1. LÉA THE LEOX – Over Again
Genius Distro genre-defying artist LÉA THE LEOX has teamed up with Genius to premiere
her music video for “Over Again.” Shot by Sandra Dib, “Over Again” is a focus track from LÉA’s
newly released debut EP, PURPOSE, available now via Genius Distro on all streaming
platforms and in Dolby Atmos through Apple Music, Tidal, and Amazon Music.
In the video, LÉA walks along the beach as choppy waves metaphorically reflect her inner
turmoil of going through a vicious cycle of being infatuated and in love but ignoring the red flags,
leaving her to go through heartbreak over and over again.
“Over Again,” follows the release of LÉA’s previous visuals for “When You’re Lonely” and
“Purpose,” which teed up the release of her debut EP and gave fans a taste of her eclectic
sound which combines elements of R&B, Folk and Pop. LÉA’s EP PURPOSE takes you on a
deeply introspective journey that explores themes of heartbreak, healing, and self-discovery. It is
a reflection of her personal growth as she goes through the trials and tribulations of young
Since its May 17 release, PURPOSE has been streamed over 150,000 times and debuted at #1
on Audiomack’s Global and R&B charts. “Over Again ” has been featured on the cover of
Fresh Finds R&B and on R&B Weekly and Fresh Finds on Spotify, R&B: Rising on Tidal
and various Pandora playlists.
After a long journey of self-discovery, LÉA is finally embracing her LEOX energy and is on track
to be the artist she was destined to be. Stay tuned for more from this rising star.
2. RJ’s Latest Arrival & Slum Village – One Step At A Time
Source:RJ’s Latest Arrival – Topic
Detroit’s R&B, Dance, Funk and Soul stars of RJ’s Latest Arrival returned on Friday (6/2/2023) with their first new single in over 30 years with “One Step”. Available on all major digital streaming platforms via Synchronization/Ne’Astra Music (formerly Barak Records), the new two-step anthem features guest verses from Hip Hop duo Slum Village and officially ushers in the summer cookout season of 2023.
Earlier this year, the second season of STARZ’s BMF series featured the band’s classic cult hit single “Shackles”. Originally featured on the group’s 1984 sophomore album Harmony, the Funk/Dance record reached Billboard’s R&B Top Ten that same year, eventually went multi-platinum and was sampled in Nas’ 1999 hit “You Owe Me”. On the heels of the song’s television placement, RJ’s Latest Arrival released a completely remastered version of their 1984 sophomore album under the title of the album’s biggest hit to streaming platforms.
3. Kenny Mason – 6
Breakout Atlanta rapper Kenny Mason releases his latest EP 6 via RCA Records. Produced by Coupe (Young Nudy, 21 Savage), Poison Thorn (Shane Moran from the band Title Fight), Prince 85 & Notinbed, this project expands on Kenny’s out-of-the-box, genre-blending style while still keeping true to his roots. Ahead of this EP, Kenny dropped focus single “DRACULA” alongside a visual. This all follows his EP 3 and video for “100 or Nun” featuring Tony Shhnow that were dropped in March of this year. The 3 and 6 EPs are a part of an 18-track unique rollout that includes an EP titled 9 coming soon.
Kenny on the creative/rollout for his latest EPs: “My team and I wanted to drop 18 songs for the Pups, but have it delivered in a cool way so we broke it up into three different projects — 3, 6, and coming soon, 9. Hope y’all enjoy.” – Kenny
Previously, Kenny released his mixtape RUFFSin September 2022 which included the tracks from his EP PUP PACK and new songs such as “SPIN N FLIP” feat. Young Nudy and “MINUTE FOREVER.” Most recently, Kenny Mason has been working on new music and continuing to cultivate his elevation. Kenny’s music comes on the heels of his buzzing single “Stick,”a Dreamville collaboration with J. Cole, JID and Sheck Wes from the D-Day: A Gangsta Grillz Mixtape. The “Stick” visual, which has over 5.7 million views, featured Kenny alongside the other artists on the track. Kenny has been on the festival circuit with sets at Rolling Loud, Wireless Festival, Bonnaroo and more, in addition to making surprise appearances at 2022 Coachella on JID’s set and 2022 Governor’s Ball on J. Cole’s set.
Kenny first broke out in the rap space in 2019 with his buzzing single “Hit,” which catapulted him from Atlanta’s underground DIY scene to the national spotlight. As Kenny continued to release more music, he became increasingly known for his versatility and unique sound. His bars and genre-bending abilities that incorporates elements of 90’s punk, grunge, hip-hop and more, sets him apart from the rest. Kenny Mason has received critical acclaim from press, being included on The FADER, Entertainment Weekly and more in addition to features with Rolling Stone, XXL, VMAN and FLAUNT. His 2019 single “G.O.A.T.” was also featured in season one of HBO’s hit show, Euphoria. Kenny released his debut album Angelic Hoodratin 2020, followed by the alternative version Angelic Hoodrat: Supercut in 2021. The latter expanded upon the themes he set forth on the original debut album, showcasing his sweeping vocal range and well-earned reputation for stretching beyond the confines of rap. The new project continues the theme of duality inherent within its title, Angelic Hoodrat representing the concepts of light within darkness, beauty within ugliness, and hope within despair.
4. Shame Gang ft. Skyzoo & Kas Da God – Feel / Hyperventilating
Interactions with the police can be tense and stressful. Rapper Shame Gang employs his songs “Feel” and “Hyperventilating” to capture the more extreme example of this with an arrest and intense police interrogation in his new music video, released today (6/6/2023) via YouTube. Partly inspired by scenes of the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, the video opens with Shame laying handcuffed and unconscious on the ground, then being apprehended by authorities to the dark chords and hard 808s of “Feel”. The video (shot and directed by Woosy and Shame Gang) then transitions to a tense black and white interrogation scene at the police station, soundtracked by the menacing Skyzoo and Kas Da God-assisted “Hyperventilating”.
“’Feel’ is about dealing with society’s woes, while ‘Hyperventilating’ is about being overtaken by them. ‘Hyperventilating’ comes from the feeling of being buried and so overwhelmed by your problems that you feel like you’re suffocating. I chose to combine the two songs in one music video because their tones and concepts felt like a match. You have the hard 808s of ‘Feel’, switching to the brash and nostalgic kicks of ‘Hyperventilating’. It just stays dark, which is how I wanted to describe the narrative of going from being hand cuffed, to being intensely interrogated. I wanted to give people the feeling of that situation. ” – Shame Gang
“I think putting these two songs together in one video helped bring the story together more, from the transport of shame to the interrogation room and the out the window camera shots of shame that was inspired by the infamous Joker cop car shot in Christopher Nolan’s ‘The Dark Knight’.” – Woosy
“Feel” and “Hyperventilating” are from Shame Gang’s deeply personal, introspective, and largely anecdotal new album Better Late Than Never, which follows the story of Shame’s life as a car mechanic striving for greener pastures as a professional Rap star. The album follows Shame Gang’s lauded 2021 sophomore effort No Safe Haven, and features Skyzoo, Smoke DZA, Dreamville’s Lute, Little Brother’s Rapper Big Pooh, Oswin Benjamin, and more.
