With so many new rap albums, mixtapes, EPs and songs dropping every week; knowing which ones are worth your time can be a challenge. But no worries, we’ll help smooth out the process with “Now N’ Laters,” a column that highlights the hottest new releases of the week and the songs you’ll want to listen to now — and later.
With the tragic and untimely passing of Grammy-nominated rap artist, philanthropist, activist, and entrepreneur Nipsey Hussle, the hip hop community is in a state of grief. As artists, listeners and fans continue to mourn the loss of one of the most promising talents in the game, various members of the rap community have decided to hold off on releasing projects they initially had slated for this week. Among them include YG, ScHoolboy Q, Machine Gun Kelly, Kash Doll, Alchemist, Conway and more of the late rapper’s contemporaries. However, while the hip hop community remains at a standstill, other genres continue to keep the ball rolling by providing music to help pick our spirits up in these trying times. Grammy-nominated star Khalid looks to avoid the sophomore jinx with his new album Free Spirit. It’s loaded with catchy tunes that will further his winning streak. In the world of country, Lil Nas X has been making major headlines. With the powers that be cramping his style, the neophyte looks to silence all critics with his latest tune, which features a certain country music legend. Rounding out this week’s slate of headliners is Jennifer Lopez, who looks to remind the music world that she is a force to be reckoned with via her new single.
With a stacked lineup of releases getting airplay and dominating the conversation, REVOLT TV shares some critics’ picks for the songs that stand a cut above the rest and should be in heavy rotation now — and later. Be sure to let us know what your favorites are.
Khalid: Free Spirit
Khalid atones for his past missteps and lack of communication on this guitar-laden standout from the crooner’s latest collection. Produced by Dernst “D’Mile” Emile II, this offering is an instant highlight and should keep Khalid’s name at the upper reaches of the Billboard charts for the foreseeable future.
On this track, Khalid links up with producers DIGI, StarDate, Denis Kosiak, and Charlie Handsome. Basking in the euphoria of lust and love, this is a selection that should certainly be on your radar.
Electronic production duo Disclosure gift Khalid with an enticing backdrop, which doubles as one of the superior grooves on the star’s sophomore set. Upbeat and syrupy, the instrumental compliments Khalid’s vocal stylings. This results in an infectious jam that should have phone lines buzzing all spring.
And now, some singles releases…
Lil Nas X: “Old Town Road (Remix)”
The latest viral sensation to capture the music world’s attention is Lil Nas X, who garnered headlines when his hit single “Old Town Road” was removed from Billboard’s country music charts under controversial circumstances. However, the newcomer has bounced back with assistance from country music legend Billy Ray Cyrus, who joins Lil Nas X on the official remix. And by all indications, the remix could prompt Billboard to double back on its decision, which would make Lil Nas X the first African-American to ever have a song peak at the top of the country songs chart.
Jennifer Lopez: “Medicine”
Jennifer Lopez takes it back to the block with this frisky offering that finds the megastar getting feisty over crashing percussion, horns, and other instrumentation. Produced by Sons of Sonix and StarGate, and featuring a guest spot from fellow Bronx rep French Montana, this lively ditty is club-ready and should coax listeners to hit the dance-floor in droves.
Anderson .Paak: “Make It Better”
Motown great Smokey Robinson pops up alongside Anderson .Paak on the Oxnard rep’s latest impromptu release. Produced by Fredwreck, The Alchemist and .Paak himself, this salvo is dripping in vintage soul, as the two kindred spirits collide to bridge the generational gap with winning results.
Victoria Monet: “Monopoly”
Social House and Tim Suby craft the sonics for this collaborative effort between Victoria Monet and Ariana Grande, which finds the pair protecting their peace of mind and dashing along the road to success. Showcasing their ability to ride atop a beat amid airy vocals, Monet and Grande put forth a celebratory jam that’s among this week’s pleasant surprises.
Noname: “Song 32”
Chicago’s own Noname saunters over production from Phoelix as the two partners-in-crime tide over fans with another random release in their extensive series of loosies. Dropping clever quips and employing her nimble flow, the poetic firebrand delivers yet again with this timely morsel.
SAFE: “Paid In Full”
Canadian spitter SAFE’s puts the focus on the dividends on his latest release, which captures the rising talent boasting about his lifestyle atop tumbling 808s. Produced by Pluss, and featuring an appearance from Playboi Carti, this hazy offering has the potential to propel SAFE’s standing as one of Toronto’s next to blow.
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