Mic Drop: Welcome to the Party

Mic Drop: Welcome to the Party

Doja Cat – Kiss Me More (feat. SZA)
Doja Cat – Kiss Me More (feat. SZA)
Image: YouTube

Where the party at?

Clearly, it’s in this week’s new releases because each is a lyrical, melodic and funky bop that gives us a lively look into the artist’s creative capacity. Of course, these parties are primarily still taking place in our living rooms and blasting through our headphones, but it’s a party nonetheless. Music has been a component of joy for quite some time and since we’re now all itching for some serotonin, it’s imperative to find the music—and listen to the music—that makes us happiest. There is the Prince party I’ll be throwing once the full album Welcome 2 America comes out in July, but for now, I’ll stick with the newly-released-from-the-vault song and have that dance party all on my own.

Canadian scientist turned DJ Jayda G dropped her latest track “All I Need”—which is honestly all I need to get me in the mood for summer and possibly pull out the VHS camera that has been gathering dust on my shelf. The upbeat and dizzying—but in a good way—video gives off the happy sort of feeling and joy that will pull us through for the rest of the summer. Speaking of, Charm La’Donna’s debut album La’Donna gives off all of the hot girl summer vibes, especially with her new song and video, “Palm Trees.”

Tierra Whack takes us out of this world in “Link” as she partners with Lego and some young friends to build a spaceship, vibrant landscape and connections with those around her. And unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about the dreamy Doja Cat and SZA collab “Kiss Me More.” The ethereal video is magic and humor in all shades of pink and Afrofuturist gondola rides. Need I say anything more?

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Charm La’Donna – “Palm Trees”

Charm La’Donna – “Palm Trees”

The first thing that catches the ear is the electric guitar that opens the track. After a few bars, a trap beat is laid on top and the guitar acts as both the bassline and the melody. The song examines what appears to be an “idyllic” life from the outside but in reality, the thing people perceive as paradise is actually falling apart. The video itself combines artistic and sculptural elements with dancing (that goes hard af), contrasted with a nurturing children’s narrative. “Palm Trees” is one of seven songs off of La’Donna’s debut album, La’Donna. 

April 9, 2021, Epic (Hip Hop)

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Conway The Machine – “Blood Roses (feat. Jae Skeese)”

Conway The Machine – “Blood Roses (feat. Jae Skeese)”

Conway The Machine’s flow is all over the place in “Blood Roses,” but in a good way. He has a few narratives that easily flow together—his explanation about his come-up, or rather, his re-come-up, his struggles with love and his dedication to his craft. After praying and promising to give his fortunes to his sons, Conway utters what one might call “on par” with Drake’s “Hotline Bling” lyric, “I need a photo with Drake because my Instagram is weak as fuck.” Conway gives us something just as direct—“You know you gettin’ lit when bitches use your lyrics for a caption.”

I would have to agree as I have quite often used a song lyric to accompany a photo when I can’t think of anything better. The beats behind the track are a mix of dark and brooding drumlines to background vocals that provide different depths as Conway’s flow changes.

April 9, 2021, Griselda Records/Drumwork/EMPIRE (Hip Hop)

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Doja Cat – “Kiss Me More (feat. SZA)”

Doja Cat – “Kiss Me More (feat. SZA)”

Our oxygen levels are not stable after watching this video, thank you very much. You’ve got Doja. You’ve got SZA, you’ve got a dreamy pink wonderland. You’ve got…Grey’s Anatomy? Balancing the world on the palm of their hands, Doja Cat and SZA have got nothing to lose as they clearly rule the planet they now inhabit. As always, Doja Cat’s lyrics are the epitome of “singable” and will be stuck in your head. I mean, “wishing that the pussy was a kissing booth” will be on repeat in my brain for weeks to come. And SZA is just a goddess, but we all knew that. Her pink fro, floral bustier and matching bottoms will be the bikini of the season.

For one hot sec (but really five hot minutes), “Kiss Me More” takes us away from Earth and drops us into a dream state of shades of pink and Black girl magic.

April 9, 2021, Kembosabe Records/RCA Records (Pop/R&B)

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Jayda G – “All I Need”

Jayda G – “All I Need”

This song is just the epitome of joy. From the house and disco-inspired track to the ‘80s flare and ‘90s grunge-style costumes, “All I Need” gives a fun twist to the “ideal summer party” trope. The video looks like it was shot with a VHS camera due to its grainy quality and even transitions from night to day through the viewfinder of the actual camera. Jayda Guy—or professionally known as Jayda G—got her start as a scientist and student in Canada, but her love of music pushed her to pursue a path in deejaying. The song’s upbeat rhythms feature a deep bass drum and traditional house beat under fast-paced high-hats that cut above the rest. The synths and keyboard hold down the melody and harmony, giving a new and dynamic twist to classic disco and house.

