"Praise This" World Premiere - Arrivals

Source: Carol Lee Rose/FilmMagic / Carol Lee Rose/FilmMagic

New Music Released This Week (Aug 14 – Aug 18): 

1. Leon Thomas – Electric Dusk

Source:Leon Thomas

GRAMMY-award-winning singer, songwriter & producer Leon Thomas released his highly anticipated debut album, Electric Dusk via EZMNY Records/Motown Records. 

Named after LA’s longest-running drive-in theatre, Electric Dusk, serves as Leon’s love letter to film in addition to the trials and tribulations Leon has faced over the last few years. Leading the album is, “Sneak”, a sultry R&B track that fully encompasses the dynamical sound that Leon continuously supplies in his music. In addition, the album also features previously released tracks such as, “Breaking Point”, “Love Jones (feat. Ty Dolla $ign)”, “X-Rated (Feat. Benny The Butcher)”, “Crash and Burn” and “Breaking Point (feat. Victoria Monét)”.

Electric Dusk is a sonically diverse album that touches on the topic of love, heartbreak, and growth while transcending listeners into an alternative reality. It’s a long-awaited release from Leon Thomas that R&B fans have been craving for a long time.

2. Victor Ray – Popcorn & A Smoothie

Source:Victor Ray

Victor Ray unveils “Popcorn & A Smoothie,” the new single from his upcoming EP, i felt, set to release on September 6th via Capitol Records. The release marks the arrival of an undeniable new talent, whose busking performances on TikTok have earned him a dedicated global fanbase of over 2.7 million followers across all social platforms. 

The i felt EP finds Victor exploring themes of heartbreak and loss via his innate ability for storytelling and timeless, irresistible vocals. Written about the lost connection within a broken family, “Popcorn & A Smoothie” provides the most personal moment on the 4-track collection.

“Popcorn & A Smoothie” was initially written about my relationship with my little brother that I never got to know. This song, whilst a message reaching out to my half-brother, also felt like something I would’ve wanted my absent father to have said to me at that age,” explains Victor.

Victor Ray’s appeal is clear; his tender, soulful vocals create a powerful synergy with his talent for song writing and his fresh production style that embodies the influence of classic Soul, and contemporary RnB. Victor’s emotional honesty is evident in his music, the tenderness and vulnerability of his lyrics, combined with his innate talent, firmly mark him out as one of the most exciting young talents around. 

3. Quavo – Rocket Power

Source:Quavo Huncho

Quavo‘s second solo project – and first since Takeoff’s passing – is an 18 track tribute!

4. Tauren Wells

Source:Tauren Wells

Ten-time GRAMMY Award nominee Tauren Wells returns with Take It All Back, released today by Capitol Records/CCMG. The four-song EP includes a powerful new version of “Crazy About You,” which impacts radio today, plus three brand-new songs. The explosive title track, “Take It All Back” with We The Kingdom and Davies, is a bold battle cry, an anthem for anyone longing to escape despair and reclaim joy. Wells teams up with GRAMMY winner (and fellow Michigan native) Fred Hammond on the high energy “Breath Away” and contemplates the wonder of unconditional love on “Seen,” an exquisite duet with Katie Torwalt. 

Of the project Wells says: “I’m super excited about this brand-new EP! I got to work with some of my favorite people and artists my hope is to empower you with the faith it takes to go get what God has promised you back! It’s time to call the angels down to receive your joy, family, and dreams.”

Wells will perform on “Fox & Friends” this Sunday, August 20. He recently wrapped up a 40-city, U.S. headline tour in support of his new album, Joy In The Morning. The four tracks found on Take It All Back can also be heard on the deluxe edition of the album – Joy In The Morning (Horizon Edition), released today by Capitol Records/CCMG and available HERE.

Flaunt Magazine observed, “Wells’ optimism for a better tomorrow demonstrates that music is a common language – an overwhelming sensation of love and infinity in the palm of your hands.” Wells has amassed over 1.1 billion combined global streams in his career to date, including 130 million streams worldwide for Joy In The Morning.

5. Casey Baer – ptxd

Source:Casey Baer
If you’ve ever been haunted by the memory of a toxic ex, then you may be familiar with the concept of PTXD – post traumatic ex disorder, as coined by LA pop artist Casey Baer. Today, the rising singer-songwriter invites listeners deep into her psyche with the release of an official music video for her newest pop/rock single “ptxd” (released August 4th). Executive produced by Sophie Simmons, the raw, honest offering sees Casey open up about the trauma that toxic exes leave you with, directly inspired by her own past romantic relationships that left her mental health in a place that, at times, felt beyond repair.
Directed by Jordan Kelsey Knight, the accompanying music video puts viewers in a therapy session with Casey, where she bares her soul to her most trusted confidante; her therapist. Casey appears in front of a life-size image of her childhood photos, a nod to the little girl who struggled with anxiety, while recognizing how far she has come on her own mental health journey. These scenes are interpolated with cuts of Casey and her band as she gives an enthralling performance of her newest track. The video’s fiery red color scheme fuels the heated passion the single encapsulates, bringing the raw angst of “ptxd” to life on screen. The “ptxd” video is a stunning visual display of Casey’s ability to wear her heart on her sleeve, further solidifying her role as an artist who consistently derives inspiration for both her music and visuals from her own life experiences. 
On the inspiration behind the video, Casey explains, “When we began conceptualizing the video, I knew I wanted it to portray my mental health struggles, while also destigmatizing the tools that have taught me how to cope with my anxieties today (therapy). I hid my anxiety for so long, and throughout my own journey I’ve learned that doing this only makes it more difficult down the line. I hope this video inspires people to be open about how they are feeling, and not to look at anxiety as a weakness.”
Casey Baer’s vulnerable lyrics and powerhouse vocals have earned her favorable comparisons to artists such as Avril Lavigne and Tate McRae. She has toured with the likes of Jesse McCartney, Tokio Hotel and WeThree across the US and Europe, building a loyal fanbase both online and in person along the way. Her discography has amassed over 10 million streams across DSPs, while boasting an impressive 350k followers on TikTok and 162k followers on Instagram. Be on the lookout for more from the rising artist as she continues to turn her personal experiences into vivid earworms that any listener can find home in.

