Best Songs of the Week

This week went crazy with new music.

P&P Original


Best Songs of the Week Feb 9 2018

With so much good music steadily coming through, it's easy to miss some of the best. To help prevent this, we've rounded up the best new songs of the week. Here are the songs you can't afford to skip, in no particular order.

Blocboy JB & Drake - "Look Alive"


Drake seems to be getting back into his zone, stringing together a nice series of hits to kick off 2018. He started with "God's Plan" and "Diplomatic Immunity," which led to him breaking Spotify and Apple Music records, and earning his first solo Billboard #1 single. This time around, Drizzy tapped rising Memphis rapper Blocboy JB for "Look Alive."

Drake's taste has never been in question. He finds someone who's picking up steam and gets them to deliver the right verse on the right record. More often than not, it catapults the artist to mainstream success—and brings the Toronto superstar to a realm that he wouldn't be able to tap into with his solo catalog. "Look Alive" is a fun, high energy trap record and the video for the song serves as a perfect showcase for Blocboy JB's eccentric personality. After being absent from both the Billboard Hot 100 and the Grammys for the first time since 2009, Drake seems to be hungry to once again become the unavoidable force that we've grown to know in the past decade.—Eric Isom

Blood Orange - "Christopher & 6th"

blood orange

It’s been a while since Dev Hynes sated us with new tunes, but a pair of tracks posted on SoundCloud in a playlist labeled “Black History” prove that the singer-songwriter-producer hasn’t lost a step since Freetown Sound. Of the two, “Christopher & 6th” is a jaggedly torn scrapbook page of musical ideas, spacious and improvisational, with freewheeling guitar and a sudden pivot to a cathartic organ for the final 40 seconds. It’s raw, but the small drams of melody are intoxicating nonetheless. Hynes noted that these tracks won’t be appearing on his next project, but the loose, unpolished feel is certainly something we hope translates to another full-length.—Grant Rindner

Khalid ft. Swae Lee - "The Ways"

khalid swae lee

The Black Panther soundtrack has been uncaged, and the extent of Kendrick Lamar's masterful curation is finally coming to light. Much like his genre-spanning DAMN.Black Panther covers a lot of ground. Look no further than the heart of its lineup: the snarling Kendrick/Schoolboy Q/2 Chainz posse cut "X" contrasts sharply with "The Ways," Khalid and Swae Lee's light-hearted love letter. We quickly crash back on Earth with Vince Staples' gritty, propulsive "Opps"—this is an action movie, after all.

But the romantic interlude is still hovering there, an effusive glow that stretches an expansive album's boundaries. This might've seemed like an unlikely pairing on paper, but in practice, Swae's soprano and Khalid's tenor are meant for each other.—Graham Corrigan

Nilüfer Yanya - “Thanks 4 Nothing”

nilufer yanya press photo

One of 2017’s most magnetic newcomers, Nilüfer Yanya enters 2018 with a stunner, the walloping “Thanks 4 Nothing,” an ode to the necessity of cutting lingering ties. The thorny subject matter is perfect fodder for Yanya’s inimitable voice, here showcasing its most vulnerable highs and resolute lows. Her guitar chords are surreal and dreamlike, but come with a somber sense of finality and clarity that accompanies that last deep breath taken before making a difficult decision.

In a crowded field of rising U.K. singer-guitarists, Yanya separates herself from the pack by rendering the painful and tender moments of love with a slightly off-kilter, illusory quality that only makes the universal truths sting more.—Grant Rindner

Czarface & MF DOOM - "Nautical Depths"


Sightings of the masked villain in the city are increasing...what could it mean? DOOM recently featured on Dabrye's excellent "Lil Mufukuz" and followed that with the announcement that he was co-producing Bishop Nehru's entire new album with Kaytranada. This week, another full album project was announced, this time with Czarface, which is Wu-Tang Clan's Inspectah Deck and 7L & Esoteric. "Nautical Depth" is the first release,​ and it doesn't disappoint.

The Czarface Meets Metal Face! album drops on March 30.—Alex Gardner

Jon Waltz - "Backstreets"

jon waltz briana wade

Jon Waltz has been both a personal and P&P favorite for quite some time. After releasing "Justified" and "Riot" back in 2016, the Memphis artist took some time away, and now almost two years later he's back with "Backstreets." The single doesn't disappoint, as Waltz delivers another soothing, addictive tune full of silky vocals and warm guitars. He's reminding listeners that music is an art form, and that it's important to be patient with an artist and follow them along their journey at their pace.—Eric Isom

Danny L Harle ft. Clairo - "Blue Angel"


