The paint is literally melting from the ceiling and your landlord still wants to talk about how it is “not time to turn on the AC yet.” We know the feeling. The ketchup is not coming out of the bottle – and then all of a sudden it REALLY is. We know the feeling. You finally got to the pool after hours of convincing your friends and the lifeguards close it because some little shit left a little shit. Trust us, we know the feeling.
Summer is in full swing and your Sunday BBQs and Wednesday patio hangouts are just not complete without the proper tune-age. Restaurant playlists suck, let’s be honest. And your friend with the little Bluetooth speaker that claims to know the “songs of the summer” never really knows. Do yourself a favour and dive into our highly-curated, lab-tested list of all the best music from the past month or so. We can guarantee 100% satisfaction or your money back!
Enjoy the selections below and then revisit our HOTTEST OUT feature from last month.
Beyonce – “SPIRIT”
Only the highest of praises for our Queen. Reviews are mixed when it comes to the film but the Beyonce-curated soundtrack for the 2019 edition of The Lion King entitled The Lion King: The Gift is getting rave reviews – and it’s packed full of talent from all over the globe including Jay Z, Childish Gambino, Pharrell, Burna Boy, Mr. Eazi, Jessie Reyez, Wizkid and more. Here is the video for Queen B’s finest solo cut from the project.
Blueface – “Bussdown” (feat. Offset)
Blueface, baby! The controversial yet viral West Coast rapper has returned with another massive banger for the summer titled “Bussdown” and it comes packed with a feature from Offset and a video from the hottest director in the game, Cole Bennett. While Blueface may have previously relied on public transportation to get to and from school, his recent success has enabled him to now ride in foreign cars and rock bussed down watches. Not an entirely complex idea for a song but as the kids say, it “slaps.”
Maxo Kream – “3AM” (feat. Schoolboy Q)
After years of building serious recognition amongst the rap game elite and underground, Houston’s Maxo Kream has made his debut via a joint venture at RCA Records. The new project, titled Brandon Banks, (after his father) is a speaker knocking down-south machine at times but also a contemporary, laidback boombap listen – a unique but appropriate approach from the Texas legend-in-the-making.
Dreamville – “Oh Wow… Swerve” (feat. J. Cole, Zoink Gang, KEY! and Maxo Kream)
J. Cole’s massive Revenge of the Dreamers III project has taken the music world by storm and this is easily our favourite cut from the project. Fans of the North Carolina rapper and his label/collective should watch the official documentary created during the process of creating the group project – the 29-minute film features appearances from literally everybody (and we mean everybody).
Amaal – “Later”
We are huge fans of Toronto singer/songwriter Amaal so we were thrilled to hear that she had finally announced her debut EP under Public Records, Black Dove. The new project is composed of previously released singles like “Not What I Thought” and some new releases including this track, “Later,” for which the video is dedicated to FEAT, a bus program that transports families across the province of Ontario to visit their incarcerated loved ones (over 50,000 Ontario children have an incarcerated parent).
Lil Durk – “Green Light”
Legendary Chiraq-era rapper Lil Durk has been steadily building a catalogue of top-tier street ballads over the past few years but this new release (accompanied by a stellar Cole Bennett video) showcases the harder side of his spitting. Durk fans would be familiar with his Signed To The Streets mixtapes but his major label releases have sported a lot more singing. Either way, enjoy this banger from the certified Chicago MC and stream his new Love Songs 4 the Streets II project.
JUGGER – “ALCHEMIST”
Time to turn up your speakers because Toronto rapper JUGGER is back with an insane new freestyle titled “Alchemist” over a fiery beat from London Cyr and Keanu Beats. JUGGER has been on a roll since the release of his debut single “Arc’y Boyz” and subsequent PSYCO EP and we are only looking forward to what he and his mentor, Wondagurl, have in store. Who else is making music like this in Canada?
Rico Nasty – “Welcome to the Party (NastyMix)”
We had to include this. “Welcome to the Party” is already our absolute favourite song but then the unthinkable happened – top-tier Atlanta rapper Rico Nasty jumped on a remix and turned that shit up to 1000. Baskin Robbins references, screams and some nasty 808s are all you need to get your day started. Set this thing as your alarm and get right. Only respect for Miss Nasty.