6. Sadie Jean – 16

Source:Sadie Jean

An ode to being a teenager, “16” is Sadie’s nostalgia anthem to her hometown, friends, and family. With it’s cheery and catchy beat, it’s different than Sadie’s other “sad girl” smash hits but it’s a perfect song as we close out the summer.

“16” is the artist’s fourth single following her most recent smash hit “Just Because,” (which garnered over 3.7M streams and was featured on Spotify’s Next Gen Singer-Songwriter, Pop Sauce and sad hour playlists) “WYD Now?” (which just received a RIAA Gold certification and now sampled by rapper Rod Wave) and “Locksmith” (which captured over 50M worldwide Spotify streams and has been across virtually every top-level Apple Music pop playlist).


7. Oxymorrons – Look Alive (Netic)


Oxymorrons continues to revolutionize the music scene with their latest single, “Look Alive (Netic).” Out now, the track is the fourth release from the NYC-based genre-defying and trailblazing band’s upcoming debut album, Melanin Punk, available on October 20th via Mascot Records.

“Look Alive (Netic)” is testament to Oxymorrons’ undeniable talent and unwavering commitment to breaking barriers and defying expectations. The blistering track captures the essence of their hybrid sound and never say die attitude. The band explains, “’Look Alive’ is the perfect sonic representation of our unique blend of Rock and Hip-Hop. It hits hard, exudes energy, and lives authentically in both spaces. With swaggy, unapologetic vibes, it simultaneously uplifts while delivering a powerful message: ‘Hard Times Get Better.’ Stay focused, Stay Active, and Push Forward, always Look Alive.”

Oxymorrons’ new single also pays tribute to a fallen member of their chosen family, sharing, “for those who wonder what (Netic) is – Netic Rebel, a founding member of the band Game Rebellion, was an integral part of the AfroPunk movement, playing a vital role in building the festival’s legendary legacy. More than just a musician, he was a guiding force, a brother, and a mentor to all who knew him, leaving an indelible mark on the universe. Without Netic, there would be no Oxymorrons, as he not only inspired but also empowered POC bands to remain authentic and true to themselves. He embraced imperfections and was a perfect soul in his own unique way. Netic was a gift from the universe, and for this gift, we are forever grateful. His spirit lives on in the music, the memories, and the hearts of those he touched, and his legacy continues to resonate through the power of music and the unity he fostered.”

Oxymorrons’ “Look Alive (Netic)” follows the resounding success of the album’s previous singles, “Graveyard Words,” “Enemy,” and “Last Call”. Each track released from Melanin Punk has showcased a different side of the eclectically influenced band, solidifying Oxymorrons’ position as one of the most exciting and radical acts in music. Their relentless exploration of new sonic territories while staying true to their rebellious spirit and unapologetic authenticity has garnered them a dedicated and rapidly growing global fan base. 

Melanin Punk personifies the community they are curating, as the concept derives from melanin as a unifying force transcending mere skin tone. The band is built on the ethos of inclusivity and embracing the beautiful complexities of human existence. Through their music and performances, they aspire to create positive change, break down societal barriers, and inspire unity among diverse communities.

Oxymorrons will bring their unforgettable live show to stages across the US this fall, as they join Corey Taylor’s solo tour and embark on their Look Alive headline run with supporting acts Rivals, Sorry Mom, and The Raging Kids. For tickets, album pre-orders, and the latest Oxymorrons news, be sure to visit their official website at


Source:Jean Dawson

Undeniably one of today’s most enigmatic and essential artists, polymath Jean Dawson releases three new songs as part of the second installment of his trilogy titled “DESTRUCTION FOR DUMMIES,” PT. 2 JEAN DAWSON AS “NIGHTMARE”. Capturing a larger thrilling story, this new installment sees Jean like we’ve never heard him before. Through the tracks “NO SCOPE,” “X-RAY” and “VEXED,” Jean reveals a tender layer, one that is lined with deep vulnerability that comes to life enveloped in a softer exoskeleton.

