This week on First Beat, DJ Khaled and Drake look to turn the summer up with two new records, while Jhene Aiko gives fans an extra serving of Chilombo with her deluxe effort. Check out today’s releases below.
DJ Khaled Feat. Drake, “Popstar” & “Greece”
Hits beget hits. At least that’s the case for DJ Khaled and Drake. With records such as “I’m On One” and “For Free” on their resume, today (July 17), the rap twosome seeks vengeance with their torrid summer releases. “Popstar” is a smoky lyrical exhibition from the 6 God. Drake tapdances his way through the menacing trap record with Gregory Hines type precision, embracing his celestial status. Namedropping Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, and Justin Bieber, Drake is more than aware of his star power with this masterful flex.
On the second release, “Greece,” Drizzy channels his XO comrade, The Weeknd, for this instant classic. Drake test drives a new flow and extends invitations to those interested in riding shotgun to his opulent lifestyle. “I’m a problem; being rich is not my fault,” he brags.
Jhene Aiko, Chilombo (Deluxe)
Aiko’s R&B conquest continues with the deluxe version of her acclaimed album Chilombo. Again, the Def Jam singer doesn’t shy away from the features front: she teams up with Kehlani “B.S (Remix),” waves goodbye to her haters with Wiz Khalifa on the celebratory “Down Again,” and plays Puff, Puff, Pass with Snoop Dogg and Chris Brown on “Tryna Smoke.” For ardent Aiko supporters yearning for solo material, she provides a fistful, too, most notably on the sultry jam “Come On.”
Joey Bada$$, The Light Pack
Bothered by the dearth of lyricists in hip-hop, Joey Bada$$ storms back with fury on The Light Pack. Filled with explosive raps, the Brooklyn MC detonates on “The Light,” after revealing his mission to exterminate mumble rappers. The unrelenting star even hires Pusha T for more lyrical warfare on “No Explanation.”
Despite his restless approach on the first two tracks, Joey glows on the outro “Shine.” A reflective Joey not only gloats about his suave demeanor with the ladies but also his rap achievements: “I’d done made $10 million in verses and still ain’t lose sight of my purpose,” he reveals.
Pink Sweats, The Prelude
Pink Sweats isn’t just a maestro with the ballads. Though he won ears over with his soothing Volume 1 EP two years ago, the crafty songwriter punches in a more electric effort on The Prelude. “Give It to Me,” and “Icy” gives Sweats a new dimension, as he doles out more dance-centric bops with success. The six-track effort is a welcoming appetizer for his long-awaited debut album, which should arrive soon.
J.I, Welcome to GStarr Vol. 1 EP
After netting his first Hot 100 record with “Need Me” last month, J.I applies pressure with his six-track EP, Welcome to GStarr Vol. 1 EP. The melodic wunderkind stiff-arms detractors on the fierce intro “20K” and displays promise as a capable hitmaker on the sugary “Beautiful Girl.” Still, J.I’s penchant for icy street tales remains his calling card, as proven on “Painless” featuring Lil Durk.
Kid Laroi, “Tell Me Why”
In 2020, the 16-year-old Aussie hyphenate sprinted to fame with his emo-leaning bops. Though he locked features from Lil Tecca and the late Juice WRLD, today, on his new song “Tell Me Why,” Laroi’s puts on a one-man show. Blurring the lines of hip-hop and rock, Laroi shows flashes of brilliance on this emotive cut. Crippled by relationship woes, the teen seeks refuge but continues to find himself losing end every time.