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.
"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. ]
[ ℗ 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" [IDK] "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.
"TALK ABOUT IT" "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)"
"RESURRECTION" "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"
"KINGS & QUEENS" "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"
MORE NEW MUSIC
“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.
[Maeta] "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"
[Buddy] "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. ]
“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. ]
“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 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”…
[Ludacris] 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"
[Ludacris] "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. ]
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. ]
“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.
[Mannywellz] "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"
[Wale] "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. ]