5. BBG Steppaa & Sugarhill Ddot – Spinnin’
breakout Newark drill rapper BBG Steppaa shares his vicious new Sugarhill Ddot collab single, “Spinnin” via Priority Records. The Kosfingerand Ayyolucas produced song finds BBG Steppaa and Sugarhill Ddot careening across the rapid beat and trading raw tightly wound verses with one another. It comes complete with a Taegxn directed video that captures the MCs in a raucous carefree Newark block party.
Both BBG Steppaa and Sugarhill Ddot at only 15-years-old, are the next generation of confident east coast drill artists creating new waves in hip-hop at large. “Why is you scared if you up in these streets?” BBG Steppaa asks, challenging those who don’t know how to slip through the ecosystem. Sugarhill Ddot echoes “You know that we smoke ’em.”
“Spinnin” comes in the wake of another collaboration: the DD Osama duet “Catch Up,” which last fall made it obvious to anyone in earshot that BBG Steppaa was next up. The song, which samples Eminem’s “Lose Yourself,” became a grassroots phenomenon for its potent blend of technique and raw ambition.
Meanwhile Sugarhill Ddot called a “Harlem Dynamo” from Billboard made an impact with his latest release on the MCVertt produced banger “Let Ha Go.” The George Buford directed video trended on YouTube music and is currently at over 5.4 million video views.
Movements in rap develop quickly, and new stars can arrive without warning. That’s exactly the story with BBG Steppaa, who recently received a coveted co-sign from Chicago’s Polo G. While many fans across the country are just catching on to the Jersey club wave led by Bandmanrill, Bandman has already turned around and co-signed BBG Steppaa as the next big thing. As Jersey club and New York drill continue to blur the boundaries between one another, they capture two things beyond question: the rhythmic roots of rap as something adjacent to dance music and the unbridled energy of youth in the Tristate area.
6. Shawn Smith – Hope Dealer
Music and art have always played a vital role in the life of Shawn Smith. A product of Southwest Philadelphia, the birthplace of The Roots, Jill Scott, Teddy Pendergrass, Eve, Musiq Soulchild, Jazmine Sullivan and the city where John Coltrane established his sound, the innovative rapper has carved out his own niche merging all things cool, audibly and aesthetically.
Over the years, Shawn Smith has instinctively built a solid and steady catalog of work using the city of Philly as a canvas. His latest EP offering, Hope Dealer, is just as meticulous, further demonstrating his genius rap status. The 8-track project is soulful yet smooth; abrasive but also liberating. It contains imagery of life filtered through the lens of the ambitious rapper who stays true to himself, circumventing pain with mental toughness and intelligent humor. On the debut single “Chain Gang” featuring Philly legend Don Cannon, Smith reveals himself as a bold rapper that explores and pushes past the boundaries of hip-hop while paying homage to state property. His dense, multi-layered wordplay pays reverence to the OG’s that paved the way from Black Thought to Jay-Z. Hope Dealer has a record for every occasion. Tracks such as “Up If You Need Me” and “Break Myself in Two” combine flossy raps and harmonic 808 melodies that showcase Smith’s broad appeal. He reflects on modern day relationships, personal and professional, woes on “Class Act,” and “History” waxing poetic about fake love, toxic love, love lost and burgeoning love. Smith shares personal, spiritually-charged testimonies over instrument-laden production on “Pain Away.” It is on “Black Don’t Crack” that Smith unloads stellar verses atop a sparsely produced beat about the perils of poverty and street life rapping,
The EP features meticulously handpicked guest appearances from burgeoning singer Rayven Tyler whose ethereal vocals create the hook on “History” and is best known for her frequent collabs with rapper Symba. Shawn sought out multi-grammy nominated vocalist Ant Clemons on “Pain Away” who has lent his artistic talent to Kanye West, Beyonce, and Pharrell Williams. For the latest single “On Me” Shawn recruited Tayler Green who can currently be seen sharing the stage with Beyonce singing background vocals on the global icon’s sold-out Renaissance Tour. The final guest appearance comes from legendary mixtape DJ and Philly native Don Cannon who appears on the most talked about track “Chain Gang.” On the production front Shawn collaborated in the studio with Jay the Great (2 Chainz, Symba), Triangle Park (H.E.R, Kehlani, Ed Sheeran) Diego Ave (Future, 21 Savage, Post Malone, Lil Baby) Maaly Raw & Critica (Lil Uzi, Meek Mill, Lil Yachty) and The Weathrman (Lecrae). These musical powerhouses all give a unique dimension to this comprehensive body of work that places Shawn Smith as a rapper well ahead of his time.
Alongside the EP release Shawn has produced the visuals for “Up If You Need Me,” a loyalty infused track centered around making it out of hero-battling circumstances. The music video features the MC and his comrades riding bikes through the streets of Southwest Philly, flying kites with kids and passing out roses to mothers at a local beauty salon all while contemplating topics ranging from Bill Cosby to Artificial Intelligence Philly’s BikeLifeRex makes a cameo in the video, known for his masterful bike skills and cult like following.
Shawn has become known in industry circles as a modern-day renaissance man who is as inspired by Jean-Michel Basquiat as he is by Lil Wayne. Growing up his older brother ran the streets of Brooklyn with Foxy Brown in the late 90’s and his unique upbringing has given him a calm awareness and curiosity towards the world. He crafts narratives ranging from urban hardships and politics, to pop culture and designer labels, showing how diverse he is as a dynamic student of the game. He holds a passion for composing lyrics in a poetic and purposeful way. Fans have speculated for years about Shawn Smith’s connection with mogul Shawn Carter after seeing the two dapping it up at Roc Nation’s annual star-studded Grammy brunches. Whatever it is it seems clear that the two extraordinary lyricists are both fans of each other.
Shawn’s unmatched discipline to his craft has led him to sharing the stage with Black Thought and Jay Electronica. Representing old-school values in the new digital age of hip-hop, Shawn is a fly human whether on the mic, on canvas or on a runway.
7. Buju Banton – Coconut Wata (Sip)
Gearing up for another momentous era, GRAMMY winning, multiple Billboard chart-topping artist, and international reggae icon Buju Banton returns to the dancehall on his intoxicatingly catchy new single entitled “Coconut Wata (Sip)” — out now via Gargamel Music/ Roc Nation Records / Def Jam Recordings.
A vibrant and catchy dancehall track that encourages listeners to stay positive and resilient in the face of challenges, “Coconut Wata (Sip)” showcases Buju’s distinctive dancehall style, evolution and lyrical prowess. Slinky keys set the tempo as Buju urges us to take a break from the stress life can bring, and find joy and peace in the simple things: “While we a sip coconut water/Well them jus a trip/ We look on them and notice/ How them ship Jus a dip.” The buoyant dancehall beat brushes up against swaggering verses backed by string samples and sun-soaked sonic flourishes.
