Millions of people are being confined to their homes to quarantine during the global coronavirus pandemic. Social distancing hasn’t exactly been the easiest thing to do, but the silver lining is that we have a bunch of new music releases to help us get through this surreal, dark period. After a very extensive and elaborate rollout, the Weeknd has finally dropped his new album, After Hours. NLE Choppa and Roddy Ricch teamed up for a new hit called “Walk Em Down,” and Mac Miller’s estate delivered new tracks from the deluxe version of his posthumous album, Circles. We also got new songs from Rod Wave, Lil Loaded, Rico Nasty and more. To take your mind off of the news, dive into the best new music of the week.
Follow our accompanying Best New Music playlist on Spotify here!
The Weeknd, “Escape From LA”
“Escape from LA” is a sinister cut from the Weeknd’s latest album, After Hours. Abel goes much darker than his previously released singles as he sings of a past relationship that was tarnished by infidelity. “But this world is such a, such an evil place/Man, these hoes will always find a way/Cause when I’m on the liquor, I go crazy,” he croons over Metro Boomin production. The Weeknd may be trying to escape from the hustle and dishonesty of Los Angeles, but “Escape from LA” sets the perfect tone for a night indoors at home. “Escape from LA” is the best of the Weeknd’s brooding side.
NLE Choppa f/ Roddy Ricch, “Walk Em Down”
NLE Choppa is back with his new single “Walk Em Down,” and the record isn’t exactly what you’d expect to hear from the Memphis artist. On past hits like “Shotta Flow,” Choppa sounded wild and rambunctious, bouncing from verse to verse, but on “Walk Em Down,” he approaches things with more reserve. The lyrical message is similar to past songs, but the delivery is more melodic and smooth. Roddy Ricch, who is featured on the track, may have served as some inspiration behind NLE’s switch-up. In a recent interview with Complex, Choppa revealed that he asked Roddy to be on the single via Instagram. “He came to the studio the same night and when he saw what type of nigga I was, we did the song the same night,” he said. Roddy’s presence is undeniable on “Walk Em Down.” And with Roddy and NLE Choppa together, “Walk Em Down” could be a hit.
Mac Miller, “Right”
“Right” is the latest release from the late Mac Miller, arriving as one of two bonus tracks that appear on the deluxe version of Mac’s posthumous album, Circles, which debuted back in January. “Right” is a mellow love song that finds Mac singing to a former partner, in hopes that they will come back to him. “Three years ago I was so dumb/Clueless, young and stupid, but look at who I have become,” he sings. “I ain’t gonna break your heart, promise it’s always safe/Baby, don’t go now, pull me closer.” It’s still feels unreal that Mac Miller is not here with us anymore, but having songs like “Right,” remind us what a special talent he truly was.
Rico Nasty, “Lightning”
“Lightning” is an upbeat new trap song from Rico Nasty where she delivers a story, reflecting on her childhood as the “weird kid” and how that prepared her for the success she has now. She switches up her flows a bit, dropping in metaphors and quotable one-liners over producer Nick Mira’s synths and muffled instrumentals. “I’m an innovator, that’s why they pay me to illustrate it/I know that it’s a risky game, but I pray I’m the greatest player,” she spits. The accompanying music video is just as vibrant as the record, as Rico, dressed in all purple, is standing atop some sort of tower or vacant lot. Rico has always been appealing due to her off-the-wall personality, which is still vividly present on “Lightning.”
dvsn f/ Snhoh Aalegra, “Between Us”
“Between Us” is a smooth new banger from dvsn, featuring Snoh Allegra, which samples Usher’s 1998 hit, “Nice & Slow.” “I don’t want nothing in between us/Nothing there to stop the feeling/I don’t want nothing in between us/Got me thinking this might be love,” dvsn’s Daniel Daley sings. Snoh Aalegra fits right in on the record, with raspy vocals that float over Nineteen85’s production. “Between Us” is the perfect record for after hours.
Rod Wave, “Pray 4 Love”
Rod Wave is back with his latest hood gospel. On “Pray 4 Love,” he runs through the hardships that came with growing up the way he did. What’s most compelling here is the honesty and grit, as he prays that he doesn’t see an early death as a result of his past actions. “Get on my knees every day, I asked God and prayed/That my dirty way don’t lead me to an early grave,” he raps. “Pray 4 Love” is the title track of Rod’s forthcoming album, which is due on April 3. After catching the attention of rappers like 21 Savage and Meek Mill with his debut project, Ghetto Gospel, in 2019, it will be interesting to see how he maintains his presence in this next chapter of his career.
Lil Loaded f/ King Von, “Avatar”
Lil Loaded recruited King Von for his new single, “Avatar,” where the duo trade verses about murder and evading the police. “The laws can’t catch me, they knowing what’s up/Get rid of the body and the burner/They don’t even know it’s a murder/In the hood, they know he a goner,” Lil Loaded raps. King Von comes in on the second verse with just as much gusto, spitting, “Investigation, man, these pigs tryin’ to get me/No hesitation, blow it if he come near me.”
J Balvin, “Amarillo”
With an album title like Colores, it’s not surprising that J Balvin’s latest is vibrant and energetic. The project’s tracklist is titled based on an array of colors, and its standout record is opener, “Amarillo” (translates to: yellow). It’s a club banger with chaotic sounds that are easy to follow and dance to. “Amarillo” and Colores arrives at just the right time. Despite the global pandemic, J Balvin told Complex that he never considered delaying the album. “I decided to drop the album no matter what because I think people need some light and some colors right now in their life. And music is not being canceled for no one,” he said. It’s a good thing he followed through with it. It’s a dose of fun we all need as we head into a quarantined weekend.