New music Fridays are a thrilling, yet daunting prospect for any music lover.
It's essentially a weekly holiday where fan-favorite artists and fresh faces alike drop their latest offerings for all the world to hear, flooding streaming services and digital retailers with an onslaught of aural goodies. But who has the time to sit there and listen to everything before updating their playlists? There's just too much good stuff! (And, if we're being honest, usually a few stinkers, too.)
As it turns out, we do. Welcome to The MixtapE!
The amount of Black excellence in the music industry is off the charts.
On Feb. 17, the Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame in Atlanta inducted a new group of artists including New Edition, Mary J. Blige, Snoop Dogg, Lionel Richie and Yolanda Adams. The celebration, just in time for Black History Month, is another reminder of how many Black artists have contributed to a wide variety of genres.
At the MixtapE!, we are dedicating this week to spotlighting high-profile Black voices, while also introducing fans to rising stars in the community who deserve praise for their powerful lyrics, creative music videos and unique collaborations.
We have no doubts that the music you hear below will make a playlist perfect for the long holiday weekend.
Silk Sonic—"Love Train"
In a fitting release for Valentine's Day and the romantic days that followed, Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak teamed up for a unique cover of one of their favorite songs from Con Funk Shun. For all the couples looking to create a sizzling playlist, make sure this track is added.
PJ Morton, JoJo and Mr. Talkbox—"My Peace"
Three years since releasing "Say So," which won the Grammy for Best R&B Song, PJ and JoJo are back together with another staunch profession of love. This time, however, they replace romance with self-care. "I wanted to write a song that was a duet and gave two perspectives, but wasn't necessarily about a relationship," PJ said in a statement. "I think after going through so much these last couple of years, many people really got down to what's truly important. And most realized that nothing is worth their peace."
Described as a euphoric and vibrant pop tour de force that revels in the act of rebellion, Isaac's new song serves as a reminder that this artist writes, performs and produces himself with winning results.
Kid Cudi and Nigo—"Want It Bad"
Fresh off their special T-shirt design collaboration for NBA All-Star weekend, the duo is back together for a special track produced by Pharrell Williams. Although the song is expected to be featured on Nigo's upcoming album I Know Nigo, fans are pumped to get a taste of Kid Cudi's first new release of the year.
Anomalie feat. Masego - "Memory Leaves"
The pair joined forces for an electronic/jazz single, which will be featured on Anomalie's upcoming album Galerie. With Masego's vocals floating over Anomalie's skilled production, the song emphasizes the darker side of being a working musician in the industry.
Zach Zoya feat. Soran—"Strangers In the House"
Described as an explicit, honest and literal song, Zach's diverse musical palette is put on display in a powerful track worth exploring. "This song felt really natural in the way we made it because it was more about capturing the essence of a moment we had just witnessed as opposed to trying to create something out of nothing," Zach shared in a statement. "I think that's why it's such a stripped-down, organic song mostly made of vocal harmonies and an earthy drum and bassline. I wanted it relaxed and void of pretentiousness—just a faithful representation of our emotions."
Baby Tate—"What's Love"
Arriving just after Valentine's Day, the Atlanta rapper has released a song about the heartbreak that comes along with a toxic situationship: "What's love?" she asks in the new track. "I thought I knew before, but I'm not sure anymore." Over a R&B landscape, Baby Tate deconstructs the actions of her partner and comes to the conclusion that the experience was the furthest thing from real.
Tank and The Bangas feat. Alex Isley and Masego—"Black Folk"
"The song is about my love for Black people—everything that they are, everything that they do, their hair, the little girls, Jazzfest," lead vocalist Tarriona "Tank" Ball said in a statement. "All the beautiful things about us and the things that we like to cover up with pain, laughter, food and music, the family secrets, all of it. The way we look at other Black people that have so-called 'made it,' like Cicely Tyson and Serena Williams and Tyler Perry. It's an ode to Black people."
Clay "Krucial" Perry III feat. BIG 30—"Karma"
The rising Memphis rapper's new song showcases his emotionally layered lyrics and gripping storytelling. "Sitting back to thinking ‘bout the things I've done," he declares over a gothic, speaker-busting beat. The song is accompanied by a gritty, Breaking Bad-inspired video.