“Coconut Wata (Sip)” notably arrives on the heels of the global banger “High Life” featuring Snoop Dogg. With over a million total streams, “High Life” has garnered widespread critical acclaim. In addition to plugs from HYPEBEAST, TMZ, and more, REVOLT hailed it as “perfect for the stoners’ holiday,” and HotNewHipHop proclaimed, ‘High Life’ is a perfect combination of their respective styles.” Rap Radar attested, “the Kingston-native and the O.G. from the L.B.C. spread good vibes with the finest herbs,” and Rolling Stone summed it up best as “Bumping.”
Buju continues to pave the road towards a full-length follow-up to 2020’s universally acclaimed Upside Down 2020, which garnered a GRAMMY® Award nomination in the category of “Best Reggae Album” and earned rave “4-out-of-5 star” reviews on both sides of the pond from The Guardian and Rolling Stone, respectively.
Igniting 2023 with a bang, Buju joined Beres Hammond in concert on New Year’s Day at Grizzly’s Plantation Cove in Priory, St. Ann, Jamaica. It stood as the first time these two reggae stars headlined a concert together on the island. Plus, it followed his return to the worldwide stage with a much-lauded performance at Kingston’s Famed National Stadium. The Long Walk to Freedom Concert was one of the biggest music events in Jamaica’s history and was the launching pad for the tour of the same name. Relive the monumental moment from the history-making Long Walk to Freedom Concert here: https://bujubanton.me/lwtf
In 2020, he signed to Roc Nation and dropped “Steppa” and “Trust,” paving the way for Upside Down 2020. The latter featured collaborations with Stephen Marley, John Legend, Pharrell, and Stefflon Don. Making waves worldwide, he notably notched his fourth career GRAMMY nomination for the album.
Buju’s GRAMMY winning album Before the Dawn was released in 2010. Prior, he unveiled records at a prolific pace, beginning with his debut in 1992. Among many highlights, 1995’s Til Shiloh was certified Gold by the RIAA. He has been described by the Associated Press as “one of the most respected acts in reggae.” Moreover, The FADER hailed him as “a national hero,” going on to elaborate, “Buju Banton, born Mark Myrie, is more Jamaican than jerk chicken, Red Stripe beer, and a croaking lizard combined. He’s as much a singer as he is a hallmark of Jamaican culture.”
8. Aliah Sheffield – These Songs Are for Anyone Sick Of Earth
Aliah Sheffield, the introspective singer-songwriter and instrumentalist who made her major label debut via Def Jam Recordings with this year’s “Boo Boo The Fool” and “Some Of Your People” now steps up with the arrival of her new EP, THESE SONGS ARE FOR ANYONE SICK OF EARTH. The EP was also accompanied by the release of her video for “Earth is Ghetto.”
Aliah arrived at Def Jam after gaining notoriety with her viral hit “Earth is Ghetto,” a plea for escape during that increasingly maddening first year of pandemic onslaught. The track turned into an unlikely sensation after its December 2020 release: “You should see these people, it’s hard to believe / how they treat each other, it’s hard to conceive.” Over 1 million TikTok creates were generated, some of them as comedic as they were heartfelt. “I felt happy and sad about it at the same time,” she said, “because I was like, it kind of sucks that so many people feel the same way.”
In addition to a reprise of “Earth is Ghetto” THESE SONGS ARE FOR ANYONE SICK OF EARTH also includes “Boo Boo The Fool” and “Some Of Your People,” the three advance tracks released from the EP.
Aliah’s minimalist soul and R&B approach was on display in “Boo Boo The Fool” (released in April) as she explored the fraught dimension between pain and optimism. The track came with a disclaimer: “I just want people to know I’m not boo boo the fool, and this song is meant to be a fun reminder,” Aliah said. After a failed relationship, sheer pettiness wins out over taking the high road, as she angelically croons over her piano, “I will hold this grudge till the day I die / And I’ll still be pissed on the other side.”
9. Bobby Fishscale – Local Joka
Roc Nation’s Florida rapper Bobby Fishcale is back with his latest single “Local Joka.” With his signature flow and raspy vocals, the rapper continues to share his journey to growing up in the hood, breaking through the music industry but staying true to his roots and continuing the hustle. The Florida-born artist continues to establish himself as the next leading rapper to emerge from Florida’s burgeoning music scene.
This single release follows the Florida rapper’s previous release, “I Might” which followed “Made It.” This steady stream of single releases builds on the success of his debut album, The Evolution featuring lead track, “Huncho Fishscale” ft. Quavo. The project marks the rapper’s latest debut boasting an explosive, star-studded list of collaborators such as Juicy J, Zaytoven, DJ Paul, Ink, Mozzy, and fellow labelmate Kalan.FrFr.
The Florida native has established himself as the next leading rapper to emerge from Florida’s burgeoning music scene, having caught the eye of hip hop heavyweights like Lil Uzi Vert, Kodak Black, Rod Wave, 2Chainz who co-sign Bobby for his “Flunkies Flow” freestyle, among others. Bobby released his debut album, The Evolution in 2021 – featuring lead track, “Huncho Fishscale” ft. Quavo which has amassed widespread success – alongside additional A-lister support from featured collaborators Juicy J, Zaytoven, DJ Paul, Ink, Mozzy, and fellow labelmate Kalan.FrFr. Bobby is a BMI R&B and Hip Hop Social Star Award winner joining respected names like Mac Miller, Machine Gun Kelly, Zendaya, Joey Bada$$, and NLE Choppa.
10. FishXGrits & Sauce Walka – Pimpin’ Aint Dead
FishXGrits & Sauce Walka live by codes and the P lifestyle and are tasked with the service/responsibility of adding credibility and street knowledge to the game. When FishXGrits and Sauce Walka start swapping stories, you know that pimping ain’t dead, it’s alive and well.
With a handful of collaborations already under their respective belts, Fish and Sauce Walka quickly re-establish their undeniable chemistry with their new single “Pimpin’ Ain’t Dead.” The new single is now available on all DSP’s and is the first single from FishXGrits forthcoming project Pimping Etiquette.
11. Skilla Baby ft. G Herbo – B’CUZ
Rising Detroit rapper Skilla Baby returns with “B’Cuz,” a hypnotic new single that pairs him with the Chicago legend G Herbo via Hitmaker Music Group/Blac Noize!. A precursor to the forthcoming deluxe edition of last year’s We Eat the Most, “B Cuz” is available now at all digital retailers. The single premiered from BET JAMS Billboard in Time Square.
