Sometimes the best new R&B can be hard to find, but there are plenty of great rhythm-and-blues tunes to get into if you have the time to sift through the hundreds of newly released songs every week. So that R&B heads can focus on listening to what they really love in its true form, we’ll be offering a digest of the best new R&B songs that fans of the genre should hear every Friday.
Since the last update of this weekly R&B and afrobeats column, we’ve received plenty of music and news from the genre’s artists. Ari Lennox released her long-awaited sophomore album Age/Sex/Location while John Legend returned with Legend, the ninth album of his career. Bryson Tiller also made his return in 2022 with the Ying Yang Twins-sampling “Outside” and Rema unveiled the video for his remix of “Calm Down” with Selena Gomez. Lastly, DRAM kicks off a new era under his old name with “Wham!”
Here are some more releases on the new music front that you should check out:
Eli Derby — “Wicked”
Eli Derby made his official mark in the music industry with his debut EP Left On Read, a five-track effort featuring a lone guest appearance from 6lack. Six months after its release, he returns with “Wicked.” Derby uses the record to speak to a new love interest and plead for them to try a relationship with him as more than friends.
Sudan Archives — Natural Brown Prom Queen
Nearly three years after her debut project, Sudan Archives is back with her sophomore album Natural Brown Prom Queen. The project’s 18 songs cover themes that include race, womanhood, and the fiercely loyal, loving relationships she has with family, friends, and her partner. Natural Brown Prom Queen also arrives shortly before Sudan Archives embarks on her Homecoming Tour in North America and Europe.
Sevyn Streeter — “23”
When it comes to Sevyn Streeter, you can trust her to never be off her game. That’s the theme of her latest record “23,” which finds her balling at elite levels. The money is good, the body is great, and life is just peachy for the singer, whose 2021 sophomore album Drunken Wordz Sober Thoughtz is still a great listen.
Jahkoy — “Roll Wit It”
Toronto singer Jahkoy is back in action after a strong 2021 release, Tangible. He returns with “Roll Wit It,” a fun and charismatic singer that captures the initial connection between him and a woman. After dancing the night away, he shares his intention to end the night with her and add to their fun moments.
Zyah Belle — Yam Grier
Zyah Belle’s 2021 project Who’s Listening Anyway was one of the year’s most impressive under-the-radar R&B releases. This year, there’s no flying under the radar thanks to her new album Yam Grier. “Yam Grier is representative of a woman that is reclaiming her time, agency over her body and voice through the generations,” Belle says of the 14-track project. It includes excellent features from Tempest, Jordan Hawkins, Jane Handcock, and more, all of which pair well with Belle’s excellent vocals and overall direction.
Jenevieve — Rendezvous
A year removed from her 2021 album Division, Jenevieve decided it was time to treat her fans to some more music. She returns with Rendezvous, a six-track effort that will satisfy your dance and sweater-weather anthem needs. The project also arrives ahead of her gig as a supporting act on Giveon’s Give Or Take Tour.
Asake — Mr. Money With The Vibe
The afrobeats world received an excellent gift in 2022 in Asake. His year was highlighted by records like “Sungba,” which was remixed by Burna Boy, “Omo Ope,” and “Palazzo.” He builds on that foundation, dropping the afrobeats album of the year with Mr. Money With The Vibe. The project clocks in at 12 songs at just 30 minutes, but its concision just makes it more effective.
Melvitto — Ovrdose
Sticking to the afrobeats tip, Nigerian producer Melvitto also returns with a new project. Ovrdose, a five-track effort that follows his 2019 EP Summers, calls on Dayor, Gabzy, Oladapo, Wani, and Ayo Jay for a quick project highlighting the range and heights that Melvitto can reach.
Sebastian Mikael — “Overgold”
Next month, singer Sebastian Mikael will release his new EP Phileo. To kick things off he checks in with his latest single, “Overgold.” The funky record perfectly kicks off the road towards Phileo. “I wanted to talk about love not in a romantic aspect or in a cliche way, but more as love being a foundation for who we are and as a lifestyle,” Mikael says about the project. “When we move in love, we’re more powerful because God is Love.”
Pote Baby — “Slow Wine” Feat. Simmie & Derrick Nealy
Months after releasing an extended cut of his Turtle Crossing project, Georgia rapper Pote Baby returns with a vibrant record just in time for summer’s last weeks. “Slow Wine” captures the intimate moments between two lovers on the dance floor and the infatuation for each other that comes with it. With help from Simmie and Derrick Nealy, Pote Baby perfectly captures the vibe.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.