New Music Released This Week (Oct 16 – Oct 20):
1. YNP Maine – All Out Of FavorsSource:YNP Maine
Breakout Louisiana rapper YNP Maine returns with the potent new single “All Out of Favors” via Coke Boy Records / Priority Records. Raw and unfiltered, the diaristic entry lays out serious lows with Maine making it clear that he’s already seen a lot of heartache despite his young age. To mark the occasion, an accompanying video for “All Out of Favors” also dropped — offering fans an unnerving visual to match the music.
“I’m trying to stay with you, but you wanted to be away from me,” Maine raps over layered vocals and propulsive percussion, later adding: “You didn’t give a f**k about my pain when I was trying to grieve.” There’s angst and a sense of disbelief at the amount of pain he’s already had to endure. “I only lost a couple n***as but cried a hundred times,” the teenager delivers poignantly in his signature Deep South drawl.
In the video, YNP Maine chills in what appears to be a schoolyard one night, where he reminisces about all the challenges he’s overcome. With flood lights and anxious camerawork to up the ante, Maine conveys the track’s heartache with poise and presence. Watch it HERE. “All Out of Favors” is the rapper’s first new release since dropping the infectious “Aventador” last month.
It was preceded by “Aw Yeah,” a collaboration with fellow breakout star Ndotspinalot, as well as “Voices,” which was included on French Montana and DJ Drama’s Coke Boys 6: Money Heist Edition. That co-sign followed The Start, Maine’s breakout record from last year, which highlighted his unique spin on the sound that has dominated Southern hip-hop throughout the last decade.
With “All Out of Favors,” YNP Maine showcases the emotional depth that makes him one of hip-hop’s most exciting new stars
2. Kalan.Frfr ft. Quavo – Butterfly CoupeSource:Kalan. FrFr
Kalan.FrFr wants it to be known: the best is on its way and it’s coming very soon. For all of the streaming hits (over 360 million), sold-out shows, and big-name collaborations that the Roc Nation-signed hip-hop and R&B fusionist has already racked up, you might think a sense of complacency could begin to seep in. But nothing could be further from the truth.
In early August the rising West Coast star released his smash single “Butterfly Coupe” featuring fellow Cali rapper Tyga. With millions of global streams and Youtube views the track impacted quickly at rhythmic radio. The Hitmaka and OG Parker-produced track “Butterfly Coupe” was a hedonistic, roof-missing glide through the streets of L.A., replete with lavish visions of big rims, designer clothing, penthouses suites, gorgeous women, and thousand-dollar steakhouse dinners
After the success of the original single Migos frontman Quavo decided to hop on for the remix and the new version doesn’t disappoint. Quavo picks up where Tyga left off waxing poetic about dime pieces, luxury cars and being an all-around rockstar. In the latest recording Kalan also flexes his lyrical skills with a new verse in the same vein as the multi-platinum Atlanta MC, exemplifying his dexterity as both a rapper and singer. The evolution of Kalan’s songcraft and artistry is seemingly elevating him into that rarefied stratosphere of genre-defining talents. Kalan says, “Working on the Butterfly Coupe remix was a fire experience, being able to work on this song with one of the biggest influences in rap music of my era, I’m reaching heights other rappers ain’t reaching.”
Kalan.FrFr is having a breakout year, fresh off the heels of appearing on the #1 R&B album in the country, The Love Album: Off The Grid where he was recruited by Diddy to appear on the Jodeci inspired single “Stay Pt. 1.” The nostalgic 90’s sounding record was hailed as Diddy’s favorite from the album while saying, “this is a cat called Kalan.FrFr….he’s a young star going to hit them with that emotion, that feeling.” Diddy wasn’t alone in his predilection for “Stay Pt 1” as it was also praised as a “standout track” by GQ Magazine.
Over the last five years, the seductive crooner from Carson has cemented his place among the top West Coast artists of this era, receiving co-signs from the likes of Lil Durk, YG, Gervonta Davis, Russell Westbrook, and Jay-Z. As Pitchfork says: “when you’re talking about L.A.’s new wave of shit-talking, designer-obsessed rappers, Kalan.FrFr should be included. He just happens to sing.”
If Kalan started as every Los Angeles street rapper’s go-to hook-man – a Nate Dogg for the new Southern California streets – he’s evolved into a multi-faceted songwriting virtuoso. Past anthems like “No Stoppin,” “Never Lose You” and “Scoring” are carnal and romantic, full of heartache, lust, and extravagant living. There is something refreshingly traditional to Kalan’s approach. On the Los Angeles asphalt, he’s a mythological figure who has somehow avoided corny myth-making. He is first and foremost a lover – one who is emotionally aware and unabashedly toxic and cocky. A ladies man with a big heart, who cares about the important things going on in the world. Kalan may boast about pulling up to the party in all-white Porsches, but this isn’t idle flexing. It’s how he’s actually living. And while the material objects are appreciated, what matters most is preserving his realness and sense of authenticity. Without it, his songs wouldn’t remotely hit the same.
3. Sy Smith – SlideSource:Sy Smith - Topic
It’s been five years since Sy Smith‘s acclaimed album Sometimes A Rose Will Grow In Concrete. After guest featuring on Zo! and Tall Black Guy‘s “The Ride” (from their excellent 2021 album Abstractions), the multi-talented, Emmy-nominated singer/songwriter and actress taps her old collaborators for production on her new single “Slide”. Released on all digital streaming platforms, the song serves as the first offering from Smith’s long-awaited full-length follow-up Until We Meet Again. Due out in December and executive produced by Hip-hop/R&B multi-hyphenate Phonte, the album will serve as Smith’s official debut via +FE Music, the record label extension of the Grammy-nominated Alt-Soul duo The Foreign Exchange, and feature guest appearances from Sheila E. and jazz trumpeter Chris Botti.