In the same way that the rappers’ voices intertwine and compliment each other, “B’Cuz” is full of references to John Wick and impulse-purchased chinchilla coats that are counterbalanced by references to the real-life violence that still seems to lurk around every corner. “Don’t mean I ain’t paranoid just ‘cause I’m not in the hood,” Herbo raps during the hook, before Skilla takes it upon himself to clarify that that doesn’t mean they’ve changed: “I’ve been trying to chill, but I still will get on some hood shit.”
“B’Cuz” arrives just weeks after the menacing single “Ok Bet” and Controversy, the full-length project that pairs him with fellow Detroit native Tee Grizzley. Prior to that, Skilla had dropped “Marty McFly,” which demonstrated Skilla’s singing ability and came complete with a Back to the Future-themed video. The rapper previously made waves with 2022’s We Eat the Most. The 7-song set cemented his credentials as one of the most insightful newcomers in hip-hop. Whether decoding social media posts (“Duck Your Taco”) or recounting hardships (the hit single “Tay B Style”), Skilla always approaches topics from a unique angle.
A protege of hometown hero Sada Baby, Skilla is carving out a lane as one of the Motor City’s most distinct voices. Though just 24 years old, the MC has amassed an impressive body of work, beginning with Push That Shit Out Skilla, his careening debut album from 2019. Three tapes followed in 2022, We Eat the Most, Detroit Raised Me, and Crack Music 2, underlining his reputation as one of the genre’s most enthralling and prolific artists.
12. Rob49 – 4GOD II
Emerging New Orleans superstar Rob49 releases his highly anticipated album 4God II via Rebel Music/Geffen Records. His most personal and provocative project to date, the 18-song set showcases the versatility and urgency that has made Rob one of the most buzzed-about names in rap game. 4God II is available now at all digital retailers.
As fans have come to expect, 4God II packs both emotional and visceral punch. While Rob is supremely confident over technically difficult, uptempo beats, a revelation of personal trauma is never far from the surface. See the moment, on the breakneck “TRX,” when he admits “and I want him dead,” before conceding that revenge “won’t bring my brother back.” It’s writing like this—straight from the gut yet morally complex—that makes the Louisianan one of a kind.
While Rob continues to explore the depths of his own psyche and experience, 4God II highlights his skill as a collaborator—and reveals how in-demand he is among rap’s A-list. “BMF” pairs him with Detroit’s Icewear Vezzo and “Hate It Or Love It” with Charlotte’s DaBaby; Rob also taps Chicago legend G Herbo (“Skeme”). Elsewhere he’s joined by Roddy Ricch, Trippie Redd, and NoCap, among others. In each of these instances, Rob not only holds his own, but asserts his own style alongside established stars from across the map and stylistic spectrum.
Long before this latest release, Rob had already been embraced by some of hip-hop’s heavy hitters: 2022 album Welcome to Vulture Island features collaborations with Vezzo, Babyface Ray, Doe Boy, Landstrip Chip, and Lil Baby—to say nothing of the project being introduced by legendary Cash Money Records founder Birdman. His single “Vulture Island V2” with Lil Baby amassed more than 29 million views on YouTube alone. With 4God II, Rob takes his rightful place at the forefront of his genre.
13. NBDY – Take Control
The New Jersey crooner’s project is a collection of ambient sounds that carry a true-to-life feel.
Take Control is a 7-song look at someone that’s in complete control of their artistic output. Revealing an emotional depth in NBDY’s songwriting that makes for relatable music, his third EP explores universal topics (like love, lost, and fear) that bind over atmospheric production, thanks to the numerous guest involved: Gourty Maxx (Musiq Soulchild, Tayla Parx), Eestbound (Travis Scott), and Mikhail Beltran (Sabrina Claudio).
Leading up to his emphatic record, R&B’s lone wolf has been hard at work decoding his feelings and taking listeners along for the ride. Last month, he perfectly captured the essence of his longing for reassurance on “FEELS,” which arrived alongside a moody visualizer.
14. LAVI$H – You Made A Big Mistake
Arriving as an artist to watch in 2023, buzzing singer-songwriter LAVI$H unveils his anxiously awaited debut EP, You Made A Big Mistake, alongside a new video for the track “Big Mistake,” out now via Def Jam Recordings.
Staring down heartbreak head-on, the seven-track project showcases his magnetic and multi-dimensional approach to R&B. Icy piano sets the tone for “Big Mistake” as his pleas give way to gospel-style harmonies on a swooning hook. On “Seventeen,” hummable clean guitar creaks beneath his breathy vocals as nostalgic lyrics captivate. A twinkling starry-eyed melody glimmers through “Piano Man” as he assures, “It’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay.” Then, there’s the finale “Our Chapter.” His gritty vocal delivery clashes with soft organ and bluesy guitar for a stunning send-off.
“You Made A Big Mistake is the name of my debut EP, but in reality, the time for revenge has passed,” says LAVI$H. “My sentiment is that our time for war will never be over for them, but it’s over for me… it applies to so many areas of my life. This body of work is best illustrated by the words ‘success is the best revenge’, and I know my growth will haunt some people — but I think there comes a time when you realize it’s time to become timeless. My time is now and forever.”
He set the stage for the EP with “We Make Sense,” earning critical acclaim, Complex touted the song among the “Best New Canadian Tracks This Week” and went on to proclaim, “The Toronto-via-Winnipeg Def Jam signee follows up “World In My Hands” with more fire.” Rated R&B applauded, “Driven by a moment of introspection, LAVI$H pairs his open-journal verses with a hypnotizing production for a bittersweet tune about drifting aimlessly through life without a certain someone.”
Discovered by Chubbs from Drake’s OVO Sound who heard LAVI$H’s music and was captivated. Before long, LAVI$H had decamped to Los Angeles (by way of Zambia to Toronto) where he began recording at OVO studios and working with top producers.
“LAVI$H is an artist with undeniable talent, that you can’t fit in a box,” said Chubbs. “I’m truly happy to be a part of his journey.”
He served as support for Jessie Reyez on the UK leg of her tour. Returning to North America, he lit up the stage in Toronto, opening for dvsn. Not to mention, he graced the stage at Sirius XM Presents: PARTYNEXTDOOR & Friends, shining alongside Drake, Smiley, Roy Woods, and, of course, PARTYNEXTDOOR, to name a few.
15. Amaarae – Fountain Baby
The groundbreaking platinum selling Ghanaian-American artist, Amaarae, releases her highly anticipated new album, Fountain Baby, via Interscope Records. In celebration, she shares a tantalizing new video for her explosive track, “Wasted Eyes.” Directed by Lauren Dunn, the visual captures a scintillating rendezvous that culminates in a brawl between an assailant and the lethal seductress, Amaarae. Brimming with sexual appeal and a rousing celebration of self to the fullest degree, Fountain Baby will undoubtedly solidify Amaarae’s rightful position as one of the premiere artists in the pop arena.
