Must Listen, New Music: Week 20

My must-listen list of music containing singles and EPs all released between September 5th and September 11th, some of which specifically reference systematic racism and the continued Black Lives Matter protests which have occurred and continue to occur.


Janelle Monáe- “Turntables (from the Amazon Original Movie “All In: The Fight for Democracy”)”

"Liberation, elevation, education
America, you a lie
But the whole world 'bout to testify 
I said, the whole world 'bout to testify
And the tables 'bout to 
T-t-tables 'bout to 

Turn, turn, turn
Ain't no stoppin' 'til they 
Turn, turn, turn"

[ ℗ 2020 Bad Boy Records LLC for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the outside of the United States. ]

Keedron Bryant- I JUST WANNA LIVE

[ ℗ U Made Us What We Are, LLC, ℗ 2020 Warner Records Inc. ]

Keedron Bryant debuted his career by recording his original single “I JUST WANNA LIVE”, which went viral on social media at the start of the BLM protests. You can read about the miraculous debut in Must Listen, New Music: Week 8. His debut album features 2 alternate versions for the famed single “I JUST WANNA LIVE”, including a remix and a gospel mix. You can read the lyrics from the original here.

"I JUST WANNA LIVE [REMIX] (feat Andra Day, Lucky Daye, IDK)"

[Andra Day]
"They gon' tell you, 'Shut up, angry black girl'
You live in a man's world 
Broken rib, holdin' up the arms of revolution, I
Don't feed into they statistics, it's bullshit 
The game's rigged, the same playlist 
Of last, they design a place 
CIS up in this B-I-itch but it's a fake win 
If all black lives don't make it across the finish 
I just want to live (Too)
I hope that means as much yo you 
Thirty percent divided is forty million united"

[Lucky Daye]
"I look to you
When I ain't got nothin' left 
But doubt
I long, for protection 
How many brothers must we lose
For the world we've already want?
Ooh, ooh-ooh
God I'm asking you, for more amor
Afraid of none
Waitin' for the rain to stop 
I just wanna live"

"Breakin' the glass, rob me the mannequin, put it in my bag 
Walk out the door, with twenty thousand worth of price tags
Walk in the house with what I grabbed and I'm still sad 
Put on the news, another death, and now I'm real mad
Put on my shoes, grab me a bat, now I'm goin' back 
Walked to the store, nobody black, you gon' get a --
You alright?
Bumpin' this Teyana Taylor
Thinking 'bout Breonna Taylor"

The debut album also features 5 more original songs, 3 of which specifically reference systematic racism and/or the BLM protests.


"Our true history 
What's the truth to me 
May not be for everybody 
People in the streets

Let's get out and tell somebody (Talk about)
What's goin' on (Let's talk about it)
In the world today (Talk about)
What we focused on? (Let's talk about it)"

"The world keeps spinnin' 
But there's nothin', there's nothin' new, under the sun
Time keeps tickin' 
So we gotta fight for what is right, we warriors"

"The world could use some healin'
Right now this is all I am 
You see love is so much needed now
So no longer will I be bound
By all the negativity around 
Let me help you fix your crown
You're both strong for me every day 
I can hear my momma and my daddy say 
'Baby, it's gon' be okay'
I can see the pain in their eyes 
Fightin' through the rain and the fire 
They did it to protect their child 
Sat me and my sister down and told us we was made to play"


Maeta (feat Buddy)- “Teen Scene”

“Teen Scene” is a nostalgia-inducing track where Maeta and Buddy reminisce on the teenage days. Filled with coming-of-age memories centered around a young love story, they explore how young love falls apart and the seemingly never-ending sense of regret that follows.

"You'd lie to your parents, to come see me 
And say you love me, so I'm the one who you would lie to most

You are backwards 
You'd act like it's for me 
Hmm, hmm
So I left you in the teen scene 
I did that for you
But I'm still backward"
"Girl you know you love me, just admit it
Yeah I love you too but I be trippin' 
Had a little trouble with committin' 
I was raised different, places I've been they won't visit
Things we did, I won't mention 
Things you said, I won't forget it 
I don't regret it, forever indebted, we got here together"

[ ℗ 2020 Maeta’s World Music. ]

Yellow Days (feat Mac Demarco)- “The Curse”

“The Curse” showcases sheer vulnerability in lyricism as the collaboration dives into the depths of mental health. What is lyrically deemed “The Curse” represents Yellow Days’ “funk” as he has “been living in a state of fear / […] fearing the world”. While he confides his personal struggles, he lends a supportive hand to his friend who is feeling the same.

"When there's no way through 
And you're not quite sure what to do 
Heck, I know just how it feels
When everything is just too real
Well, don'y you know that I'll be here, my friend
If you need me any time"

[ ℗ 2020 Sony Music Entertainment UK Limited. ]

Young Culture- “Better off as Friends”

“Better off as Friends” is an angsty pop rock depiction of young love gone wrong. The track is featured in the band’s upcoming debut album which “represents closing the chapter of youth and opening up to new discoveries”, as described by vocalist Alex Magnan. For “Better off as Friends”, they’re closing the chapter on a young failed love because what had felt like an undisputed, irreplaceable love connection really should have stayed platonic. Distance, time, and a failed rekindling made this realization inevitable for Young Culture.

