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Whether you’re celebrating today’s holiday or not, we’ve got plenty of jams to keep you feeling nice and mellow with this week’s selection of best new tracks. Well, scratch that, we have a few that are some certified, pound the alarm, get your ass shaking booty-busters as well.

In the former category, Khalid has delivered the first real contender for the summer-anthem of 2018, balancing icy vocals with production where you can practically feel the humidity. Which speaking of, how many more songs from Janelle Monáe’s upcoming album are going to sound like actual sex? So far, we’re four for four. And for those of you more interested in the latter, ass-shaking category, we’ve got the clear standout from J. Cole’s new album KOD, an electric single from Detroit-techno guru Jimmy Edgar goodies from Atlanta’s finest, Rae Sremmurd and SahBabii.

All those and more make are in this edition of Best Tracks of the Week.

Ariana Grande – “No Tears Left to Cry”

To be honest, a new Ariana Grande song (even if we had known about it for longer than 24 hours) would not have been a priority on our calendar. And yet here we are with “No Tears Left to Cry”, a groovy little number rich with house influences and one of the pop star’s insidiously addictive melodies. We know what we’re turning up with this weekend now.

J. Cole – “Motiv8”

The jury’s still out on how we feel about J. Cole’s surprise new album KOD so we’re not even going to go there. But we immediately know a proper jam when we hear one, and for this record, that is undoubtedly “Motiv8”. Sure some of the bars are cringe, but the bass line alone is worth the listen.

Janelle Monáe – “I Like That”

There is now no doubt whatsoever that next week’s Dirty Computer is going to be anything but amazing (not that there was much before but we digress). As the fourth taste of Janelle Monáe’s next full-length, this one introduces a potent flavor of beats that hasn’t been felt yet. Also, can someone tell us how to sound this sexy all the time?

Jimmy Edgar – “Burn So Deep” ft. D∆WN

Uhhh Detroit techno god Jimmy Edgar enlisted D∆WN for a surprise new single ahead of an album?? We would say ‘SIGN US UP PLZ’ if it weren’t already here. But it is, and hot damn is it glorious. This is a track that is literally impossible to stand still while listening so don’t even bother trying, just let that ass shake.

Khalid – “OTW” ft. 6LACK & Ty Dolla $ign

* Hot as fire summer jam alert! * Our first contender for ‘song to dance woozily to when you’ve had too many margaritas’ has arrived. Khalid’s vocals keep things icy cool despite the tangible sensation of humidity that wafts out of this track. 6LACK and Ty are here too for added hook-power, making this as irresistible as having just one more marg.

Lotic – “Hunted”

The enigmatic, Berlin-based producer Lotic has been making the rounds for years now on the electronic scene, and now, we’re finally getting an album. Lead single “Hunted” promises great things; it’s loud, proud, and fiercely political, exactly the kind of debut work we need more of in 2018.

Lykke Li – “deep end”

Lykke Li’s unexpected return with three new singles this was already one of the more enticing surprises of the year thus far. But add in the even more unexpected, drastic shift in genre from her last album and you can consider us shook. Worlds away from the sparse, gothic balladry of 2014’s I Never Learn, Lykke has made a hard left turn into the land of trap. Get hype for her amazingly-titled upcoming album so sad so sexy.

Rae Sremmurd – “CLOSE” ft. Travis Scott

In case you didn’t know how to spell ‘close,’ Rae Sremmurd have got you covered about 70 times over. Whether they can help you – get – close with that special someone, now that’s another story. But the combined forces of Slim Jxmmi, Swae Lee and Travis Scott in full-on ‘yah-yah-yah-yah-itslit’ mode should help you out. If they can’t do it, then you may be alone forever, sorry.

SahBabii – “Outstanding” ft. 21 Savage

“Outstanding” is the second single we’ve been given from SahBabii’s upcoming album Squidtastic, and it is a huge flex for the Atlanta rapper’s lyrical prowess. Look no further than the sheer number of similes about ‘ice’ he packs into the track’s brief runtime. Of course, 21 Savage’s bars are also worth pointing out, particularly this class-A gem: “Foreign bitch pussy good, I bought a green card/ But I swear it get so wet I wish I had a surfboard.”

Tyler, The Creator – “Rose Tinted Cheeks”

Is it cheating to put an unearthed B-side from 2016 on the list of best tracks this week? Maybe, but our response to that argument would be ‘listen to the damn song.’ Tyler’s sudden and pronounced musical maturation is still in full bloom, so we’ll take any studio leftovers from Flower Boy he’s willing to share.

Be sure to check out last week’s edition of our Best Tracks right here.

Words by Jake Boyer
Music Editor
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