It must be April because we have all collectively made it through the onslaught of “Thotiana” remixes – for better and for worse. But the arrival of April also marks the beginning of spring. All of your favourites have spent the last few months holed up in post-holiday mode working on summer bangers and it’s almost time for the fruits of their labour to bear. Or maybe we are just getting closer to festival season.
Put your Canada Goose jacket and Timberlands away because it’s almost time for cheap tacos and even cheaper beers on your local patio. You could not be bothered to work on a brand new playlist so we went ahead and rounded up the best tracks of March 2019 so you can conveniently add them to your existing rotation.
R.I.P. Nipsey Hussle
Megan Thee Stallion – “Big Ole Freak”
We need to begin this list with an apology to Megan Thee Stallion. The self-proclaimed H-Town Hottie’s prolific
video film for “Big Ole Freak” did not make our February edition of HOTTEST OUT despite being released on February 28 and we sincerely regret the massive oversight on our part. Megan: if you’re reading this, please accept our apology and forgive us of our transgressions.
Just John x Dom Dias – Tango Town (feat. DillanPonders)
Our favourite Toronto rapper-producer duo recently recruited DillanPonders for a collaborative effort and the result is straight up bonkers. The infamous Shroom Daddy and Just John trade bars over a serious heater from Dom Dias featuring an infectious flute riff. Yes, a flute. Look out for more from the duo and Ponders as the release of John and Dom’s third project, DON 3, quickly approaches.
2 Chainz – “Threat 2 Society”
2 Chainz must have known we were craving some Tity Boi bars over smooth 9th Wonder production. The second track from his monumental Rap Or Go To The League album is a break from Chainz’ trap beginnings both sonically and in subject matter following his experimentation with NYC boom-bap producer Statik Selektah on their collaborative one-off, “Smoke Break.” Speaking to Billboard about the process, Selektah described their work together as “Brooklyn.” “It’s just very New York,” he said. “Basically, a down South guy made a New York album, so I’m excited for that.”
Amaal – “Coming & Going”
This Somali-born, Toronto-raised singer/songwriter first caught our attention with the release of her beautiful single, “Not What I Thought” (which is almost at a million views) and now the Public Records signee has returned with another impressive offering. “Coming & Going” is a laidback R&B track with a powerful vocal melody that deals with a relationship that is neither here nor there. Look out for more from Amaal as she continues her musical work and humanitarian efforts for international development through UNESCO and other charitable organizations.
Juice WRLD – “Empty”
This is simply the best song on Juice WRLD’s new Death Race For Love project. A good majority of the tracks on there are skippable pieces of filler but the intro to the Chicago artist’s sophomore studio album is an absolute gem. Complimented by some of the prettiest keys ever featured on Nick Mira production, “Empty” sees Juice WRLD reflecting on the world around him and how it has affected his mental state. Perhaps we are all a little bit empty – you aren’t alone, Juice WRLD!
Joyia – “Adore You”
We first introduced you to rising R&B singer Joyia via her debut Legends EP and now the Toronto vocalist has returned with another sultry visual from the project before she transitions into summer mode. The Jimmy Vi-directed video features Joyia pacing around a dimly-lit apartment pondering the importance of a complicated and crumbling relationship. Stay locked in with Joyia as she prepares to enter summer with upbeat music and another EP.
Yurms – “Thumbin”
The Vancouver rapper/producer first caught our attention with a killer performance at the SO LOKI x OBEY Clothing pop-up concert in 2018 with his cute aesthetic, youthful production and a loyal fanbase of kids who just wanted to turn up with their favourite rapper. Yurms still has a long way to go but this track from his latest offering with producer MLJ shows an impressive growth in the rising artist. Complimented by a Frank Dukes and Allen Ritter sample, “Thumbin” is an innocent, bouncy trap banger that showcases Yurms’ skills as both a vocalist and rapper.
Popcaan – “Trigga Play”
Any day that Popcaan releases new music is a good day. We haven’t heard a ton from the Unruly boss since the release of his Forever album and launch of the inaugural Unruly Fest (featuring a surprise performance with Drake) but now the Jamaican artist has returned with a massive track that will have you wishing for warm beaches and a serving of plantain. And how could you possibly be mad at a line like “Trigga wi squeeze, man a scatter like rice n peas.”
Haviah Mighty – “Waves” (feat. Sean Leon)
Toronto’s own Haviah Mighty is gearing up to release her new 13th Floor album and the talented rapper/vocalist (and member of rap group The Sorority) has returned with an impressive video for her new single “Waves” featuring multi-faceted artist Sean Leon. While Leon did not make it to the video shoot, Mighty holds it down with an intricate dance alongside a doppelgänger. Also – shoutout to the makeup artist who killed the design on Mighty’s lips.
