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The moment you've all been waiting for


This Summer's sounds have been making waves as loud as a tsunami. There's been so much new music from both fan favorites and new comers that it's been a standardized test to keep up with it all. Never fear, TMTM is here. As always, The dirty work has been done and It's only right that The Man | The Muse lay out the hits that actually stick like grits. Keeping you in the know while you're on the go!

First one of 2018, here is what's #NOWPLAYING


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Childish Gambino // Summer Pack

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Since his time on the hit show "Community", Donald Glover AKA Childish Gambino has solidified his star power in all aspects of entertainment. From 2011 on forward he's shined to blinding proportions whether it be in music, film, or television. Fresh off the heels of the controversial "This is America", Gambino has brightened up the mood with a mid-season "Summertime Pack". Released just before his headlining spot at the Lovebox festival in London, the A and B side selection "perfectly and bluntly represent the essence of summer in a dreamy, laid-back way only Glover could."  Produced by Donald Glover and Ludwig Göransson, the duo of songs - 1) Summertime Magic 2) Feels like Summer - encapsulate a certain segment of feels that solely this season exudes. If these are any indication of what's to come, then the follow up to 2016's "Awaken, My Love!" is sure to be yet another great body of work for casual fans and music heads alike.

Ari Lennox // Whipped Cream

Fed up with the antics of her love interest, Whipped cream, finds Ari emotionally eating the title snack as a coping mechanism for her relationship issues. It's clear by the subjected song matter that her love interest hasn't been on his best behavior, but inevitably Ari is constantly thinking about him. The most refreshing part about "Whipped Cream" is its vintage production. While Ari belts her heart out in her signature style, the feel of the song sounds more like something off of a Minnie Ripperton record than a 2018 radio hit. The much needed departure from the current trend of Trap & B reminisces on a familiar sound from Ari Lennox that lots of fans found to be missing on her last effort "PHO". On the bridge, in true Washingtonian form, Ari sings "Your deceivin', receivin', non-givin' headass". TRIGGERING!!!! Whether she reconciles with her man or not, this new single will have listeners swaying and bopping like their parents did to the jams of yesteryear. Giving the people exactly what they want, Ari Lennox is back with a more glammed up look and a story to tell.

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DRAM // That's A Girl's Name

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For the past couple of years there have been a slew of new artists that have broken the mold and come full force with something a tad different than the rest. One of those names is DRAM. In a time where most rappers sing and singers rap, DRAM still differentiates himself with his knowledge of music. Evident in his vocal choices, rhyme cadences, and even selective collaborations it is obvious that DRAM has been here before. The VA native, known to be an old soul naturally, springs a nostalgic sounding triplet of tracks on everyone this week. "That's A Girl's Name" is a short EP with the gumption of today's most heartfelt hip hop coupled with harmonious vocals that favor the music of yore. The universal theme in an artist of DRAM's caliber is the constant look back to previous decades. Going song by song, "Best Hugs" is an honest and innocent conversational record. Think Biz Markie's "Just A Friend" or New Edition's "Candy Girl". "WWYD" instrumentally reminds one of late 80's early 90's boom bap hip hop. And "Sundress" rounds out the project perfectly with the heart and soul of funk groups such as Parliament over a blaxploitation soundtrack. While each offering on this tracklist would be automatic billboard sensations in their respective time periods, the trained ear of DRAM's is an asset in that he sees how they are also applicable to today's framework of music. This chain link of eras makes DRAM's sound so unique because he alone has the ability to time travel through decades and still bring something brand new to get people on their feet. Here's hoping that "That's A Girl's Name" is the pre-cursor to a longer body of work. The world needs it!

 

 

 

Azealia Banks // Treasure Island

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For better or worse, the music industry halts at the mention of her name. Azealia Banks, in pure problematic form, leaves a trail of jaws dropping with every tweet, appearance, or instagram post. What folks need to hone in on is that the same can be said for her spitfire rap skills. With Fantasea 2 coming any day now, "Treasure Island" may be the most highly anticipated song of Banks' career thus far. In addition to the release of new music it's only right that a bit of scandal assist in clearing the path. Whether it's the up and down relationship between her and other women in rap (Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, etc.) or her knack for thinkpiecing any and every event that doesn't go her way (The now infamous Wildin Out appearance that the world may never see), Azealia specializes in staying on the tip of tongues in every crevice of the internet. Some say she needs to shut up and take a break but when it comes to the music, there is no muzzle needed. With wordplay light years ahead of many male counterparts in the game, "Treasure Island" is yet another display of the rapstress' vicious pen game. Following the hilarity of the "Chicken of the sea" comment she shot at Nicki, this latest peak into the new album plays on the mermaid character that she has been tapping into since her first full EP. A premier example of someone that forces the fans to separate the art from the artist, Azealia's talent really lures listeners in like the Siren that she is. "Treasure Island" is a banger that stands the test of scandal and the team here at The Man | The Muse are all eager to see what else is in store.

