After a (very) brief hiatus, Highsnobiety Soundsystem 50 is back! This time we're doing things a little differently: the playlist is coming in biweekly installments. While we want to keep sharing the music we love, like many music lovers, we also wanna gush about the tracks that have gotten us moving. From weird facts, intimate insights to hidden gems, we've got only the best new songs and we wanna talk about it to you right here, right now.
The Best New Music You Need to Hear (& Why)
1 Pop Smoke - Spoiled (ft. Pharrell) - Today, we got another posthumous Pop Smoke album. After all this time, hearing Pop's familiar gritty tone still makes our eyes wet. While the project as a whole felt a bit disjointed, there are gems that stand out and add to the drill king's beloved discography. Produced by the Neptunes and featuring Pharrell's silky smooth vocals, "Spoiled" is definitely one of those... and maybe a classic?
2 BIA - WHOLE LOTTA MONEY (ft. Nicki Minaj) - One thing that never fails to get me excited is a stellar female rap collaboration. So when rap's reigning queen pens an original verse for one of rap's brightest rising stars' hottest tracks, well, that's a big W, in my book. Thanks to Nicki, BIA's "WHOLE LOTTA MONEY" just got a whole lot hotter.
3 Vince Staples - ARE YOU WITH THAT? - I love Vince. Literally, the man can do no wrong in my eyes. And this track and its accompanying album is further proof that from lyrical prowess to head-nodding production, and vision, Mr. Staples has always got it on lock.
4 Omah Lay - Understand - I've had this song on repeat for over a week. This one will get you in your feels and have you catch a vibe all at the same time.
5 WILLOW - G R O W (ft. Avril Lavigne & Travis Barker) - Okay. Go back and read that list of artists on this track. Need I say more?
While there's never a shortage of good new songs, the same can't be said on the album front. Gone are the days when the majority of albums felt like full, complete bodies of work. But sometimes, through the fog of drop culture, emerges a stunning album that's meant to be, from start to finish. This week, Lagos rap duo Show Dem Camp did just that with Clone Wars Vol. 5 - The Algorythm.
This is one of those rap albums that's all rap, no frills. Through their Clone Wars franchise, SDC's Tec and Ghost have established themselves as giants in the African rap scene. If you're looking for bumping hip-hop, slick storytelling, and afro-infused vibes, this one's for you. Want a taste? Listen to "Tycoon" below.
Two is better than one– Fine, that's not always the case in music. Sometimes musicians do too much with the collabs. But then there are moments like Normani and Cardi B's powerful and necessary link up on "Wild Side." Ugh, the R&B goodness is to die for and it's dripping in girl-power.
On Your Radar
One artist you should look out for? Tomi Thomas.
The Nigerian singer is one of those magical artists that once you discover, is gonna stick with you. With a mesmerizing blend of Afrobeats, dancehall, reggae, and soul, Thomas somehow weaves together a unique discography that keeps you hooked. It's beautiful to see a star rising, especially when that includes a co-sign from a legend, like on his latest single "Hurricane" featuring Buju Banton.