D4vd, Khamari, Jorja Smith & More – Billboard
Written by GRB on 18/04/2023
It’s mostly a week of laid-back feels. On her mighty solo comeback, Jorja Smith dares a former love to try her, 18-year-old viral artist d4vd gushes over the woman of his dreams and Khamari pulls on classic influences. But if you’re looking for a little more chaos, Tee Grizzley and Skilla Baby have you covered with the first offering from their upcoming joint mixtape.
Moral of the story is, we’ve got something for every moment. So feel the vibes and share the wealth with our Spotify playlist, linked below.
Freshest Find: Jorja Smith, “Try Me”
Prowling in an ancient coliseum while donning influences from early civilizations, Jorja Smith is engulfed in a familiar battle that transcends time and space: a lovers quarrel. The track’s production is just as unique as its video, an amalgamation of clacking drums and bells that sink into a hypnotic rhythm as Smith challenges, “I’ve changed?/ There’s only been one thing that I’ve changed.” The cut is a dynamic and promising return for the singer, who took a brief step away after promising to Be Right Back with her 2021 EP. In the end, Smith prevails in her battle, as a praying mantis devours another behind the closing credits. Fun fact: The females of that species are known to attack and cannibalize their partner during or after sexual encounters.
Tee Grizzley & Skilla Baby, “Dropped the Lo”
If there’s one thing we love here, it’s a Detroit link-up. Tee Grizzley and Skilla Baby have given us just that and more: a joint mixtape titled CONTROVERSY via 300 Entertainment/Grizzley Gang arriving on April 28. “Dropped the Lo” is a taste of what’s to come, the duo playing perfectly off of one another, delivering attention-commanding bars as they roam the streets of Downtown Detroit in style.
d4vd, “Sleep Well”
Houston-made singer d4vd unravels a heartfelt ballad with the new “Sleep Well.” The 18-year-old Interscope signee behind the viral hits “Romantic Homicide” and “Here With Me” is gearing up for his debut EP, Petals to Thorns, due out May 16. This soulful offering centers d4vd’s rich tone and lovesick lyricism.
Casper Sage, “Pseudo”
Hypnotic harmonies shimmer across a laid back instrumental bed on Casper Sage’s “Psuedo.” The track arrives on a three-track EP from the Oklahoma City act. Also titled Psuedo, Casper Sage calls the project “an encapsulation of a moment in time that was filled with purposeful loneliness, chaotic emotional turmoil, and vices trying to cover it all up.”
Combining drill 808s with 2016-17 trap R&B sensibilities, AQ presents a refreshing take on rap-singing and late night drive music. The short and sweet “Showdown” boasts replay value, packed with emotion and catchy melodies.
Gabrielle B., “Body”
Gabrielle B. is all about intimacy. “Body” sees the emerging singer enticing her lover as she whisper-sings about “craving your body right now” and being able to “elevate your life.” The song’s instrumentation pairs well with her almost hushed vocal tone, and listeners can expect an accompanying video soon.
Khamari, “Right My Wrongs”
Boston native Khamari finds himself at the intersection of timeless musicality and contemporary style. Like previous singles “On My Way” and “Drifting” where he samples R&B/soul greats Al Green and Nina Simone respectively, the singer continues to liberate his old soul with “Right My Wrongs” on which he interpolates Darondo’s 2005 song “Didn’t I.” The songs are a glimpse into Khamari’s sonic documentary — or upcoming debut album — A Brief Nirvana, due out May 26.
Jean Deaux, “Yeah Yeah”
The hi-hat-strewn “Yeah Yeah” arrives as a standout track on Jean Deaux’s new EP Heavy. The Chicago singer/rapper doesn’t tolerate the BS and even throws some jokes in her bars, singing “Baby you got problems/ No Iyanla, I could never solve ‘em.”
Saba x No I.D., “Back in Office”
From the private collection of Saba and producer NO I.D. comes “Back in Office.” The Chicago natives teamed up for the single with Saba flexing his cadence and lyrical prowess over an electric guitar-laced beat. “Back in Office” sees Sabab addressing his haters and critics with lines like, “Got n—as asking, is it jazz or is it rap?/ I’m a bit imaginative, I’m where the ribbon at,” and “This is for the amateurs, this is what a master raps/ Some of them not amateurs, but next to me they sound like that.”
AG Club, “flippin s–t”
Bay Area hip-hop collective AG Club threw a one-two punch with their new two-pack 2MORE. Released ahead of their debut Coachella set this past weekend, frontmen Jody Fontaine and Baby Boy tag-team for “aorta” and “flippin s–t,” which both feature a booming bassline and nimble raps. The latter in particular almost acts as a declaration, as the duo strives to flip the industry upside down with their presence.