It’s Monday and we’re back again. For this week’s Fresh Picks, we’re feeling the sunshine and rounded up the latest heat to soundtrack your next seven days (and beyond) from emerging R&B and hip-hop artists.
From newcomers like 2Rare and Luh Tyler to buzzing names like Kiana Lede and A$AP Twelvyy, there’s a little something here for every pair of listening ears. And as always, don’t forget to share the wealth with our Spotify playlist, linked below.
Freshest Find: Olivia Dean, “Dive”
Captivating listeners by way of her buttery voice and relatable words, Olivia Dean has us all ready to dive (into her catalog). The London singer-songwriter fuses R&B melodies and instrumentation into an undeniably feel-good pop cut, just in time for a summer full of love. The inclusion of a hip-hop drum pattern, thick harmonies and brass instruments bring to mind fellow U.K. singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse, while the approach to songwriting is entirely her own.
Price & Sage the Gemini, “Foo”
“Foo” is the latest track in Price’s “saggin’ and braggin’ campaign,” where he drops a new single or visual at least once a month. The high energy track features Sage the Gemini as the two rap about people acting a fool in the best and worst ways.
2Rare, “Rare Steppa”
2Rare is a self-proclaimed rare stepper and trendsetter. This up-tempo song from the Philly rapper is perfect for the club or summer block parties, as he carves a lane for himself in the Philly club music scene.
Between woozy bass kicks, languid piano keys and strings, U.K. rapper Blanco is paying homage to his local convenience store. “I was inspired to write a song about Londis a couple of months before I made the song. It came to me as I was driving past [it] — it’s not any Londis, just a particular one in my community where we’ve known the shopkeeper for ten plus years. And we’ve shot some iconic videos outside of the shop, so it just made sense,” he told Billboard.
Luh Tyler, “You Was Laughing”
Luh Tyler has a lot to celebrate. The 17-year-old just signed a new deal with Motion Music and Atlantic and released his debut mixtape My Vision. “This project represents my vision of me seeing myself at the top,” he shares in a press release. Standout track “You Was Laughing” is the pensive closer to the mixtape and sees Tyler rapping about his newfound, budding fame. “I been feeling like a king, but I don’t play for Sacramento/ I wasn’t tryna rap forreal, I did that s–t on accidental,” he raps.
Q, “Not Alone”
With its funk undertones and electronic synths, Q’s “Not Alone” sounds straight out of the ’80s. The new offering from Q Marsden further cements him as an old soul and R&B/funk force to be reckoned with. On “Not Alone,” he’s almost literally painting the town red as the song’s visualizer shows him painting a canvas red.
Kiana Ledé feat. Ella Mai, “Jealous”
It might be Kiana’s birthday, but we’re the ones getting a gift. The aries singer teamed up with fellow R&B favorite from across the pond, Ella Mai, on her latest offering, “Jealous.” To the sounds of gentle acoustic guitar and crisp percussion, the 26-year-old Phoenix native admits to carrying less-than-desirable feelings about a sometimes-lover.
A$AP Twelvyy feat. Roc Marciano, “Adventure Time”
A$AP Mob artist A$AP Twelvyy is staying true to his crew’s brand of quality releases. The New York City rapper (who seldom disappoints) joins forces with underground legend Roc Marciano on the dreamy “Adventure Time.” The duo tackle their past and present here, as a silky sample loops in the background.
Lloyiso, “Give a Little Kindness”
Lloyiso is urging listeners to take a little time, get a little therapy and “give a little kindness to yourself.” The needed reminder is well-received, thanks to the South African singer’s compelling tone and catchy melodies. “Give A Little Kindness” is a cut from Lloyiso’s debut EP, Seasons, via Universal Music Group South Africa/Republic Records.
Lehla Samia, “Care”
CMG’s first lady of song is back with a poignant ballad, “Care.” Overtop glittery piano and wind chimes, the Delaware singer (discovered by way of TikTok) takes accountability for ignoring red flags, and asks the pressing questions she already knows the answer to: “Do you even care?”