A striking global pop offering, Fountain Baby houses a collection of insatiable tracks that exist at the intersection of female empowerment, subversion of gender norms, and a thrilling exploration of female sexuality and artistic self expression – all while centering her West African heritage within a global lens. The project sees Amaarae’s towering talent and visions expanding beyond genre and regional confines, for a truly brilliant and palpable body of work that will establish her as an essential architect in the future of music.
Most recently, Amaarae’s viral song “Sad Girlz Luv Money” ft. Kali Uchis was officially certified platinum, establishing the young artist as an undeniable force in music and beyond. Additionally, Amaarae will be bringing her new album to life with a sensational performance for the beloved NPR Tiny Desk series slated to release later in June.
16. Ta-ku ft. Xavier Omär, DAISY WORLD & ROMderful – SMILE
Marking nearly over seven years since his last solo release, one of music’s most pivotal sonic architects and a thrilling multi-hyphenate, Ta-ku, makes his triumphant return today by announcing the release of his new debut album, Songs To Come Home To, which is set to release on August 25th via Future Classic. In celebration, he shares a sublime new track “SMILE” featuring Xavier Omär, DAISY WORLD, and ROMderful alongside a striking music video shot and directed by Ta-ku himself. The dazzling track picks up where Ta-ku left off with a sound that has proven to be foundational, one lined with his one-of-a-kind soaring production and unmatched curation that has amassed a cult following worldwide. Celebrated for his unparalleled ability to spotlight some of tomorrow’s most exciting talent, Songs To Come Home To will feature a string of striking collaborations with close friends and longtime supporters such as Questlove, Xavier Omär, JMSN, Jay Prince, Sango, RINI, Panama, and many more.
A visionary artist of Filipino and Maori descent, Ta-ku, delivers a moving body of work that chronicles his personal and artistic journey during his time away, shining light on his own quest to find joy and the embodiment of “home” in everything and everyone around him. The project also serves as the closing installment to his beloved project series, 2013’s Songs To Break Up To and 2015’s Songs To Make Up To, with a portion of the new tracks stemming from demos that originated years ago and another batch of newly minted tracks.
Armed with a trove of lessons learned and a renewed sense of self, Ta-ku has masterfully designed a soundtrack to the universal journey of growing through life – the complexities and beauty of it all. It features an all familiar playfulness that returns the listener the hypnotic magic of childhood through a rich nostalgic sonic foundation and deeply palpable themes surrounding family, love, healing, personal growth, loss and joy. The album also sees the multidisciplinary artist mastering an array for creative outputs in addition to producing, soaring as singer, songwriter, photographer, creative director and so much more. The project will undeniably cement Ta-ku’s rightful position still as one of today’s most transcending artists in music today.
17. Khemist – Streets Don’t Love No One
Source:Khemist – Topic
Khemist Mayfield speaks from the heart on why the “Streets Don’t Love No One” in his newest single. The song gives an unfiltered, heart-felt perspective on what Khemist has seen and experienced in the gritty streets of Philly.
Khemist paints a vivid image of how people struggled and survived so they won’t be at the bottom of the food chain with the lines: “No we don’t have what we need for stomachs, got an A-K and a ski mask, that’s what you need for money. I put a blade under his rib cage, that’s how my shoes got bloody. Hands are forced everyday here, what could you possibly tell me?”.
Khemist states this lifestyle is “a game nobody’s winning…” before the chorus states how the streets will send people away into the vicious cycle of repetitive setbacks caused by impure decisions.
18. Kenya Vaun – Summer
Ready to heat up this year, Philadelphia-based R&B songstress Kenya Vaun uncovers the music video for her new single “Summer” today via 300 Entertainment.
About the song, Kenya shared, “‘Summer’ just brings me so much peace because it talks about that escape that a lot of us need or want, whether you’re working a 9-5, dealingwith personal issues, or whatever it may be. When I listen to it, it just makes me feel like I’m on a vacation or just in this peaceful place wherever that may be in my own world – it just makes me feel good.”
In the music video she captures the spirit of the season with this breezy and blissful sun-kissed visual. We see Kenya go about another monotonous day at her record store job, while cleaning and assisting customers she can’t help but think of the beautiful weather and summer vibes she’s missing out on. Kenya daydreams of a warm day at the skatepark with her friends, laying out at the side of a picnic, and watching a beautiful sunset at the beach. For Kenya, summer should be an escape.
“Summer” comes off the back of Kenya’s recent single “Overrated”, released earlier this year. “Overrated” captured her fervent vocals on a glossy guitar loop while guiding us through a rocky love story. Since then, she has enchanted a packed audience at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C during the “BLACK GIRLS ROCK! FEST” in March. Kenya left the crowd speechless with a show-stopping performance, including “Overrated.”
19. City Girls – I Need A Thug
Miami’s trailblazing City Girls return with the new single “I Need A Thug” via Quality Control / Motown. It’s the hip-hop duo’s first release of the year as lead artist — and serves as the introduction to their forthcoming third album. Having recently been named one of the 50 greatest rap groups of all time by Billboard, Yung Miami and JT are primed to make it a too make it the Summer to act bad. Real Bad.
With sex-positive lyrics and bombastic beats, “I Need A Thug” finds City Girls breaking down what they do and don’t want in a man. The song turns the corner on LL Cool J’s “I Need Love,” and features JT and Yung Miami trading verses about their ideal man. “I need a thug with swag, like a rock star,” raps JT. “Bonnie and Clyde s–t, tongue kissin’ in cop cars.”
“I Need A Thug” follows “Act Bad,” a recent collaboration with Diddy and Fabolous. Prior to that, the duo left their mark on 2022 with “Top Notch” featuring Fivio Foreign and “Good Love” — an uptempo linkup with R&B legend Usher. The latter was the latest in a long line of outrageous hits stretching back to 2017’s “Fuck Dat N***a.” Since then, they have landed platinum records with bangers like “Act Up” and the Cardi B-assisted “Twerk.”
With more than 15 billion cumulative streams to their credit and co-signs from hip-hop heavyweights ranging from Missy Elliott, who directed the video for 2021’s “Twerkulator,” to Lil Wayne (a featured artist on 2020’s “Pussy Talk”), City Girls are a legitimate phenomenon, who continue to rewrite the rulebook with every new release.
20. City Girls – Piñata
City Girls are wasting no time rolling into an Act Bad Summer, and today they drop “Pinata” via Quality Control / Motown.
Yesterday City Girls’ JT and Yung Miami gave the world the ‘rich, young and pretty bitch anthem’ “I Want A Thug.”
City Girls first teased the new song at Rolling Loud in California in March, piquing incredible excitement for the Miami duo’s upcoming third album. The trailblazers released “Pinata” right on the heels of “I Need A Thug” which follows “Act Bad,”a recent collaboration with Diddy and Fabolous. Prior to that, the duo left their mark on 2022 with “Top Notch” featuring Fivio Foreign and “Good Love” — an uptempo linkup with R&B legend Usher. The latter was the latest in a long line of outrageous hits stretching back to 2017’s “Fuck Dat N***a.” Since then, they have landed platinum records with bangers like “Act Up” and the Cardi B-assisted “Twerk.”
