Sángo & Smino Reunite For “Khlorine”

Sángo continues to impress fans with his innovative production that blends hip-hop, electronic, and the sounds of Brazil. Soulection‘s rep from Seattle has produced for the likes of Bryson Tiller and Xavier Omär, constantly evolving his sound with each cut.

On the heels of “Sweet Holy Honey,” Sángo returns with the next single from his forthcoming album In The Comfort Of titled “Khlorine.” Also along for the ride is St. Louis contemporary Smino, coming through with his punchy flow. It’s always a special treat when Sángo and Smi link up—their latest collab is no exception.

Stream “Khlorine” below and expect In The Comfort Of on March 16.

Topaz Jones Shares Groovy Tracks “Nectar” & “Pleasure Pain Passion”

Back in 2016, Topaz Jones emerged into the scene with his funk-filled Arcade album, a ten-track outing featuring talent from Pell and Leven Kali. Since then, Topaz has continued to bless us with goodies including his COLORS performance and recent double single with “Toothache” and “Zoom.”

The Montclair artist is back this week with another pair of saucy tracks, “Nectar” and “Pleasure Pain Passion.” Topaz delivers some seriously groovy vibes over production from himself, Jack Hallenbeck, and Thelonious Martin. Topped off with a silky verse from KAMAU, the bundle of talents creates two infectious tunes sure to have you vibing along.

Stream both songs below.

Saba Vents On New Track “Busy”

In 2016, Saba dropped one of my favorite albums to date titled Bucket List Project. The Chicago artist solidified his spot in the music scene, especially with standout tracks like “Stoney” and “World In My Hands.” As one of the most talented in Chicago and beyond, Saba continues to bolster his ballistic flow and clever lyricism.

Saba returns to our site with his latest track, “Busy.” Standing as one of his most introspective tracks to date, Saba touches upon everything from trust issues and mental health to maintaining relationships and tour life. Fleeting melodies from DaouddaedaePIVOT, and Saba himself are brought to life in a set of elegant visuals from director Peter Campbell.

With his ability to captivate listeners with his skilled pen, Saba is sure to have another great year ahead. In the meantime, check out the video for “Busy” below and grab tickets to his upcoming Care For Me tour.


Serious Klein Returns On “Boy Boy”

Serious Klein style of rap is electric—his Summer ’03 Problems project stayed in heavy rotation following its release back in 2016. Since then, the occasional singles have kept listeners interested and engaged in Klein’s trajectory. Ahead of his new project expected to drop this summer, Seri is back with new music. Teaming again with preferred producer Rascal, Klein drops off “Boy Boy,” a calling card and quintessential track from the German born rapper.

Klein’s multi-lingual, multi-national background gave him an incredibly broad exposure to musical styles; in various interviews he has highlighted artists ranging from 2Pac to Luther Vandross as stylistic influences. Cosigned by Mick JenkinsDenzel Curry, and The Underachievers, Seri’s eclectic and variable approaches have made each new release better than the last.

“Boy Boy” is a warning shot to everyone. Klein’s first verse catches listeners up with where he’s been, “burning down the scene, muma I been burning down stacks, Dubai with the team,” and builds into the hook, referring to himself with his favorite moniker: Seri the King. He doesn’t mince words, spazzing on the hook before launching into his second verse, a terse warning to “fugazi ass rappers” and their “counterfriends.”

“Boy Boy” is an typically sharp, direct Serious Klein track. Catchy, hard-hitting, and indefatigable, it’s hopefully a sign of things to come from the overseas rapper. Stream “Boy Boy” on Spotify below.

KOTA The Friend Shines With ‘Anything’ EP

With mellow bars and a taste for soothing beats, KOTA The Friend is well on his way to becoming a household name. In addition to his freestyles over tracks like Kanye West‘s “Ultralight Beam” and Childish Gambino‘s “Redbone,” the Brooklyn artist has been holding us down with projects like Palm Tree Liquor and Paloma Beach.

KOTA makes his debut on our pages today with his new Anything EP. Featuring talent from fellow W&V favorites and contemporaries KharyChildish Major, and Sylvan LaCue, KOTA paints a snapshot of his life over production from Secret StashAshoku, and Mantra. KOTA finds balance between cuts like “Good” and “Sydney,” highlighting his versatility and another step forward in his sound. Tasteful hooks are paired with his introspective verses, culminating in a refreshing experience for fans to vibe along with.

Stream Anything below.

Don’t Miss Rejjie Snow’s Debut ‘Dear Annie’

Rejjie Snow finally brings his debut studio album to listeners. The long-awaited project is preceded by popular tapes such as Rejovich and The Moon & You, stellar and cohesive EPs that garnered the Dubliner a passionate following. Dear Annie is Snow’s attempt at something more expansive. The album is uniquely variable; outstanding production top to bottom allows Rejjie to experiment stylistically, lyrically, and conceptually. Features from superstar contemporaries including Jesse Boykins III, Cam O’bi, and Aminé underline what is an incredibly rich project that encompasses a number of powerfully relatable themes

Dear Annie is as much a letter from Rejjie to himself as it is to us. Raised in Ireland, Snow has spoken repeatedly on the struggles he faced. Snow continues to grapple with his personal and artistic identity. Songs like “Rainbows” and “Greatness” touch on being black, his influences, past, and future.

Romance is a particularly evocative theme across the album. Snow has a distinctly multi-dimensional perspective on love, and attacks it from a number of different directions. On “Mon Amor,” Rejjie joins Milena Leblanc over production from Lewis Ofman, delivering French vocals and two detached verses that speak to his addiction to pain of love: “Fuck love, its ugly.” “Spaceships” touches on lust and idealism. Perhaps the most eye catching track on the album, “Egyptian Luvr,” produced by Kaytranada and featuring Dana Williams and Aminé, is written about the last moments between lovers:

“Tomorrow isn’t promised and we learn this the hard way. The last moments with your lover. In this song I was […] telling my girl how much I love her and thanking her for this journey we rode.”

