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New music Friday: Pharrell, 21 Savage shine as SZA celebrates 5 years of ‘Ctrl’

New music Friday: Pharrell, 21 Savage shine as SZA celebrates 5 years of 'Ctrl'
Pharrell Williams (Photo credit: Bang Media)

As the summer season approaches, so has the amount of artists releasing new music has as well.

Pharrell dropped his long awaited “Cash In Cash Out” single featuring 21 Savage and Tyler, The Creator. The bass-heavy, signature Neptunes sound accompanies one of 21 Savage’s best verses in a while for the ever-improving MC. Tyler, The Creator came in with his signature way of using his time on the record to make it his own.

On June 9, SZA released the deluxe version of her debut project Ctrl on the legendary project’s fifth anniversary. The enhanced album features seven new tracks.

Kid Cudi released “Do What I Want,” a single that stays true to Cudi’s sound with a taste of the newer flows and instrumentals in hip-hop. Logic continued his return to music with a “boom-bap” banger with Wiz Khalifa, who he’s currently touring with. Khalifa’s flow on the track is steady and hard-hitting, while Logic’s is fast. In his verse, Logic reminisces of the the late 2009-early 2010s era when Pittsburgh artists Mac Miller and Khalifa dominated the online mixtape scene.

On the more melodic side of new releases, DDG dropped “Storyteller” and 6LACK released “Umi Says.” DDG went live on Instagram before the release of his latest single, and avoided any comments about his current legal conflict, and the song the focuses on the lessons he’s learned throughout his lifelong journey of romance. “Umi Says,” much like the iconic track from Mos Def, reflects on the current time period, as 6LACK uses the second half of the track to leave messages to his young daughter.

Nardo Wick released “Riot,” a track different than his usual release, as the song begins with the beat suddenly being snatched from the listeners’ ears.

With a more political sound, Denzel Curry continued his strong 2022 with “1st Quarter” featuring TDE’s Reason. On the track, Curry says a 25-year sentence is a quarter of a Black man’s life taken from him. Reason arrives on the track matching Curry’s energy, asking what is a legacy. Lupe Fiasco released “Galveston,” matching the scientific sound appropriate for a 40-year-old man recently named an MIT hip-hop professor.

XXXTentacion‘s posthumous Look at Me: The Album dropped, in conjunction with the documentary released about his life. The project contains previously released popular tracks like “Vice City,” “Look at Me!,” “Jocelyn Flores,” “Moonlight,” “SAD!” and “True Love” from Ye’s Donda 2.

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