This week, R&B lovers were gifted some big-time releases from Kehlani and Chris Brown, with the latter linking up with Young Thug for their collaborative mixtape, Slime & B. On Friday (May 8), it was hip-hop’s turn to take over, with new music from the likes of Nav, Lil Durk, Lil Tjay and more. Check out our picks for the latest edition of First Beat below.
Nav, Good Intentions
With a No. 1 album and a top 20 Hot 100 record in tow, Nav looks to run up the scoreboard again with his third effort, Good Intentions. For his latest project, Nav’s nose for trap bangers reigns supreme, as he pairs up with Young Thug on the Wheezy-produced “No Debate” and Future on the money-stacking track “My Business.” The cherry on top is “Status,” which features hip-hop’s 2020 MVP candidate, Lil Uzi Vert.
Arizona Zervas, “24”
After the success of “Roxanne,” Arizona Zervas aims for another Hot 100 hit with his new record “24.” The pop hybrid deftly crafts a party anthem with shades of “Roxanne” dripping from this rock-tinged bop. Not only does he pay homage to Kobe Bryant, but Zervas’s fondness for the number 24 gleams throughout the track. Whether he’s locked in a room for 24 hours with 24 women or drenched up in 24K gold jewelry, AZ is relishing the ride.
Lil Tjay, State of Emergency
Though Lil Tjay feuded with A Boogie and his HighBridge camp over the last few days on social media, today, the burgeoning star shifts his attention to his seven-track EP, State of Emergency. Rather than play iso-ball, the affable Tjay opens up the floodgates for his New York comrades to thrive on his platform. Not only do fans get a new Pop Smoke verse on the rugged track “Zoo York,” but they get two features from Fivio Foreign, most notably on the trap-galactic heater “Shoot For the Stars.”
Lil Durk, Just Cause Y’all Waited 2
Durk’s ascension from Chi-Town drill soldier to one of hip-hop’s most underrated street lieutenants continues with the release of Just Cause Y’all Waited 2. From penning cautionary tales about how to move in the trenches (“Different Meaning”) to the soul-stirring ode to his homies (“Street Prayer”), Durk’s loyal-to-the-soil demeanor is of huge value to today’s hip-hop generation.
Quando Rondo, “Get Down”
Like Durk and Tjay, Rondo is a young and edgy star who’s on a mission to be a steady voice in the genre. “Get Down” is a shining example of Rondo’s expansive skill-set: his razor-sharp melodies pierce deep, especially when he sings “She sees the murder in my eyes” on the gloomy track.
Elliott Trent, “Motions”
Whenever a songwriter elects to pull back the curtain and take on the role of an artist, it’s usually a hard task. With writing credits on songs with Kehlani, Chris Brown, Usher and more, Elliott Trent’s vocal abilities stand head-to-head with his stout resume, as proven on the slippery single, “Motions.” Trent supplies listeners a sugary treat going into the weekend with his new record.