Tame Impala – “Patience”
The drought is over. After much anticipation, Tame Impala (aka the product of Kevin Parker’s psychedelic dreams) has returned with a new single and the warning signs of an impending fourth album. While not exactly a sonic departure from his critically acclaimed Currents, “Patience” is a reminder why we love to enjoy a little bit of cannabis and kick back to some Tame Impala.
Tea Kittagucci – “Classic”
It has been a minute since we heard from Toronto vocalist Tea Kittagucci but now the animal-loving Quapa songstress has returned with a full-length project titled Popsicle. Dive into the rest of the EP to get acquainted with the Tea but we encourage you to start with “Classic” if you’re into progressive, moving R&B. This one will have you dancing around your living room.
Schoolboy Q – “Numb Numb Juice”
Whispers of Schoolboy Q falling off began to permeate the hip hop internet earlier this month and, almost as if he was listening, the West Coast rapper returned with a triumphant comeback in the form of “Numb Numb Juice.” The massive rap track sees Q returning to his grimy vocal style and delivering bar after bar over that blown out trap sound we have all come to love. Apparently his fifth studio album is on the way so stay locked and keep playing “Numb Numb Juice” until you absolutely can’t anymore.
BAD CHILD – “Breathing Fire”
We recently introduced you to Kitchener singer/songwriter/producer/multi-instrumentalist BAD CHILD via our extensive feature with the artist – a conversation that focused mostly on the genesis of his art but also hinted at an incoming project. While his debut FREE TRIAL album has still not arrived, BAD CHILD has kept fans happy with a variety of singles including the most recent, “Breathing Fire.” Taking inspiration from the likes of Sean Paul and Trent Reznor, BAD CHILD illuminates this bouncy dancehall-esque track with a powerful chorus that will leave you with goosebumps.
Koran Streets – “Anything” feat. Rexx Life Raj
We recently spoke to the Bay Area rapper/actor for our 15 Minutes with Koran Streets feature but we had to highlight this track one more time. Streets delivers a flurry of bars alongside West Coast vocalist Rexx Life Raj as the two kick it in front of Streets’ aqua Corvette. Do yourself a favour and peep our interview with Streets before diving into the rest of his BGS-223 EP.
Krinny – “Birds”
We initially became acquainted with Krinny because of his production abilities and collaborations with artists like Ty Senoj and Nue but the talented Toronto producer has been keeping a vault of solo music that he is finally read to unlock. Just play the video above and you will immediately feel the beautiful entourage effect of Krinny’s vocals on his own production. He wants to put more out into the world before speaking on it in an interview but we will report back once Krinny is ready to tell us about his work.
Daddy1 – “Out Here”
Can it just be summer already? We don’t know much about Jamaican dancehall artist Daddy1 but this tune is an absolute smash. The video for “Out Here” shows a day in the life of Daddy1 – chilling with his crew, rocking Air Force 1s, smoking spliffs, dancing with a drink in-hand and pining for a woman.
Tisakorean – “Preball / The Club Dumb Dawg”
This is by far the weirdest rap song we’ve ever heard. The first half features the Aeropostale poster boy whispering “I hit the club cuz I’m looking for a freak” while the second half sees him growling and dragging his jaw through a catchy chorus consisting of nothing but “the club dumb, dawg.” If there’s any word that can be used to describe Tisakorean it must be unique. Oh, and he produced both of these tracks. He may be a hard sell for less-than-open ears but the Lil Uzi Vert co-signed rapper is taking the internet by storm.
Boy Pape x Hudson Alexander – “Madness”
Boy Pape and Hudson Alexander are some of our favourite rising Toronto artists so it was pleasant news when the two announced an impending collaborative project. “Madness” is a bouncy blend of Alexander’s alternative trap production and Pape’s signature confessional songwriting style resulting in a forward-thinking approach to the modern sing-song rap sound. The collaboration is a welcome follow-up to several collaborative singles and Pape’s select acting roles in Netflix’s Polar and Getter’s music video for “On My Way Out” feat. Joji. Look out for their Things I Kept Quiet project dropping April 5.
ILLYMINIACHI x ACDATYOUNGN*GGA – “Purgatory”
Vancouver rappers ILLYMINIACHI and ACTDATYOUNGN*GGA are no stranger to Sidewalk Hustle but it definitely caught our attention when the two announced a collaborative EP. AsTheWorldTurns has finally arrived and the four-track project is a further exploration of what can happen when you combine a smooth, melodic rapper like ILLY with a youthful spitter like AC. Enjoy the spacey production on “Purgatory” and listen to the two expertly trade verses.
Anders – “Bad Habits”
This new single from Toronto vocalist/rapper Anders may be last on our list but it certainly does not represent the “least.” The JUNO-nominated artist is preparing to dominate festival season (with his own music and collaborations with EDM duo Loud Luxury) and this first track from his upcoming EP is a perfect teaser.
Header artwork by Javi Santos (@javtropic)