“When I first heard the skeletal bones of this track Zo! sent me, I was pulled in by all the rhythms. I knew immediately that I wanted to write something very direct. An invitation to “meet me where I am – in this space – I won’t be coming to you’ kinda thing. This track demanded that. Melodically, I imagined Marvin Gaye writing a song for Diana Ross during his ‘I Want You’ era.” – Sy Smith
4. Big YBA – Lord Forgive MeSource:BIGYBA
5. Jesse Boykins III – New GrowthSource:Jesse Boykins III
With ‘New Growth’ Jesse is on an artistic journey to highlight the moments in life that truly shift perspectives and beliefs into a direction of openness and acceptance. The Jamaican-American artist uses different soundscapes – R&B, West African Folk, Brazilian Samba infused with House and Electronic – to soundtrack this journey of the spirit progressing. In addition, Jesse also creative directed the visual aspects and designed his clothes for the album in collaboration with costume designer Anjia Jalac. See examples HERE.
The Chicago-born, LA-based artist took a hiatus from music after his acclaimed 2017 album ‘Bartholomew’ (Def Jam) and founded a “Creative Sanctuary Agency”. This endeavor is an incubator for his artistic pursuits: including creative directing Masego’s self-titled album and crafting a “A Love Letter To Black Women” starring actor Keith Powers for BUMBLE. In addition, Boykins collaborated with Vic Mensa, Charlie Puth, Calvin Harris, Kilo Kish, and earned a GRAMMY nomination for co-writing Steve Lacy’s single “Playground”.
6. Kemuel – AloneSource:Kemuel
On the back of early success for his latest single ‘ALONE’, which has amassed nearly a million global streams in just a few weeks, while also garnering critical acclaim from the likes of Clash Magazine, Notion, and Earmilk, among others, exciting new Nigerian singer, songwriter, and producer KEMUEL has unveiled a captivating music video to accompany the new single. Shot on location in Oyo State in Nigeria, and directed by Cindy Ihua aka Director C, who has also worked for the likes of PsychoYP and Azanti, the retro theme styled visuals for ‘Alone’ brings the track’s narrative of love and regret further to life, while showcasing Kemuel’s performance prowess, and future star power.
Speaking about how the ‘Alone’ video came together, Kemuel says, “We were driven by a desire to intertwine the powerful emotions and scenic elements evoked by the song. Working closely with Director C, whom we deeply trusted to grasp our vision, and a dedicated 20-man crew, we searched for the best motorway scenery in southwest Nigeria, to curate a masterpiece that seamlessly merges a nostalgic, retro aesthetic with a narrative of bonding travellers. The video captures both an encompassing love that ties wanderers together, and a portrayal of isolation without such connections, using things like a vintage car, classic styling, and a grained film look to encapsulate those emotions and tales from the road.”
Opening up about writing ‘Alone’, Kemuel adds that “I’ll be honest with you about the inspiration – before music started happening for me, there was a girl in my life, but relocating to Lagos to pursue music was detrimental to our relationship. I realise now that I was somewhat blind to the strain that caused. We had gone through countless fights because of the distance between us, so this song is basically all the things I would’ve said to her to provide some level of assurance, but I never did, and in the end, we broke up. It was a Thursday when ‘Alone’ took shape, I remember because it felt like the weekend, but it wasn’t. I kept listening to this beat I created earlier that day until the lyrics came pouring out.”
In the midst of Africa’s musical renaissance, capturing the attention of global audiences, Lagos-based musician and producer Kemuel stands out as a beacon of raw talent and intentional artistry. Infusing elements of R&B, pop, and afrobeats, Kemuel crafts stories through his lyrics, punctuated by compelling melodies, enveloping listeners in a vibrant auditory experience. He doesn’t merely represent the Nigerian essence; he amplifies it, drawing on the rich cultural threads of his native Rivers state. But Kemuel offers more than just music; he curates an immersive journey, a space of solace, companionship, and peace. Kemuel doesn’t just want you to hear his music; he wants you to feel every note and emotion.
Kemuel’s foray into music began at 13, immersing himself in his local church choir, where he honed his skills on the piano, bass guitar, and drums. His fervour for the arts didn’t stop at music, leading him to pursue a degree in Fine Art and Design from the University of Port Harcourt. His debut EP Escape signalled the dawn of a promising new talent in global music, a promise that was further acknowledged when he got drafted to work with African music icons Olamide and DJ Spinall on their hit single ‘Bunda’. Now, as anticipation builds for his sophomore EP, Kemuel boasts over 9 million plays online, and recognition from MTV Base, BBC 1Xtra, TRACE, Apple Music, and Spotify, among others.
7. Kamal. ft. Sie – KeroseneSource:Kamal
North-West London hailing, Ivor-Novello nominated musician Kamal. releases his new single “Kerosene.” Written by Kamal. and featuring Sie, the new single speaks on burn out culture; how the youth of today are stuck in a bitter cycle of loneliness, whilst simultaneously suffocating from extreme exposure to social media.
Elusive singer Sie also lives in NW London and connected with Kamal. online. Sie has built an underground following, anonymously posting introspective verses via notes app. Connecting beautifully on “Kerosene”, Sie and Kamal. intertwine their direct experiences of growing up in the world around us, all whilst trying to work out who they are.
Produced by Jonny Coffer (Beyoncé, FKA Twigs) and Kamal.’s long-term collaborator J Moon, the single lands alongside a dystopian video, shot in Las Vegas by Kamal. himself, and visual artist Detroit Dyer Miller (Ice Spice, Gunna. Whilst in LA recording new music, Kamal took a 24 hour break to shoot the video especially, capturing the intensity of a young and creative mind.