The track arrives hot on the heels of an explosive debut performance from Jean at the beloved Lollapalooza music festival earlier this month. Jean delivered electrifying renditions of his beloved songs spanning across his various critically acclaimed projects. True to Jean’s one-of-kind nature, he performed with custom Nike outfit in collaboration with revered designer Willy Chavarria- who only designed one other custom outfit for the festival for Kendrick Lamar.

Deeply conceptual while profoundly confessional, the trilogy presents the various congruent and juxtaposing facets that make up the multifaceted visionary and often mystifying Jean Dawson – both the artist and the human. Sonically, the new body of work extends into new realms that will not be linear in sound, serving as a canvas for Jean’s exploration. The series reflects the deep impact of Jean’s art, existing as boundless in sound to hold the listeners that wish to inhabit it.

Following the massive success of his debut headlining US tour last year which sold out in minutes, Jean will be the direct support for Trippie Redd on his colossal headlining arena Take Me Away tour starting on August 31st in Somerset, WI and wrapping on October 6th in Mountain View, CA. Purchase tickets HERE

Jean is a leader amongst a newly-born generation of kids straddling multiple cultures and worlds, operating comfortably within their own skin resulting in a worldwide cult following. He invites listeners to see themselves through his art, as his music provides a score for the life-and-times of kids like him (us). His singular sound and impact on the current music landscape have caught the attention of notable artists such as SZA and A$AP Rocky both of whom have worked in the studio with Jean recently. Through the release of his extraordinary projects, Pixel Bath, Bad Sports, and CHAOS NOW*, Jean has amassed millions of streams and garnered large critical acclaim by The New York Times, NPR, i-D, Fader, Paper Magazine, V Magazine, Pigeons & Planes, NME, MTV, Hypebeast, Essence, Nylon, Remezcla and many more. 

26-year-old Jean Dawson is equal parts musician and visual artist. Half Mexican and half Black, he was raised in Tijuana and San Diego near the border. His love for music was ignited during his daily five-hour treks across the Mexican / American border to attend school in the US. He came up listening to the rock and rap that his parents loved, as well as the Latin sounds that lined his home. Raised by a single working-class Mexican mother, he poured himself into his art which he used to challenge notions of hyper-masculinity and the social norms that line Mexican and Black cultures. To this day, his art remains rooted in these values and is intently shaped by his extraordinary life journey.

9. Blu & Real Bad Man – Aladdin


After teaming up with Boldy James to release Real Bad Boldy (2021) and Killing Nothing (2022) and linking up with rising star Pink Siifu for Real Bad Flights (2022), and earlier this year, Serpent, with Kool Keith, Real Bad Man returns with his next collaborative endeavor, Bad News, with west coast stalwart Blu. 

In addition to announcing their collaborative project, Blu & Real Bad Man also released the project’s first single “Aladdin,” which is now available. 

While Real Bad Man has proven to thrive in the continuity and structure of creating full projects with his emcee(s) of choice, Blu has also similarly flourished within those bounds over the course of his distinguished career.

“This project is entitled Bad News because I am back with a new release, which is always Bad News for the competition!” Blu confidently asserts. 

Blu & Real Bad Man’s Bad Newswill be released on September 1st. 

10. Khamari – Right My Wrongs


Los Angeles-based, Boston-raised songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist artist Khamari releases his new music video “Right My Wrongs” from his debut album A Brief Nirvana. The music video depicts Khamari roaming the house he once shared with his partner as snapshots of the couple’s deteriorating relationship filter throughout the space. Perfectly capturing the feeling of love’s ephemerality, Khamari’s “Right My Wrongs” is an ode to fleeting memories.

“The “Right My Wrongs,” video depicts when a relationship ends and the physical space you used to share becomes a prison of memories and reminders of what used to be.” Khamari shares, “I question “what could I have done differently,” and think “maybe we were train cars passing, and it isn’t meant to be.” Nostalgia and thoughts of how I might’ve appreciated those moments more had I known they were slipping through my fingers as I relive the memories in every room.”

Khamari grew up in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, MA. His artistry wraps his powerfully earnest songwriting around contemporary sonics. Skilled as a vocalist and musician, Khamari’s music is distilled from influences ranging as wide as The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, and Sly Stone, to Kid Cudi, and Mac Miller. After releasing his debut EP Eldorado to a warm critical reception, Khamari seemingly disappeared for over a year. His heartbreaking single “Doctor, My Eyes” – released a full year after his debut EP, followed by “Drifting,” “Tell Me” and “On My Way” – bridged the gap between eras as Khamari prepared for the release of his debut album A Brief Nirvana, the 11-track project plays like a sonic documentary, reflecting his personal journey as well as his artistic growth.

Khamari’s career debuted with a trio of Spotify New Music Friday placements, including a #10 spot with his sophomore single release “The Heat.” His editorial support rounded out as the cover artist for Spotify’s Fresh Finds, and further playlisting on Apple Music FEELS, Amazon’s The New Black and Breakthrough R&B, and as cover artist for Tidal’s Pop: Rising. With over 10 million cumulative streams in his first 3 songs – including 500k in “The Heat” first week on Spotify alone – Khamari was also nominated for R&B Artist of the Year at the Boston Music Awards and previously delivered the most heartfelt COLORS performance of “These Four Walls” which has over 6.4M global streams to date.

