R&B/Hip-Hop Fresh Picks of the Week: JID & Lil Yachty, Jorja Smith, Tisakorean & More

New month, new week, new Fresh Picks. We’re starting September off with a range of sounds by vets like JID, Lil Yachty, Jorja Smith and Baby Tate as well as newcomers Chase Shakur, Ama Lou, Tisakorean and midwxst. A good mix of rap and R&B to help you lock in and power through this short work week.

Don’t forget to share the wealth and check out our September Fresh Picks (so far) in the Spotify playlist, linked below.

Freshest Find: BlakkBoyz, JID & Lil Yachty, “Van Gogh”

This week’s freshest find goes to new duo BlakkBoyz, aka J.I.D. and Lil Yachty, who just dropped a heater of a two-pack called BlakkBoyz present Half Doin Dope/Van Gogh. “It’s Lil Boat and JID, as far as your eye can see/ You know what I’m sayin’, it’s water on me/ You feel me, you get that?/ You got that? Is that understood?” Yachty asks in the beginning.

The Atlanta rappers join forces here for “Half Doin Dope” (feat. BabyTron) and “Van Gogh,” where JID does what he does best — flexing his cadence and crisp delivery — while Yachty continues to delve deeper in his rap bag. The latter has been on a hot streak all year, releasing his acclaimed psych-rock album Let’s Start Here. in January and his TESLA EP last week. JID has also been working this year, touring with Smino and securing synchs in a Coca-Cola commercial and in Creed III.

Jorja Smith, “Falling or flying”

Jorja Smith is continuing the rollout of her upcoming album falling or flying (out Sept. 29) by releasing its stripped-back title track. “I don’t really have an in between. I’m either happy or sad, obsessed or completely unfocused, up or down,” she told Billboard last month. “I feel like I’m flying in my career, and then other times, I feel like I’m falling because the pressure can feel [like] too much.” The new record sees her trying to find balance as she embraces womanhood and all that comes with it.

Tisakorean, “Rando”

Tisakorean keeps a bando and doesn’t talk to randos. Sonically and visually, the Houston rapper has made a name for himself online for being silly and putting an equally amusing spin on the early 2000s southern rap aesthetic via big and tall tees, oversized jeans/shorts and doing classic dances that defined that time period. On “Rando,” he leans into the early ’00s ringtone sounds, rapping over basic production embedded with cell phone beeps and claps

Baby Tate is in the middle of New Jersey, crying in the club. The rapper-singer is the latest artist to capitalize on the Jersey Club sound, and she is doing so with her family in tow. Her mother, grandmother, aunt and cousins make an appearance in the song’s video, which was partly shot at the Lower Trenton Bridge. “You left me feeling busted/ I had to call my cousins/ They flew me out and got me drunk,” she sings, with them in cheering in the background.

Chase Shakur, “exit 65”

Expanding on his 2022 EP It’ll Be Fine — which explored the ups and downs of a tumultuous romance — Chase Shakur is now sifting through the relationship’s aftermath on it’s not you, it’s me…it’s love. The EP is the deluxe edition of his it’s not you, it’s me project that he released earlier this summer and includes three new tracks: “nite,” “exit 65,” and “you’re so lovely.” With “exit 65,” the Def Jam newcomer is on the way to his ex-lover to save face.

midwxst, “ready for you”

midwxst wants to “see my name on Billboard before the year ends.” The 20-year-old is making a second appearance in Fresh Picks this week for his new “ready for you,” the outro track on his new album E3. The 12-song record tells the story of a character named E3, narrated by midwxst, who provides listeners a path forward through relationships, identity formation and the internet.

Ama Lou, “Played Me”

Ama Lou’s new album I Came Home Late is the project she knew she needed to make. “It’s definitely the most personal music I’ve ever released,” she says in a press statement. “I dove deep into my songwriting origins for parts of the album. ‘Bad Weather’ was written at the age of 12, but I wrote most of these songs on the fly. It’s a good reflection of my range as a songwriter and my life over the past few years.” Standout track “Played Me” sees the London-raised singer accepting the fact that she’s been played, though she won’t go down without a fight as she promises that the “investigation will continue.”

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