Speaking on the sentiment behind “Kerosene”, Kamal. explains:
“‘kerosene’ is about the frustration, pressure and isolation which is descending upon the younger generations specifically. the overwhelming exposure we are constantly subjected to via the internet, the burden of capitalistic and rugged individualistic principles which are reinforced by our governments, unaffordable living conditions and endless consumption; all of these are looming threats to our mental health, during a period of time when we are still trying to discover who we even are and what we live for.
simply existing in modern society can feel like a chore, and i wanted this song to encapsulate how difficult it can be for young people to get by these days. it’s easy for us to become burnt-out and uninspired.
i found sie online posting snippets of music, and found her writing style to be parallel to mine in it’s blend of the introspective and the existential, so the pairing seemed perfect, and i feel as though this song captures the essence of both of us very well.”
A truly incredible song-writer, Kamal. sings with a sweet honeyed tone, offered on a sharp knife of honesty and unfiltered introspection of his own things, and observation of those around him.
“Kerosene” follows his previous “people don’t change”, and of course Kamal.’s most recent project so here you are, drowning. Earlier, this year, becoming a truly unavoidable presence, and fresh off the back of an extensive Asia tour, Kamal. found himself propelled into the charts on Central Cee and Dave’s collaborative project Split Decision. Having produced and featured on the third track, “Our 25th Birthday”, Kamal. returned for the second time into Dave’s vast fanbase – a follow up moment from “Mercury”, which was released two years ago.
Not content with this level of takeover, Kamal. went on to perform a headline sold-out show at Islington Assembly Hall, with Dave making a special guest appearance for the first ever live performance of “Our 25th Birthday” – no mean feat.
Having amassed an awe-inspiring 500 million streams, Kamal is a firm and ever-growing presence, in the competitive world of UK music; a clear front-runner who’s forging a unique and inimitable path.
Kamal.’s music chronicles both the highs and lows of life. His lyrical content spans romantic relationships, the seclusion of your own mind, the repetitive, the mundane, and even derealisation and anxiety. Often relating to the more complicated yet familiar feelings, Kamal.’s lyrics have the ability to hold the listener’s hand through shared experience. He is a truly exceptional storyteller.
Kamal. was always destined to be a musician. A skilled pianist, his early influences were found in the likes of Maxwell, D’Angelo, Erykah Badu and Bill Withers. Formulating his own sound, he first began to compose tracks to his ukulele and in 2019, uploaded his first recorded song -“smilingdownthephone”on soundcloud. Since then, he hasn’t looked back – garnering co-signs from the likes of NME, British GQ, British Vogue, i-D, Dazed and more.
An impactful voice, telling tales of his generation, Kamal. moves with the vision and presence of someone much older than his years. A truly unique artist, his innate musical talent has placed him firmly on the map.
8. Khemist Mayfield ft. Sibby Liv – Spend My MoneySource:KHEMIST MAYFIELD
Coming off a successful independent release of his album A List of Demands, Khemist Mayfield released a lively visual for his song “Spend My Money” featuring Sibby Liv. The multifaceted artist focuses on living in the moment with this single.
Serenading the object of his desire, “Tell me if it’s okay, I might spend all this money on you. I want you in my place, you help me to escape. I want you to myself, tell me what it’s gon’ take.” He further implies how the woman takes him to new Heavens with how much he sees in her.
Khemist directed the video himself and shot it in his signature monochromatic color palette. The visual shows a lively dance club and solo shots of a woman dancing in the middle of a garden. Khemist Mayfield can be found on Instagram and X at @Khemist_LV.
Khemist can be found on Instagram @khemist_lv
9. City Girls – RAWSource:City Girls
City Girls releases RAW, their highly-anticipated third full-length album, out via Quality Control Music/Motown. This marks their third authentic, and straight-talking studio album, their first in three years. Features include Kim Petras, Lil Durk, Muni Long, Juicy J and Usher.
In a teaser video posted to their socials on Saturday (Oct. 14), JT and Yung Miami describe their upcoming album as “serious a–, freestylin’ cypher a–rap” and “scammin’, trickin’ p—y rap.”
On RAW, the Miami-raised City Girls debut their new single for “Flashy” ft Kim Petras, marking the first collaboration between the rap duo and the Grammy-winning pop star. with a video to follow on Friday afternoon, Oct. 20. Directed by Jenzar, life is good for the trio, as Petras sings: “Stylin’, shinin’ / I’m so flawless like my diamonds / I’m flashy / Big bags, price tags / You know all I wear is name brands / I’m flashy.”
JT and Yung Miami remain the ultimate alter-ego for city girls and city boys worldwide, putting into their lyrics and music exactly what they think (and what others often wish they said), resulting in more than 15 billion cumulative streams – and ushering in a new wave of real female power – since their 2018 mixtape Period.
This year the Florida duo has released a steady stream of singles including “Face Down”, “I Need A Thug” and “Pinata.” “They delivered a showstopping performance at the 2023 BET Hip-Hop Awards, were named one of the 50 greatest rap groups of all time by Billboard, Yung Miami’s show “Caresha Please” won Best Hip Hop Platform at the 2023 BET Hip Hop Awards, while JT recently did campaigns for Beats by Dre and Poster Girl.
RAW is the follow-up to 2020’s City On Lock, which spawned Billboard Hot 100 the singles “P—y Talk” (with Doja Cat) and “Jobs,” and became their highest-peaking entry on the Billboard 200 (No. 29). Since their last studio effort, the rap duo has put out several singles, including the Hot 100 hits “Twerkulator” (No. 51) and “Good Love” (No. 70, with Usher), as well as the 2023 releases, “I Need A Thug,” “Piñata,” “Face Down,” and “Act Bad” (with Diddy and Fabolous). In addition, both members put out solo singles. In 2021, Yung Miami made her solo debut with “Rap Freaks” — which peaked at No. 81 on the Hot 100 — and, this year, JT reached No. 25 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 with “No Bars.”
City Girls are a legitimate phenomenon, and with RAW, JT and Yung Miami show their growth while still representing the fun and the ratchet.