Having recently been named one of the 50 greatest rap groups of all time by Billboard, Yung Miami and JT are primed to make your summer bad – real bad. Times two.
With more than 15 billion cumulative streams to their credit and co-signs from hip-hop heavyweights ranging from Missy Elliott, who directed the video for 2021’s “Twerkulator,” to Lil Wayne (a featured artist on 2020’s “Pussy Talk”), City Girls are a legitimate phenomenon, who continue to rewrite the rulebook with every new release.
21. Boy Boy ft. BackRoad Gee – Bounce
Trinidad dancehall rising star BOY BOY and UK rap sensation BACKROAD GEE have joined forces to unveil an early contender for the track of the summer. Titled ‘BOUNCE’, the exciting new Boy Boy and BackRoad Gee collaboration is a glorious fusion of UK rap and dancehall, with summer-ready afroswing sensibilities. Produced by Joffstar (Pa Salieu, Stefflon Don, Belly Squad) and Joe Gosling (FLO, Chris Brown, KSI), ‘Bounce’ is a glorious party starter that is driven by Boy Boy’s infectious vocal delivery and melodies, coupled with BackRoad Gee’s captivating rap flow and lyricism, and underpinned by Joffstar’s menacing piano arrangements, and thumping drum patterns.
For the accompanying music video for ‘Bounce’, Boy Boy and BackRoad Gee have called on award-winning director Jay Parpworth (Fredo, D Block Europe, Russ Millions, Dizzee Rascal) to bring the track further to life. Filmed in the heart of London, the visuals for ‘Bounce’ highlight the essence of the city’s nightlife and its thriving dance culture, while also revealing Boy Boy and BackRoad Gee as the undeniable stars that they are becoming. Whether you’re a die-hard fan, or an unwavering critic, or a newcomer, Boy Boy and BackRoadGee demand your attention on the ‘Bounce’ track and visuals – from their performance prowess to their magnetic presence, you just can’t look away.
Speaking about this new single ‘Bounce’, Boy Boy says, “I’m really excited to be collaborating with BackRoad Gee on this track. He’s one of the hottest artists in the scene right now, and I knew that working with him would take my music to the next level. Joffstar’s production really brings out the best in both of us, and I can’t wait for our fans to hear what we’ve been working on”, with BackRoad Gee adding that “working with Boy Boy on this track was a no-brainer. We have a lot of respect for each other’s music, and we both bring something unique to the table. Joffstar’s production is next level, and I think that together, we’ve created something really special that our fans are going to love”.
22. Saneit – Automatic
Source:Saneit – Topic
Rising singer/songwriter Saneit is always ready for a challenge. The Chicago, IL native is eyeing the R&B landscape and is chomping at the bitto stake her claim. After releasing several ear-grabbing tunes over 2021 and 2022, she has decided to up the ante and give an expanded look and listen of her sound with her new EP, Automatic, which debuts June 9th.
Automatic is a culmination and modern spin of 90s and 2000s nostalgia, infused with a passion and Chicago twang that only Saneit can effectively deliver. In her last few releases, Saneit has shown herself to be a throwback to that era, a driven and passionate crooner that is constantly honing and experimenting new ways to deliver her gift. This project is the sum of that work; her voice brings back the style of R&B yesteryear, while also providing a contemporary and unique twist to the genre. With lead single “Be The One,” we get to experience her passion, and desire to remain in a relationship that she doesn’t want from anyone else. If there’s one word that describes this songstress, it’s soul. Step into her world, and leave wanting more; she is definitely here for the long haul.
After working tirelessly to bring eyes and ears toward a classic R&B sound, look for Automatic to be a driving force this summer.
Saneit’s recent press coverage:
– Will Saneit Be The Next Great R&B Artist From Chicago? – New Fire Music
– Saneit’s “Nothing Like Them”: A Soulful R&B Ballad That Will Touch Your Heart – The Ghetto Flower
23. Bloody Civilian – Anger Management
Buzzing worldwide with a striking brand of sonic insurgency, Nigerian singer/producer Bloody Civilian presents her anxiously awaited debut ANGER MANAGEMENT EP, available via Def Jam Recordings/0207 Def Jam UK.
After stepping out in 2022 with “Wake Up,” her collaboration with Rema on the Black Panther Panther: Wakanda Forever Soundtrack, Bloody Civilian’s six-track body of work affirms her as the next global Afro-pop phenomenon.
“I Don’t Like You” continues to gain momentum as a trending anthem. It has incited over 43K sound creates online in addition to catapulting to #85 on the Official Top 100 Turntable Charts, and where the track remained number 1 on the Turntable Top Alternative/Dancehall chart for 2 weeks in a row. Tallying over 1 million streams thus far, it has also garnered widespread critical praise. UPROXX proclaimed, “The record is a lovely blend of Afropop and electronic sounds that is a warm sign of what’s to come,” and BET attested, “Bloody Civilian has both an amazing pedigree and story, which make for abundantly creative music that is immaculately executed.” Mixtape Madness put it best, “With a penchant for production as well as a strong vocal range, there really is no limit as to what Bloody Civilian can achieve.” CLASH christened her a “terrific all-rounder.”
ANGER MANAGEMENT delivers a 360-degree perspective of her expansive vision steeped in Afrobeats, R&B, and dance. Among many standouts, “Mad Apology” layers her evocative vocals above an entrancing and ethereal soundscape punctuated by a head-nodding rhythm. Then, there’s “Come From.” Her soulful delivery echoes through hazy synths and vibrant percussion as she repeats, “I come from a place, I come from a place, I come from a place.”
24. Haiti Babii – Nuthin 2 Krazy
Following widespread independent success and unanimous critical acclaim from The FADER, HYPEBEAST, and more, gold-certified Stockton, CA rapper Haiti Babii returns with a brand new single and music video entitled “Nuthin 2 Krazy.” It marks his debut under a newly minted deal with Jeezy’s CTE imprint and Def Jam Recordings. He stands out as the inaugural artist for the freshly cemented venture.
About his signing Jeezy commented, “I’ve been watching Haiti Babii for a long time. He’s got his own sound, which is such a rarity. When you find an artist like that who has a vision and a movement, you don’t sleep on it. The whole game is about to wake up to Haiti. I couldn’t think of a better way to reup with my Def Jam family than this project. It’s just the beginning.”
“Nuthin 2 Krazy” struts out of the gate with a West Coast bounce and slick swagger of its own. Haiti leans into the beat with his instantly recognizable delivery and flow. His punchy bars give way to an undeniable and unshakable refrain. Meanwhile, the visual showcases his star power and charisma on screen.
It just paves the way for more music to come from Haiti Babii very soon.
