad James, is a bonafide radio hit, but the New Orleans native has many more tunes in his catalogue worth a listen. Check out 5 of his most notable tracks.
1. “Nobody Knows”
A day in August’s shoes is not be desired, according to this song off his Product 2 mixtape. While singing about the hurt that money and fame has caused, he touches on his frustrations with friends seeking a handout.
2. “Hell On Earth”
On the opening track of his EP, Downtown: Life Under the Gun, August breaks down what life was like living at what he describes as “the bottom.” Through all his rough times (he was once homeless as a teen), the singer almost lost his faith but knew things couldn’t get any worse.
August gives a raw account of what it was like growing up in downtown New Orleans. His life was heading nowhere fast as he dropped out of high school and indulged in crime and lean sippin’ on a regular basis. He also reflects on how the violence once hit too close to home when his older brother was shot and killed in their hometown.
4. “Survival of the Fittest”
This track is an obvious ode to his Day One homies. You can’t help but sing along as he reminisces about his days on the grind with his closest confidants while the haters lurked.
5. “Ode to My Project Chicks”
Over a piano instrumental, the N.O. representer melodically flips the lyrics to two rap favorites, “Project Chicks” and Drake’s “I’m So Proud of You.” August turns Mannie Fresh and Lil’ Wayne’s raps into sweet sounding R&B verses and puts his own twist on Drake’s sing-songy verse. Kudos to August for combining these two hits to make a gangsta ballad.