His next step is to continue the hunt for the intersection of timeless musicality and contemporary style, all without losing the honest accessibility which made him relatable from the start. 

11. Alex Mali – Trust The Process

Source:Alex Mali

Acclaimed soulful artist Alex Mali (@mainlymali) has officially released her highly anticipated debut album, ‘Trust The Process.’ This musical masterpiece, now available on all major streaming platforms, is a testament to Alex’s exceptional talent and growth as an artist. The album spans 11-tracks that are a compilation of dancehall R&B-Pop classics and touches on the theme of ‘trusting the process,’ on her journey of being an artist. Fusing elements of dancehall, soca and trap/hip-hop, Alex touches on themes of self-discovery, relationships, and overcoming personal challenges. 

‘Trust The Process’ encapsulates a collection of musical gems that reflect her journey of personal evolution, artistic exploration, and dedication to the present moment. 

“It’s so easy to get lost in wanting to achieve your goals, that you barely give yourself the opportunity to thoroughly experience how far you’ve already come,” Alex Mali says. “These songs are a compilation of fleeting thoughts, manifestations, and flexing my abilities. It serves as my living and breathing portfolio that only scratches the surface of what I can do. I hope it inspires people to live in the now despite reaching towards their goals in the future.”

Alex Mali’s musical journey has been nothing short of remarkable, with each release showcasing her versatility and boundless creativity. Her latest single, “Dance Now Cry Later,” introduced a bold departure from her previous works in terms of being high-energy dance music, while the previously released R&B-tinged record “DinnerTime,” emerged from the theme of self-confidence and empowerment. 

The album is a culmination of Alex’s dedication to pushing boundaries and exploring new horizons in her sound and development as an artist. The captivating melodies, evocative lyrics, and infectious energy present in the album speak to her growth and commitment to her craft.

Furthermore, Alex Mali recently announced that she is embarking on her own headlining tour for ‘Trust The Process’ this fall, giving fans the opportunity to experience her electrifying performances live. Ticket info here.

Get lost in the music and learn to ‘Trust The Process’

12. No Guidnce – If Only You Knew


Undeniably music’s most exciting new boy band, No Guidnce releases their captivating new single titled “If Only You Knew” today. Harking back to an era where R&B reigned supreme, the new track takes you for a thrilling joy ride through a bed of rousing nostalgia that lines their signature sound. The track captures the group’s boundless range and towering talent that has led them to large viral success and quickly cemented them as a major force within the R&B arena and beyond. “If Only You Knew” is proof that there’s nobody like them today.

Having only ever released their first track just this past March and with only four songs under their young belts, the group has quickly achieved milestones rarely seen with new artists including receiving large praise from beloved artists such as Summer Walker, Timbaland, Miguel, Babyface, Labrinth, Lucky Daye and Boyz II Men themselves. Additionally, the group has racked up millions of streams on Spotify and views on TikTok, amassing over 2.7M followers on Tik Tok and not to mention over 1 billion views last year alone. The group also has six of the most-viewed R&B videos of all time across the platform and were the sixth most-viewed/followed artists on TikTok within the UK last year, coming out of the gate with a robust social media following that they carefully and rigorously built by hand. Their massive worldwide success couldn’t be clearer as they recently sold out their first ever shows in Europe and the United States with fans lining up for hours to get a glimpse of the wunderkinds. 

Comprised of Londoners Zeekay, Ebubé, Josh & Kaci, No Guidnce proves that R&B is more alive and necessary than ever. Their debut Is It A Crime? EP was born from collaborations with an all-star team of producers & writers on the project that include Victoria Monét (Ariana Grandé, Nas), JR Rotem (Rihanna, Bad Bunny), Akeel Henry (Giveon, John Legend), Lunchmoney Lewis (Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne) & Theron Thomas (Lizzo, Usher) to name just a few. The release established a new lane in music that will undoubtedly transform the music landscape unlike we’ve ever seen before.

More to come from No Guidnce very soon.

13. Rich The Kid ft. Luh Tyler – Big Pimpin’

Source:Rich The Kid

New York rapper Rich The Kid collaborates with Luh Tyler on his new track “BIG PIMPIN’”out now via RCA Records.

“Big Pimpin” is about Rich The Kid and Luh Tyler chasing the bag and blowing money on the finer things in life – “I’m buying land, property, I got blue racks on me, Just like I’m playin Monopoly, Hell nah they ain’t stopping me.” 

Earlier this year, Rich The Kid joined forces with Fivio Foreign and Jay Critch on their track “Still Movin’.” Sampling “Please Mr Postman” by Carpenters, “Still Movin’” is about the lifestyle, wealth, and success of the three rappers.

14. Doechii – Booty Drop


Doechii’s ascent as a fan and critic favorite continues today with the song and video release of “Booty Drop” (Top Dawg Entertainment/Capitol Records). After gaining 600 million plus global streams for “What It Is (Block Boy)” this spring, the Tampa native is ready to Booty Drop her way into summer.

