Future — “Crushed Up”
Future kicks off the new year with a bang. The Atlanta rapper launched his newest single on the first weekend of 2019 in the form of “Crushed Up.”
Wheezy, famous for his work with Drake and Young Thug produced the booming new track. They collaborate so often, Hndrxx’s voice can be heard on the beatsmith’s “Wheezy outta here” tag.
“Diamonds in the face, crushed up,” Future raps on the chorus. “I can see it.” Later, Pluto brags about his show rates. “I got something to say to the pigs / I just got a M for a gig,” he boasts. “I just blowed an M on my kids.”
Last year, Future released Beast Mode 2 with Zaytoven and WRLD on Drugs with Juice WRLD. Plus, he oversaw Superfly’s soundtrack. This year, Hndrxx is off to a quick start with the new “Crushed Up” single, which can be heard below.
D’Angelo — “Unshaken”
D’Angelo shakes up the game with “Unshaken.” The track originally came out as part of Rockstar Games’ Red Dead Redemption 2 soundtrack. Now, it’s out as an official single on streaming platforms for the first time.
“May I stand unshaken amidst a crashing world?” D’Angelo asks on the brooding track. “The pines, they often whisper / They whisper what no tongue can tell / He who drinks from the deep water / May he know the depths of the well.”
Ivan Pavlovich, director of music and audio at Rockstar Games, explained how the song came together back in October. “He would come [to Rockstar’s New York office] and just play the game. We weren’t even talking about doing music,” he said, as per Rolling Stone. “When D’Angelo comes through, he shows up at midnight, and he’s playing the game until four in the morning. Each time he was just like, ‘It’s incredible.’ It just blows his mind. He’s such a fan. I have never seen someone that excited.”
Listen to that excitement unfold with “Unshaken” below.
Chris Brown — “Undecided”
Chris Brown revives a storied hit for his latest release. The controversial crooner is back with “Undecided,” a new single that pulls inspiration from Shanice’s 1991 track, “I Love Your Smile.”
The new joint was produced by Scott Storch, who previously worked with Brown on “Run It!” and “Gimme That.” “I Love Your Smile” also inspired joints like Hit-Boy’s “That’s What I Get” and Charles Hamilton’s “You Don’t Know.”
Brown turns this track into a raunchy one, while also singing about indecision. “I’m undecided, excited, ignited,” he sings. “And I don’t wanna feel the way I do, but I like it / Look at all these sparks flying / But I’m still indecisive.”
“Undecided” may or may not appear on Brown’s forthcoming album. Tentatively titled Indigo, the project will follow 2017’s Heartbreak on a Full Moon.
Benny Blanco feat. Miguel & Calvin Harris — “I Found You /Nilda’s Story”
R&B star Miguel joins Calvin Harris on benny blanco’s newest single, “I Found You/Nilda’s Story.”
The piano-driven cut features Miguel’s soothing vocals. “I finally believe in you,” he sings over orchestral strings. “I’ve traveled many roads, and I know what road to choose / Now my world is never changing if there’s anything I can do.”
The song features a powerful backstory. Its title is based on a woman named Nilda, who is featured on WhileTheyWait.org.
“Nilda and her two-year-old son Keyden fled extreme violence in Honduras only to be separated and detained in the United States,” reads a statement on the site. “They survived family separation, but now are among more than one million applying for asylum or other legal relief, struggling to survive while they wait.”
Miguel said this inspired his new collaboration. “Very proud to be supporting immigrants struggling in the US w @ItsBennyBlanco & @CalvinHarris,” he tweeted. Listen to “I Found You/Nilda’s Story” below.
Layzie Bone — “Annihilation”
Layzie Bone’s feud with Migos continues. The veteran rapper follows his “Let Me Go Migo” diss with yet another scathing track, “Annihilation.”
“Why is my opponent really good at the evading?” he asks on the track. “It’s a situation / I was never hatin’ / You were the ones that made the proclamation / I’m so weak, I’m supposed to agree / Like, ‘Niggas is the best, they as good as can be’ / Nah, niggas, y’all clowns, you ain’t fucking with me.”
The Bone-thugs-n-harmony star took issue with Migos members saying that they are the biggest group ever. “We the biggest group ever in hip-hop, pop, all that,” Offset told “Big Boy’s Neighborhood” last year. At the time, Quavo agreed: “Got to be.”
Layzie’s previous diss, “Let Me Go Migo,” also featured criticisms about 21 Savage. “I thought that shit was going to be hard ’cause I love all that old shit,” Savage told fans on Instagram. “But that shit was wack as a motherfucker. That’s probably the weakest diss song I’ve ever heard in my life, no cap.” Layzie later demanded an apology or a boxing match from 21.
“Annihilation” is below.
Noname — “Song31”
Rising Chicago rapper Noname returns with “Song31,” her first release since last year’s critically acclaimed Room 25 LP.
The new track finds Noname reflecting on representation on television with references to “Atlanta” and “Frasier.” “I binge watch ‘Atlanta,’” she raps. “No more TV representation from a Kelsy Grammer / Let’s toast to niggas getting checks to work behind the camera.”
Later, Noname opts to flex and boast over frequent collaborator Phoelix’s production. “The only bitch actually rapping, it look like me now,” she brags. “Or meow / Kitty just reimagined a freestyle.”
Listen to Noname’s latest release below.