Bars is Acclaim’s weekly wrap up of all the music we want you to get in on. Whether it’s new albums, mixtapes, tracks, or videos, we’re here wading through the noise to bring you only the finest happenings in the world of music.
Featuring: Kendrick & SZA, Joey Bada$$, Rich Brian, and more
01. Rich Brian – 'Amen'
Amen is a demonstration of pure growth. A name change and a new sound has signified a new, matured Brian, and Amen is laced with the introspection of an artist who truly wants to be taken seriously. The fast, deadpan flow that we’ve grown to love from Brian appears on tracks like ‘Enemies’ and ‘Chaos’, however Brian seems to emphasise more on melody and songwriting throughout the album, with cuts such as ‘Glow Like Dat’ and ‘Flight’ containing some of his best hooks yet. Laced with a fiery passion for music, Amen is the project that signifies the person Brian has become and we’re already praying for more.
02. Rae Sremmurd – 'T’d Up’
With the boys gearing up for Sremmlife 3, ‘T’d Up’ is the driving single that’s going to lead them to the top again. Produced by Metro Boomin, this 808 heavy banger features Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi at their most aggressive yet, trading flurries of bars back and forth at full force. It isn’t the earworm that ‘Black Beatles’ or ‘No Type’ was, but its a rap-heavy hurricane looking to blow away all competition this year.
03. Kehlani – ‘Again’
Kehlani’s ‘Again’ is a smooth acoustic ballad that finds Kehlani showcasing her soulful vocal chops. With the strumming of an acoustic guitar serving as the only companion to her resonating falsetto, ‘Again’ is Kehlani at new heights of minimalism and rawness. With no album announcement yet there’s no telling when Kehlani will be back, but ‘Again’ is enough to hold us over.
04. Kendrick Lamar & SZA – 'All The Stars'
In preparation for Marvel’s blockbuster Black Panther, Kendrick Lamar and SZA have unveiled the official video for their single ‘All The Stars’ from the TDE-curated Black Panther soundtrack. The song features SZA’s usual, soaring vocals, as well as a lowkey Andre 3000-esque verse from Kung Fu Kenny. It’s layered synths and basslines all make for a blockbuster to coincide with the film and highlight both SZA and Kendrick as the superstars they are. Be on the lookout for Black Panther as well as the soundtrack in the next few weeks.
05. Killavesi – ‘Fuck With Nobody’
Chicago rapper Killavesi has been making noise in the realms of Soundcloud for a while now, and her latest single ‘Fuck With Nobody’ signifies why. The eerie, siren-esque synths and the heavy subs of the 808s serve as the perfect soundtrack to Killavesi’s slurring flow, as she indeed does not fuck with anybody. Coming off her 2017 mixtape Run and Hide (which saw her working with producers like Shlohmo) as well as a European tour, Killavesi is on her way.
06. Joey Bada$$ – ‘When Thugz Cry’
Joey Bada$$’ ‘When Thugz Cry’ finds him channeling his inner Prince. Using interpolations of the famous song ‘When Doves Cry’, Joey Badass curates a jazz-drenched anthem that tackles gang violence and police brutality. It’s a clear departure from his hard-hitting, boom bap days, and showcases the diversity of Joey Badass as a songwriter and a singer with his raspy voice flourishes on the hook. It’s smooth, it’s introspective, and it’s definitely worth a spin.
07. Nilufer Yanya – ‘Thanks 4 Nothing’
Nilufer Yanya’s lackadaisical, minimalistic brand of jazz-pop is at its best with ‘Nothing 4 You’. Featuring a backdropped laced with faint keys and reverberated jangly guitars, Yanya’s howling vocals detail the demise of a relationship in gritty depth. It’s a somber, stripped back anthem that puts emotion at the forefront and leaves the rest to dwindle in the background.