10. Valee & MVW – ValeedationSource:Valee
The avant-rap producer known as MVW has put the finishing touches to an album with regular collaborator Valee, entitled VALEEdation, with their chemistry resulting in new music that could just well turn out to be the pair’s magnum opus. VALEEdation offers a unique language that Valee and MVW have developed through their shared artistic vision. The project’s sonic correlation with fine art allows it to transcend the boundaries of genre, blending into sounds featuring salient reconstruction of genres. The structural elements of classical music embedded within the song forms on VALEEdation add an extra layer of sophistication and elevation.
MVW’s expertise in contemporary classical composition shines through as he weaves together intricate arrangements, showcasing his ability to meld genres seamlessly. Having studied classical music at New York University and under La Monte Young (one of the most revered American minimalist composers) and Bunita Marcus, Waller has also released three full LPs of classical compositions under his full name Michael Vincent Waller, including Moments which received a 7.8 from Pitchfork. MVW has worked with other innovative rappers such as TiaCorine, Xavier Wulf, Lil Gotit, Matt Ox, and Zelooperz.
MVW says, “The music feels like scenes in a movie more than tracks on an album, highlighted by different lighting on a thematic, subtle vibe. There is this sense of installation.”
Valee is a visionary rapper known for his unconventional style and infectious energy. With his distinctive lyrical delivery and unwavering commitment to artistic exploration, Valee has become a transformative force within the rap landscape. This new album follows up Valee’s project with Action Bronson and Greedo 03 produced by Harry Fraud. Valee has also collaborated with artists such as Lil Yachty, YG, G Herbo, King Louie, and Vic Mensa. His EP GOOD Job, You Found Me was executive produced by Kanye West. What sets Valee apart is his artistic evolution over the past few years, which has been meticulously honed alongside one of his core producers, MVW. Together, they have crafted a distinctive sound that fuses contemporary classical influences with refined melodies, elevating the sonic tapestries of trap music.
Valee’s artistic journey has been a deliberate departure from mainstream conventions, as he immerses himself in innovative aesthetics that challenge the status quo. This avant-garde approach serves as a guiding beacon for MVW, offering them a unique lens through which to navigate uncharted territories in music, explore novel genres, and push boundaries beyond the familiar.
Valee & MVW’s new album, VALEEdation, is now available via MVW Productions /Fake Shore Drive.
11. Timbaland & Anna Margo – My WaySource:Timbaland
Maintaining incredible momentum this fall, four-time GRAMMY Award-winning iconic producer, songwriter, and artist Timbaland unveils a new single and music video entitled “My Way” with Anna Margo out now via his own Mosley Music Group and Def Jam Recordings.
Once again, Timbaland turns up with a classic beat, retaining all the hallmarks of his inimitable sound. The bass quivers as the percussion pulsates back-and-forth in a staccato rhythm. It provides the perfect backdrop for rising Los Angeles songstress, multi-instrumentalist, producer, and recent Mosely Music Group signee Anna Margo to flex her impressive vocal range.
Meanwhile, the accompanying visual showcases her star-power. Timbaland takes over the decks to DJ a house party, whileAnna Margo shines as the center of attention. From the impressive choreography to the throwback nineties fashion, the clip instantly captivates.
As Anna was hard at work putting the final touches on her forthcoming EP project, a friend suggested she get on Tik Tok to watch one of her musical heroes’, Timbaland go live. She jumped in and soon found herself in line to play her music for the Multi-platinum, Grammy award-winning, super-producer and artist. That virtual meet-up kicked of the collaboration that resulted in the new joint release.
“Anna is special, she’s a writer, producer, singer, director and more, she has what it takes to be a superstar. Mark my words, she’s the real deal,” said Timbaland.
“I feel extremely lucky and blessed to be able to work with a legend, like Timbaland and call him a mentor,” said Anna Margo.
Audiences initially got a taste of “My Way” earlier this month when it soundtracked a promo during week 6 of NFL Monday Night Football—Cowboys vs. Chargers.
It follows Timbaland‘s latest track and the hottest reunion of the year, “Keep Going Up” featuring Nelly Furtado & Justin Timberlake. Listen to “Keep Going Up” HERE.
These three first famously joined forces on the 2007 global smash “Give It To Me.” It toppled the Billboard 200 at #1 and has generated nearly a billion streams. It also graced Timbaland’s 2007 platinum-certified full-length Shock Value, which crashed the Top 5 of the Billboard 200.
Last month, ESPN announced that Timbaland and Justin Timberlake will curate music for select Monday Night Football games during the 2023-2024 season. The curated music from Timbaland and Timberlake will run in Monday Night Football promotional spots, live telecasts and pre-game shows for 7 weeks this season. ESPN amped up excitement for the arrival of “Keep Going Up,” teasing a snippet across its programming.
12. Wale – Max JulienSource:Wale
Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum hip-hop superstar Wale returns with the highly-anticipated new track, “Max Julien.” “Max Julien” marks the first new music from Wale with his brand new label home, Def Jam Recordings.
“Max Julien” – produced by D Woo and featuring a sample of Baltimore favorite Lil Mo in the intro – is an homage to the legendary actor (and D.C. native), who not only starred as “Goldie” in the 1973 Blaxploitation classic The Mack, but also wrote the big screen cult hit Cleopatra Jones. Soulful harmonies and jazz-y piano give way to a head-nodding beat as Wale leans into the production with a fresh and fiery flow. In between samples from The Mack, he reaffirms his place in the game, “And everybody ain’t him; I’m the one and only.”
The single’s cover art features a striking photo of Julien’s iconic coat from The Mack, currently on display at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in D.C.
Wale recently delivered a showstopping guest spot on “BLOOD ON THE DANCE FLOOR” with Def Jam labelmates ODUMODUBLVCK and Bloody Civilian which hit #1 on Apple Music and Spotify in Nigeria, marking Wale’s first Top 10 song entry on Nigeria’s charts. In other news, Wale will be celebrating the 10-year anniversary of his classic album ‘The Gifted’ with a special performance at the Kennedy Center on November 10th.