Young Smoke – “Ball”
We just interviewed Regent Park legend Puffy L’z and this was his number one recommendation for other Regent Park rap talent to look out for. Young Smoke is another rising MC from the 878 Dream Team collective and also the younger brother of late 878 rapper Smoke Dawg. His latest single, “Ball,” is building some serious hype and has the city watching. Just take a look at the comments on his videos and Instagram posts and you will see hoards of comments about Smokey “living through him.”
LocoCity – “CELO”
Our favourite Bleecker rapper has returned with a brand new video following the release of his debut Save Yourself EP and the young Toronto artist just does not miss. After consistently dropping viral hit after viral throughout the spring, LocoCity has dropped another soulful street banger named after the dice game, “CELO.” No co-sign, no label – just a passionate artist and his team lighting up the game with heater after heater. No complaints here!
QUAMON – “Hellcat”
Rising Canadian rapper QUAMON has been low-key putting out a whole bunch of material on his SoundCloud but now the artist has revealed his face by way of his first music video, “HELLCAT.” Produced by close collaborator JOSEPH L’ÉTRANGER, QUAMON’s latest offering is a saucy, moving track dedicated to the Dodge car but also a great demonstration of his unique inflections and flows.
DillanPonders – “TINGZ” feat. Devontee
Our favourite Toronto underground legend and self-proclaimed Shroom Daddy has returned with another single from his upcoming KNOWHERE project – a massive single featuring fellow Torontonian and creator of the WOE movement, Devontee. The two seasoned MCs each show up to bat on the Alex Parham-produced banger and drop bar after bar proving their position on the Toronto rap power rankings (if such a thing ever existed). Stay tuned to the Shroom Daddy for news concerning his upcoming album.
Dave – “Location” feat. Burna Boy
Dave first made his entrance to the international scene via a clever collaboration with Drake but since attaining international fame, the British rapper has released a slew of hits and established himself amongst the rising UK rap royalty. His debut album, PSYCHODRAMA, came out back in March but summery visuals for his Burna Boy collaboration, “Location,” are quite appropriate for a July release. Based on a viral tweet made earlier in the year, the video was filmed on location at Stormzy’s Merky Fest in Ibiza and features cameos from the likes of Stormzy, Krept & Konan, J Hus, Jorja Smith and more.
Tre Mission – “Orphan Black”
It has been a few years since we have gotten a full project from Toronto grime MC Tre Mission but the wait is over and the Canadian legend and JUNO nominee has returned with his self-produced masterpiece, Orphan Black. The title track features a haunting piano intro and slowly progresses into rolling grime track, a perfect reintroduction for the ultra-talented rapper and producer. Stream the rest of the project and look out for guest appearances from Tizzy Gang members Merky Ace and EllzBs.
Willow Smith – “Time Machine”
All of the recent attention has been on the Will and Jaden extensions of the Smith family due to their booming online personas (via vlogging and music, respectively) but now it is Willow’s time to shine again. After an extensive break on the creative front, the talented singer/songwriter has released her debut, self-titled album. Speaking with Zane Lowe about dealing with her family’s fame she said, “Everyone is looking at you to be a role model and to use your platform to do something positive. That’s too important to be like eh, I’m going to be sad and depressed. If you have this platform and people listen to you, be vulnerable. People are feeling the way that you’re feeling. Don’t sit in the shadows and be alone. Let people know that they’re not alone.”
Yung Bans – “Going Wild”
After months of anticipation and confusion over his legal situation, young Atlanta rapper and Freeband Gang affiliate Yung Bans has returned with his debut album – cleverly titled Misunderstood. Bans has seen his fair share of drama over the past few years of his rising success including a number of beefs (recently with DJ Akademiks and Lil Yachty) but his lengthy house arrest has clearly impeded on his ability to perform shows and do press (although he was able to do a bunch of press for this project). The album features a star-studded cast of contemporary rappers including his mentor, Future, YNW Melly, the late XXXTentacion, Lil Durk, NAV, Gunna, Young Thug, Lil Tjay, 03 Greedo and more.
Rick Ross – “BIG TYME” feat. Swizz Beatz
Rick Ross has finally announced details and a tracklist for his highly-anticipated Port of Miami 2 album but please take a minute and enjoy this video. Rick Ross on the poetry, Swizz Beatz on the intro, Just Blaze on the beat, bottles of Belaire Rose and some really fast-moving Aston Martins. Has anyone ever made the observation that Rick Ross’ music just sounds like money. The real question is: when are we going to get an album full of Rick Ross rapping over Just Blaze? Seriously.