Doechii recently performed the song as part of an electrifying medley on the 2023 BET Awards Performance with a performance of ‘Booty Drop” into “What It Is”/”Some Cut” (paying homage to the legendary southern band Trillville who joined Doechii on stage). The new track takes influence from the New Jersey Club scene, sampling the “Queen” of New Jersey Club UNIIQU3’s song “Bubble Gum”. This fall, Doechii, the self-proclaimed Swamp Princess, hits the road with Doja Cat on her Scarlet Tour dates, beginning October 31 in San Francisco and running through November 24 in her hometown of Tampa, Florida. 

Doechii is a testament to her commitment to the depth of her sound and ability to put all of herself into everything. This year she was the 2023’s recipient of Billboard’s prestigious Women in Music Rising Star award, (previously bestowed upon Lady Gaga, Billie Eilish, and Nicki Minaj). 2023 also saw Doechii breaking into the Billboard Hot 100 and earning her first Billboard No. 1 on the Rhythmic Airplay chart.

This all builds on the heels of Doechii’s 2022 EP she / her / black bitch, where she cemented herself as a distinct voice whose versatile talents range from quick-fire bars to seductive singing. Doechii was chosen as an XXL Freshman and tapped as an ‘Artist to Watch’ in Rolling Stone, NPR, Vulture, Complex, Uproxx, Pigeons and Planes, FADER, and more. She was also recognized by the industry for her achievements with a nomination for Push Performance of the Year at the 2022 MTV VMAs and Best New Artist at the 2022 Soul Train Music Awards. She also made her late-night TV debut on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, performed at the 2022 BET Awards, and took the main stage at Coachella in 2023 with a critically acclaimed performance.

15. Khadijah & Saucy Santana – Broke


New Jersey vocalist Khadijah just released her “JPAY” follow-up “Broke” via Ghetto Superstars Entertainment / The Orchard. On the track, Khadijah details the conundrum surrounding men with no money being the best sex partners. Joined by Saucy Santana, who cosigns her and the hot girl antics, “Broke” is sure to be a hit with the gurrwwwlss!

16. PaBrymo – City Boy


Introducing Cape Town based Nigerian afrobeats rising sensation PABRYMO with his highly anticipated sophomore EP titled CITY BOY. Out on August 18 via his own Woke Entertainment imprint in partnership with Dvpper Music (Omah Lay, Seyi Vibez), the City Boy EP from PaBrymo is a testament to his artistic evolution, and reveals the unique blend of passion, energy, and authenticity that he brings to the afrobeats music landscape. Featuring guest appearances from the likes of Odumodublck, Seyi Vibez, and Kida Kudz, the stellar project is packed with five dynamic tracks that are bound to captivate listeners, and showcase the rich and diverse style, sound, and culture of his hometown Benin City that has deeply influenced PaBrymo’s unique sound.

Produced by his long-time collaborators DibsTunes, Rhedi, and DwillsHarmony, the City Boy EP sees PaBrymo painting a vivid picture of his life right now, and the experiences that come with it, as well as the rich Benin City culture that has profoundly shaped his music. The City Boy EP is a promise, a statement, and an invitation: to dance, to celebrate, and to be a part of PaBrymo’s incredible journey. Unpacking the inspiration behind this new project and his determination to break barriers, PaBrymo shares, “I wanted to incorporate the highs of the lifestyle we’re living – the good and fun times, the vibes, women, and all that. I also want the entire world to hear the style, sound, and culture from Benin that has influenced my music today”.

With his unique blend of afrobeats, dancehall, and afrotrap that make him very highly recommended if you like the sound of Burna Boy, J Hus, or Popcaan, PaBrymo has quickly and effortlessly amassed a remarkable following in his burgeoning music journey, already garnering over 15 million global streams. Originally from Benin City in Nigeria, PaBrymo has lived a journey filled with creativity and resilience, two key elements that have shaped his musical style and ethos. “As a boy from Benin City, it felt surreal to imagine back then that this could be a reality,” says PaBrymo, reflecting on his humble beginnings and the dreams that have fuelled his passion for music.

From his hit tracks, ‘Odoo’ featuring Zinoleesky and ‘Overload (Kala)’ with Rexxie and T.I Blaze, PaBrymo is soaring and quickly becoming one of the standout artists in this new afrobeats class for 2023. His deep connection with the music is intricately woven with his life and experiences, and he believes that his success is in part due to the strong community he’s nurtured — building his team from his group of long-time friends who continue to support his rising career, and this love for community extends beyond personal connections. His record label Woke Entertainment is not just a business, but a mission to support the talent and community that PaBrymo cherishes deeply.

17. Big Cruz – Cruz Control


While other rappers are losing themselves in the fast lifestyle that comes with a major rap career, Big Cruz is in Cruz Control of his artistic journey. The DMV artist uses his eleven-track album as a sneak peek of what’s happening in his life and where his actions are taking him next. 

His prior single “Big Lit ” emphasized his past in the trap and how he has too much to lose now that he’s in a more volatile position in life. To hone in on his obsession, he raps in the song, “Rule number 1, never tell anyone what you’re doing til it’s done.”

“Dear Heaven” places Cruz in a moment of introspection as he reflects on losing his grandma, brother, and other pivotal figures in the culture like Pop Smoke, Nipsey Hussle, and Kobe Bryant. He cites the song as “the diary of a soldier” and it takes listeners to his upbringing in the nation’s capital. 

