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 songs from the past week. Here are the songs you can’t afford to skip, in no particular order.Vince Staples ft. Kendrick Lamar & KUČKA – “Yeah Right”
Vince Staples lives in the future. Big Fish Theory, his hotly anticipated new album, has finally arrived, and is unlike anything the Long Beach rapper (or anyone else, for that matter) has ever put out before. The album’s lead singles signalled a step away from the bleak, icy sonics of his old work and towards more vibrant, post-industrial soundscapes that draw upon techno for inspiration, and the rest of the album continues this trend.
In one of Big Fish Theory’s most unexpected twists, Staples enlists Kendrick Lamar to tear a SOPHIE beat to shreds with him. Over a metallic clash of drums and a mean, snarling subbass, Staples and Lamar trade audacious, confrontational verses questioning the integrity of their competition. Staples’ nonchalant delivery offsets the frantic production of the track. In one verse alone, Lamar manages to cycle through five different flows, attesting to his unmatched dexterity. Australian singer KUČKA lends her delicate vocals to the song’s breakdown, adding another layer of otherworldliness. “Yeah Right” showcases two of hip-hop’s boldest voices decimating an incredibly unconventional instrumental with finesse.—Charlotte Freitag
Ro Ransom ft. Jazz Cartier – “Prettiest”
After releasing the poppiest song of his career so far with the excellent “Doppelgänger” late last year, it seemed hard to predict where Ro Ransom was headed next. “Prettiest” is really the only direction that makes sense in hindsight, but that doesn’t make it any less fantastic of a follow-up. Building upon Ro’s newfound pop sensibilities and combining it with his ability to craft a bombastic rap track, “Prettiest” is the best of of Ro Ransom in one song. It helps that Jazz Cartier fits perfectly on the colorful production too, injecting even more energy into the already lively song.—Joe Price
Charlotte Dos Santos – “Cleo”
Charlotte Dos Santos is truly in a lane of her own. The Norwegian singer makes music that feels like it could never age—her new Cleo EP is a clear example of that. Each track sounds a bit nostalgic, yet incredibly refreshing. The EP’s title track “Cleo” is a breezy track that simply feels good. Charlotte’s airy vocals are complemented by soulful production—it’s hard not to instantly become a fan after one listen.—Adrienne BlackReddish Blu “when i get too sad”
If that new DJ Khaled album isn’t matching your mood, give Massachusetts singer Reddish Blu a try. She wrote her latest track “when i get too sad” when she was drunk and in her feelings. “Honestly, sometimes it hurts to know the truth and to be blinded by your own thoughts,” she told us. It’s slow-moving and somber, but there’s just enough bite to it to make things interesting. Can’t wait to see what’s next from Reddish Blu.—Jacob Moore
Read more about Reddish Blu here.
dvsn – “Don’t Choose”
R&B is in a great, forward-thinking place right now. Every day, artists are taking risks and trying new things, pushing the genre forward in interesting ways. But every once in awhile, someone will take a moment to look back and pull a soulful sound from the past and mix it into a futuristic palette for a beautiful clash of eras. That’s exactly what happens on dvsn’s new single “Don’t Look” as a ’60s-era sample collides with dvsn’s modern, bass-heavy production. The results are stunning.—Eric Skelton
L8LOOMER ft. Doja Cat – “Right Side”L8LOOMER moved to California from his native Tampa, Florida a couple years back to go after music full-time. The artist formerly known as Broderick Batts has gotten wiser with age, as demonstrated by his new Doja Cat collaboration “Right Side.”
Over a carefree, stuttering beat, L8LOOMER croons about Mercury in retrograde and the his checklist for a label deal, while Doja delivers a classically swanky verse on fungi and veganism. It sounds like L8LOOMER’s had some experiences, and he’s ready to share them with the world.—Graham CorriganThaiboy Digital – “Magic”Thaiboy Digital has always shown a lot of promise in his material, but “Magic” sees him hitting his stride with remarkable ease. Moving away from the icy blast that is his Yung Lean collaboration “Diamonds” to some extent, the Gud-produced “Magic” opts to take its time.
Building and building like a snowball tumbling down the side of a hall, “Magic” just gets better with repeat listens. This is Thaiboy’s most hypnotic single to date—”Magic” is every bit its namesake.—Joe Price
DJ Khaled ft. Pusha T & Jadakiss – “Good Man”Asahd, you did it. DJ Khaled’s new album Grateful—executive produced by his baby son Asahd—is stacked. Chance The Rapper, Beyoncé, Jay Z, Kodak Black, Travis Scott, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Future and many other A-listers make appearances. At 23 songs long, it’s packed full of hook-centric music that is guaranteed to rack up huge numbers this summer. “Good Man,” the Pusha T and Jadakiss-featuring track, is a clear standout from the project. It’s a slow-moving song that doesn’t even need a hook, and Pusha and Jada both deliver the bars they’re known for, refusing to bend to the will of the usual Khaled formula. This won’t be the biggest hit from the project, but it’s definitely the one I’ll keep going back to.—Jacob Moore