Jhené Aiko — Sailing Soul(s)
Jhené Aiko serves up a throwback gem for fans. Her breakout mixtape Sailing Soul(s) is now available on streaming services for the first time.
The project features Miguel, HOPE, K. Roosevelt, and Dominik. It also includes four bonus tracks that were previously unavailable on streaming platforms.
“This mixtape was a pivotal moment for me,” she explained in a statement. “When I was 12, I was signed to a label, singing songs I had no real connection to. I met with one record exec who told me I needed to do a better job at ‘selling’ myself when I came into meetings…From that point on, I decided I would never try to ‘sell’ myself. I would simply be myself and whoever felt a connection would see me and my worth.”
The Kendrick Lamar-assisted “Growing Apart Too” and the Drake-assisted “July” are not on the streaming-friendly version of the project. But the rest of the much-celebrated effort can be streamed below.
Chika — Once Upon a Time
Chika is known for going viral with her freestyles. Now, the rising emcee delivers her Once Upon a Time EP, comprised of six new tracks, following last year’s Industry Games.
BJ The Chicago Kid appears on the opening song, “Fairy Tales.” Elsewhere, Chika stands on her own behind the mic while tapping producers like Lido, Edvard Larsen, 30 Roc, McClenney, and more behind the boards.
The rising emcee talks about her life and relationships throughout the offering, while weaving through the EP’s larger theme. “Inspired to shine, inspired to dream / I think of my life and I think that I may be as good as I seem,” she raps on “Hickory Dickory.”
Once Upon a Time keeps the free-flowing motif alive throughout, from “Fairy Tales” to “Cinderella, Pt. 1” and its sequel, “Cinderella, Pt. 2.” Listen to the full EP below.
Benny The Butcher & HarryFraud — “Thanksgiving”
Benny The Butcher and Harry Fraud connect on “Thanksgiving,” a new single off the highly-anticipated forthcoming project, The Plugs I Met 2.
The gratitude-inspired track features bars about the music game and financial gains. “Rappers in my genre wanna be me still / I’m too far ahead, it’s easy to feel / Like I’m cheating when I read these deals,” Benny raps. “Talk and you live like this, it’s gon’ make ‘em hate ya / This what fueled them to get off their asses, I made them greater / You should thank me.”
However, the song also breaks down a recent event that made headlines. “In therapy, learning to walk again / Fought them in a robbery / They shot me, I’m back cocky in the jewelry that I bought again,” he raps. “They want me to post when I slide to say I’m gangsta / Trust me, it won’t make Instagram, it’s gon’ make the papers / Thank us.”
That type of balance is meant to appear on The Plugs I Met 2, which follows the 2019 original. “The mission that I had with this one was to give the other, darker side of the game,” he recently told NPR. “On the first Plugs, it was like getting into the game…[This one is] about the other side of the glamor of the game, that’s why the beats are dark and my temperament is like that. These dudes never give you the details about the dark side of the game…and I feel like that’s the most important part because that’s where the lessons are.”
Listen to “Thanksgiving” below.
Rod Wave — “Street Runner”
Rod Wave continues a prolific run with the release of his newest single, “Street Runner.” The track follows Pray 4 Love and the Pray 4 Love deluxe, which the rising rapper-singer released last year.
Produced by TnTXD, Landon Blue, and Karltin Bankz, “Street Runner” allows Rod to speak directly to a lover he hasn’t been able to spend too much time with lately.
“Sorry I missed your call, I was on the jet / I’ve been so zoned out, trying to figure out what’s next,” he confides in his somber and reflective tone. “So scared to fail, I’m calculating my every step / Gotta watch my back and keep my scrap, but nonetheless / I think about you when I’m gone.”
“Street Runner” its set to appear on Rod’s forthcoming album, SoulFly. Wave announced the project recently, unveiling a 19-song track listing. The LP is set to arrive on March 26, according to his social media post. Listen to “Street Runner” below.
Giveon — When It’s All Said and Done…Take Time
Giveon is celebrating the anniversary of his Take Time EP with a new project of sorts. The new album When It’s All Said and Done…Take Time combines the aforementioned EP with his other 2020 project, When It’s All Said and Done.
“What a year it’s been,” Giveon explained on social media. “My first two EPs were stories about a chapter in my love life. The bright spots and the nuisances. I really just used music as a vehicle to exhibit all of my vulnerabilities and truths… the fact that so many people are moved by my stories leaves me speechless everyday. I’m beyond grateful and blessed to have you all along every step of the journey.”
Giveon added a new song “All To Me” to the combo tape set. “I also added a new song to the project,” he explained. “The end of a chapter means the start of a new one.” Listen to the full project below.