Fridays are for new music, and leading up to the weekend some of our favorite artists have given us plenty to be excited about. Whether you're drowning in all these releases or they've completely passed under your radar, relax, we've got this. Tune into our Highsnobiety Soundsytem 50 for a concise curation of the best new tracks of the past weeks. You're welcome, and enjoy!
The Best New Music You Need to Hear (& Why)
1 Kanye West - Hurricane (ft. The Weekend & Lil Baby) - Do you also get chills when you hear this song? In true Donda fashion, “Hurricane” has seen over ten unreleased versions, with verses from Young Thug, Ty Dolla $ign, Big Sean, and more. But the final version we ended up with The Weeknd's haunting vocals and Lil Baby's enigmatic bar is sublimely cinematic.
2 Drake - Way 2 Sexy (ft. Future & Young Thug) - Some things Drake is too sexy for: your girl, unprotected sex, the club. A bass-heavy take on Right Said Fred's hit 1991 single "I'm Too Sexy," the Certified Lover Boy track is the banger we were waiting for, with special assists by Future and Young Thug.
3 Tems - Crazy Tings - Baby girl Tems is unstoppable and the latest stop on her upwards trajectory is this groovy tune produced by the inimitable GuiltyBeatz. The track appears on her forthcoming EP If Orange Was a Place, which is out September 15.
4 Little Simz - Point and Kill (ft. Obongjayar) - "Family no go suffer inna my lifetime" Little Simz opens the bumping track and continues to rap about her and her loved ones’ prosperity, something that she’ll fight for to no end. Assisted by Obongjayar's hypnotizing vocals and a nostalgic Afrobeat produced by Inflo, let this song soundtrack your hustle.
5 Kimilist - Yente (ft. Ypee & Kwame Yesu) - Maybe it's just me, but blasting drill in my headphones makes me untouchable. And if that's the vibe you're going for trust that Kimilist will give you the right attitude adjustment with his new menacing track "Yente."
Battle of the Albums
So are we gonna talk about Donda versus Certified Lover Boy. When two of contemporary hiphop's biggest, best (and most petty) stars drop their albums within the same week amidst a feud, you know it's gonna be good. And our GOATs Kanye and Drake definitely didn't disappoint.
Of course the music was briefly usurped by the rappers' respective camps of fans, who raised the ever-boring question: which album is better? While I have my own opinion on this question, I've got something else for you: does it even matter?
Donda is a pure psychodrama, punctuating Kanye's bouts of mourning, heartbreak, and complicated public persona with relentless introspection and an orchestra or brilliant collaborations and larger-than-life production. Meanwhile Drake's Certified Lover Boy is irresistible even at its bleakest moments. Drake does what he's best at, which is... everything – bangers, captionable lyrics, sublime features, real talk, pretty vocals, and weaving between genres from Afrobeats to trap.
In the end, even at odds Ye and Drizzy gave us a combined 3 hours and 14 minutes of rap gold and two projects that we're going to be streaming for years to come. So, we're the real winners here.
A late-2019 Pitchfork feature named drill “the Decade’s Most Important Rap Subgenre.” If that's the case, Ghana's budding drill scene might be the genre's most important frontier yet. Coming out of the country's unassuming second city Kumasi, the menacing genre has gotten an invigorating new update from a young league of artists.
One star rising out of Ghana's acclaimed drill scene is Kimilist. Captivating with his charismatic voice and slick wordplay which effortlessly dabbles in English and the local dialect Twi, the rapper is building a repertoire of certified bangers, and collaborating with the biggest local names in the game in the process.
If Ghanaian drill is one of the most promising and exciting sub-genres flourishing in modern hiphop, then Kimilist is your perfect way into this thriving world. To get a feel for this new sound check out his track "Sika" and of course his newest offering "Yente" in this week's Highsnobiety Soundsystem 50 playlist below.
We don't talk enough about how important good visuals are for single rollouts but also how these short films are sometimes the magic that ignites our devotion to a song. Little Simz' "Point and Kill" is one such example.
Directed by Ebeneza Blanche, the accompanying clip for “Point And Kill” takes over where the song leaves off. The vintage-tinged offering honors West Africa's 1970s cultural golden age and nods to Nigeria's world-changing Afrobeat in what looks like the coolest afropunk party imaginable, complete with enviable hair, fits, beauty looks, and intoxicating energy. This is nostalgia at its best, when it's proudly African and joyfully authentic. Hit play on the stunning visual below.