Haiti Babii rose up out of Stockton, CA and into the conversation as a tried-and-true West Coast contender. He made waves with otherworldly freestyles, catching the endorsement of everyone from Rihanna and Chance the Rapper to Meek Mill. He translated hardship into hypnotic hooks, going gold independently on the 2020 breakout “Change Ya Life.” Over the course of four independent albums, he has evolved rapidly as a force in hip-hop. In addition to hundreds of millions of streams, he has earned praise from The FADER, Flaunt, HYPEBEAST, and many more. Beyond his inimitable signature sound, he co-founded Bad Domination Entertainment (BDE) with his brother Rega.k.a. “Sauce” as a family-run in-house production company, creating beats, music videos, and more.
Now, he’s primed to pop off in 2023.
25. 7xvethegenius & DJ Green Lantern – The Genius Tape
Source:Paka The Plug 2.0
When she appeared on Conway The Machine’s “Crack In The Ninety’s” from his From King To A GOD Deluxe project, it served for many as a formal introduction to the lyrical dynamo and multi-faceted artist known as 7xvethegenius. The intrigue was furthered when Conway brought her out to perform on Tidal’s exclusive Griselda Holiday Concert.
Now that the rising emcee has your attention, and before she releases her Drumwork Records debut this summer, 7xvethegenius joins forces with DJ Green Lantern and puts her talents as an artist and storyteller on full-display with their new collaborative drop The Genius Tape.
Born in Buffalo, NY’s Eastside (she also has a deep connection with Atlanta’s music scene, as she spent most of her young adult life in the area before relocating to Buffalo in 2018) 7xve is now an integral component of Conway’s Drumwork Records imprint; and her buzz only continues to intensify. Over the last year, 7xve has released a well-received EP (Self 7Xve 2), linked up with frequent collaborator Che Noir for “Ladies Brunch” (which also featured Armani Caesar) and “Veracruz” from Che’s recently released Noir Or Never, released an “On The Radar” Freestyle Single and linked with her Drumwork squad for standout performances on Conway & Jae Skeese’s Pain Provided Profit (“Food”) and most recently the title track for Conway’s Won’t He Do It album.
“My relationship with Conway is dope and I’ve known him for what feels like forever now. Some of the people he talks about in his songs are my relatives. I started recording at DJ Shay’s (RIP!) studio and Conway and Benny were already working there” 7xve recalls. Being signed to one of the greatest rappers of all time, I’ve been able to learn a lot and it’s pushed my pen to even greater heights” 7xve asserts.
7xve’s ascension has also spurred quite a bit of social media conversation about her artist name and how to pronounce it; for the record, it’s pronounced Love The Genius. “I encourage everyone to research and get into the meaning of the number 7. The x is really there because I didn’t like how the o looked next to the 7 aesthetically” she laughed. “The meaning of “7” and the definition of what love is, is everything I try to represent in my music and life.”
Produced in its entirety by DJ Green Lantern, The Genius Tape, showcases 7xve’s elite lyricism, and the duo’s combined creativity and conceptualization. The Genius Tape features appearances from Conway The Machine, Rome Streetz, Che Noir, AA Rashid & TF.
7xvethegenius & DJ Green Lantern’s The Genius Tape is now available at all DSP’s.
26. Boldy James & Chan Hays – Prisoner Of Circumstance
Even after a debilitating car accident, Boldy James can’t stop rapping. And that’s a good thing!
Before he announces the release dates for his forthcoming projects with Harry Fraud and Jay Dee (Drug Dilla), Boldy is back with a new EP, Prisoner Of Circumstance, which finds him collaborating with Canadian producer Chan Hays.
27. Conway the Machine ft. Rome Streetz, Heem B$F, Goosebytheway & SK Da King – Elephant Man
Source:Conway The Machine
The promised Drumwork takeover is in full effect, as Conway The Machine returned with Won’t He Do It, joined Jae Skeese for their collaborative project Pain Provided Profit and Jae Skeese’ reelased his Drumwork debut album Abolished Uncertainties.
Now, Conway and Drumwork are back with another announcement; the inaugural Drumwork Records Compilation album Drumwork The Album. It’s only right for the first single from the forthcoming compilation to be a Drumwork, BIG BSF and Griselda bar-fest; and that’s exactly what you get with “Elephant Man,” which features Conway The Machine, Rome Streetz, Heem, Goosebytheway (who appeared on three tracks from Conway’s latest Won’t He Do It) and SK Da King. “Elephant Man” is now available at all DSP’s.
Drumwork The Album features appearances from Conway The Machine, and Drumwork’s young shooters Jae Skeese, 7xvethegenius, Goosebytheway, SK Da ing and Shots Almigh, with additional contributions from Benny The Butcher, Stove God Cooks, Rome Streetz, 38 Spesh, Heem, Elcamino, D.Smoke, & Bangladesh.
Drumwork Records Drumwork The Album will be released this summer.
28. Rah Swish – 9 Shots In The Ruger
After a quiet start to the year, Rah Swish gives fans a surprise release with his newest project, 9 Shots In The Ruger. Packed with raw energy, lyrical prowess, and captivating storytelling, this project will solidify Rah Swish’s position as one of the industry’s most exciting talents.
9 Shot In The Ruger begins with an introduction from famous IG comedian Rayyy Rayyy who gives praise to Rah’s bars. The project contains different features from DameDot, OnPointLikeOP, CurlySavv, Ron Suno, and Sdot Go. The leading single “Sprinter Van” was released three weeks ago and amassed well over 150k YouTube views.
Rah Swish’s meteoric rise in the rap game has been marked by his unique ability to capture the essence of the streets while captivating a diverse fanbase. With his distinct voice and magnetic stage presence, he has amassed millions of streams and garnered critical acclaim from industry tastemakers. “9 Shots In The Ruger” promises to further solidify his status as a force to be reckoned with in the music industry.
The focus track “Enormous” featuring DameDot, Rah states that he’s not like a regular artist in the song’s hook. He’s heartless and will do whatever it takes to be superior in the music scene. Detroit’s drill rapper DameDot verse focuses on how fine his woman is and how Dame handles his business. The blend of DameDot’s boss talk and Rah’s boastful cadences makes “Enormous” a fine blend of confidence and skill.
9 Shots In The Ruger is available now on all major streaming platforms. To stay updated on Rah Swish’s latest news, releases, and tour dates, visit his official website and follow him on social media @Rahswish.
29. Maeta – When I Hear Your Name
Following widespread praise and tens of millions of streams, buzzing critically acclaimed R&B artist Maetahas released a new EP, When I Hear Your Name, from Roc Nation today. The 13-track project notably boasts songs written by an A-list cohort of collaborators, including SZA, Kehlani, Ty Dolla $ign, Demi Lovato, and Lucky Daye in addition to production by KAYTRANADA.
