Whatever your goals this week, month or year, remember to move with intention and consistency. Whenever I find myself losing focus or fire, I have to remember why I started and the passion that pushed me to start in the first place.
Whether you need to move with the urgency of Kari Faux collecting some duly-owed coin, politick with the classy-ratchet confidence of Yung Baby Tate or maneuver as strategically as Blaccmass and BIGBABYGUCCI trying to find their next party, keep that energy on ten.
Odunsi (The Engine), "Decided (feat. Tems)"
The nonchalant Nigerian wave maker returns with a pacing new gem. There's tinges of boy-band pop in his delivery, but the emotion and conviction are still intact.
"But I need to go deeper, fighting for freedom / My mind is a legion / Remember days when they said I wouldn't live up / Many times I didn't see trust / Many times I didn't see love / Now they see fire in my eyes / And wonder why everything took so long."
April Maey, "Starry Night"
Representing Nigeria via Belgium, April Maey's Ticket to Anywhere EP floats with a bottled, jazzy excitement. You feel butterflies with each new verse. "Starry Night" highlights the underrated strength of pushing past the nerves to say what you feel.
"Even if the moon fall down tonight / We got stars around, and they might tell us why / Even if the stars don't speak tonight / We can light a fire so they will feel alright."
Salt Cathedral, "How Beautiful (She Is) [feat. duendita and MC Bin Laden]"
Colombia's Salt Cathedral collides with Queens conjurer duendita and Brazilian funk chameleon MC Bin Laden for an unexpected texture of voices. A stunner like "How Beautiful (She Is)" is the type of crossover surprise that brings worlds together.
Kari Faux, "StickUp!"
Make no mistake: Kari Faux is keeping track of who owes her what! This is the track you play to hype yourself right before going into salary negotiations or while loading up your car with the crew to get your stuff back from your ex's crib. Either way, it's time to pay off your debts.
Yung Baby Tate, "Never Lonely (feat. Jozzy)"
The bubblegum, classy-ratchet musical manifestos of Georgia triple threat Yung Baby Tate fit perfectly in the world of Issa Rae's award-winning comedy, Insecure. So it's only right that, when the show came back from its short hiatus this past weekend, the music supervisors rung in the occasion with a confident, new Baby Tate banger.
Skepta, Chip & Young Adz, "Mains"
The trap flute prevails on "Mains," a bouncy yet deterrent heater off Insomnia, the latest collaborative album by U.K. rappers Skepta, Chip and Young Adz.
"Ex man talk about beef, man catch him eating chicken and fries / Yeah, you might see my niggas in the video / But they're coming in disguise," Skeppy warns.
Blaccmass and BIGBABYGUCCI, "Need Anotha Party (feat. KillBunk)"
Atlanta producer Blaccmass consistently impresses with adventurous flips and match-ups. (The beat smith is known for juxtaposing upcoming MCs or pop culture staples against classic hip-hop beats.) On "Need Anotha Party," BIGBABYGUCCI and KillBunk adjust their flows to this chopped, smoothed and sanded bossanova production.