Big Sean says he’s been through a lot to get to this point, and it’s hard not to believe him. Detroit 2 is a megalodon of an album with too many features to count. For such a personal album, it’s an interesting move to bring on so many collaborators — there aren’t many moments where Big Sean takes the center stage and makes something meaningful out of it. “Harder Than My Demons” is a particularly hard-hitting track, talking about his treacherous path to success and how he’s gotta make songs that outweigh his demons. With so many songs and collaborators, this is a difficult album to sum up. If anything is clear, it’s that Big Sean is proud of his city. It’s made him the person and professional he is today, and he wants to spread the love right back.
After some drama with the label, it appears as though SZA is leading up to a new album — starting with this alluring new heater. Ty Dolla $ign comes through with a by-the-numbers feature of his, with his signature harmonies and lyrics, which turn out to be a limiting factor. SZA’s second verse is strong, with colorful vocals, but she cedes her spotlight back to Ty a little too soon. Here’s to hoping SZA drops the features going forward. She’s always been better without them.
Ari’s newest release is an up-tempo, fun-loving effort, tapping in Anthony Ramos of Hamilton fame. It’s got Motown written all over it, a soulful release that’ll warm you right up. Ramos hasn’t collaborated with many hip-hop/R&B artists outside of his work on Hamilton, but this track proves he’s ready to expand his circle. And Ari needs no more validation; her talent shines through on a smooth and melodic instrumental.
Adding more folds to Malone’s young career is his newest single “Simile #7” which appears to build on several concepts from his book and past work. He’s chosen to keep the book from the public, a move that codes his theories for those he trusts. It’s a solemnly beautiful track, with vocals from Jai that largely carry the track.
He might be one of the world’s most exciting young footballers, but that doesn’t ensure his new music is going to be as reliable as he is in front of goal. Considering a rumored transfer to either Barcelona or Roma, this song isn’t one of the most exciting things he has going on in his life these days. Nevertheless, Dutch supporters of his immense talent on the pitch will absolutely be happy to hear Depay is committing himself to music.
As their first drop of the year, Nwokike-sister duo VanJess released the sensual and soulful “Come Over,” along with a creative three-person quarantine video. The song features two intoxicating verses from Ivana and supernaturally chorused harmonies from Jessica, and follows a mid-tempo beat-bumping, synth-swerving instrumental backdrop. After writing the track, VanJess wanted to place the alluring lyrics within the context of their parents’ upbringing and meeting, so the daughters found some inspirational photos of Mom and Dad, threw on some dope outfits, and filmed a glamorous short film.