This week’s list features new music from rap upstarts like Van Buren Records and an elite instrumental from Kenny Beats’ latest album, “LOUIE.”
Larry June – “Don’t Check Me”
Larry June returns with “Don’t Check Me” from his new album, “Spaceships on the Blade.” The David Camarena-directed video follows Larry June in his hometown of San Francisco. June rides in an old-school car while rapping over a retro-style beat, providing a refreshing summer feeling.
Van Buren Records – “FOUL”
The up-and-coming Brockton, Massachusetts collective is making noise following the release of their 2021 debut album, “Bad For Press.” Their new single “FOUL” plays on “The Brady Bunch” intro, where each rapper appears in front of a blue square as they collectively rap the hook. Each rapper comes through with their unique style with every verse, displaying the group’s versatility.
Joji – “YUKON”
“YUKON” is the second single from Joji’s new album, “SMITHEREENS.” Joji sings about driving around aimlessly to distract himself from someone he used to care for. The music itself is somewhat dramatic. An acoustic piano carries the melody, chords, and bass line. About halfway through, the song shifts to a more energetic tempo, adding drums and catchy vocals.
Kenny Beats – “That Third Thing”
“The Third Thing” is an extremely smooth instrumental from Kenny Beats’ debut LP, “LOUIE.” The instrumental has an incredibly jazzy feel, with a bass that touches your soul. The album has some familiar collaborators, including Vince Staples, JPEGMAFIA, Thundercat and more. Listen to “That Third Thing” with headphones.
J.I.D and Yasiin Bey – “Stars”
J.I.D’s new album, “The Forever Story,” marks his most impressive body of work to date, packed to the brim with psychedelic production and unique wordplay. The beat selection is not something you’ll hear every day and the song “Stars” with Yasiin Bey is no different. The instrumental has some freeform jazz elements and has layers upon layers of beautiful sounds.
Ari Lennox and Summer Walker – “Queen Space”
In preparation for her heavily anticipated sophomore album, “Age/Sex/Location,” Ari Lennox has teamed up with Summer Walker for her latest single, “Queen Space.” Ari Lennox expands on being grounded in self-love and not wasting your time or energy on the wrong people. The music isn’t overly complex but is exceptionally smooth, while the track focuses on an acoustic piano and a bass line that deserves more shine.
Noah Cyrus and Benjamin Gibbard – “Every Beginning Ends”
With Noah Cyrus’ new album “The Hardest Part” coming out in less than two weeks, the singer released a new single, “Every Beginning Ends,” featuring Death Cabs For Cuties’ Ben Gibbard. The stripped-down single features a somber acoustic guitar and the singers trading lines back and forth. Cyrus touches on her relationships with her parents and friends and the difficulty of maintaining those relationships. If you’re feeling down, this song might strike a chord with you.