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!
Cheers to the weekend and Nicki Minaj's return.
The Queen of Rap had the Barbz in a frenzy all week long over her social media teases of something big to come, and she did not disappoint with the drop of three new singles—including one, "Seeing Green," featuring longtime collaborators Lil Wayne and Drake—alongside the streaming release of her 2009 mixtape, Beam Me Up Scotty.
Of course, she's not the only one to deliver the goods on this mid-May day. From Olivia Rodrigo's latest to a pair of thrilling duets, there's plenty to go around. What follows are our picks for the best of the week's best.
Your playlist for the weekend of May 14-16 has arrived. Enjoy!
Nicki Minaj — "Itty Bitty Piggy"
The big headline out of Beam Me Up Scotty arriving on streaming may be the new material Nicki attached to the tracklist, but, if we're being honest, we're just thrilled that this fiercely frenetic standout is finally available to us on the streaming service of our choice more than a decade after its initial release.
Olivia Rodrigo — "good 4 u"
A week out from the release of her debut album sour, Olivia's delivered an alt-rock inspired breakup anthem that's giving us shades of early Paramore in the best way possible. We're not sure what's more powerful: those guitars in the chorus or the singer's deliciously angry vocal performance. This album's gonna be major.
Katy Perry — "Electric"
It's true that this new track from Katy is for a Pokemon album dropping this fall. Also true: Issa bop.
Elton John and Years & Years — "It's a Sin"
Hot off the heels of their electrifying BRIT Awards performance, Sir Elton and Olly Alexander have released their incredible cover of the Pet Shop Boys' classic track that inspired the name of Olly's recent HBO Max limited series. Glamorously heartbreaking, the collab feels a bit like a passing of the baton from the LGBTQ old guard to one of its fresher faces. We're here for it.
Ambar Lucid — "Get Lost In The Music"
The Dominican-Mexican upstart's latest single, the title track off her forthcoming EP, is deliriously funky. Once you get lost in this one, you won't want to find your way back.
Joy Oladokun with Maren Morris — "Bigger Man"
Not that she needed it, but rising star Joy gets her biggest cosign yet as Maren joins her on this gorgeous folk-pop ode to perseverance. "Apparently this whole thing is not a dream," Joy said of the song on Twitter. "I honestly feel so blessed. Not only because Maren is an incredible artist and human, but because I think we wrote something really special that has been helping me through it." This one's a stunner.
NCT DREAM — "Hot Sauce"
This song from the seven-member sub-unit of K-pop group NCT (which has a total of 23 members) more than lives up to its title. Flame emojis all around because this thing slaps.