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 rapper, 34, released his highly-anticipated sixth studio album, more than three years after Scorpion. He seems to have called in favors to anyone who's anyone in the music biz: Certified Lover Boy's 21 songs include collaborations with Jay-Z, Travis Scott, Future, Young Thug, 21 Savage, Lil Wayne, Kid Cudi, Project Pat, Lil Baby, Lil Durk, Giveon and Tems.
What follows are our picks for the best of the best. Your playlist for the weekend of Sept. 3-5 has arrived. Enjoy!
Drake with Travis Scott — "Fair Trade"
There's plenty to love on Certified Lover Boy, but "Fair Trade" sees both Drake and Travis allude to their new lives since becoming fathers. Travis raps, "That butterfly emoji hold me down and all my babies them," when on-again, off-again girlfriend Kylie Jenner has previously revealed a butterfly is "a symbol of our relationship and Stormi," their 3-year-old daughter.
In the chorus, Drake reflects on what's really important in life: "I've been losin' friends and findin' peace / But honestly that sound like a fair trade to me." He actually opens the entire album with a reference to his 3-year-old son Adonis on "Champagne Poetry," rapping, "I been hot since the birth of my son / I remain unphased, trust, worse has been done."
Little Mix — "Love (Sweet Love)"
The three musketeers (Jade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards and Leigh-Anne Pinnock) play the part of sun goddesses, dropping in body jewelry while perched on their thrones, in the music video for "Love (Sweet Love)." It's the fourth one Leigh-Anne and Perrie filmed while pregnant and glowing, making for a time capsule of sorts for the new moms. Perrie welcomed her first baby last month with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and her bandmate is expecting her first with fiancé Andre Grey.
Little Mix's greatest hits album, Between Us, drops Nov. 12.
Charli XCX — "Good Ones"
The new era is here! Following 2020's How I'm Feeling Now, Charli is feeling her dark side in her latest electropop song. Specifically, she says it's "twisted, dramatic and quite frankly electrifying." Charli gets rowdy, riding on top of a casket in a funeral procession and stripping down at the gravesite to hit her point home: "I always let the good ones go." RIP to her love life.
ABBA — "I Still Have Faith In You"
Nothing will make you feel like a dancing queen—young and sweet, only 17—quite like a new number from ABBA. In case your Twitter feed hasn't been flooded with Donna and the Dynamos stans: The Swedish group is dropping its first album in 40 years, Voyage, on Nov. 5, and the musicians gave us two new songs ahead of time. This definitely calls for a Mamma Mia 3.
Victoria Monet — "Coastin'"
Ariana Grande's bestie and collaborator is gaining steam as a solo artist. The Jaguar queen plays the part of a too-cool-to-deal-with-it waitress in the colorful music video for "Coastin.'" Victoria is not coasting when it comes to her music career, so good luck getting these lyrics out of your head: "Tell me, baby, baby, what's your sign? / 'Cause you're astronomically fine."
Noa Kirel — "Please Don't Suck (Afrojack x Black V Neck Remix)"
Dutch DJ Afrojack and the Miami duo give Noa's July track a makeover with this EDM remix that gets the party started. "Please Don't Suck" delivers as a zesty Gen Z love song about having low expectations, likely tempered by online dating: "7 billion people but / You're the one who's most okay / Finally I found someone / Someone I can tolerate," the 20-year-old Israeli star sings, begging her crush not to "f--k this up."
Madison Watkins — "Get There Somehow"
The American Idol alum channels Taylor Swift's "Mean" when reflecting on the "mean girls from high school" who doubted she'd make it as a singer. After teasing "Get There Somehow" on TikTok, Madison released the perseverant, take-control song in its entirety this week. "It's OK / ‘cause one day / I'll be proving them wrong," she promises, explaining on TikTok that her track is for "everyone who has a dream."