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While the news has been rather grim in the past couple of weeks, this week’s stream of new music should lift some spirits. After a decade of delays, Jay Electronica has finally released his debut album, A Written Testimony, complete with plenty of guest verses from JAY-Z. Lil Uzi Vert also circled back with the deluxe version of Eternal Atake, with features from Young Thug, Gunna, and more. But that’s not all. Don Toliver is continuing his hot streak with his new album, Heaven to Hell; Lil Yachty connected with Drake and DaBaby on “Oprah’s Bank Account”; and Fivio Foreign recruited Lil Baby and Quavo for the “Big Drip Remix.” Since there’s way too much music to keep track of this week, we did it so you don’t have to. Check out the best new music of the week below.
Follow our accompanying Best New Music playlist on Spotify here!
Don Toliver f/ Travis Scott & Kaash Paige, “Euphoria”
After teasing the new single on Kylie Jenner’s Instagram page back in January, Don Toliver finally dropped the full version of “Euphoria,” and it was well worth the wait. “Euphoria” is a beautiful collaboration between Toliver, Travis Scott, and Kaash Paige. The song creates an out-of-body experience as Kaash floats over the Sonic Major-produced instrumentals with angelic vocals. “Try to sped time, ’cause I know you/Funny how thy never care about the old you/I’ma blow up, that’s what I’m ’posed to/After I blow up, act like I don’t know you,” she sings. “Euphoria” serves as the second track on Don Toliver’s debut album, Heaven to Hell, and the whole project makes one thing very clear: He’s a star who will be around for a long time.
Jay Electronica f/ Jay-Z, James Blake, Travis Scott, “Universal Soldier”
“I got the Roc on my shoulder (It’s the Roc)/Somebody should’ve told you, I’m a motherfuckin’ universal soldier,” Jay Electronica spits on the first verse of “Universal Soldier,” a valiant collaboration that brings out the best of its collaborators. In particular, JAY-Z sounds very sharp as he rips through his verse, spitting, “Thinkin’ I was the last one Allah would lay his blessings on/I was tryna not to end up like Tony in the restaurant/Now I’m the general of the ginchy army/What don’t kill us make us stronger, that’s Nietzsche on me.” And James Blake closes out on the outro with drowned-out vocals. “Universal Soldier” is one of the many great records on Jay Electronica’s long-awaited debut album, A Written Testimony. It took more than 10 years to arrive, but tracks like “Universal Soldier” made it worth the wait.
Lil Uzi Vert f/ Young Thug & Gunna, “Strawberry Peels”
Eternal Atake is the gift that keeps on giving. Only one week after he dropped the long-awaited album, Lil Uzi Vert has returned with even more new music. The rapper treated fans to the deluxe version of EA, also known as LUV vs. The World 2, which includes 14 new songs. While EA was light on the collaborations, the deluxe version is overflowing with features. The most noteworthy collaboration might be “Strawberry Peels.” On the track, Uzi unites with Young Thug and Gunna, trading hard-hitting verses over a Wheezy beat. The track is peak eye-rolling and shoulder-rolling Uzi, as he raps, “Uzi too rich, man, how does it feel?/Tryna be humble, man, I ain’t tryna kill.”
Fivio Foreign f/ Quavo & Lil Baby, “Big Drip (Remix)”
Last summer, Fivio Foreign dominated the streets of New York City with his Brooklyn drill anthem, “Big Drip.” And it seems he’s looking to re-up on the mayhem this coming season, because he recruited Quavo and Lil Baby for the “Big Drip” remix, and it’s even crazier than the original. Quavo taps in first with a danceable verse, and he sounds like he’s right at home, although drill music isn’t exactly his scene. Lil Baby also delivers a few bars, spitting “Big drip, I fell in love with a rich bitch.” While the entire Brooklyn drill community endured a huge loss with the death of Pop Smoke, Fivio Foreign seems to be stepping up to the plate and proving he can both nab the big features and deliver the hits.
Lil Yachty f/ Drake & DaBaby, “Oprah’s Bank Account”
Lil Yachty’s back with some new heat, and he’s brought along some friends. Simply put, “Oprah’s Bank Account” featuring Drake and DaBaby, is a fun, melodic record that compares a girl to looking just as good as Oprah’s $2.6 billion bank account. “Diamond in the rough, you look as good as Oprah’s bank account,” Yachty sings on the chorus. The accompanying video is also amusing, as Yachty recreates an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show with his featured artists as guests on the fictional series. It’s wild to even fathom that Lil Yachty’s new single was so close to being a collaboration with Lizzo now, but it’s a good thing Drake was following the rapper’s Finsta account and changed the fate of this collaboration forever. It’s been nearly two years since Yachty released his last album, Nuthin’ 2 Prove, but “Oprah’s Bank Account” is helping to build anticipation for the next chapter in his career.