“Soldier” starts out with Cruz stating they only know him in the present, but don’t know his past. That song focuses on how Cruz avoided temptation and how experiencing traumas in a third-world country formed a stoic and resilient Cruz. The second verse focuses on how Cruz gets love from his home country of Albania but he faces a new war of hatred in the states due to shining brighter than his peers.   

The album shows listeners that his passion for stunting is fueled by his entrepreneurial spirit and appreciation for living in the present through head-nodding cadences. Big Cruz isn’t caught up worrying about the future nor carries any past regrets. He’s focused on how his present moves can create greater ones. Cruz Control was produced by Trap, Hozay Beats and Galaxy.

18. 26AR – Still Drenchin


Bulldozing a path to the forefront of New York drill, rising critically acclaimed Brooklyn rapper 26AR presents his anxiously anticipated EP, Still Drenchin, out now via Def Jam Recordings.

Living up to a promise to bring the sound, style, and spirit “back to the trenches, these 12 tracks illuminate his evolution as a gritty outlier in the scene with an uncompromising vision and bulletproof flow. Ominous bells toll on the opener “We Outside.” He unleashes a flurry of menacing bars over surging 808s before issuing a warning, “Fuck it, I’m coming outside. Among many highlights, he links up with Rocko Ballin on “Gotta Be,” which finds the duo trading rhymes in a crossfire over a charging trumpet melody. The introspective and infectious hook resounds, “She be asking me, ‘Why you so cold? I just gotta be.” Then, there’s “Raise The Rate.” It could double as the climax of your favorite big-screen gangster robbery flick as he laments, “All of the shit I been through, can’t tell you. The mesmerizing “Deep Waters” concludes Still Drenchin. Uplifting piano underlines another side of his lyricism with a clear-eyed closing confession, “Got me in deep water, I just wanna sleep normal, then I wake up and I thank father, for making me way stronger.”

He initially set the stage for Still Drenchin with “My Set Pt. III,” “Wild Wild West,” and “HEARD ABT ME” (feat. Sdot Go). Beyond piling up over 1 million total streams and counting, “Wild Wild West” reeled in critical plugs from the likes of HipHopDX. Meanwhile, FLAUNT declared, “26AR prides himself in his ability to spit—poised to be the voice of the streets for the new generation.”

2022 saw 26AR turn up with his Def Jam Recordings debut FLYEST OOTA. Tallying millions of streams, office summed it up best, 26AR does Brooklyn drill right.  

In 2021, he lit up the culture with “Maneuver,”posting up 4.1 million Spotify streams and 7 million YouTube views on the music video. In its wake, KAZI. declared, 26AR is a big reason for Brooklyn’s rising drill wave, and DJ Booth attested, 26AR is already a Brooklyn Drill Hero.

His takeover continues with Still Drenchin. Drill may never be the same!

19. TA Thomas – Pros and Cons

Source:TA Thomas

Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter TA THOMAS delivers another R&B adoration called Pros and Cons.” The emphatic record metaphors the balance scale of a relationship as TA tries to weigh his options and decode his feelings. 

“Pros and Cons” builds on the momentum of TA’s previously released singles, “June 15th” and “W.I.A (Where I’m At).” This time around, he coos over a slow-burning production indecisively contemplating resolve of a relationship. Torn between holding on and letting go, TA finds solace in a nimble piano melody and his floating falsetto. In the end, “Pros and Cons” begs the question if fighting for true love holds weight. 

Behind the session, TA explains: “The day we made this record I remember walking in the studio with the notes on my phone open. I didn’t know what the song or beat would sound like but I knew the title would be ‘Pros and Cons.’ I was thinking about past relationships and how we sometimes stay in situations past the expiration date. On the other hand, we think the grass is greener on the other side when it really isn’t. Oftentimes, we meet at these crossroads but ultimately doing what’s best for yourself is what’s BEST. Write down the pros and cons, make a decision, and move being confident in that!”

In support of the new single, the R&B heartthrob delivers a visually compelling lyric video to really drive his message home. 

TA has been on a tear this year when it comes to releasing music that resonates with his core audience (a broad age range 18-54). And, if you’ve been through half of the things he croons about – like heartache, or a disconnected-yet-addictive love cycle – then chances are you can relate to his bravely vulnerable songwriting. 

“Pros and Cons” is the perfect bookend to TA’s steady stream of singles released this year and sets the tone for his anticipated project. Elsewhere, he’s continued to reach new benchmarks in his rising career, such as amassing over 3M combined streams across all DSP services 3 months into debuting music as a solo artist. With an upcoming MajorStage performance at DROM in New York later this month (Aug 23), TA is showing no signs of hitting the brakes anytime soon. For tickets and more information, please visit

20. Torae & Marco Polo – The Return


Coney Island’s icon Torae, is back with a vengeance with his new single “The Return.” Torae has blessed his fans with a new highly anticipated single since his last release in 2018. Torae affirms his love for music alongside Marco Polo as they go bar for bar.

“The Return” features a heavy-hitting beat contrasting with soft instrumentation that Torae and Marco Polo effortlessly flow over. The song takes you on a lyrical journey from where it all started, and how Torae demolishes beats still as if he never took a break from making music. Torae raps candidly about his personal journey with music with hard hitting energy in every line that makes listeners appreciate his old school approach. 