With one eye on his legacy and another on his exciting future with Def Jam, Wale unleashes “Max Julien,” and paves the way for much more to come. Stay tuned…
13. Elmiene – Marking My TimeSource:Elmiene
Elmiene shares his new EP, Marking My Time, via Polydor/Def Jam Recordings. Marking My Time includes the EP’s title track, “Marking My Time,” which was co-written with Jamie Woon and James Vincent McMorrow (and first debuted on Later…On Jools Holland), “Mad At Fire” co-written by Syd (The Internet) and Lil Silva, and “Mama” produced by Sampha. Along with the EP release this week Elmiene also debuted single “Someday” on BBC Radio 1 and shared the music video for the track as well.
Marking My Time is the follow-up to his impressive debut EP El-Mean, which was released independently this past spring, which was praised by Line Of Best Fit, stating Elmiene as “one of the year’s most exciting forward-thinking R&B talents.”
On Marking My Time, listeners will find the British artist building on his signature sound that “glazes over you like a sunny autumn afternoon,” as noted by Ebony recently. In making the EP, Elmiene worked with innovators like DJ Dahi, Jim-E Stack, Sampha, Syd, Courage, Lil Silva, and more.
Speaking on his new body of work, Elmiene says, “The general theme of this project is trying to mark my time not in terms of history but just for me personally, so I don’t get lost. Almost making a checkpoint to anchor myself. Even sonically it’s like I’m marking my stamp that I put on things. Because I’m so deep in looking back behind me, I always found myself stumbling over what’s gonna happen next. So when my life started speeding up massively, I had to learn how to keep an eye on both sides – appreciating the past in order to do the future the right way and do it justice.”
Despite having only released a handful of songs, the 21-year-old, Oxford-based artist has already made waves in the music scene. His 2021 track “Golden” went viral after Benji B handpicked it to soundtrack Virgil Abloh’s final Louis Vuitton show. He was invited again by Benji to perform alongside Robert Glasper and Yasiin Bey for Louis Vuitton in Paris, Elmiene’s first live show ever. Since then, he has appeared on critically acclaimed albums by Stormzy and Lil Silva, performed at Glastonbury, and made his TV debut on Later… With Jools Holland.
Already known for his captivating live performances, Elmiene tickets continue to stay in high demand. This year alone, he has sold-out four headline shows in London, and this Autumn, he will also be launching his North American tour with stops in Toronto, New York City and Los Angeles.
The allure of his live sets is clear from his COLORS appearance, where he played an unplugged version of fan favorite “Endless No Mores.” The platform likened his blend of soothing vocals and poetic songwriting with “the magic of D’Angelo mixed with Sampha.” Recently, Vogue described him as “set to take over in 2023”, Benji B nominated him to appear in GQ’s “your favourite artists favourite artist”, Pigeons & Planes included him on their “best new artists” list, and Crack declared, “Elmiene is preparing for the next chapter.”
14. Lady London ft. Jeremih – Do SomethingSource:Lady London
Fresh off her star turn at the BET Hip-Hop Awards cypher and ready to heat up the fall, buzzing New York rapper Lady Londonserves up a hard-hitting new single entitled “Do Somethin”today. With no holds-barred and skills on point, it heralds the release of her forthcoming new project, S.O.U.L, out on November 3rd.
Visionary producer Hitmaka [Lil Durk, Ty Dolla $ign, G-Eazy] cooked up the head-nodding throwback beat for “Do Somethin.” Over this sultry backdrop, Lady London flaunts her lyrical acumen highlighted by flirty and fiery bars. Seductive rhymes instantly enchant as she confesses, “I’m a Cancer, so romantic is my standard,” and urges, “I need passion to keep me from back-tracking.”
It only hints at what to expect from this upcoming body of work though. Notably, S.O.U.L stands for “Signs of Universal Love” executive produced by Lady London & Jeremy “J Dot” Jones, an astrological theme threads the songs together into a concept-driven body of work. She explores the essence of humanity through the prism of the Zodiac, pondering love languages, do’s, don’ts, triggers, and the other celestial mechanisms that make us tick. Meanwhile, the zodiac signs of the featured guests even match the mood of their respective songs.
She teased this chapter with “Yea Yea” [with Dreezy]. Inciting critical applause, Vibe noted, “Lady London and Dreezy have teamed up to level the relationship playing field in their new track ‘Yea Yea’,” and GRUNGECAKE hailed it as “catchy.” XONecole named it one of the “Singles To Have In Rotation.”
It followed her viral banger “Pop Ya Shit.”Thus far, the latter has posted up millions of Spotify streams and counting. In addition to landing plugs from Variety, Billboard, Global Grind,, and more, Attack The Culture! raved, “Some rap artists just hit harder and that’s the case for Lady London. The R&B rap star has all the elements to be legendary and proves it.” Meanwhile, Brooklyn Vegan praised how the track, “will take you right back to the early 2000s.”
It’s time for Lady London to soar on S.O.U.L
Born to Caribbean parents and raised in The Bronx and East Orange, NJ, she obsessed over hip-hop and R&B since her childhood. After achieving a BS from Howard University and a Master’s degree from USC, she flipped the script, opting to forego medical school in order to follow her passion for music. She built an audience by posting viral videos of her poetry, paving the way for her show-stopping freestyle series “Lady Londays.” Attracting a burgeoning following of over a million on Instagram, her lyrical acumen has incited the applause of Busta Rhymes, Cardi B, Lupe Fiasco, Timbaland, and Nas, to name a few.
15. 2 Chainz & Lil Wayne – PreshaSource:2 Chainz
Multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning rappers 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne pull back the curtain on WELCOME 2 COLLEGROVE, available everywhere on Friday, November 17th via Def Jam Recordings. The long-awaited project follows-up ColleGrove, their first groundbreaking collaborative album (2016).