 

Ciara // Level Up

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Ciara Princess Supa-C Harris-Wilson is living her best life and "Level Up" is where she shares the blueprint for everyone to do the same. To be fair the whole internet has been asking for her to share her prayer :). Creative directed and choreographed by the famed Parris Goeble, "Level Up" is just the visual that fans have been waiting for in a Ciara comeback. Non stop dancing and booming production with a reworking of the Dj Telly Tellz "Fuck It Up Challenge" and elements of the "We Are Young" (Kyle Edwards & Dj Smallz 732 Jersey Club Remix) by FUN, the video showcases Ciara planted firmly in her element. The single serves as a self love anthem and comes in response to backlash that she received for an instagram post that praised John Gray’s sermon. In the clip he proceeds to tell women what they can do to attract and maintain a husband. While Ciara agreed by reposting and accompanying the hashtag and quote ‘’#LevelUp. Don’t Settle'‘, the internet was egregiously outraged. Based on everything shared via social media, Ciara seems to be in a great place in her life with her husband and family, so why not celebrate her own glow with her music? If followed up properly the buzz from this single paired with an undeniably classic Ciara track could be the perfect onset to a comeback for her. Perfectly timed with a dance challenge for literally everything but no artist capitalizing on movement as a draw, the lane is wide open. Let's see what she does with it.

 

Siiren // Death In Sex!

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"...there must be a little death in sex, cause I swear I die every time!", sings friend to the site, Siiren, on his brand new single. The metaphoric masterpiece is a fanciful foray into a dirty mind. Equating the pleasures of sex with little deaths (le petit mort). Siiren uses his wondrous wording to paint a picture of how he and his lover go at it and the effects of each encounter. Phallic symbols of guns and grim demises fill the stanzas of this song only to have the audience jamming way before the climax. "Death In Sex!" is the first single off of Siiren's forthcoming project "SoftServ". Siiren is a rare vocalist with an untouchable tone. Often showcasing a vocal elasticity that rivals the Brandy's and Jazmine Sullivan's of the world, he's small in stature but big in impact with the lyrics to match. HIS MIND!!!! The team here has been anxiously awaiting new gems from the Atlanta based artist. Standing as 1/2 of the experimental duo "Terracotta Mafia" Siiren is embarking on a pretty big 2nd half and The Man | The Muse will be there every step of the way to keep fans abreast of what's next for him.

Jayla Darden // Ideas, Vol. 1

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Jayla Darden, the 20 year old mentee of super producer "Tha Bizness" is an exceptional vocalist and engineer hailing from Detroit, Michigan. "Ideas, Vol. 1" is her second EP and serves a much more mature tone both lyrically and sonically. Her sound on this offering packages the attitude and vocal arranging of Brandy's "Never Say Never" with the delivery of today's artistic wave of storytelling. The EP is broken out into 6 separate ideas that make a cohesive tale of boys and budding romance. Cohesive in it's melodic feel, the production blends an old school flair with elements of the now, all while maintaining a uniqueness that will keep listeners attentive. Her background in sound engineering and production assists in the professionalism of the project. Just getting a taste of her twenties and already she sounds as seasoned a  songstress as the likes of Jhene Aiko, SZA, H.E.R., and any of the other popular women at the forefront of 2018's R&B. The self produced "Ideas, Vol. 1" is a great introduction to this newcomer. Many may be just learning of her but she surely will be making a name for herself very soon.

Zayn // Sour Diesel

Let's call a spade a spade: The breakout star from international super group, One Direction, doesn't get enough credit amongst urban outlets. Since Zayn's first solo album, there has been an edgy appeal to his music that - in some respected opinions - slips him through the same cracks as Justin Timberlake and Robin Thicke. "Sour Diesel" is the third track to be unveiled off of Zayn's highly sought after sophomore effort. The crooner has been maintaining a keen mystery to this roll out with unannounced releases and unexpected covers. "Bed Peace by Jhene" and "Me, Myself, and I" by Beyonce are two of the pleasant surprises that he had brewing for this new era. This installment ["Sour Diesel"] speaks of an intoxicating lover, hearkening back to the cannabis strain in which the song is aptly titled. The 80's new wave inspired banger shows Zayn's range while the accompanied visual exposes a darker side of the British hearthrob. Attention needs to be paid to this man and his eclectic mix of inspirations. With songs in his repertoire that take elements of Prince, Tank, and even Elvis, there is no telling what he'll do next. Zayn Malik is a pop sensation that definitely knows how to clear the air & the haze left by this new single is no exception.

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||||||||||| If you like what you heard today be sure to comment below and let the team know which songs were your favorite. |||||||||||


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