Mic Drop: Throw Open Your Doors and Windows, Spring Bangers Are Here

Mic Drop: Throw Open Your Doors and Windows, Spring Bangers Are Here

Anderson .Paak, Bruno Mars, Silk Sonic – “Leave the Door Open”
Anderson .Paak, Bruno Mars, Silk Sonic – “Leave the Door Open”
Screenshot: YouTube

Spring has sprung, and so have a bunch of artists who have been fairly “hush-hush” during the last year. I guess we can give them a pass since we were in a global panorama, but now that the weather is getting warmer and the clothing layers are lessening, artists are coming out with a bang.

The Anderson .Paak/Bruno Mars collab was something that I didn’t know I needed, yet here I am, making up about 100,000 of the views on the “Leave the Door Open” video. If you need more (which clearly I do), .Paak, Mars and Silk Sonic will be releasing their full album later this year—hopefully in time for Hot Girl Summer 2.

You know who else is giving us Hot Girl Summer vibes? Chika. Her new EP, “Once Upon a Time,” is a combination of her sultry vocals mixed with her expert rap skills, giving us a dynamic mix of music that can be played on a loop. The EP embodies fairy tales and has a chill yet very danceable quality.

With all of the biopics that have been released in 2021, it is no surprise there are more covers and interpretations of iconic tracks from artists such as Aretha Franklin and Jackie Wilson. Cynthia Erivo portrays Franklin in an upcoming National Geographic miniseries titled Genius: Aretha.

SZA has also been showing off her pole (and mushroom) dancing skills in “Good Days,” but I’ll let you decide where that fits in the “bangers for spring” lineup.

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Anderson .Paak, Bruno Mars – “Leave the Door Open (feat. Silk Sonic)”

Anderson .Paak, Bruno Mars – “Leave the Door Open (feat. Silk Sonic)”

I have never wanted to be a fly on Bruno Mars’s weird, thin mustache more in my entire life. Who is the mastermind behind this video, because I would like to send them some Hennessy to go along with the mood of this video. Remember when Bruno Mars and Cardi B teamed up for the “Finesse Remix” and we all had the revelation that was one of the best videos? Well, this old school R&B-inspired track in the booth with shawties (yes, that is where we’re at), .Paak on drums, Mars on the piano and the band in all types of colors of patterns screams disco vision like nothing I’ve seen before. The song itself matches the video’s energy, which makes me wonder what came first: the lyrics or the concept? The effortless transfer of vocals from .Paak to Mars fits perfectly with the melodic background and other instrumentals in the song. Also, can Anderson .Paak even leave his house without putting on a Hawaiian shirt and tank top? No, I think not.

March 5, 2021, Aftermath Entertainment/Atlantic (R&B)

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Aretha Franklin – “Chain of Fools (feat. Cynthia Erivo)

Aretha Franklin – “Chain of Fools (feat. Cynthia Erivo)

On March 21, National Geographic will release its third installment of the Genius Series, Genius: Aretha, which will star Cynthia Erivo as Aretha Franklin. On March 12, Erivo and National Geographic released a cover of the Grammy Award-winning classic, “Chain of Fools.” The introductory electric guitars, drums and slapping bassline bring listeners back to the Queen of Soul’s height of glory, also heightening the excitement for the upcoming miniseries.

March 12, 2021, Rhino Records (Soul)

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Brittany Howard – “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher”

Brittany Howard – “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher”

Some covers don’t keep the integrity of the original song, however, Alabama Shakes and Grammy nominee Brittany Howard’s cover of Jackie Wilson’s 1967 hit does the original justice. Her soulful and brassy vocals mixed with her own backing tracks give it an additional jazzy effect that matches the funky, disco-y and rock-and-roll vibrancy. The fast-paced drums, bass and keyboard give it an upbeat, foot-tapping, dance-inducing rhythm that will make you want to jump up and dance. The backing vocals bring us straight back to the ‘60s with the gospel-like quality they bring to the song.