When I Hear Your Name traces an uncut sonic journey through moments of lust, love, heartbreak, and rebirth with no filter and a whole lot of soul. She joins forces with James Fauntleroy on the seductive opener “Sexual Love,” setting the tone for this bold body of work. Elsewhere, she trades verses with Ty Dolla $ign on the hummable and hypnotic “Kissing New People,” while Lucky Daye locks into the groove alongside of her during “Clarity.” There are flashes of stark emotion such as “Something Happens When I Hear Your Name” and quiet bliss on the flute-laden “ASMR.”
It presents a whole picture of Maeta as an enigmatic, engaging, and entrancing presence in alternative R&B.
“When I Hear Your Name is a very personal project to me,” says Maeta. “We all have that someone, that when you hear their name, it just brings up a bunch of emotions and memories. This project takes you through the journey of my relationship and what I feel when I hear that person’s name.”
Opening up her world, Maeta also released the live performance video for the track “Through the Night” featured on the EP.
This year Maeta was named one of Tidal’s Artists To Watch and performed on MTV’s “Fresh Out Live.” Maeta first stole the hearts of fans through SoundCloud releases and Instagram cover clips. Her debut EP, Do Not Disturb, was released in November 2019 and encapsulated Maeta’s many moods and emotions since moving from Indianapolis to Los Angeles earlier that year to focus on her career. It received critical acclaim, with Refinery29 saying of the first single “Babygirl,” “Honest to god, a song hasn’t soothed my nerves as much as this one in a WHILE. I needed it.” The UK’s New Wavemagazine calls her “R&B’s Latest Powerhouse,” and The Loop says that “a sense of emboldening self-confidence surrounds her spellbinding vocals.”
Maeta’s second EP, 2021’s Habits featured powerhouse producers Skrillex, Kaytranada and Mustard in the credits as well as features from rappers Buddy and Beam. Her features weren’t the only major stars to co-sign her talent: Kylie Jenner,Demi Lovato and Monica all shared love for her popular single “Bitch Don’t Be Mad,” which has gained over 2M views onYouTube. The EP also led to Maeta making her national television debut on The Kelly Clarkson Show last September with Kelly herself calling her “amazing.” Maeta has also performed on The Real. Habits also kicked off her official signing with Roc Nation, which was announced in a Variety exclusive ahead of the EP’s release.
30. Lil Dump, Rojay MLP & NBA Big P – Realize
YoungBoy Never Broke Again and his Never Broke Again collective will return with their latest compilation, GREEN FLAG ACTIVITY VOLUME 2, on June 23, 2023. The first single, “Realize ft. Lil Dump x Rojay MLP x NBA Big B,” just dropped.
The GRAMMY Award-nominated Louisiana rapper made history last month by becoming the first artist – of all genres – to tally 100 career Hot 100 hits. He is 23. With his May release, Richest Opp, YoungBoy also reached a milestone as the third-most successful rap artist in terms of top-10 releases, sharing the honor with Drake and Future.
YoungBoy NBA’s GREEN FLAG ACTIVITY VOLUME 2 is the fifth compilation from YoungBoy’s Never Broke Again collective, following last year’s GREEN FLAG ACTIVITY, 2021’s Never Broke Again: The Compilation Vol. 1, 2020’s Ain’t Too Long 2, and 2017’s Extortion Season.
31. ThxSoMch – Vile
ising Toronto-based artist ThxSoMch has unveiled an official music video for “Vile”, off his debut Sleez EP. The Tommy Killjoy-directed clip is available to view on ThxSoMch’s YouTube channel beginning today.
ThxSoMch is gearing up to make his eagerly anticipated live debut on the upcoming Sleez World Tour. The eight-city trek will kick off on September 3 in Vienna, Austria, visit major markets across Europe and the US, and wrap on September 21 in Chicago, IL. Check out the tour’s full itinerary below. Tickets for the Sleez World Tour are available beginning today HERE.
ThxSoMch’s critically acclaimed debut EP Sleez was released last month via Elektra. The eight-track collection is available to stream and download now. The EP has already earned widespread praise from Complex, Lyrical Lemonade, Sheesh, Early Rising, Our Generation Music, and more, and debuted in the Top 15 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Albums chart.
Offering a rare glimpse into his creative process, ThxSoMch recently sat down for his first official interview. The enigmatic artist spoke to Genius as part of the platform’s coveted Verified series to discuss Sleez’s breakout hit single “SPIT IN MY FACE!”. The propulsive track has already amassed over 330 million streams, charted on the Billboard Hot 100, and appeared on countless marquee playlists across streaming platforms.
Across Sleez, ThxSoMch effortlessly blurs the angst of 90s alternative with the raw energy of 2000s SoundCloud rap, presenting each track alongside an equally striking visual. ThxSoMch set the stage for Sleez with the release of early singles/videos “Hate.”, “Keep It Tucked”, “Caroline”, and “Crumbled”. Upon the EP’s release, he unveiled an official video for “Swap Places”.
32. Jastin Martin ft. Maleek Berry – Replacement
Jastin Martin, the minimalist trap-soul singer-songwriter, producer and emerging soulful voice from Houston, Texas, weaves a breezy, positive vibe with “Replacement” featuring Maleek Berry, the brand new track and video available on all DSPs today via Def Jam Recordings. The infectious ballad follows Jastin’s breakthrough single “Right My Wrongs” whose acoustic video performance has exploded with over 2 million YouTube views in its first month out.
Jastin is currently putting the finishing touches on MISS ME YET? her vibrant, rich upcoming debut project, showcasing her vulnerability and versatility as introduced on “Right My Wrongs” and “Why Not?” Release details of the album will be announced in the weeks ahead.
Born and raised in Houston, Jastin’s family exposed her to a musical kaleidoscope: Bob Marley and Brooks & Dunn (via her grandfather); Lenny Kravitz and Evanescence (via her mom); and zydeco (via her Louisiana grandmother). By 16, Jastin was making her first studio recordings. At age 20, attending the HBCU Grambling State in Louisiana, Jastin first picked up the guitar and eventually taught herself how to produce.
She began diligently posting original songs online in 2016, building a loyal organic following with her hushed, guitar-lined confessions. Her soft-spoken sultriness and hard-hitting candidness on early breakout tracks “Again” and “Reassurance” struck a chord with new fans. “Again,” for example, was a soulful take-down directed at a lying love interest that she wrote in a mere 30 minutes in her car.
“My writing is so detailed that I wouldn’t have to tell anyone a song is about them – they would know it,” Jastin says. That sincerity graces her posts on Instagram and TikTok, where she deconstructs her songs and offers valuable life advice, too. Whether she’s writing lyrics in her bedroom, at the local park, or figuring out a melody to a guitar loop from her rooftop complex, the process remains intimate, pure and organic.
“I’ll even cry sometimes when I’m just writing and playing my guitar at the park. It’s a feeling of emotion like no other,” she admits. That rawness translates into moody, silky neo-soul that’s as cathartic for her as it is comforting to listeners. “If I’m gonna give something of myself,” Jastin says, “I might as well give all of it.”