My Top 10 Releases (May 2022)

My aim with this is to create my own playlist of sorts while giving you all a little bit of insight into the artists’ backgrounds. Enjoy!

#1) Vesta – “While We’re Young” [The L Word – EP]

Vesta is a one-of-a-kind type of artist. She’s has a pleasurable voice as a singer, the type that is welcoming and like an instrument itself. Her songs always transcend while bringing the listener into whatever feeling she’s conveying; being an adept songwriter. “While We’re Young” gives an early 2000’s smooth pop/rock type of vibe, structured a such while backed by infectious guitar chords and a steady bass/rimshot/hi-hat combo. It’s the lead single on the Northern Virginia native’s latest 4-track offering called The L Word.

#2) Wynne – “Nature Heals” (Single)

Wynne is constantly winning whenever behind the mic, and on this track she displays her abilities over a classy, subtle beat with a sample loop, produced by spinitch. “I probably shouldn’t say anything, but fuck it off adrenaline, fuck this whole industry”, she starts off, then continues to delve into her time in high school ducking jocks and shit-talking. Her flow is like water, as she embarks on a slew of lines of wordplay and metaphors. The 23-year-old emcee from Portland, Oregon is one of the best female lyricists active right now; untouchable and in her own lane.

#3) Jesse Boone – “Rubberband” (Single)

Jesse Boone has a calm, yet dedicated demeanor in his records. His words carry the weight of someone who is set on walking in his truest purpose, and that’s by any means necessary. On “Rubberband”, the New York resident takes on the fact that he needs not only the ones who he calls family and his loved ones, but also he needs the ones who doubt him: “Keep my friends, peep the foes, love em all, keep em close.” Jesse hasn’t let his foot off the gas so far this year, dropping a handful of singles and performing shows as well. This song is a testament to his ability to provide a head bobbing tune while maintaining a truthful and meaningful message.

#4) BigBabyGucci – “No Smoke” [Soda & Syrup]

Theres not too many artists as consistently progressive as BigBabyGucci, and I go to his music when I just want to escape and turn up. “No Smoke” comes from BBG’s new project titled “Smoke & Syrup”. As always, he provides many flows around an enticing hook. It’s a short, but satisfying tune that I always run to whenever listening to this project.

#5) Kendrick Lamar – “Father Time” feat. Sampha [Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers]

On “Father Time” Kendrick Lamar details stories of how the way he was raised by his father affected his perspective on what masculinity means as he grew up and into his own self. Sampha provides the hook on this track.

#6) Ravyn Lenae – “Satellites” [Hypnos]

“This feels like me stepping out as my fully-loaded self, if that makes sense,” Lenae says. “I feel like I’ve been pending over the last couple years, and now I feel whole and very secure in myself and the music. It’s a coming-out project for me, where people don’t have to guess about me anymore. I’m putting my stamp on the industry.” – Ravyn Lenae (via interview with Billboard)

#7) Lil Wudy – “okay!” (SoundCloud Single)

Lil Wudy is an artist I continue to support because of his genuine talent and consistency. Recently, he wiped his SoundCloud of all his old music and began uploading all new tunes. This song, “okay!”, finds Lil Wudy in a melodic tone, gliding over a airy beat that contains the appropriate 808’s. A short but savory listen, I encourage you to tap into this and the rest of his music.

#8) Al-Doms – “APPARENT”

It’s been a minute since we last heard from Virginia rapper Al-Doms, but thankfully the young rapper returns to us this week with “APPARENT” – his first single of 2022. Though fans haven’t been treated to new music from the NEW DREAM rapper in a while, “APPARENT” showcases an Al-Doms so focused it sounds like he hasn’t skipped a day in the studio since. Synthesizing a natural talent for carefully-crafted writing and high-energy performances, Al-Doms holds nothing back on his latest offering. After all, a lot has changed for the artist since I first heard his music earlier last year – so perhaps it’s appropriate that “APPARENT” is the musical equivalent of ‘yesterday’s price is not today’s price’. With more music and visuals hopefully slated for the near future, I’m crossing my fingers that this new single is Al-Doms opening the floodgates for new tracks in 2022. – Lyrical Lemonade (coverage by Carter Fife)

#9) Babyface Ray – “Back N Action” feat. LUCKI

Babyface Ray taps LUCKI for a stunning track; coming off of the deluxe version of his latest full length album “FACE”.

#10) Courtbaby – “Amg” (Single)

The streets of Portsmouth, Virginia are home to a handful of untapped underground talent. That being said, rapper Courtbaby (also called Nook) is a prime example of the stylish everyday life storytelling side of this town. With a beat that instantly catches your ear, causing you to bob your head, Courtbaby effortlessly glides over it. Personally, I’ve been listening to him for the past five years and this is a flow I’ve never heard and that I love. Y’all gotta tap into this.

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