April 9, 2021, !K7 Records (House)

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Miguel – “So I Lie”

Miguel – “So I Lie”

Miguel is an artist. I don’t just mean musically, but the visual work he puts out with his music adds an additional layer to his emotional lyrics. While many of Miguel’s songs are an ode to a love, this song goes deeper into the psychological side and what it means to lie to those around you and hold it all in. As per all of his work, the vocal harmonies build from the intro to the outro, providing complex layers to the melody and complimenting the percussion and the lyrics. Miguel’s artistry is put on display in the official video for “So I Lie” and carried throughout his newest EP, Art Dealer Chic 4.

April 9, 2021, ByStorm Entertainment/RCA Records (R&B)

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Phabo – “Slippery (feat. Destin Conrad)”

Phabo – “Slippery (feat. Destin Conrad)”

It’s the hottest thing on the block…if what’s hot is a chill R&B track with a dope electric guitar melody. The lyric video draws the viewer in with vintage-looking photos, black and white animations and smooth transitions. The lyrics are full of iconic classic ‘90s R&B and hip hop references that will make you smile as soon as you hear them. The playful tone of the intro fades into the more melancholy tone of the first verse and chorus and comes full circle to a close with that same upbeat guitar ending. “Slippery” is out through hip hop and R&B favorite, Soulection Records.

April 9, 2021, Soulection Records/Over Everything

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Prince – “Welcome 2 America”

Prince – “Welcome 2 America”

Right. Paisley Park and Prince’s estate opened the vault and out came decades’ worth of unreleased Prince songs that will now be released as an album this July. I have no other words than “Welcome 2 the light, new Prince music. I’ve been waiting for years.”

April 8, 2021, Legacy Recordings (Prince)

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Queen Mars – “Lonely”

Queen Mars – “Lonely”

We all know the feeling of getting excited about a new potential love interest and having it just fall apart right before our eyes because they’ve ghosted us. From Spacebook to actual dates to being left on read, Queen Mars goes through the wringer with a new guy in her latest single, “Lonely.” The R&B singer perfectly expresses the pain that comes with situationships and uses a new take on dating apps and social media to show the alienation that this type of behavior can have on a person. Her raspy yet delicate voice perfectly blends with the subdued keyboard and the bold drums that come in during the chorus and hook. Her music is a kaleidoscope of sounds that perfectly blend across the board. Her song, “Lonely” can be found on her new EP, Trust Issues, now available on all platforms.

April 7, 2021, Kaleidoscope Pop Records (R&B)

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Queen Naija – “Set Him Up (feat. Ari Lennox)”

Queen Naija – “Set Him Up (feat. Ari Lennox)”

If there’s any song that makes you feel like you’re FaceTiming with your girls, it’s “Set Him Up.” The smooth R&B beats and poppy bassline give a relaxed and comfortable vibe to the song. Anything with Ari Lennox is gonna give you “fuck that dude” energy, which is exactly what this is—and Queen Naija is serving the same, through and through. The visuals give us a bit of insight as to what the women are dealing with, giving us a bit of “Say My Name” meets “Same Girl.”

April 8, 2021, Capitol Records (R&B)

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Tierra Whack – “Link”

Tierra Whack – “Link”

Tierra Whack wants to link up in space, so let’s make that happen. In fact, let’s just “go to space forever” as the big red button in her Lego-style spaceship tempts us to do. The simple yet vibrant beat adds to the ebb and flow of Whack’s flow and the moments of pause between verses give a welcome breath to appreciate the harmonies that the synths provide. But the costumes? They really steal the show. Not only is she dressed in what I’d like to call “Alien Chic” but she’s got her martian friends in vibrant, full-body costumes traipsing the deserted planet’s landscape and building her a bomb spaceship.

“Link” was created in partnership with the Lego Group, which collaborated with children aged 6-9 to come up with the concept of the video. “The kids’ imaginations ran wild as they built whatever came to mind. Whack, serving as a blank canvas, received their suggestions whole-heartedly and helped realize their concepts to the best of her abilities,” according to a press release provided to The Root.

“I was so excited to work with kids because their energy is fun, exhilarating, never-ending, and full of surprises,” says Tierra Whack regarding the creative process. “I really trusted them, and I knew they were going to come up with something great.”

April 6, 2021, Interscope Records (Hip Hop/R&B)

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