WELCOME 2 COLLEGROVE gets off to a fast start on NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, later tonight, with 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne performing the album’s first advance single, “Presha,” available at all platforms now.
2 Chainz and Lil Wayne – both rap royalty in their own right – have been close friends and collaborators for nearly two decades, since Wayne first showed up in 2007 as a feature on the street classic “Duffle Bag Boy” by Playaz Circle. The single hit #2 on the Billboard Rap chart, and Top 15 on the Hot 100. Other collabs by Chainz and Wayne over the years have included the RIAA-certified platinum tracks “Rich As Fuck” and Juicy J’s strip club anthem “Bandz a Make Her Dance.” ColleGrove is a portmanteau of Chainz’ hometown, College Park, Georgia, and Wayne’s hometown, Hollygrove, Louisiana.
Over the course of his legendary career, 2 Chainz has sold over 10 million albums globally and amassed over 11.5 billion streams. Wayne has cemented his legacy forever as “one of the best-selling artists of all time,” tallying sales in excess of 100 million records worldwide with 35 million albums and 90 milliondigital tracks sold in the United States alone. Watch for updates on exclusive WELCOME 2 COLLEGROVE merch, customizable lithographs and limited edition autographed CDs, and more, available in the Collegrove official shop. Go to: https://welcome2collegrove.com
16. Corbin, Lil Tracy & Black Kray – Hello ThereSource:Lyrical Lemonade
Award-winning music video director and culture-defining creator Cole Bennett and his multimedia brand Lyrical Lemonade – the community-driven platform and YouTube channel with over 10 Billion views worldwide – reveal new single entitled “Hello There”featuring Corbin, Lil Tracy, and Black Kray via Lyrical Lemonade/Def Jam Recordings.
Lyrical Lemonade also launched the pre-order for the upcoming album. Pre-order HERE.
“Hello There” reimagines the iconic melody from the blink-182 classic “I Miss You” within a lo-fi dreamscape. On the track, a soft keyboard arpeggio murmurs beneath hazy and hypnotic vocals. As cloudy melodies volley between Corbin, Lil Tracy, and Black Kray, the airy refrain hovers above the beat, resounding “Maybe I’ll be the ghost inside your bed.”
Lyrical Lemonade kicked off its partnership with Def Jam Recordings by dropping “Doomsday” with Juice WRLD and Cordae earlier this summer. Followed by the recently released “Guitar In My Room” with Lil Durk and Kid Cudi.
And it’s just the beginning…expect more powerhouse collaborations to be announced soon!
17. ASM Bopster – Sir CEOSource:ASM Bopster
Buzzing Los Angeles rap phenomenon ASM Bopster proudly presents his new mixtape, Sir CEO, out now via 300 Entertainment.
The 15-track project finds ASM Bopster in a groove of his own. Among many highlights, “Spirit” [feat. 03 Greedo] instantly takes flight. It unites two Los Angeles heavyweights over a menacing beat laced with punchy 808s. They volley quotable rhymes back-and-forth as ASM Bopster jests, “He say he flying first class, that boy is flying spirit.” On “Rocc Da Beat,” his verbal onslaught echoes over booming drums and a resounding vocal sample. “Whatever” [feat. K8do] hinges on dreamy synths as he promises, “Me and K8do got hits.” Then, there’s emotionally charged finale “Cold Winter.” He opens up in a moment of stark honesty and reflection. He observes “It’s a cold winter for the sinner,” and he declares, “I ain’t tryna go out like no sucker, I’m a winner.”
ASM Bopster paved the way for the tape with “Up.” Beyond gaining traction on streaming platforms, it earned critical acclaim. Beyond plugs from HipHopSince1987, Global Grind touted it on “New Music Roundup.”
Recently, he showcased his skills during a powerhouse On The Radar Freestyle. He turned up with a striking live performance of “50 Ball” and sat down for an exclusive interview. Watch his freestyle HERE and watch the interview HERE.
Last year, Bopster made his first impressions with ”Like The Way You Move” ft. Blueface. The track caught like wildfire in the West Coast from club scene to radio stations alike; making fans out of P Diddy and Christian Combs, Bow Wow and more. The song’s online presence was also undeniable, further cementing Bopster as an LA rap mainstay.
This summer, he took over The Echo in Los Angeles, CA for an unforgettable hometown show.
18. Rick Ross & Meek Mill – Lyrical EazySource:Rick Ross
19. The Plug – Plug Talk 2Source:The Plug - Topic
After spending five weeks in the UK Official Top 40 Album Chart with his debut album Plug Talk, which birthed ground-breaking hit tracks such as UK Top 20 single ‘How It Is’ featuring Roddy Ricch, Chip, and Yxng Bane, ‘Broken Homes’ with Nafe Smallz, M Huncho, and Gunna, as well as ‘Rich’ featuring D-Block Europe and Offset, while garnering over 300 million global streams, Amsterdam-based British creative entrepreneur and cultural connector JACK ‘THE PLUG’ EDJOURIAN is excited to unveil his sophomore album aptly titled PLUG TALK 2. The 12-track opus arrives on October 20 as the follow-up to his Plug Talk debut album, which Complex UK hailed as one of 2019’s best rap albums.
Featuring Swae Lee, Berner, Tink, G Herbo, and Fivio Foreign from the US, and Nines, Tion Wayne, Stefflon Don, M1llionz, NSG, M24, and Aitch from the UK, as well as Cuban/Puerto Rican sensation Mariah Angeliq, French rap star Lacrim, Spanish rapper Morad, and popular Brazilian artist DaChoyce, Plug Talk 2 sees The Plug crafting some of the best and most unexpected transatlantic rap collaborations of 2023, as he links Swae Lee and Stefflon Don together on ‘Run Through’, while bringing Nines and Berner together for ‘Throw It On My Tab’, delivering a rap-R&B posse cut with ‘Let Me Hold Your Body’ featuring Tink, Ivorian Doll, and Nadia Rose, collaborating with M1llionz and G Herbo on ‘Father Figure’, and linking up with Tion Wayne and J.I The Prince of N.Y on ‘Pengtressha’.