March 8, 2021, 2021 ATO Records, LLC (Rock)

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Chika – “Fairy Tales (feat. BJ the Chicago Kid)”

Chika – “Fairy Tales (feat. BJ the Chicago Kid)”

We love a good horn opening, and BJ the Chicago Kid never disappoints. singer/songwriter Chika released her latest EP on March 12 and it is most definitely a banger. The song has a dynamic composition with the horn intro, semi-acapella middle and fast rapping outro. Chika’s singing voice is very mellow and draws you into the melodies and harmonies of the instrumentals. The rest of the six-track EP is a reflection of this single, exploring Chika’s vocal talent alongside her well-established rap skills.

March 12, 2021, Warner Records (R&B/ Hip Hop)

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Drake – “Scary Hours 2”

Drake – “Scary Hours 2”

Right, this is my impression of Drake last weekend:

“I’m Drake. I’m going to release three new songs and then disappear for another six months because I can. And everyone is going to love it because they have no other choice.”

That’s what I think was going through Drake’s head on March 5th.

March 5, 2021, OVO Records (Hip Hop)

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JAWAN – “Assurance”

JAWAN – “Assurance”

Dark and ambient R&B mixed with the typical acoustic guitar and twinkling high-hats and bells is beginning to fall under its own genre, moving away from the idea of “Alternative R&B.” This type of R&B feels like “Dark R&B” because of the slow-moving melodies, hushed and muted vocals and give it a more sexy and sensual vibe. Jawan’s “Assurance” pulls listeners in with not only the very relatable lyrics but with the composition of the instrumentals and complex harmonies.

March 4, 2021, JAWAN Music (R&B)

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Jhené Aiko – Sailing Soul(s) [Album]

Jhené Aiko – Sailing Soul(s) [Album]

Here’s another impression I have, but this time it’s of Jhené Aiko over the weekend:

“I just released a track for a children’s movie. So in contrast, I am going to release a mostly explicit track that will get everyone in their feels and remind them of the OG “Souled Out” and “Sailed Out,” drop a bunch of features from Miguel, HOPE and K. Roosevelt and call it a day. Plus some bonus tracks—don’t forget the bonus tracks.”

But in all seriousness, this album will have you back in your bag and thinking about that one boo you had in 2014. Most of the song is very on-brand for Aiko, but just as you’re getting into it, she’s performing a head-banging rock song and you do a double-take at your phone wondering, “dis you?”

March 12, Def Jam Records (R&B)

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Jorja Smith – “Addicted”

Jorja Smith – “Addicted”

If you’ve ever wondered what it was like to FaceTime Jorja Smith, now’s your chance to find out. The “Addicted” video is taken from the perspective of what it would look like to see her in an “at home” element––if at home was a Victorian-style mansion with crystal chandeliers, plush leather walls and couches and checkerboard tiles. Her voice cuts through the ambient instrumentals and synths. Arguably the best part of the video is that even though it starts with her tone feeling very slow and melancholy, she ends on such a happy vibe––you know, even though she’s singing a breakup song.

March 10, 2021, FAMM, (Brit-pop/Ambient)

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SZA – “Good Days”

SZA – “Good Days”

On December 25, 2020, we all received a great present: a new release from our one and only Sister Solána. On March 5, 2021, she released her self-directed video for the song, which feels like a psychedelic carnival of mushrooms, VHS footage and poles. It’s one of those videos that will make you scratch your head as well as feel utterly drawn in as the whimsical visuals make the viewer feel even safer than the melodic single itself. There’s a lot of uh, *clears throat* gyrating and uncontrollable ass shaking that will undoubtedly have you fanning yourself because SZA is fine as hell.

As if that wasn’t enough, after the song and video for “Good Days” wrapped, SZA teased another track that has been circulating on Tik Tok for the past few months, with the notable line of “bloodstains on my shirt.”

March 5, 2021, TDE (R&B)

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