NEW MUSIC MONDAY: MISSY ELLIOTT, SZA, SWET SHOP BOYS, AND MORE

The past few weeks have been filled with more dope music drops than we can pack into one article, but I will try. We’ve had new music across various genres, from different artists, including some impressively great collaborations. Let’s break down what new music we’re listening to and what’s been exciting us lately.

 

Sevdaliza’s new album, “ISON”

On April 26, the sultry Iranian-Dutch singer songwriter Sevdaliza released her debut album "ISON." The album has a beautiful cohesive sound to it which is hard to be pinned down to one genre; it is a much R&B as it is sexual, experimental, avant-pop, FKA Twigs-esque wonder. The visuals which accompany the album are striking, with single "Human" having an engaging and stunning music video which was released last year.  

Swet Shop Boys’ new EP, “Sufi La"

Just a few months after the release their debut album, Cashmere, hip-hop duo the Swet Shop Boys release a new EP "Sufi La" which gives fans six new songs to rock to. I'll assume (or hope, really) that the title of the EP is a play on the iconic 1995 hit "Fu-Gee-La" by the Fugees, in which Lauryn Hill delivers one of the slickest rap verses of all time. The EP does what the Swet Shop Boys do best: mixes South Asian instruments and influences with hip-hop production, placing a fantastic merge of Islamic, hip-hop, Hindu, and other cultures into the music.

A$AP Mob featuring A$AP Rocky, Playboi Carti, Quavo, Lil Uzi Vert and Frank Ocean, “RAF”

The featured artists alone make this track an exciting drop, with new school hip-hop heavyweights meeting tornado-room-flying singer Frank Ocean on the upbeat track "RAF." It's an all star crew on an all star song, with Ocean showing out and flexing his rap skills almost embarrassingly outshining the rappers on the song. Another surprising standout on the song is Lil Uzi, whose "now Atlanta got all different flavors" is a buck at the old hip-hop heads who aren't for the new rap era folks like Lil Uzi and Lil Yatchy seem to be ushering in. Listen to the track with the windows down and a Swisher hanging off your lips and you'll have "please don't touch my Raf" stuck in your head all day. 

SZA featuring Travis Scot, “Love Galore”

I don't know an artist whose album is more anticipated right now than SZA, who has been the buzz of Twitter excitement for months now with the album teasers she's been dropping. She released a new single from her upcoming debut album "CTRL" titled "Love Galore," which features Travis Scott and let me just say, it's a bop. It's a summer anthem with a smooth, slow beat, and SZA's completely unique and marvelous vocals. The music video for Love Galore is sexy, fun, and one that makes us even more excited to see what else SZA has to give us. 

Niia's new album, "I"

R&B singer, songwriter, and pianist Niia is making a splash with the beautifully melodic, smooth new album "I." Talking about boy troubles, love, and life, my favorite song on the album is "Sideline" which features Jazmine Sullivan, my Mascara queen. 

Mary J. Blige's new album, "Strength of a Woman"

Yall, mama is back like she never left and she has found the very same voice that made us fall in love with her years ago. Fresh off a break up and ready to sing about it, Mary J. Blige is here to Glow Up. On Stength of a Woman Mary finds her confidence and shares it with the likes of Kanye West, Missy Elliott, Quavo, and Kaytranada, among others. A$AP Rocky was lucky enough to find himself starring in the newly released music video for her track "Love Yourself," and it's definitely a hit. 

Missy Elliot featuring Lil Kim, Eve, and Trina, "I'm Better Remix"

While working on a full length documentary, Missy Elliott must have found time to come to my home, knock on my door, smile in my face, and push my edges back a few inches. The hip-hop legend released a remix to her latest single "I'm Better" featuring a female rap ensemble of Lil Kim, Eve, and Trina, and delivers the first taste of a "Ladies Night" type of hip-hop joint we've had in at least a decade. Admittedly, the names on the track are the most exciting thing about it, and the hope it brings for possible future female rap collaborations (I've been waiting for Nicki Minaj + Foxy Brown banger for years now, and have been wondering when Missy will work with some of these new lady rap pimps). While Lil Kim's rapping might be lackluster at worst nowadays, she delivers a playful verse which manages to somehow hold up against the flames Eve and Trina spit. All hail queen Missy, and may the future only bring us more of her blessings - amen.