Torae had this to say about the song: “It’s been 14 years since I’ve released an album with Marco Polo. The people have been asking nonstop and it just feels like now is a perfect time. This lead record “The Return” is a great representation of what to expect from the full project. The track knocks, the bars and delivery go hard and I can’t wait to get back on stage with this energy.” 

21. Samaria – tight rope


rising R&B singer-songwriter Samaria is back with her new single “tight rope.” Made in LA, the song came from a place of uncertainty but after some time away, she is now excited to share it with the world. “tight rope” showcases Samaria’s raw emotion and silky voice as she brings us on the journey of losing herself and finding her worth in herself instead of others. Speaking on “tight rope,” Samaria shares: “tight rope was a final plea to make something work at the time that was showing me exactly why it absolutely would never work.”

With over 7.4 million streams worldwide, Samaria is a force to be reckoned with. Last year, she was featured in People’s 2022 winter “Emerging Artists” column. This came after her EP Didn’t Start With You, a project that showcases her refreshingly raw and vulnerable storytelling and voice. Alongside her EP, she supported the project with music videos “Out The Way” and “Still Got 4ever,” and was featured on the Wanna Dance With Somebody SoundtrackRecently, she wrapped up a sold-out North American tour opening up for British girl group Flo and is currently getting ready to perform at the Sol Blume Festival in Sacramento. 

Samaria’s latest release is only just the beginning of what she’s been working on. Stay tuned for more coming soon as she continues to carefully craft a style of her own, with moments of vivid vulnerability and vocal velveteen. 

22. Felix Ames – Taxi Driver

Source:Felix Ames

Emerging as a bona fide artist to watch this year, buzzing Milwaukee soul phenomenon Felix Ames presents a brand new two-pack—including “Taxi Driver” and “7711”—out now.

On “Taxi Driver,” he pulls up with a fluttering falsetto, head-nodding percussion, and funky guitar strut. He tries to grasp onto the last vestiges of a relationship with a disarmingly catchy hook, “It doesn’t matter where I go, it doesn’t matter what I do, oh no, it’s all I know,” topped off with a plea, “If we’re done, say so.” On the bridge, his high-register harmonies float over intricate musicality, layering fluid guitar playing above swooning keys. 

Stay tuned for a stunning music video to accompany the track.

23. Felix Ames – 7711

Source:Felix Ames

Elsewhere, “7711” threads together a mesmerizing sample, punchy riff, and hip-hop-inspired flows. It builds towards a mantra, “Ain’t gonna let life get the best of me, ain’t gonna let it break my heart.” 

These anthems land on the heels of “Bend, Don’t Break” and “Shoestring.”Beyond gaining traction on DSPs, VIBE touted “Bend, Don’t Break” and proclaimed, “The song highlights his distinct merger of R&B, funk, and jazz.  Plus, Global Grind plugged both tracks in its “New Music Roundup.

Right now, he’s also preparing more music for release very soon.
Felix Ames quietly asserted himself as a soul maverick in 2022. Reupping old school spirit with 21st century flare, seismic vocals, and sonic fireworks of his own, he piled up millions of streams across “Shoestring,” “SPF,” and “7711.”Inciting widespread critical acclaim from the likes of Early Rising and more, OnesToWatch raved, “We’re all salivating to see what’s born from Ames’continued evolution, and Lyrical Lemonade attested, Felix Ames is definitely an artist to watch. Signing to Def Jam Recordings, he’s poised to make a major impact now.

24. Kuttem Reese ft. Ski Mask The Slump God – Black Forces


Primed for a major moment in 2023, rapidly rising Orlando rapper Kuttem Reese unleashes a scorching and stunning new single entitled “Black Forces” [feat. Ski Mask The Slump God] out today via Republic Records/448 Music Group/CKN Entertainment. It marks the first collaboration between Kuttem and multiplatinum chart-topping Broward County rap luminary Ski Mask The Slump God.

On the track, an ominous siren squeals over thick 808s. Kuttem locks into an animated and aggressive flow, stomping over the beat in his Nike Air Force 1’s! The hook hits hard as he proclaims, “Black forces, tie them bitches tight when I’m applying force.” Ski Mask The Slump God’s instantly recognizable cadence practically chokes the production as he menacingly warns, “Freddy Krueger, how I act when I be slept on.”

Stay tuned for the premiere of a cinematic official music video coming soon. 

It lands in the wake of “Dead Roses.” Beyond posting up millions of streams, the music video has generated nearly 2 million YouTube views. He also pulled up to TRSH Magazine for his own live “TRSH’D Performance” of “Dead Roses. His other recent release, “Back In” gained steam on streaming platforms in addition to receiving plugs from the likes of Our Generation Music and more. It just sets the stage for more music from Kuttem Reese.

His breakout banger “No Statements” [feat. Lil Durk] notably experienced a resurgence on TikTok. It inspired almost 40 thousand creates and the videos generated nearly 40 million views cumulatively, popping off as an undeniable anthem. Plus, he has regularly incited the applause of Lyrical LemonadeHotNewHipHop, and many more. Last year, Kuttem Reese also wrapped up a sold out run supporting City Morgue on the Monster Energy Outbreak Tour Presents Bottom of the Barrel, performing to packed crowds coast-to-coast.

