This was a huge week for new music. After plenty of delays and unauthorized leaks, Playboi Carti finally returned with the unexpected single “@ MEH.” DaBaby is proving he has more than one trick up his sleeve with the Roddy Ricch-assisted “Rockstar.” Kid Cudi dropped the misfit anthem, “Leader of the Delinquents.” Westside Gunn assembled Joey Badass and Tyler the Creator for a new collaboration from his latest album, Pray for Paris. We also received new tunes from Atlanta’s newest star, Kenny Mason, 21 Savage, Kehlani, and more.
We compiled the best music releases of the week. Check them out below, and be sure to follow our weekly Spotify playlist here.
Playboi Carti, “@ Meh”
After a whirlwind year in 2019 full of delays and leaks, Playboi Carti finally released new music on his own terms. “@ MEH” arrived Thursday afternoon to much fan reaction. On the Jetsonmade-produced record, Carti’s signature baby voice makes an appearance, sporting that youthful high pitch his fans have grown to adore. He appears to experiment with a new flow though, dancing over the beat in a way that some are comparing to Young Thug or Lil Uzi Vert. Not everyone will like or understand where Playboi Carti is going with “@ MEH,” but maybe that’s the point. Nevertheless, this release could officially mean that the long-awaited Whole Lotta Red album will finally drop this year.
DaBaby f/ Roddy Ricch, “Rockstar”
DaBaby and Roddy Ricch teamed up for “Rockstar,” a melodic anthem that finds both artists drawing parallels between their current lifestyle and that of a typical rock star. “It’s safe to say I earned it, ain’t a nigga gave me nothin’/I’m ready to hop out a on a nigga, get to bustin’,” DaBaby raps over sweet-sounding chords. DaBaby sets the tone of the new record with softer flows and a more sing-songy tone, but Roddy Ricch turns it up a little more with his million-dollar vocals and a poppy delivery. “Rockstar” is the first collaboration from DaBaby and Roddy Ricch, and hopefully not their last. The two were considered the MVPs of 2019’s rookie class, and it will be interesting to see how they keep their run going.
Kid Cudi, "Leader of the Delinquents"
“Leader of the Delinquents" is an anthem for the outcasts. On the Dot Da Genius-produced track, Kid Cudi shows off his technical skills, laying down reflective bars about his rebellious days when he was broke, wild, and experimented with different drugs. He also addresses some heavier subject matter, reminiscing on words his father told him as well as his past issues with mental health. It goes without saying that Kid Cudi has a knack for leading misfits like himself. He’s inspired a band of outcasts from ASAP Rocky to Jaden Smith, which is why his new single is so fitting.
Westside Gunn f/ Joey Badass, Tyler, the Creator & Billie Esco, “327”
Westside Gunn recruited an interesting gang of folks for “327,” but the end result is greater than we could’ve hoped for. The Camouflage Monk-produced beat makes this record sound whimsical, as Billie Essco sort of whispers over piano keys. Westside Gunn, Joey Badass, and Tyler the Creator all glide over their verses, mixing in raps about luxurious brands their superstardom has afforded them, with other lines about toting firearms and memories from their upbringing. “327,” which appears on Westside Gunn’s newly released project Pray for Paris, is a record that will go over well with the old school rap fanatics, but could also draw in some of the younger crowd thanks to its collaborators.
21 Savage f/ Summer Walker, “Secret”
21 Savage is slowly inching further into R&B territory. And what better way to break into the soulful lane than to recruit one of the genre’s brightest stars, Summer Walker. “Secret” is a sensual track that finds 21 Savage rapping about relationships. It shows 21 Savage’s sweeter side, but the edginess is still there. Summer steps in on the chorus, crooning in a mumbled tone about keeping her romance under wraps. “You’re my little secret/That’s how we should keep it,” she croons. This is the first collaboration between 21 Savage and Summer Walker (although they both appeared on a remix of Jhene Aiko’s “Triggered”). We could expect to see more R&B collabs between 21 and other singers as he seemingly gears up for the next phase in his career.
