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Friday Music Guide: New Music From Normani & Gunna, PARTYNEXTDOOR, Anitta and More

Billboard’s Friday Music Guide serves as a handy guide to this Friday’s most essential releases — the key music that everyone will be talking about today, and that will be dominating playlists this weekend and beyond. 

This week, Normani increases our Dopamine supply, PARTYNEXTDOOR elevates his game and Anitta provides Brazilian funk for summer. Check out all of this week’s picks below:

Normani feat. Gunna, “1:59” 

The reason why anticipation remains high for Normani’s debut solo project, in spite of years of false starts and setbacks, is because the music that the former Fifth Harmony star has released over the past half-decade has been enticingly singular, a collection of R&B singles with pop and personality. At long last, Normani’s first album is on the calendar — Dopamine is slated for a June release — and new single “1:59” serves as another reminder of the project’s promise, with the singer waxing poetic about a steamy encounter in between Gunna’s animated crooning.

PARTYNEXTDOOR, PARTYNEXTDOOR 4 

Evolving from one of Drake’s most trusted studio companions into an ever-reliable R&B solo artist, PARTYNEXTDOOR has spent the past decade accruing a dedicated following — and now wants more, if PARTYNEXTDOOR 4, his first project in four years, is any indication. The new album carries a cohesion and stylistic ambition that previously was not prominent in PND’s oeuvre, as the Canadian singer-songwriter elevates his late-night musings and warbled vocals to more emotionally affecting territory, particularly on the album’s back half.

Anitta, Funk Generation 

The opening song on Anitta’s new album is titled “Lose Ya Breath,” and that’s precisely what the veteran star aims to accomplish on this kinetic new project: Funk Generation rarely lets the BPM lag, and Anitta never stops showcasing the ferocity that powers a lot of these Brazilian funk heaters. Previously released singles “Funk Rave” and “Joga Pra Lua” sound at home on the track list, Sam Smith stops by to provide some feathery vocals to “Ahi,” but the sub-two-minute headbangers like “Savage Funk” and “Grip” might steal the whole show.

Justice, Hyperdrama 

Miguel, Thundercat, The Flints, Tame Impala: these are just a handful of the guest stars on Justice’s long-awaited new album Hyperdrama, with guest vocalists a rarity in the French electronic duo’s discography. And while some of those collaborations result in exciting new compounds — Kevin Parker’s voice stretches out and shimmers on the opener “Neverender,” for instance — they’re also a little besides the point, as the veteran dance kings provide plenty of movement on their own; the multi-part “Incognito” may be one of the biggest triumphs of their entire catalog, every gear shift producing another unexpected thrill.

Myke Towers feat. Bad Bunny, “Adivino” 

Two years after Bad Bunny ignited the summer with the surprise May 2022 release of his album Un Verano Sin Ti, the A-lister has joined forces with another Puerto Rican superstar, Myke Towers, on a track that sounds primed for beach playlists and sweaty club nights. “Adivino” may document a breakup, but the thumping beat and rapid hooks dispel any chance to dwell on the sorrow; meanwhile, Towers and Bad Bunny crackle side by side, trading off lines and oscillating between singing and rapping with an easy chemistry.

Editor’s Pick: Tems, “Love Me JeJe” 

Tems has been impacting the U.S. mainstream for such a long time that it seems impossible that she has yet to release a proper debut album, but after several hit collaborations (“Wait For U” with Future and Drake, “Essence” with Wizkid) and 2021’s If Orange Was a Place EP, the Nigerian superstar will finally unveil Born in the Wild next month. Lead single “Love Me JeJe” distills what has made Tems such a captivating presence since arriving on the scene, as she expresses unbridled passion above warm, uncluttered production courtesy of Spax and Guiltybeatz; the song never overreaches, simply tossing out heartfelt thoughts and a summertime beat.

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