Kuttem Reese beat the toughest of odds in Orlando, FL by kinetically rapping nonstop. Born and raised in Orlando as the oldest of six kids, he grew up fast. Shortly after Reese’s eighth birthday, his mother went to prison for three years. He and his siblings moved in with his grandmother until mom returned home. Along the way, Reese developed a passion for music. One night, he picked up a microphone and rapped to a friend’s beat in a hotel room. He posted it on Instagram and continued to cut tracks. Following his debut “My Story,” he dropped a string of successful singles, including “Rugrat” and “Boston Celtics.” Within six months since that night in the hotel, he has already put serious numbers on the board with nearly 13 million cumulative YouTube views and 1 million-plus Soundcloud plays in addition to attracting acclaim from XXL, Elevator and more. In 2021, he threw down even harder with Kutt Dat Boy, his debut mixtape for Republic Records. Now as the CEO of his company CKN Entertainment he is primed to drop his next body of work soon. 

25. Toure – Can I F*ck Again

Source:West Philly Toure

Anticipation builds as TOURE prepares to take center stage at the Theatre of Living Arts in Philadelphia on August 26th for his sensational album release concert. Prior to this momentous event,TOURE, unveils a mesmerizing music video for one of his fan favorite songs “Can I F*ck Again.” The romantically charged anthem shined on his critically acclaimed 13-track EP titled, ALL I WANTED WAS EVERYTHING via DOPE Records. Stream it – HERE.

TOURE’s mastery of entrancing melodies glisten brilliantly over “Can I F*ck Again” as his lyrical prowess create a blueprint for rekindling lost love. Catering to his strong audience of women listeners, he pours his heart out lamenting, “All the shit we been through, can I f*ck again? She says ever since you, I ain’t love again.” The cinematic music video transports viewers on a meticulously planned yacht date to impress his lady in a successful attempt to get her back. As they cruise along the Miami coast, TOURE also pays homage to legendary Philly rapper PNB Rock, celebrated for his timeless romantic ballads.

This music video release sets the stage for TOURE’s headlining live concert at the Theatre of Living Arts (TLA) on August 26th, solidifying his status as one of Philadelphia’s most promising emerging performers. Purchase tickets – HERE

Undertaking his mission to carve his legacy in Philadelphia’s rap culture, the “Can I F*ck Again” visual follows his action-packed music video for “I Got U.” Taking inspiration from the cult-classic video game Grand Theft Auto, he reflects on his rich lifestyle he raps, “Turn Biggie on that hit because I don’t know who shot you. 10 Thousand on this fit, used to wear Aeropostale. Put that Rollie on my wrist, I used to wear Fossil.” Smiling through it all, he affirms, “I got you.”

The impact ofALL I WANTED WAS EVERYTHINGwas immediate  upon release, catapulting to the Top 40 on the Apple Music HipHop Albums Chart. Acclaim poured in from the likes of James Harden, Tee Grizzley, Tierra Whack, and Meek Mill applauding his unique style of storytelling from the trenches. 

The EP plays out like an audio map that guides you through all of TOURE’s songwriting multitudes. For “KISHA,” he coasts over a subdued instrumental for a flex anthem coated in unaffected brags and sly death threats. It’s a playboy’s ethos with a splash of danger. Meanwhile, for “AIN’T WANNA LEAVE,” he swerves to pained melody, teaming up with EST Gee for a trenchant rumination on the casualties of life on the frontlines. This 13-track masterpiece stands as a testament to TOURE’s refined technical prowess, reflecting his remarkable growth as an artist. Check out the full tracklisting below. Recently lauded by by SAY CHEESE TV for his exceptional storytelling skills, TOURE’s musical journey continues to captivate audiences across the city. 

Sharing his passion for this new body of work, TOURE said, “Music has always been my guiding light, and with this EP I’ve poured my heart and soul into every track. This EP truly captures my journey and aspirations. I’m coming for everything and more.”

ALL I WANTED WAS EVERYTHINGmarks TOURE’s triumphant return, following the EP, Hood Poetry. This earlier release became the soundtrack to the City of Brotherly Love, earning praise from industry titan Meek Mill, and growing his presence as a formidable talent to watch. Now after walking through the doors of success, TOURE grabs hold of his goals on ALL I WANTED WAS EVERYTHING. Stay tuned for more! 

26. RealRichIzzo – Signing Day


Detroit-based rapper RealRichIzzo released his newest single, “Signing Day”, out today via Priority Records.

“Signing Day” serves as a celebration of RealRichIzzo’s newest journey within his music career. Throughout the song, he shares his optimism toward his future in addition to giving an ode to his past and journey thus far. It was announced this past week that RealRichIzzo was one of the fresh new talents that Priority Records has signed upon seeing his massive success with his previous songs such as, “Whoop Dat”.

Powering through the success he has had so far, RealRichIzzo shapes out to be an exciting new talent as a fresh signing to the label. As he becomes of the many rappers to put Detroit, Michigan on the map, RealRichIzzo is a talent to keep an eye out for.