Joji, “Gimme Love”
Joji’s “Gimme Love” is an upbeat, electronic single that evokes an energetic emotion from listeners. It’s hard to get through this track without getting up to dance or at least bouncing in your seat. Most of the lyrics center around Joji begging for affection, but its simple messaging is what makes it so enjoyable. “Gimme Love” is the third singles from Joji’s forthcoming album, Nectar, which is slated to drop later this summer.
dvsn f/ Popcaan, “So What”
Two of OVO’s most promising voices, DVSN and Popcaan, connected on their new reggae-fused single. On “So What,” Popcaan quickly becomes the soul of the record, dishing out a quick and energetic verse. “So What” appears on DVSN’s latest project, A Muse in Her Feelings, which dropped Friday. If you’re looking for something to vibe to this weekend, look no further than this.
Kehlani, “Everybody Business”
Kehlani is addressing all of the rumors and gossip on her latest single “Everybody Business.” On the track, the songstress interpolates lyrics from Pharrell and JAY-Z’s 2012 collaboration, “Frontin’.” She embraces that she is a lover who just so happens to wind up in unfortunate romantic situations. And she knows what people say about her past romances, but she’s still unfazed. “I know it’s frontin’, don’t know me from nothin’/Still learning to shake it off/I know I can take it all/I know they frontin’,” she sings. Kehlani is displaying a lot of growth and maturity on “Everybody Business,” not just in terms of her views on relationships but also in her reflective songwriting and delivery.
Kenny Mason, “Anti-Gravity”
Atlanta’s rising star Kenny Mason just released his debut album, Angelic Hoodrat. After showcasing his traditional rap skills on “HIT” and his rock influences on “Metal Wings,” Mason continues to demonstrate his range with the show-stopper, “Anti-Gravity.” On the ominous record, Kenny introduces more of his melodic side, singing over harsh guitar riffs. He later rips in an echoed chant (“Gravity, way too heavy/Gravity way too strong/I want to be anti gravity”), as the beat seems to swallow him up before mellowing out. While Kenny admits his favorite record from the new album varies depending on the day, he told Complex that “Anti-Gravity” was among his favorites because “this was really some raw shit.” “It’s a really emotional song. It’s on the melodic side and intense. It feels crazy,” he added.
Buddy & Kent Jamz, "Burberry Party"
Buddy just released a joint project with fellow L.A. artist Kent Jamz. The 10-track project includes "Burberry Party," a booming single that’s anchored by hi-hats and vibrating bass. On the track, Buddy flexing a variety of flows and cadences. On the chorus, he warns fans that once “the song over you gotta repeat it,” and he wasn't lying. "Burberry Party" is a catchy tune that you will want to keep on a loop as you kick back on your couch and move into the weekend.
K Camp f/ Quavo, “Renegade Remix”
After taking TikTok by storm, K Camp is looking to take another victory lap with the “Renegade (Remix). And this time, he’s brought some help, tapping Quavo for the remix. Huncho comes in around the third verse with crisp lines about Cuban links, Chanel bags, and private jets. “Got two choices: hit the lotto or go broke/You got two choices: you can fly private or go coach,” he raps. If you remember, the original track was successful in large part because of teen dancer Jalaiah, who brought her choreographed dance to TikTok and social media. While the craze has since died down a bit due to the influx of TikTok dances being choreographed under quarantine, the remix could be just the boost K Camp needs to get back in the spotlight.
Fredo Bang f/ YNW Melly, “Air Out It”
Fredo Bang and YNW Melly are ready to make some noise on their new collaboration, “Air It Out.” On the track, which appears on Fredo Bang’s new project, Most Hated, the duo deliver a call-and-response on the chorus before ripping into verses boasting about murderous activity and evading the law. “They watchin’ my moves, they tellin’ they people/I got some goons and all of em lethal/All of these sticks, ain’t none of em legal,” Fredo spits. “Air It Out” is alarmingly sinister at times, but it has a bounce to it that many fans won’t be able to resist.
Kaash Paige, “Frank Ocean”
It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out Kaash Paige is a Frank Ocean fan. In addition to titling her new single after the Channel Orange singer, Kaash released the track on the same day Ocean dropped his acclaimed single “Thinking Bout You” in 2012. “On this day, Frank Ocean released ‘Thinking Bout You,’ becoming one of his most influential songs. Thanks to him, this song was made,” Kaash wrote in the track’s lyric video. “Frank Ocean” is a trippy ballad that finds the newcomer singing of pills and potions as she makes several references to her idol’s music catalog. “Do you think about me?/Like Frank Ocean, Frank Ocean/I know your favorite color range/You know my favorite color green/Mix pills and potions,” she sings.