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R&B/Hip-Hop Fresh Picks of the Week: Q, SEB, Tempest & More

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It’s been unusually warm in NYC in this past weekend, and it’s probably due to all the heat that’s been dropping in the R&B and hip-hop worlds. Regardless of where you’re located, this week, we’ve got 10 new songs to help you enjoy the nice weather or to help keep you warm. From the R&B rhythms of Q and Jahkoy, to boom-bap raps of Pivot Gang and Lakewude, this roundup has everything you need and more to power through the week.

And of course, don’t forget to share the wealth with our Spotify playlist, linked below

Freshest Find: Q, “Today”

Q’s falsetto earns him this week’s Freshest Find. The Florida-raised singer’s new single “Today” has the ultimate build-up, starting slow and erupting into a funk-infused, R&B bop that’ll make anyone want to dance. Q, who is 23 years old and signed with Columbia Records back in 2020, has an old-soul vibe to his voice and artistry. “Today” is the latest addition to his musical arsenal.

Frsh Waters, “Pray n’ Repent”

Continuing their release streak leading up to the five-year anniversary of John Walt Day, Pivot Gang’s Frsh Waters released a new single called “Pray n’ Repent.” The Saba-produced track finds the Chicago rapper practicing self-forgiveness and repenting for his sins.

Huey Briss, “Warren G”

Huey Briss is no stranger to paying homage to city that made him. On “Warren G,” the Long Beach rapper salutes his fellow LB G-funk artist with the song’s title and many of its bars, rapping “All that s–t y’all talking, it be boring me/ And you know I keep it on me, act accordingly/ I gotta ball, I want it all/ I feel like Warren G.” The song appears on Briss’ new EP Wishing Out Loud.

Tempest, “Heathens”

On “Heathens,” Tempest is embracing her dark side. The alt-R&B/hyper-pop hybrid finds the Long Beach native vibrantly tapping into her villain era, as she sings about “trying to be a heathen.”

SEB, “loving u is harder”

On “loving u is harder,” SEB sings about his confusing relationship with ease. “Loving you is harder than I thought/ You got a reputation breaking hearts/ Guess I should’ve saw this from the start/ A pretty face, you such a work of art,” he laments over the alt-R&B beat. The Chicago-raised artist’s new single touches on codependency and “feeling blindsided by who someone actually is after falling in love with them,” he says in a statement.

Pivot Gang, “911”

Their second single this year, Pivot Gang is back with a new single called “911.” The Chicago collective’s chemistry is undeniable as the group’s vocalists effortlessly tag-team all over the daedaePIVOT-produced beat. The gang is releasing singles both together and individually — again, leading up to this year’s John Walt Day in Chicago on Nov. 26.

Eem Triplin feat. $not, “Let You Know”

Eem Triplin and $not team up for the new single, “Let You Know.” Produced by the former, the song marks the duo’s first collab with both artists on vocals, as they twirl gentle melodies and triplet flows over minor-key organ and finger snaps. “Let You Know” chronicles how pair’s hard-earned trust issues affect their romantic lives.

Lakewude, “Sunlight”

On “Sunlight,” Lakewude reflects on his life and rise as an artist. The Tennessee musician uses intricate wordplay to spit about how times have changed and channeling his “better side.” “N—as bug me, they said they spray like it’s pesticide/ They just wordsmith nerds, ’cause no one ever really dies/ We endorsing violence then parade because they kill our kind/ You see my contradiction?” he raps.

Jahkoy, “Bitter”

Jahkoy is, well, “Bitter.” “You ever get out of a situationship but that person still has some of your things and you lowkey want those things back so now you’re kinda bitter?? Yeah, this is that song,” the Toronto singer told Billboard about the song. The relatable new track is off his upcoming project Sex & Forgiveness.

Phony Ppl, “dialtone.”

With “dialtone.,” Phony Ppl is setting the tone for their new upcoming album. The eclectic funk track is two songs combined, explained the Brooklyn-based band. “‘dialtone.’ is actually two different songs at once! One song (the cause) is about a guy realizing space is only expanding between him and his lover. The other song (the effect) is about a relationship that only exists in the mind of said guy. Either way, there’s something wrong!,” they say in a press statement. “dialtone.” premiered on season five, episode four of Issa Rae’s Insecure. The song will also appear on their upcoming album, Euphonyus, due out Nov. 18.

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In September, “Dumb Dumb” — a song by mazie featured in the Netflix teen drama Do Revenge — caught a wave on TikTok, and listenership grew exponentially. Over the course of two weeks, “the record went from doing around 10,000 streams per day to around 1.4 million per day and has sustained since,” says Max Gredinger, who manages the 23-year-old artist. “We saw increases across the rest of her catalog as well, which […]

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