Clairo was one of our favorite new artists of 2017, but her future was also the most uncertain. She went viral with unpolished, lo-fi pop that she made in her bedroom, and part of her appeal was how personal it all seemed. Where do you go from there? When you start upping the production quality, do you lose some of the charm? On "Blue Angel," Clairo teams up with PC Music's Danny L Harle, and her soothing voice and sweet melodies go perfectly with Danny's dreamy pop production. So no more worries about Clairo, she'll be just fine moving beyond bedroom pop.—Jacob Moore

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A-Trak & Falcons ft. Young Thug & 24hrs - "Ride For Me"

A Trak

A-Trak and Falcons provided came through with a perfect alley-oop, and Young Thug delivered the kind of dunk that gets the crowd off their feet. Thug shifts between different voices and flows and 24hrs then comes through with a melodic closer. "[Thug] always adds to the song and he outshines people a lot on their own albums," A-Trak told Beats 1. "I’ve recorded a lot of things with him and I've been sitting on a couple of things."

More Thug x A-Trak on the way? We can only hope so.—Alex Gardner

Ravyn Lenae ft. Steve Lacy - "Computer Luv"

ravyn lenae 2017

Ravyn Lenae's new EP, Crush, is executive produced by Steve Lacy, and the two work so well together. The entire EP is magical, as Ravyn shows growth and confirms that she is one of the most exciting talents in R&B/pop right now, but "Computer Luv" is an instant highlight. She and Steve Lacy sing together and everything seems better, for two minutes and forty-two seconds at least.—Alex Gardner

Sonder - "One Night Only"

Sonder Press

When an artist says, "Y'all wanna hear some new shit," at a concert, it can go either way. However, when I saw Sonder last year, and they did exactly that, it was received extremely well. So well, in fact, that they performed their new song twice for the crowd. That new song was "One Night Only," and thankfully it's finally available for everyone to hear and play over as many times as they'd like.

On "One Night Only," Atu, Dpat, and Brent Faiyaz deliver their signature sound that evenly blends '90s R&B nostalgia with just enough tweaks to keep things feeling fresh and unique. This new single is sultry and presents Faiyaz with the proper platform to continue to be as charming as possible. If this is a preview to a new album, it feels safe to say the next Sonder project will be another notable release.—Adrienne Black

Lil Gnar ft. Germ - "Codeine Lemonade"


Lil Gnar just started releasing music this past September, and he's already picked up steam in the music industry. The Atlanta-born artist seems to thrive at everything he tries—he's both a solid skater and successful clothing designer, all on top of his burgeoning rap career. Gnar is releasing Big Bad Gnar Shit with fellow Atlanta act Germ, and "Codeine Lemonade" is the final sample from the project before it drops next week. Both Gnar and Germ showcase their gritty bars and hypnotic flows over the Izak-produced record as they set the tone for what's to come on their collab mixtape.—Eric Isom

Calvin Harris ft. Partynextdoor - "Nuh Ready Nuh Ready"

Calvin Harris

Last year's Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1 was something of a breakthrough for Calvin Harris. Instead of collaborating with sure-fire hit makers, he hit up everyone from Frank Ocean to Schoolboy Q, with the resulting album playing out more like a collection of songs he's always wanted to make with some of his favorite artists out.

While "Nuh Ready Nuh Ready" is a bit of a departure from what he was doing there, it's no less successful. With its throwback synth stabs and hypnotic vocals from PartyNextDoor—who continues to go underappreciated—it's everything we could want from what'll hopefully be the sequel to one of 2017's biggest surprises.—Joe Price

Grim Dave - "Grim"

Grim Dave

The Virginia rapper formerly known as DP makes his return with new music for the first time in two years, and a new name: Grim Dave. His new song "Grim" is a return to the vicious lyricism and dark production that Dave is so good with, and it's a sharp and necessary contrast to all the dreamy, melodic rap so prevalent in popular hip-hop today.—Jacob Moore

2 Chainz ft. YG & Offset - "Proud"

2 Chainz

First of all, let's all appreciate the title of 2 Chainz' surprise EP: The Play Don't Care Who Makes It. Second, let's just take some time to appreciate 2 Chainz himself, one of the most consistent rappers in the game. "Proud" is an early standout from the new EP, and not just because of the YG and Offset guest features. The whole theme of the song is making momma proud, and 2 Chainz colorful verse touches on everything from trapping to putting the seat down after he pisses. What a son.—Alex Gardner

Tasha the Amazon - "Intercontinental"

Tasha The Amazon

The latest from this Toronto MC is a master class in swagger—Tasha rides the menacing production with ease, packing both style and lyrical substance over chugging percussion and harsh synths. “Intercontinental” might be something of a victory lap, but Tasha proves her consistency as an artist by lacing the track with inventive boasts about her global status. In a Toronto scene that can often feel insular, Tasha continues to carve her own lane as both a producer and a vocalist. She’s certainly one to watch.—Grant Rindner