R&B/Hip-Hop Fresh Picks of the Week: Kenny Mason, Mavi, Chxrry22 & More

Happy Monday! It’s officially spooky season, and this week we’ve got 10 new tracks to calm your nerves — or add to the frights. From newcomers like Chxrry22, Reggie Becton and Debbie, to staples like Smino, Kenny Mason and SPINALL, our picks are playlist must-haves, per usual.

And of course, don’t forget to share the wealth with our Spotify playlist, linked below.

Freshest Find: Kenny Mason, “Minute Forever”

Kenny Mason adds to his rock-rap arsenal with “Minute Forever.” The hardcore blend of crunching guitar riffs complemented by hi-hats and hyperpop undertones finds the Atlanta artist rapping and singing about being in his version of paradise. “Minute Forever” appears on Mason’s recent album Ruffs.

Smino feat. J. Cole, “90 Proof”

On “90 Proof,” Smino just wants to indulge. The St. Louis artist taps J. Cole for the Groove- and Monte Booker-produced neo-soul rap song, which acts as the first single off Smino’s upcoming album Luv 4 Rent. “90 Proof” also marks the pair’s third collaboration since they joined forces twice on Revenge of the Dreamers III.

Chxrry22, “The Other Side”

New artist Chxrry22 is digging deep within herself on her new debut EP The Other Side. On the project’s title track, which also acts as the intro, the Ethiopian Canadian artist sings about finding her independence post-relationship and making s–t happen for herself. “The Other Side is about coming to terms with duality — we all have two sides,” she said in a press release referencing the EP as a whole. “We can be both the villain and the victim in some story and this is me owning that.” 

DDG feat. Polo G & NLE Choppa, “9 Lives”

DDG links with Polo G and NLE Choppa for his album opener “9 Lives.” With its melancholy piano and atmospheric beats, the intro track sets the tone for his new album It’s Not Me It’s You. On “9 Lives,” the Michigan rapper reflects on his journey to stardom, giving an intimate look into his family life and the struggles that ultimately turned into his present-day success.

Reggie Becton, “Streets”

On his new single, Reggie Becton is irritable. The polished R&B track finds the DMV singer stuck in his ways as he croons about his inability to leave the streets despite wanting to. “Baby, I’m brokenhearted/ Won’t believe the things that I been scarred with, guarded/ Subconsciously, misery love company/ Wanna leave the streets, but they keep calling me,” he sings.

SPINALL, Summer Walker, DJ Snake, Äyanna, “Power (Remember Who You Are)”

Upcoming short film The Flipper’s Skate Heist is getting the all-star treatment. “Power,” the first single from the film’s soundtrack, features Nigeria’s SPINALL and DJ Snake on production, while vocalists Summer Walker and Äyanna bring the genre blending Afro-pop single together with their distinct pipes. The chaos of the visuals is beautifully captured through sonic elements: a thumping kick, pleading melodies and a pulse-racing piano riff.

Gabriels, “If You Only Knew”

Pop-soul trio Gabriels released their debut album Angels & Queens on Friday, executive produced by Kendrick Lamar collaborator and Grammy award-winning producer Sounwave. On “If You Only Knew,” Compton-made lead singer Jacob Lusk transports listeners through his emotive performance, complimented by rich, gospel-inspired harmonies and understated production.

Mavi, “Doves”

Howard University neuroscience major and rapper Mavi is back with the jazz-infused “Doves.” It’s the second single from his upcoming project, Laughing So Hard It Hurts, riddled with admissions and memories, proving to be in line with the reflective nature of the NYC-based artist.

Sofía Valdés & Pink Sweat$, “Broken”

Pop singer Sofía Valdés is dipping into R&B alongside Pink Sweat$ on their latest offering, “Broken.” On the emotionally charged track, the Panamanian artist refuses to let lost love bring her down, singing, “I’m way more than my body/ I got intelligence/ I’m sorry I won’t dim my light to please your ignorance.”

Debbie, “Cherry Wine”

Offering crisp melodies and fresh R&B instrumentation, London singer Debbie captures listeners with the vulnerable “Cherry Wine.” The soulful vocalist is honest, revealing that she sometimes relies on the sweet, deep red drink to give her a little “Dutch courage” in moments of social anxiety.

Cydney Lee