Stream this week's must-listen releases, hand-picked by our editors.
JT paves her solo path with the release of her highly-anticipated new single "Sideways." The City Girls rapper has been making strides with her individual image and sound as an artist following the release and virality of her previous single, "No Bars." A snippet of the new release has been trending on TikTok for months as it-girls everywhere have been recording themselves lip-syncing, "Bitch, I ain't friendly, I don't fuck with y'all bitches (At all) – Try to take who? It ain't enough of y'all bitches – Hoes so phony, got me lookin' at 'em sideways – It'll never be the same, motherfuck the old days. Pretty in the face but my attitude stank. Either way, these niggas still goin' to the bank. Bitch, I'm up now, give a fuck what you think
– Bitch, I'm up now, give a fuck what you think."
Cash Cobain's “Dunk Contest”
New York rapper Cash Cobain is known for being unapologetically raunchy. Most of his projects are vivid detailings of one-night stands and X-rated moments of obscene sexual experiences, all of which he describes with humor casually attached to his blunt demeanor, making his craft almost charming rather than foul. However, aside from his day-to-day tales of bed-hopping and bad bitches, Cobain’s style is a mix of pixelated drill and playful up-tempo samples, a varied balance that feels fresh in a genre that can often feel repetitive. His most single “Dunk Contest” is a mellow drill ballad in which he calls out all the women he wants to “slam”, pun intended. The track features sleepy 808s and a subtle melodic verse from Cobain that keeps his delivery conversational and breezy and his flow unfussy, rapping, “Destiny, I'm tryna give you the best of me, I wanna kill it like rest in peace, eat on that pussy like it was a recipe, like Shanti I wanna make you a mommy you look good as a redhead, dreadhead, black hair, pink hair, blondie, like.”
Marco Plus' “The Warm-up Freestyle”
Up until the last year, Marco Plus kept a relatively low profile. Emerging only to announce releases of albums and singles, he’s strayed from current generational pursuits of virality and clout-chasing, crafting his delivery based on a commitment to telling his story and following the vision he’s planned out for himself. His most recent single, “The Warm-Up Freestyle,” feels like the dramatic inflection point of his past couple of years, and true to the record's namesake, he’s just getting started. Trading rattling 808s for a jazz arrangement, saxophone and wind instruments provide the ensemble behind his cold-shouldered, candid delivery. As though marching into the spotlight, PLUS methodically lays out life on the come-up: women he can’t be bothered with, beef with rappers he finds amusing, and an unwavering loyalty to the vision and the people who haven’t strayed.
Lil Yachty's “A Cold Sunday”
2023 seemed like Lil Yatchy’s year. After releasing a psychedelic rock album, starting a podcast, and deftly trading his title of ‘rapper’ for all-encompassing creative, it’s hard not to notice his voyage into settling down as a trailblazer of both sound and style. On his first solo single of 2024, “A Cold Sunday,” Yachty offers his two cents on his current status, contemplating the material things he’s accumulated in the tradeoff for fame while listing cars and labels as replacements for where a relationship might fit in. In his typical laidback, nonchalant delivery, he ruminates subtly on brief love affairs yet quickly changes the subject as though not to wane on failed attempts. “Single but I'm creepin', my main bitch don't need a headache. Half a mill' on Maybachs, tires flat, I never drive 'em… Wrap the P like swallin', get it through yo' fuckin' noggin (Damn). Money first, I'm always dialed in.” In a classic moralistic battle between relationships and the lifestyle that comes with fame, Yachty chooses the latter.
Hannah Grae's “Better Now You’re Gone”
Hannah Grae’s “Better Now You’re Gone” is a nod towards post-breakup rage, the anger that replaces grief right after you decide how much better off you are without them. The pop-punk track is purposely an anti-love song, as she makes it clear it’s too late for second chances and closure, “I'm not gonna lie, I haven't even tried, but I don't wanna write a love song…I couldn't admit it, you couldn't forgive it, come on, you know it's time to go, go.” Pairing grunge guitar synths and an uptempo melodic chorus, Grae leaves a bittersweet farewell to her past lover. The single comes alongside the announcement of her debut album “Nothing Lasts Forever,” slated to be released on March 15th.
Check back next week for more must-listens.