Best New Music Of The Week // June 25 – July 1, 2018

Meek Mill + Miguel – “Stay Woke”

Since being freed from incarceration back in April, Meek Mill has been making leaps and bounds, sharing his truth and not hesitating on the music side of things. With his first official televised performance being at the 2018 BET Awards last night, it was the perfect time to debut new music; collaborating with Miguel on his latest cut “Stay Woke“.

His appearance at the BET Awards was poignant and brought it home nicely. Performing in front of street imagery that depicted police violence, a young girl getting shot and a jail scene, Meek wore a sweatshirt that portrayed the faces of slain rappers XXXTentacion on the front and Jimmy Wopo on the back.

“Stay Woke” is undeniably politically-charged with that sort of chilling production that lets Meek share his message and be real in the process. The song speaks on themes of police brutality, prison reform issues and social issues, honed in with R&B Miguel heading a rousing chorus:

“It was designed for us to fail/ Still prevail through the hell/ Though it was designed for us to lose/ Nothing, nothing, nothing’s impossible/ Believe it, we’re still undefeated”

GIRLI – “Day Month Second”

Directly from the heart of London, there is a new video from GIRLI, the pink electro-pop icon of the moment. “Day Month Second” is a super catchy break-up anthem, about the courage to live the present and a boost to do exactly what you feel you want to do.

After a string of success from last year EP Hot Mess and a special inspiration coming from writing sessions taken in LA, she’s back and ready with this new project. On top of this, a tour around the UK has been announced, starting July 20 at the Truck Festival in Oxfordshire, going all summer and autumn, until October 26 in Southampton.

In this video she strides around her London, with her unique pink head of hair and a group of street-dancers in a very boldy expressive way, following the beat of her powerful song.

The Guardian has defined GIRLI a “candy-punk kiss-off”. 20 years old, full of energy, she’s very well prepared after studying at a music college in Stratford. She has already gathered experience on-stage, accompanying and supporting DJ Kitty, the musician Oscar and touring with Declan McKenna.

And that’s not all: she’s politically involved and spoke at #FreePeriodsProtests at Parliament last year. Such a young artist that deserves to be discovered.

Jevon – “Judas”

New Gen‘s very own rising London rapper/producer Jevon addresses all of his backstabbers in his newly released single “Judas“, taking after the famous disloyal Biblical character. Following on from his brilliant previous track “Redemption“, “Judas” will serve as the lead track from his upcoming debut EP, due next month.

“Judas” is a chilling and rumbling piece, a powerful account of the dishonesty he’s faced in the past, but it also makes for a instant head-nodder with a catchy hook; his melodic rap finds the pockets in the song very well.

Describing “Judas” in his own words, Jevon said, “This single is essentially a conversation with myself about betrayal and loyalty. When I was young I got set up by someone I grew up with who I thought was my friend.” He goes on, “As a result of moments like that I now triple question things in my own mind and it can lead me to over analyse too much, this could be another example of that.”

Undeniable in terms of talent, Jevon is now staking his place amongst them as one of the frontrunners. Not concerned with following musical cycles Jevon draws from styles not typically associated with U.K. Rap and R&B.

Lizzo – “Boys”

Resurrecting from the ashes of a really long week is Lizzo‘s “Boys” music video. The Minnesota singer has unveiled her last single, following “Fitness” released in late March.

The hip hop singer bounces us up to the rhythm of an otherwise boring week and manages to bring a smile even to the most somber of us all.

The track is a classic club-dancing bop with the right attitude, that should awake the ‘gangsta’ inside every girl to walk the dance floor this summer. Starting off with a beat in the vein of the Timbaland‘s “SexyBack“, the first part of “Boys” provides the perfect sound for Lizzo’s badass rap and puns, with the singer listing down all the types of boys that she likes, while singing sardonically “baby I don’t need you/ I just want to freak you”.

Up until there, all good. We were nodding our head vigorously to Lizzo’s laugh out loud free fall, confident of what was to come. Then we get about two minutes in, and ‘boy’ we liked it. An unexpected guitar riff takes the centre stage and upheaves the song to golden status.

All of this, of course, accompanied by a music video that underpins Lizzo’s undeniable comedic talent and star presence that makes you wish she would turn to acting soon, without taking anything away from her music talent of course.

Watch the music video below:

NIKI – “Warpaint”

Asian collective 88rising has been generating a real buzz in recent months as they have been pushing the envelope when it comes to breaking Asian hip-hop, R&B and electronic acts both in Asia and across the globe. Recent signee NIKI comes into the fold having made a name for herself from the heart of Indonesia.

With an impressive debut EP Zephyr under her belt, she’s already ready to release brand new material into the world, in the form of brand new single. “Warpaint” is a fresh new cut; a radio-ready pop gargantuan that picks up where her EP left of. Starting mellow, the bold percussion builds into a rousing anthem that aptly suits the name.

It comes following previous singles from her 88rising crew “Midsummer Madness” and “Let It Go” which have gone down an absolute storm. With the promise of a crew album on the way, we should be expecting to see some NIKI features and tracks of her own appear on the project. She might be a relatively new face but she is a talent you need to know about, Zephyr can attest to that.

J Fresh + Ayo Beatz + Six4 – “Dem Man”

Smashing out a constant flow of music, J-Fresh is back on the buttons as he brings along Ayo Beatz and Six4 for the latest single “Dem Man” to be released from his album Juice.

Taking on heavy trap vibes for the record, Ayo Beatz lays down a melodic hook with Six4 ringing out across two verses, leaving the final verse open for Ayo Beatz to switch things back up. They keep it real simple for the video as the GAWP-directed video sees them posted up in an empty basement.

Dropping his second album in just six months, Juice followed his outstanding 2017 debut album Fruit Salad. The experimental, risk-taking producer ability on Juice also brought along a wave of fresh talent like Predz UK and Yus alongside UK grime legends Swiss and Monkstar.

J-Fresh has built a steady stream of quality output awarding him with national radio playlists and Spotify playlist love and his last single “Lock Down” can attest to this. Consistently proving himself to be a 3-dimensional all encompassing artist, expect to be hearing the name a lot more.

Words by Jay Tijani, Paola Pedrotti and Camilla Marotta

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