The Weeknd, “Scared to Live (Live)”
The March 20 release date for the Weeknd’s new album, After Hours, is inching closer. And to prep fans, the singer debuted a new track on last week’s Saturday Night Live. “Scared to Live” is a somber love ballad where Abel addresses an ex-lover. He’s broken this person’s heart, but encourages them to open up to love again in the future. “I know things will never be the same/Time we lost will never be replaced/I’m the reason you forgot to love,” he croons. The single falls in line with the Weeknd’s previously-released singles in terms of theme, and during his SNL performance, he dressed as the same bloodied character that was first shown in his music video for “Heartless.” It’s all coming together.
Caev, “Callin’ Ya Bluff!”
I first came across exciting Boston up-and-comer Caev a couple months ago, thanks to a Pigeons & Planes premiere of the music video for his new song “Dust It Off.” Over an addictive, acoustic guitar-driven beat, he effortlessly delivered charismatic verses and an earworm of a hook that dug inside my brain and never left (in a very good way). I was in. I hadn’t been this excited about a new artist after a first listen in a long time. But how would he follow it up? Did he have more where this came from? The answer has now arrived in the form of “Callin’ Ya Bluff!” Floating over more head-knocking, guitar-based production, Caev settles into a nice pocket as he talks his shit and delivers another sticky melody. He’s done it again. Caev is no fluke. Keep your eyes on this guy. He’s on to something special. —Eric Skelton
Jazz Cartier, “Itchin’ for a Lick”
“Itchin’ for a Lick” is a menacing new record from Jazz Cartier. It’s the type of song meant to be played at an underground show or just before a mosh pit breaks out. It’s dark, but still fun enough to jump around to. “Everything you nigga on, I ain’t with that, nigga/Heard ‘em say, he fell off, it’s that get back, nigga,” Jazz raps on the chorus. “I aint come for the talk, I don’t chit-chat, nigga/You think you a boss, we gon fix that.” Same.
Nearly one month after releasing a Valentine’s Day breakup anthem, Kehlani is turning heads again with her latest heartbreak single, “Toxic.” On the new track, the Oakland singer-songwriter reflects on a relationship that she can now see for the mess it really was. Despite the good times, she acknowledges how toxic her partner was, singing, “All these kisses and hugs is not shit/You a damn drug, you’re toxic.” It’s worth noting that the record comes on the heels of Kehlani’s public break up with YG. She hasn’t confirmed whether this track is about him, but “Toxic” is a great record for those looking to move on and break away from any toxicity in their lives.
Flume f/ Toro y Moi, “The Difference”
Flume and Toro y Moi came together to create a psychic record. At first listen, there’s a lot going on with “The Difference,” but once the eclectic sounds settle in and the energetic spirit of the record embraces you, the song is very easy to enjoy. Flume recently spoke about collaboration with Toro for the first time, saying, “We made this song between a day at my place in L.A. and a day at Chaz’s spot in Oakland.” Unfortunately, festival season is at a standstill thanks to the Coronavirus outbreak, but whenever the suspension is lifted, “The Difference” will be the perfect record to roam festival grounds to.
Alina Baraz f/ 6lack, “Morocco”
Alina Baraz’s “Morocco” is a dreamy single about love and relationships. The song is over before you can even get lost in the beat, but it’s very enjoyable nonetheless. 6lack slides on the second verse with a drawn-out and rhythmic delivery, spitting, “I’ma pick her up and then it’s on/Ain’t no neighbors on the top floor, now we in Morocco.” The single will appear on Baraz’s debut album, It Was Divine, which will officially arrive on May 5. So we’ll have “Morocco” on spin until the spring when the album drops.
Megan Thee Stallion & Tyga, “Freak”
Tyga always seems to pop up right before summertime to deliver a new club anthem. And it sounds like “Freak” could be this year’s hit. Tyga couldn’t have recruited a better guest than Megan Thee Stallion, who delivers a cocky and ruthless verse, spitting, “Treat him like party favors, I pass them like chips.” Together, Tyga and Megan Thee Stallion trade raunchy bars over a Mustard-produced beat, making this the perfect summer bop.
YNW Melly f/ Juice WRLD, “Suicidal (Remix)”
Posthumous vocals from Juice WRLD are on the remix to YNW Melly’s “Suicidal,” nearly four months after the original version’s release. On the melodic record, both Melly and Juice sing of a toxic relationship that is doing more harm than good. “I think love is just like money how it blows in the wind / Got me taking medicine, these is not no vitamins,” Juice sings. “I thought that we were meant to be/Til you struck out like one, two, three.” While the majority of the song is focused on love and heartbreak, the chorus (“your love is suicidal”) is both eerie and haunting, considering the fact that Juice WRLD passed away three months before the remix was released. But it’s also a reminder of just how immensely talented Juice was.