The soundscapes on Plug Talk 2 are equally as ambitious as the guest artists on the project, with The Plug tapping up some of the scenes heavy hitters to co-produce the album, including Grammy Award-winning producer Diego Ave (Megan Thee Stallion, Future, Post Malone), chart-topping UK producer Lekaa Beats, who has also worked with the likes of Central Cee, J Hus, and Sneakbo, award-winning DJ, producer and engineer DJ Fricktion (Kendrick Lamar, Big Sean, Wu-Tang Clan), multi-platinum selling producer Mally Mall (Teyana Taylor, XXXTentacion, Trippie Redd), and Di$, whose production credits include Ty Dolla $ign, Latto, and MadeinTYO. Together, they have provided captivating musical landscapes to soundtrack what are the year’s biggest international rap collaborations.
Speaking about the inspiration behind the new Plug Talk 2 album, The Plug says, “I wanted to continue the mission of the first ‘Plug Talk’ album, proving that UK talent is more than a match for our US based cousins. This time around though, the album is not only a bunch of US and UK collaborations, but I have reached out to further talent from Spain, France, and Latin America as well. This album is much more diverse in its music, and I am very happy with the results, which run from ‘YKI’ with Mariah Angeliq (heavily featured in the new Netflix series ‘Neon’) to chart toppers Stefflon Don and Swae Lee on ‘Run Through’, as well as UK rap heavyweights Tion Wayne, Nines, Aitch and many more besides”.
20. Holly Macve – Suburban HouseSource:Holly Macve
Irish-born, Yorkshire-raised songwriter Holly Macve has shared her first collaborative single to date, “Suburban House” featuring Lana Del Rey. This is the second release, following “Beauty Queen” from Macve’s upcoming new project due in early 2024
Lana Del Rey spoke on their collaboration: “Ever since I heard Holly’s music I knew she had one of the most beautiful singing voices in the world. Her flawless, emotional vocals have inspired me over the last six years and I love her songs and I’m especially proud of featuring on this one.”
The track is the product of the friendship between Macve and Del Rey that was formed after Lana reached out to Holly via Instagram DM some years ago. Macve recently supported Lana Del Rey at her iconic BST Hyde Park in London.
Holly Macve explains the making of Suburban House saying, “I sometimes feel my intuition wrote this song for me. I was temporarily living in a Suburban house from the 50’s, on the outskirts of West London. It was like a time capsule and hadn’t been changed since the 70’s,” tells Macve. “There was a beautiful old piano there and one day I sat down and the song came to me unexpectedly all at once. The song made perfect sense to me only a week later. A few months later I visited Lana whilst in LA and we shared new songs with each other. I played this to her live and that was the start of it becoming a duet. When I first heard her sing the second verse it was like a dream, her voice was just so perfect for the song and heavenly sounding… It goes without saying that I am a huge fan of hers, she’s an inspiration to me in many different ways so when she DM’d me I was pretty shook (to say the least).”
Stream “Suburban House” now and look out for Holly Macve’s next project coming early next year.
21. Jai’Len Josey – Conversations From A PayphoneSource:Jai'Len Josey
Jai’Len Josey, the seductive Atlanta singer, songwriter, musician, and seasoned Broadway star, presents a sultry and soulful new 2-pack entitled Conversations From A Payphone, available today via Hillman Grad Records/Def Jam Recordings.
Touting a pair of R&B anthems, her candid lyrics and traffic-stopping vocals ring out on Conversations From A Payphone. During “Mixed Signals,” neon keys glide over a throwback beat laced with guitar. Meanwhile, her voice instantly captivates as she confesses, “I’m trying to love you, but you make it harder for me each time.” Then, there’s “Playground.” Its simmering beat brushes up against a soaring crescendo, “Swinging me from vine to vine, hoping you don’t break this little heart of mine.” Meanwhile, Jai’Len shuts down the games on the sassy hook, “If you’re playing me baby, keep it on the playground.” Stay tuned for visuals to accompany both tracks.
In support of the 2-pack, she hits the road for a brief four-date October tour. It kicks off on Tuesday October 24 at Milkboy in Philadelphia, PA and visits major markets in the Northeast before concluding at Vinyl in Atlanta, GA on Monday October 30.
Earlier this year, she canvased North America on Ari Lennox’s Age/Sex/Location tour, captivating fans on a nightly basis. Meanwhile, her 2023 EP, SOUTHERN DELICACY, has tallied millions of streams and incited widespread critical applause. Right out of the gate, Girls United applauded how “Through the project, you can hear the growth in her voice, production and subject matter.” In addition to plugs from Rated R&B, YouKnowIGotSoul, and more, OkayPlayer named it one of “4 New Albums You Should Be Listening To This Week” and proclaimed, “Up next, we’re putting our stamp of approval on Jai’Len Josey’s soulful debut Southern Delicacy.”
SOUTHERN DELICACY is the patiently awaited follow-up to Illustrations, the 6-song EP that introduced Jai’Len on record in September 2020. The EP, comprising “She Got It,” “All Mine,” “Can You Do It for Me?” “When We Jump,” “You Ain’t Gotta Worry,” and “Fall” evolved in between Jai’Len’s performances as Pearl in the Broadway production of The SpongeBob Musical: Live on Stage!, during which time she wrote and recorded as many as 200 original tracks. The EP ultimately led the way to award-winning creator Lena Waithe’s Hillman Grad Records and Def Jam Recordings.
22. Jim Jones – Jim Jones Presents Byrdgang 2.0Source:Jim Jones
Artist, entrepreneur and television star Jim Jones is introducing the new incarnation of Byrdgang today with the new project, Jim Jones Presents Byrdgang 2.0. Along with Jim Jones, the 16-track album features Byrdgang members Dyce Payso, Keen Streetz, Yellowtapee, 34Zeussy, DramaB2R, G Mimms, Dilla Illa, and other members, PLUS Melii, Fivio Foreign, Capella Grey.
