#WeekendPlaylist: our favorite songs of the week

February was an eventful month with new projects from Kodak Black, $NOT, Robert Glasper and many more. British singer and songwriter Bakar has released his second album, four years after his debut. And with the March install, we have new singles from our favorite artists – mainstream and underground.

Here are the 10 songs we’ve had on repeat lately.

EARTHGANG, JID & J. Cole – “WATERBOYZ”

EARTHGANG’s recent album ‘GHETTO GODS’ features household names like Future, Ari Lennox and Baby Tate. Their single “WATERBOYZ” features Dreamville’s JID and J. Cole. As usual, Johnny Venus and Doctur Dot exchange verses on a bouncy beat, while JID and J. Cole enliven the track with poignant verses.

Bakar – “Youth”

Bakar sings of his maturity and growth on “Youthenasia.” He references his debut “Badkid” project singing, “Bad man, not a bad kid longer.” Three minutes into the track, Bakar’s soft voice slowly fades as tribal chants flood the track before slowly fading away.

Kehlani – “little story”

Kehlani’s trademark raspy voice returns for the cinematic “little story.” She recounts her feelings on how tumultuous love can be over mellow guitars and a violin section. Throughout the video, she sings with three violinists, while the end of the video shows her daughter playing in the water.

Dreamer Isioma – “Sunset Drive”

Newcomer Dreamer Isioma takes the reins on the groovy “Sunset Drive” on guitar. They detail the preparation for a party that “is going to be one hell of a night”. Lively horns join their light but confident vocals in the outro. Activate this song every time you sail at night.

Avril Lavigne – “Love Sux”

Pop-punk icon Avril Lavigne released “Love Sux,” her seventh studio album, in February. Artists like WILLOW and Machine Gun Kelly mark the recent resurgence of the pop-punk genre popularized by Avril Lavigne in the early 2000s. “Love Sux” harkens back to Avril’s “Sk8er Boi” and “Girlfriend” days, taking a light-hearted approach and stimulating to discuss breakups and toxic relationships.

Robert Glasper – “Heaven Is Here” (Feat. Ant Clemons)

Robert Glasper and Ant Clemons combine their talents to create the laid-back yet passionate love song “Heaven’s Here.” Clemons’ expertly clear falsetto conveys his poetic love for his partner, “And tell me, why would I forsake you and lead me back to hell? / When I had heaven here with you.” Glasper provides a delicate jazz background to set the song’s laid-back mood.

Central Cee – “Direct Return”

Central Cee has released one of the most motivational tracks since “Started From the Bottom” with his cut album “Straight Back To It.” The UK native rap, “Took me a L, no problem/I got on my grind, got right back it.” “Straight Back To It” is a necessary addition for those who need a wake-up, club or gym playlist. This song, positive affirmations and a superhero pose in the mirror for two minutes is probably the secret to invincibility.

Bibi Bourelly, Maureen Boyer & SamTRax – “Sun”.

“Sun.”, the intro to Bibi Bourelly, Maureen Boyer and SamTRax’s collaborative EP “Soley”, combines elements of neo-soul, hip-hop and rock, layering harmonized vocals over a drum beat heavy and a snippet of “Runaway,” by Kanye West. Light piano underscores the entire soothing yet provocative alt-R&B track that ends with a sub-minute monologue.

Che Ecru – “HONEST”

Che Ecru gently serenades his girlfriend on “HONEST.” The singer uses his effortless rasp and enchanting harmonies to deliver the catchy chorus and confident verses. Che Ecru and Thurdi produced the bass-heavy R&B/hyperpop beat, so you know it’s a staple.

Conway the Machine – “Tear Gas” (with Rick Ross and Lil Wayne)

Hip-hop legends Rick Ross and Lil Wayne join Conway the Machine for “Tear Gas.” The track features a classic vocal sample coupled with a piano that floats gracefully in the background. Conway the Machine talks about his success despite adversity in life and his recognition, saying, “I probably won’t get my flowers until I smell them.”


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Grace D. Erickson