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R&B/Hip-Hop Fresh Picks of the Week: Blxst, Che Ecru, Ryan Destiny & More

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It’s the season of giving, and this week we’re here to give you gift of new Fresh Picks. If you need to figuratively escape the cold, press play on the warm sounds of West Coast heads Blxst and Larry June or 27Delly’s island-inspired new single. Or if you’re in the mood to get cozy with your loved one, we got you covered with R&B rhythms by Rini, Khi Infinite and Che Ecru. Or if you’re feeling festive, check out ATL Jacob’s new single and accompanying album.

We’ve got songs for all the winter moods this week, and of course, don’t forget to spread the joy with our Spotify playlist, linked below.

Freshest Find: Blxst feat. Larry June, “Keep Calling”

Blxst and Larry June earned this week’s Freshest Find with their soon-to-be-legendary West Coast link-up. L.A. meets the Bay as the two do numbers and keep balling. Billboard‘s 2022 R&B/Hip-Hop Rookie of the Year did what he does best, delivering his signature rhythmic hook while June spits organic bars about thumbing through 10,000 blues and pulling off in his Porsche playing Confessions.

Che Ecru, “Fell Asleep”

Appearing on his new album Cold Toronto, Che Ecru samples his own song (“Baggage”) for standout track “Fell Asleep.” The Boston artist has a knack for making druggy, moody tracks laced with sexual lyrics, and has been sampled by artists like Baby Keem and Chris Brown.

ATL Jacob, “Every Christmas”

ATL Jacob is introducing a holiday tradition of his own with his new single, “Every Christmas.” Getting into the spirit of the season, the song’s 808s gallop like reindeer underneath a gift of a chorus as he declares, “I feel like I’m Santa every Christmas/ Rappers add me to their list, I get to saving their careers.” The multiplatinum producer is leaning into his artist side, as he teams up with his Wicked Money Family for their debut holiday album, Wicked Money Family Christmas. The project serves as an introduction to the artists on Jacob’s independent label of the same name which, along with Jacob, recently signed a partnership with Republic Records.

Khi Infinite & Reggie Becton, “Pineapple Rum”

DMV natives Khi Infinite and Reggie Becton team up this week for the new slow jam, “Pineapple Rum.” Reminiscent of a summer day with your lover, the imaginative song features flirtatious lyricism and undeniable melodies. “It’s the song you send to ‘the one.’ It sets the mood for a good night out with your person,” Infinite says in a press release. “Think sitting on a warm tropical beach with your romantic other, drinking rum, and having fun with no worries in the world.”

Casper Sage, “Is This Real Life?”

On “Is This Real Life?,” Casper Sage eloquently expresses the euphoric feelings that true love brings. The captivating new song sounds like its cover art — it will have any listener floating with the idea of romance. Featuring soft vocals and minimal production reminiscent of Frank Ocean, the 21-year-old sings with a sense of maturity and emotion that indicates he is wise beyond his years.

Cruza, “Fantasy”

Alt-R&B trio Cruza exists in their own world, and is trying to create a new wave. Mixing heavy bass lines and melodic guitar loops, the band released a new single called “Fantasy” ahead of their forthcoming first album via Def Jam. Cruza is comprised of vocalist Adam Kain, guitarist Charity Joy Brown and bassist and producer AJRoth. “Fantasy” sounds like a loopy dream, and somewhere between alternative indie music and traditional R&B, the band draws on the past and present to create an atmospheric lane of their own.

Ryan Destiny, “How Many”

Following a two year hiatus, actress-singer Ryan Destiny is marking her return to music with her new R&B single, “How Many.” In the video, the Detroit-born triple threat can be seen dancing in a glass box, as she sports a baby blue set to match the lights. “I like telling my experiences through a lens of coming out of a situation better than I came into it,” she said. “Hopefully smarter, wiser. This song is a piece of a puzzle to me for the music following. Including the visual. The next song will be completely different but still, help tell the story.”

Rini, “Pressure”

Rini is on a roll. “Pressure,” which appears on the singer’s newly released sophomore EP Ultraviolet, is the ultimate ode to women. “’Pressure’ is just the perfect vibe out, cruisin’ song to me and I know this can easily be everyone’s favorite,” he says. “The whole video kinda feels like what me and the homies would do back home, you know, just go for drives and kick it.”

TOBi, “Hoodwinked”

On “Hoodwinked,” TOBi explores childhood trauma. “The character in the song is a child that upon witnessing issues in the home, it affects how he sees the world,” he says of the single. “He has a general distrust for systems and adults. What happens when the veil is lifted? As he gets older, he starts to see things for what they really are. He’s on a quest for truth. A very challenging quest. Process these complex emotions with big energy and set yourself free.”

27Delly, “Gimme That”

27Delly is ushering in cuffing season with his island-themed track, “Gimme That.” Serving as a change of pace for the Harlem rapper, the song is the first offering from his upcoming EP, Wake Up.

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