An undeniable flute sample and drum kick from Birthday, pocket perfect self-motivating raps by Donnie Durag, and a sauced up-visual from Llama make “Winter in NY” a blustery borough banger. Leave the bubble at the door for Spring, but bring the energy no matter the weather.
On “10 & 2,” NanaBcool uses his vivid rendering of a traffic stop to probe America’s deep racial ills with support from Chicago’s Elton Aura. Their raps move deftly between revolutionary confidence and concern for the lives of family and friends.
“ONLY ONE” is a song about growing up, but also not growing up. O2worldwide is a 16 person collective of long-time friends rapping their own coming of age franchise out of Oklahoma.
Detroit rapper Nolan and his creative team blend satire, homage, a throwback, and the new wave seamlessly on their new visual and single “CC.”
fika returns with another lesson in love on “Don’t Say I Don’t.” The stripped back goodness is fika doing what they do they do best. Jazzy lo-fi instrumentation and songwriting that cuts straight to the heart. Find your yourself longing for love you didn’t know you were missing.
On “Carry On,” NYC emcee Blu Hyku channels a stirring message of solidarity for Asian American communities facing violence and discrimination.
Sly Wes blends sound from funk, reggaeton and electronic to produce rhythmic bliss. “I Wish” is an instrumental escape into yearning.
New Zealand emcee Melodownz raps about the ills of greed and consumption culture over a dreamy beat driven by rapturous drums. “Money” floats on a waving cadence that expands to fill the pocket in different ways.
Winding and psychedelic, “Butterfly” flitters in and out of the physical and existential. PK Delay raps about the disconnect between the chaos of the world and proceeding like everything’s fine. Features from Benji. and My Favorite Color rounds out the track.
Lessons about love are hard to learn. K Folks sings about the wisdom of keeping that passion in reserve for the right person. “Save Your Love” is a spiraling R&B with hard keys.