“Black and White” is the latest single from South African rapper Nasty C. With the song finding itself placed on the ‘Coming to America 2’ soundtrack, Nasty C has stumbled into a new sense of popularity. Although, people will most likely discover the collaboration through Tiny Desk Concert team who recently released a ‘Coming to America 2’ soundtrack special concert.
Nasty C’s real name is Nsikayesizwe David Junior Ngcobo, got his start in 2016 with the release of his debut album “Bad Hair”. After receiving critical acclaim for his album and a few mixtapes, he went on to sign with Def Jam in March of last year. It would be this deal that would bridge the musical gap between Africa and the States, and bring us the future summer time jam that is “Black and White”.
Nasty C impresses with his wordplay, rapping about being a devoted soulmate while Ari Lennox answers back in her signature Badu-esque tone. Despite being a rapper at heart, Nasty C impressively flits between rapping and carrying a melodic chorus throughout the track making sure to cater for Rap and RnB heads alike.
In the early stages of his joint venture deal with Def Jam, Nasty C’s future in the music business looks bright. In a time where space between the diasporas are getting smaller and smaller (thanks to the internet and films like Black Panther), and the fusion of various genres is becoming the norm, this is the perfect moment for Nasty C to shine.
Lucky Daye returns to his funk laced RnB roots a year and some change after his album Painted debuted to the world. Lucky Daye comes from humble beginnings, having auditioned for American Idol (his audition clip is still up on Youtube to this day) only to be voted off before the big live shows. From there, he would take his talents behind the scenes, penning songs for singers such as Trey Songz, Ella Mai and Mary J. Blige.
Now on his solo journey, he returns with his second release Table for Two. Daye enlists the help of an all-female feature list to bring his vision to light. The EP takes us on a journey, with skits between tracks where Lucky Daye grapples with rejection and heartbreak. Daye carries on the chopped and screwed rap style vocals from his first album into Table for Two, further solidifying his cinematic approach to making music. These skits offer the most vulnerable side of Daye’s artistic expression; this project is bathed in the regret of a man who let a good one get away.
With an impressive and seamless set of features from Ari Lennox, Yebba, Queen Naija, our own Mahalia and Tiana Major9 and Joyce Wrice, at a glance it does look like overkill but each songstress adds something important and beautiful to Daye’s melancholic but hopeful perspective on love.
Xavier Omar has had an interesting trajectory. Starting his career in 2012 under the moniker SPZRKT, (abbreviation for Spazzy Rocket) he released a steady stream of EP’s produced by his musical match, Sango. His rise in popularity and recognition has been nothing short of gradual. After four EP’s and penning an open letter in which he divorced his old stage name, Omar released his first ever album and music video for Just Get Here ft. VanJess and Wale last autumn. A unique approach to protecting his mystique, which for the most part has worked in his favour.
Xavier Omar returns again not long after the release of his debut with if You Feel. Omar’s secondary effort, released almost a year to the day of Moments Spent Loving You is a perfectly sequenced, 11 track body of work. This go around, we get to hear Omar collaborate with the likes of Mereba (Like I Feel), Masego (SURF) and new comer Jae Stephens for the laid back summertime track All Our Time.
Getting more personal on this album, the singer-songwriter lets listeners in on his new marriage, expressing his devotion to his wife on tracks like Protect and in particular So Much More; a stand out, 90s nostalgia slow jam.
In true Omar style, each song is laced with warm and intricate harmonies. Pushing the limits, we see Omar sample the Dru Hill smash ‘Tell Me’ for the 5th track on the album,‘want/need’ where he flits between rapping and singing effortlessly.
‘If You Feel’ is a great continuation to Xavier Oamr’s journey; a piece of art where the underground RnB artist meets the mainstream without losing substance. A perfect balance.
Check out the full album below, and let us know what you think:
Owner by OluwaJBeats has been gaining traction since the video premiered on GRM Daily’s Youtube channel, and for good reason. Owner is boastful, bold and far from meek in its lyrical content.
The song is definitely geared towards being a summertime smash with AdeJosh anchoring the hook, “Girl I’ll be your sponsor and your donor/So why you playing games like Maradona” (spoiler alert; the chorus is catchy and will most likely get stuck in your head).Reminiscent of WSTRN’s early work, Owner is a fun song laced with a bold theme that carries throughout. With three features fairly balanced with a nice mix of rapping and singing, Owner is the perfect song to see the last months of summer out.
