Major Lazer & J Balvin “Que Calor” (feat. El Alfa)
This song starts out with tropical high-pitched songs that fades into a bumping reggaeton beat. Major Lazer needs no introduction, thanks to his megahits like “Lean On” (with DJ Snake featuring MØ) and Cold Water (featuring Justin Bieber and MØ), and J. Balvin is a rising star having collaborated with the likes of Sean Paul, Cardi B and Bad Bunny. El Alfa is a Dominican dembow artist that also had his brush up with Cardi B on “Mi Mami.” With both J. Balvin and El Alfa predominantly rapping in Spanish, this song is proof that you don’t necessarily have to know the literal meaning of the song, a catchy beat will get you far.

SiR “Hair Down” (feat. Kendrick Lamar)
The chill, heavy drums that kick this song off, belie the lyrical mastery of SiR and Kendrick Lamar dripping with venom: “I was just a nigga with some hoop dreams (hoop dreams)/Now, I’m in the league, bitch/Now, I’m in the lead, bitch.” Having Kendrick attached to a project is a positively double edged sword—the gravitas he carries summons listens, but it’s also a testament to SiR that Kendrick would take this fellow Cali rapper under his wing. “Hair Down” seems a harbinger of things to come, a slow burn before the pop of success. Whatever blows your hair back.

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ITSOKTOCRY “Vanessa With An F”
This track opens akin to an early aughts Eminem song, with a haunting background melody giving way to smooth, snarling rap. “Vanessa With An F” is the latest track from ITSOKTOCRY, who was interviewed by ED Magazine for his track “Jirachi”. On “Vanessa With An F”, he’s enlisted the aid of BBYGOYARD & SHINIGAMI and the trio collectively put out a trippy sounding song that will definitely find its share of listeners.

Next Town Down “Buss Down”
Next Town Down is embracing its boy-bandish name. The quintet is an assimilation of singers from across the country who have convened to share their musical dream—it doesn’t hurt they’re all good vocalists that seemingly bring out the best in each other. “Buss Down” does a quality job, as all songs featuring an equally prolific talent pool do, of rotating the spotlight on each singer. Check for Next Town Down to rise the charts as the band—a cast of guys in their early 20s and late teens—continues to grow.

Blood & Diamonds “Makes Me Feel Alive”
If you’re looking for a jolt, you’ve arrived at the right tune. Diamonds & Blood oozes that guttural emotion present in all the great rock bands. “I’m going to dance in the flame/I want to play all the games/Because it makes me Feel Alive/I’m going to feel this pain…’cause it makes me feel alive/I want to feel something real tonight.” Touting itself as a Los Angeles rock band, Blood & Diamonds was in the right environs to hone its sound—and “Makes Me Feel Alive” will certainly inject some life into your audio arsenal.

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Future Joy “Thirsty”
Future Joy, an EDM group “with a taste of sax and soul from Denver”, knows how to pique auditory curiosity. “Thirsty” relies predominantly on sounds (no shocker there, given it’s ‘electronic dance music’) that reel the listener in with a steady flow throughout that is honestly enjoyable to listen to. If that je-ne-sais-quoi is “sax and soul”, let’s find a way to get that into more songs across the musical spectrum, shall we?

Stwo “Neither Do I” (feat. Jeremih)
Stwo’s “Neither Do I” may have hopped on the autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) train because the song has myriad musical chirps that come up from the surface to tickle the ear and brain. Jeremih’s high-pitched crooning rap compliments Stwo—an electronic DJ, producer, and songwriter leaning toward atmospheric, R&B-influenced dance music.


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