Earlier this past summer, Jim and the crew released the first single and video, “Face Time,” ft. Jim Jones, Capella Grey, and DramaB2R. Watch that video here.
23. Felix Ames – JENASource:Felix Ames
Buzzing Milwaukee soul phenomenon Felix Ames presents his much-anticipated full-length debut album, JENA, out now via Def Jam Recordings.
Across 12 tracks, he unfurls a pastiche of soul, jazz, alternative, and R&B without comparison. The single “Liquor Locker” hinges on a head-nodding guitar groove and hypnotic handclaps. Drowning his sorrows in an attempt to forget an ex, a flood of memories overwhelms him as he laments, “You used to be the one I loved, you used to be the one I trusted, you used to make all my choices, but now I’m in my liquor locker.”
Elsewhere, he flexes his dynamic vocals on “Always, I’ll Stay.” Momentous drums underline a promise, “I hold tight when you need me.” Then, there’s “97 Nissan.” He gets into the driver’s seat as keys glimmer between admissions such as, “I don’t wanna say too much. I don’t wanna stay too long.” This trip concludes with the introspective “Half A Man.” Synths echo, while he reaches a moment of self-realization, “I’m only half of a man, and that’s why it won’t make sense.”
He recently teased the LP with “Don’t Be Alarmed,”earning widespread acclaim.
Right out of the gate, WONDERLAND. declared, “Sonically, Felix’s music is derived from the very best of both the old-school fusion soul scene and the contemporary influences of R&B music.‘Don’t Be Alarmed’ offers a blissful mixture of the two, and does so with a gleaming finish of jazz-inspired instrumentation and a velvet-smooth vocal performance.” YouKnowIGotSoul hailed it as “a perfect showcase of the singer’s impressive vocal range and dynamic musical abilities.”
In support of JENA, Felix will launch his headline “Speakeasy Tour”across North America and Europe. It notably marks his first jaunt. The stateside run kicks off on November 11 in Washington, D.C., visits major markets coast-to-coast, and comes to close on November 21 in Los Angeles, CA. He crosses the pond on December 10 for a show in London, UK, before a sold out gig in Paris, France on December 12, and a date in Berlin, Germany on December 13.
He paved the way for JENA with the “Taxi Driver / 7711” two-pack, which has gathered 1 million streams and counting thus far. Meanwhile, “Bend, Don’t Break / Shoestring” simultaneously continues to pick up steam. Of “Bend, Don’t Break,”Vibe proclaimed, “The song highlights his distinct merger of R&B, funk, and jazz.”
“Shoestring” also remains a fan favorite. It has already piled up 2.5 million Spotify streams and counting. Earmilk applauded it as “a tour-de-force for a very fresh face in the musical landscape.”
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. Kidd Kenn – Busy Being BadSource:Kidd Kenn
Kidd Kenn, the 20 year-old Chicago hip-hop sensation whose mesmerizing music video for “Coming” premiered last week, returns with BUSY BEING BAD, his hotly anticipated new EP available at all platforms via 4TH & B’WAY | Def Jam Recordings. Fans have adopted the mesmerizing “Coming” video, whose captivating visual captures Kenn’s artistic evolution. The enthralling metamorphosis finds Kenn transformed into a spellbinding fairy nymph who enchants every man in his path.
In addition to “Coming,” Kenn’s current single, BUSY BEING BAD also includes “Everywhere I Go,” (released in June), written by Kidd Kenn, Sean Ross and James Kaye, and produced by Ross and Kaye. The new EP follows Kenn’s heralded debut at Lollapalooza, in his hometown of Chicago on August 3rd, a performance that left the crowd awestruck. Earlier in July, he graced the stage at the Houses of Luv: Afro Pride festival at the Belasco Theatre in Los Angeles.
BUSY BEING BAD marks the first new long-player from Kidd Kenn since he dropped his Grown EP in July 2022. The EP included the single + video releases “Body,” “At It Again” (a reunion with Delli Boe); “Want Not A Need” featuring Baby Tate; and “Do Dat At” featuring Erica Banks. Kenn described “Body” as “a song meant to make people feel really good about their bodies, to really let go of their insecurities and feel confident in themselves.”
The Grown EP was Kenn’s follow-up to his provocative “B4” (Remix) featuring Saucy Santana (November 2021). The remix was preceded by “Get Lit” (August 2021), a classic high energy track featured in EA’s Madden ’22 videogame soundtrack.
Prior to that came the raw, hard-hitting Problem Child (June 2021), a 6-song EP whose single + video releases spanned nearly a year, including: “Freestyle,” Kenn’s viral collaboration with Delli Boe (watch video here); “Gold Digger” featuring Dess Dior (watch video here); “Moves” featuring Rico Nasty (which was synced in the Apple Watch Series 6 online ad); and “Good Day.”
As reported by BET in 2021, “Kidd Kenn’s verse during the Hip Hop Awards’ ‘Digital Cypher’ was a crowd favorite, so much so that a snippet of the verse went viral.” Kenn appeared as the first openly LGBTQAI rapper to perform in the elite Cypher, alongside LaKeyah, Toosii and Symba. The influential annual all-star cypher collabo always draws tens of millions of views.
The buzz behind Kidd Kenn has been explosive, with PAPER, Fader, XXL, Hot New Hip Hop, Nylon, Teen Vogue, Office Magazine, Interview Magazine, and other tastemakers all rallying behind the young artist. Kidd Kenn’s huge organically grown web following currently includes over 268,000 Instagram followers, over 2 million video views on YouTube, over 532,000 followers on TikTok, and over 5.8 million likes.
25. BJ The Chicago Kid & Coco Jones – Spend The NightSource:BJ THE CHICAGO KID
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