Rejjie brings a calculated emotional complexity to his album. Love is a beginning and ending point for this intricacy. Transient and ephemeral, love is tied closely to death on the album, influencing Snow and dictating what drives him. As powerful as love is to him, it’s also a catalyst for the growth of his emotional intelligence: “I hate love but in a crazy way,” he raps on “23”; later on “Désolé” he emphasizes “love is just a fucking sin.”

“My album has lots of different feelings if you care to listen to it. I wanted it to feel like you’re slowing dying and losing your mind throughout.”

From Rejovich to The Moon & You, it’s been difficult to pin down a distinct characterization of Snow’s style. Seemingly as adept a rapper as he is a singer, Snow has adopted different styles and approaches to his albums over the recent years. On Dear Annie, it is similarly difficult to pinpoint any one cadence as Snow’s trademark sound. The variety of producers on the album is mirrored by a dearth of features ranging in genre and style. Snow gives nod to collaborator Rahki for pushing himself out of his comfort zone on songs like “Annie.” The titular track combines a faster paced instrumental and resonant vocals from Jesse Boykins, bringing a looser style out of Rejjie distinct from much of his previous work.

Several tracks, however, rise above the others and demand individual attention. “Mon Amour,” “Room 27,” and “Désolé” all share production from Lewis Ofman, with instrumentals heavy on synths and organ that create an airy, dreamlike tone that contrasts Snow’s verses examining themes of, death, isolation, and more. “Room 27” makes direct reference to the infamous 27 Club, which, for Snow, represents a symptom of the personal difficulties that come with modern music. “Désolé” examines Rejjie’s personal relationship with love, regret, and insecurity.  This trio of tracks in many ways the most understated yet revelatory tracks on the album. They are stripped down and at the same incredibly complex, and all the more beautiful for it.

At the end, however, Rejjie reminds us that these feelings are just part of the human condition. Dear Annie does not pretend to be anything it is not: an eclectic mix of songs, emotions, styles, and intrigues. The album picks up pace towards the end, ushered out by  bouncy tracks including “LMFAO” and “Bye Polar,” reminders not to take yourself too seriously, and to enjoy all the good in life.

Take a moment to listen to Dear Annie on Spotify and keep an eye out for Snow’s tour dates below.


Higher Brothers Unveil New Video “Trickery”

In the midst of their nearly sold-out headlining tour, China’s hip-hop supergroup Higher Brothers is back with a new music video, “Trickery.” Their latest offering via the 88rising empire channels heavy ’90s R&B vibes with DZ on hook duty and MaSiWei taking control of each verse. Topped with bouncy production from Soulection representative j.robb, the crew has a truly refreshing and dynamic sound that’s sure to have you dancing along.

Catch “Trickery” below and stay tuned for their TYPE 3 EP next week.


Ravyn Lenae & Steve Lacy Sway On ‘Crush’ EP

Fresh off touring with SZA and SminoRavyn Lenae has continued to be a fan favorite in Chicago and beyond. The singer-songwriter resonates like an old soul with a fresh twist through her decadent vocal work, highlighted in 2016’s Moon Shoes EP and the Midnight Moonlight EP from last spring.

To keep the momentum going, Ravyn is back with her latest project titled Crush. The five-track EP was executively produced by Steve Lacy of The Internet, who also appears on two songs “Computer Luv” and “4 Leaf Clover.” Ravyn and Steve build upon the rampant success of lead single “Sticky” with more funk-filled goodness for your ears. Their chemistry permeates throughout, leaving listeners entranced by bursts of disco and grooves sure to have you dancing along.

Stream Crush and check out the video for “Sticky” below.

ODIE Previews New Album With “Little Lies”

Rising artist ODIE captivates listeners with both his raps and croons. The Bay Area artist cites inspiration from Fela Kuti, Coldplay, and Kid Cudi, reeling in listeners over the past year with standouts like “Crescendo” and “Trance Dance.”

ODIE makes his W&V debut this week with “Little Lies.” The first peek at his upcoming Analogue album is a truly fleeting escape. Slick guitar melodies and ODIE’s soothing vocals carry the song forward in a sea of bliss. A woozy outro tops off the track as the chorus washes over in waves of deep emotion.

Stream “Little Lies” below.

Don’t Sleep Spotlight | Dae Zhen

Earlier this year, we introduced our first official Spotify playlist titled Don’t Sleep. Named after our efforts to put you on to our favorite upcoming talent, the W&V crew will also be digging deeper into their backgrounds, recent accolades, and plans for the future in our latest spotlight series.

Our first Don’t Sleep spotlight features Dae Zhen. The Los Angeles resident introduced fans to his lyrical prowess with YouTube freestyles, which segued into his Polaroids EP with KATO and the Mike Derenzo-produced “Dipset.” The catchy tune has feel-good vibes throughout as Dae weaves between punchy verses and a sweet hook.

Following the release of his Women & Wordplay project, Dae stayed pretty lowkey aside from a few covers and features. He returned from his hiatus with “Friday,” which also appeared on NPR. The track essentially picks up where “Dipset” leaves off, serving as another weekend anthem fit for any celebration.

2018 marks the true return of Dae. As the next peak at his forthcoming album, “Hotline” shows Dae at his finest. Self-produced alongside Derenzo, his latest offering rides smoothly with a gentle piano riff and an explosive chorus. Dae’s warm return leaves us excited to see what he has in store in the near future.

Get familiar with Dae Zhen and check out the complete Don’t Sleep playlist below.