Another week, another edition of best tracks. This time, some of our faves are bringing some seriously spooky vibes just in time for Halloween – Chynna and Yung Lean seriously came through in that department. Cardi B, on the other hand, is rapping about money on her latest song. She’s certainly not reinventing the rap wheel but issa bop.
Elsewhere, we’ve got Rapsody and J. Cole linking up on a 9th Wonder-produced jam, Raveena serving up “love is love” R&B smoothness, Smino rapping about The Lion King , and a thumper of a track from Jacques Greene.
All those and more are this week’s best tracks.
Cardi B – “Money”
Say whatever you want about Cardi B, but she keeps getting better and better as a rapper. Sure, she’s mostly rapping about having a lot of money and the unsurprising list of everything that goes along with it, but her bars are on point. I’m personally loving the sparse production courtesy of J. White Did It on this one – a good sonic move for Bardi, in my humble opinion. – B
Chynna – “Xternal Locus” ft. Oklou
I’ve been obsessed with Chynna ever since I heard her 2017 mixtape music 2 die 2. She’s the real freakin’ deal, and it still astounds me she hasn’t properly “blown up” yet. Chizzyano has served up another dark, slightly depressing banger with “Xternal Locus,” this time teaming up with French singer / producer Oklou. I would say they’re a match made in heaven, but this song sounds slightly more like hell, in the best way possible. – B
Jacques Greene – “Perlant”
This thumping track will help you shake the brrrr out of October, and that’s honestly all that matters right now as winter descends upon us all. Get your body ready for the club because the Fever Focus EP is coming on November 16. – S
Poppy – “X”
Hardcore Poppy will save us all. There’s really nothing else that needs to be said about this single. Not only will it catch you off guard, but it will surprise you in the best of ways. Thank me later. Am I A Girl? drops on October 31. – S
Rapsody – “Sojourner” ft. J. Cole
This J. Cole-featuring track, surprisingly not produced by J. Cole is unsurprisingly great. With two of the rap game’s greatest who aren’t afraid to tell it like it is, you can’t really go wrong. Especially when 9th Wonder is on the perfectly laid-back beat and when the song is named after African-American women’s rights activist and abolitionist Sojourner Truth.
Love is love and no genre broadcasts this better than R&B. Raveena’s latest single is not a breath of fresh air–it’s that first wave of heat that warmly greets you when your frozen frame emerges from the freezing cold. Give yourself a break and take some time to unwind, Raveena is here to reduce your anxieties with a soundwave of love. (Is it just me, or are we all melting into a puddle of mush?) – S
Smino – “L.M.F.”
I can’t say I was expecting to hear a reference to The Lion King in a rap song anytime soon, but here we are. Our boy Smino is rapping about Mufasa and Hakuna Matata over impeccable beats courtesy of Sango, and I’m honestly shook. Well done. – B
Toro y Moi- “Freelance”
99 percent of the time the only way to alleviate stress is to dance it away. 2018 has felt like a mess that only seems to get worse with each passing day, but Toro y Moi has given us a reason to look forward to next year with the arrival of his forthcoming album Outer Peace. Protect your creativity, preserve your energy, and get groovy baby. – S
Westerman- “Outside Sublime”
Westerman opens this single with the following sentence: “Be what you want, I’ll always be your champion.” As the song continues, he repeats this line over and over again without breaking a stride. There’s something reassuring about the manner in which he delivers these words that are so simple, but carry so much weight in terms of the deeper meaning behind them. In a press release, Westerman explained that this was his way of writing a note to a struggling friend. During times like these, it’s important to have people you can rely on–allow the power of friendship to guide you through it all. Westerman’s Ark EP is due out on November 9. – S
Yung Lean – “happy feet”
In my eyes, Yung Lean can do no wrong. He cannot put out a bad song. It’s just not possible. Where to begin with “happy feet”? The production courtesy of Whitearmour is brooding with a hit of Renaissance realness, just in time for Halloween. And once again, Leandoer is serving up mystifying metaphors left and right, getting me incredibly stoked to dig into his Poison Ivy mixtape dropping next week. – B
Be sure to check out last week’s edition of our Best Tracks round up right here.
- Words: Bianca Giulione, Sydney Gore