"Under the shade 
We found something that we could not replace 
One year, two months 
Blindsided by your lust
Made me feel like 
The first time I was in love 
But you got up and left for the summer
When you came back, it wasn't the same 
It felt different under the covers
Now our story's living in vain

Still got that feeling when you're leaving 
I might never see you again 
I know that we were better off as friends"

[ ℗ 2020 Equal Vision Records, Inc. ]


The entirety of THE S(EX) TAPES is both mind-boggling and iconic. FLETCHER’s inspiration for her latest EP is some of most literally personal story-telling I’ve heard. And this isn’t just because of the truth-beholding lyrics, but because of FLETCHER’s ownership over that truth. While some artists allow for a song’s lyrics to speak for themselves, FLETCHER took it a step further. Here comes the mind-bogglingly iconic part: FLETCHER’s ex, and muse for the project, has both directed and edited each associated music video, and even starred in “If I Hated You” and “Sex (With My Ex)”. And to double the mind-boggling: the “Sex (With My Ex)” video features actual personal footage of the two of them while they were still happily together.

The love that was once shared between them is clear and imminent, which makes the eventual break-up all the more heartbreaking and difficult to process. FLETCHER attempts to process her very public heartbreak and lost love throughout the EP. With “If I Hated You” featured in Must Listen, New Music: Week 16 and “Feel” featured in Must Listen, New Music: Week 17, THE S(EX) TAPES is a gift that keeps on giving, serving us new layers of honesty and accountability with each new track.

[ ℗ Capitol Records; ℗ 2020 Snapback Entertainment LLC, under exclusive license to UMG Recordings, Inc. ]

Ludacris, Chance the Rapper- “Found You”

Ludacris and Chance are the collaboration I never knew I needed. The two big names, along with Timbaland’s production, have gifted us with an expressly sweetened love song. While Ludacris raps about charming the “woman of [his] dreams”…

I'm so floored, you should win an award, for best spirit
I'm hearin' you got all my nominations, all in moderation
Takin' it slow but my mind racin', losin' all my concentration
I'm spaced out but I'm readin' the signs
And when the stars align, you're my beautiful constellation"
"If you was a song then I would stream ya
If you was a novel then I would read ya
Over and over, what's the procedure to please ya?
Ha, you such a diva
Woman of my dreams, I'm such a believer
My heart's tryna get in touch, let me reach you
I got food for your soul, let me feed you" 

…Chance The Rapper blissfully serenades as he reminisces on his course to finding his perfect match.

[Chance The Rapper]
"Type love that cause fools to rush
Type love that comes in the clutch
I was lost but you brought me right back 
I just fell in your lap, I had to follow the map
Then I found you"

[ ℗ 2020 DTP Records. ]

Seeb, St. Lundi- “Colourblind”

Norwegian EDM-producing duo Seeb teamed up with British rising singer-songwriter St. Lundi to create heartbreak dance track “Colourblind”. Using colour as the tell-tale sign of love, the trio lyrically strips the song of color to symbolize a love lost. In the midst of the couple’s argument in traffic, we picture the colours fading from streetlights as darkness fills the lovers eyes, rendering them both ‘colourblind’. It’s an extremely catchy track that will tear at your heartstrings, so get ready to cry dance to this one.

"We were stuck in traffic, overreactin'
We were losin' our magic, what the hell's happenin'?

You've been telling me that everything's alright
No, I can see the colours fadin' from the streetlight
There's a darkness in your eyes, darkness in your eyes

That's when I started to realize, you were the kaleidoscope to my life
Black and white is all I can find, colourblind, colourblind..."

[ ℗ 2020 Seeb Music AS, under exclusive license to Universal Music AS, Norway. ]

Mannywellz, Wale- “A Million”

“A Million” solidifies which love is the greatest form of love: romantic love or self-love. Mannywellz and Wale are finally coming to terms with their realities and straightening their priorities. They realize that in order to properly love themselves, they need to part from their romantic loves.

"A million times I put you first
All the lies kept me down
I'm trying to love myself and I don't need your help"
"Where the mind go
When the love's lost
Why try more
When we done for 
What I want more than love
Self love more
And I can never find it 
Cause my heart pumps for 
I'm so confused 
My shoulder's weak
My pride is few 
My soul is blue 
We don't love to lie 
But we don't like the truth
Because life bein' good 
Is goodbye to you"

[ ℗ 2020 Mannywellz. ]

Honorable Mentions

Petit Biscuit- “Drivin Thru The Night”

Kiiara (feat DeathbyRomy & PVRIS)- “Numb”

Gabrielle Current- “Undercover”

DaVido- “FEM”

Daddy Yankee, Anuel AA, Kendo Kaponi- “Don Don”


Darlingside- “Green + Evergreen”

Gulfer- “Heat Wave”

S1mba (feat KSI)- “Loose”

Chaz Cardigan- “Live A Little”

renforshort- “nostalgic (luvsick)”

Dreamer Boy- “Know You”

Tash Sultana- “Beyond the Pine”

Khamari- “That Girl”

Absofacto- “Someone Else’s Dream”

Bruce Springsteen- “Letter To You

Stefflon Don- “Move”

Omar Apollo- “Kamikaze”

Spillage Village (with JID & EARTHGANG)- “Baptize”

badmonsham- “Sometimes”


Circumnavigate- “Shy Love”

Joey XL, KC Clarke- “Friday Love”

John K- “Happiness”

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