Liét’s debut single Bittersweet tells a story of a complicated, new-school kind of love; one person wants to be official, whilst the other wants to play the field.
Taking the stance of the fed-up but loyal woman in the relationship; Liét’s laid back vocals grace the syncopated RnB track with ease. With a lyric video composed of clips from old 90’s and early 2000’s black cinema, it’s hard not to feel instantly nostalgic when the track plays.
Perfectly capturing the toxic cycle of going to and from a non-committal lover, Liét writes for a lot of women across the map with similar experiences. Citing Brandy and Destiny’s Child as her inspirations, Liétt showcases what she has to contribute to the UK RnB scene. Though the lyrics are melancholy (“Do enough to keep me on your mind/ On a ride to nowhere, wasting time”), she juxtaposes it over a sweet, chilled beat (produced by Nosa Apollo), making a sad love song danceable. Having provided backing vocals for the likes of JLS, Stefflon Don and Kojo Funds, Liét is stepping out on a solo journey, and Bittersweet serves as the start to what could be a very fruitful career.
Watch the video below, and let us know what you think:
Joey Bada$$ returns with The Light Pack; a three-track EP that is only 8 minutes and 22 seconds in total, but says a whole lot. The Brooklyn born rapper begins with The Light; a 90s influenced embodiment of Hip Hop’s golden era. His flow and sustained rhyme pattern, held over ten bars are immensely impressive, but not surprising. Joey Bada$$ has been rapping since he was twelve years old and has had plenty of time to perfect his craft, which he has done with seeming ease.
With one feature (Pusha T on No Explanation) over three songs, Joey Bada$$ stands alone in his generation. Not reliant on superstar producers or catchy made for Tik-Tok hooks, Joey Bada$$ explores the realms of his spiritual rebirth (alluded to at the beginning of The Light video) and toys with his lyrical prowess. Much of the project is a testament to his steadily progressive career. While his first album was strictly a 90’s throwback, the second album embraced the change in rapping style across most new artists at that time. However, The Light Pack is a perfect blend of both styles, as Joey Bada$$ successfully makes two era’s meet in the middle, creating a sound that only Joey can pull off without sounding dated.
Laying low for the last three years, this is Joey’s first release since 2017’s All Amerikkkan Bada$$. A bold return for the rapper who self-proclaims his music as “…mumble rap extermination“. The Light Pack is a strong return and a great teaser to whatever is coming next.
American RnB duo, Chloe x Halle planned to release their second studio album titled, The Ungodly House on the 5th of June, but later decided to push the release back by a week to honour the Black Lives Matter movement and the unfolding events surrounding the murder of George Floyd.
Fast forward to the 12th of June, and the album is released to the world. Pressing play, and hearing the opening lines to the album “Don’t ask for permission, ask for forgiveness” beautifully translates to the mood of the album. As the duo unapologetically explore their fully-fledged adulthood. A step up life experience and maturity from their debut album, The Kids Are Alright, The Ungodly Hour delves into the conflict of young adulthood and fidelity, “It’s nine o’clock, I get a text saying are you up?/ ‘Bout 9:15/ My girl said she got the same message, the same thing” sings Chloe in a harsh, assertive tone on the early noughties song – “Busy Boy”.
With the duo receiving writing and producing credits on almost all of the 13 tracks, they serve up a unique RnB sound with a touch of soft rock on “ROYL” and soft house music on the Disclosure produced album title track. Their sleeper hit; a Scott Storch produced track titled, “Do It” serves as the ladies the first song to chart, placing them in front of a wider audience than ever before.
As always, the sisters play with their perfectly practised duality, not only in the imagery for the album but on their vocal arrangements; singing harmonies with a tightly locked blend that is almost operatic at times.
The Ungodly Hour is a stunning follow up from the Atlanta duo. Chloe x Halle teeters on the edge of RnB all the while staying true to their experimental roots. The sisters are becoming ones to watch.
If you haven’t had a chance to listen to The Ungodly Hour, check it out below and let us know what you think: