For this week’s edition of First Beat, we see the return of J. Cole, the farewell of Logic and more.
Check out our picks below.
J. Cole, Lewis Street
The elusive J. Cole is in album-mode. On Wednesday night (July 22), The Dreamville captain unleashed a meaty two-pack titled Lewis Street, which will serve as the precursor to his forthcoming album The Fall Off.
His first track titled “The Climb Back” Cole logs in a commanding performance. The five-minute exhibition showcases Cole’s lyrical mastery over a chilling sample, rapping; “You see how I flip like exclamation points.”
On his second showing, “Lion King on Ice,” Cole seemingly ruminates about his past sit-down with Lil Pump and addresses the aftermath of their conversation, which includes the Gucci Gang rapper’s descent from stardom. “Don’t wanna be the reason for one more sad song/I tried to warn n***as they wouldn’t last long/I hope that you see how they came and they want/They shots never hit but they made their attempts/May have a good year like their name on a blimp/But you know what it take to be poppin’ this long,” he says.
Logic, No Pressure
Logic’s swan song No Pressure proves to be a fitting ending to his storybook career. For his farewell, he tabs No ID as the album’s executive producer and the results are golden. Not only does Logic revisit classics such as his “Growing Pains” series, but he also gives fans another helping of “Soul Food” with the song’s sequel.
The DMV star’s unbridled confidence rips through more than a dozen samples, most notably OutKast’s “Elevators” on this soul-driven adventure.
Phora, “Fake Smiles 2”
After doling out his 2016 instant classic “Fake Smiles 2,” four years later, Phora gifts fans the sequel to his melancholy tune. Marred by destructive relationships, the weary MC attempts to shrug off the demons in life, but to no avail. And even when he gets close to disarming his insecurities, depression swoops back in for the agonizing takedown.
Queen Naija, “Pack Lite”
If you take a peek through Queen Naija’s discography, you’ll see that she’s not one for the games. Her new song “Pack Lite” is reflective of her no nonsense demeanor, as she kicks her ex-beau to the curb in a matter of seconds after falling victim to the entanglement bug. “Pack Lite” comes after she released her soothing “Butterflies Pt. 2 (Remix)” featuring Wale.
Melody Thornton, “Phoenix Rise”
The former Pussycat Dolls singer makes her return to the music sphere with her triumphant single “Phoenix Rise.” With her sonorous vocals, Thornton drills encouragement and hope to the downtrodden seeking answers. “Phoenix Rise” will reside on her forthcoming EP Lioness Eyes, due Aug. 7.