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New Music Roundup: Yasiin Bey, 6lack, Ta-Ku & Wafia, & Damian Lillard

Athletes, Australians and alt-R&B.

Darran Armstrong // Darran Armstrong/The Hell Gate/Corbis

Yasiin Bey, "Dec. 99th - Tall Sleeves"

The MC formerly known as Mos Def is definitely channeling his inner Sam Childers on his new single "Dec. 99th - Tall Sleeves," professing peace and having "the chopper right now." Yasiin's new single is another in a long line of moan and groans, in addition to being light on rhymes and heavy on repetition. With production handled by Ferrari Sheppard, audiences are offered a track that's oddly electronic and poetic—a clash of cultures—and highlights that Yasiin is still in his own lane as an artist.— Rob Hansen

6lack, "Ex Calling"

Atlanta-based artist 6lack takes us on an empathetic journey in his latest single "Ex Calling." Playing off of our most vulnerable thoughts and secrets, 6lack knows we've all received a call, a text, or a DM from our exes. This event is soon followed by a wave of emotions and thoughts, capping off with the most important one: "Why the f—k my ex calling?" Interestingly enough, the Atlanta-singer provided an alternative perspective from Future's song "Perkys Calling." While the latter encompassed a set of drug-infused feelings, 6lack presented a sobering viewpoint, one that even included a transitional lyric: "I'm the future, where the Percocets?" So, if you are loving this song, then you should definitely check out his other two, "Bless Me" and "PRBLMS." Even after taking a two-year hiatus, 6lack is back stronger than ever.— Erin Ashley Simon

Ta-Ku & Wafia, "Meet In The Middle"

This downtempo duet comes straight out of Australia. Soulection-affiliated producer Ta-Ku (from Perth) and his frequent collaborator Wafia (from Brisbane) have joined forces officially for a joint EP titled (m)edian and today they've shared its first single. "Meet in the Middle" is a no-frills slow burn. A deep, dark rumble and percussive tick keep rhythm while the two singers alternate lyrics: Ta-Ku, in his falsetto, "You could be my everything / take me for what I am," and Wafia sweetly matching his effort, "Caught up in your empty space/ everyone around you is so calm in place." She described the songwriting process, saying, "This song came out of a need to write about a very personal experience that both Reggie and I shared independently of each other." He added, "All aspects of the song tell a story that runs parallel to both our lives. Compromise is sacrifice." (m)edian is due June 24.— Danielle Cheesman

Damian Lillard, "Talk To Em"

Off-season for pro-athletes is a time to explore other passions, whether it's music, fashion, art, etc. The Portland Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard has decided to use his time-off wisely, dropping a new track under his rap moniker, Dame D.O.L.L.A. After previously teaming up with Jahlil Beats for "They Sleep," the duo is back again with another banger entitled "Talk To Em." Let us know what you think about the new song. And tell us if you think Lillard should continue his rap career. — E.A.S.

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