New Music Report - Week of December 25th

posted by Nicole Mastrogiannis, James Dinh & Isha Thorpe -

Happy Monday & Merry Christmas! Kickstart your week ahead (the very last week of 2017) by checking out all of the new music that has just been released in this roundup of new songs, new albums, and new artists that you need to be listening to. 

From a new album from Gucci Mane, to songs from Sugarland and Kesha, to new collaborations from Chance the Rapper & Jeremih and Travis Scott & Quavo, to our expert picks, take a look at this week's New Music Report.

NEW RELEASES

Migos - "Stir Fry"

If you love Migos, you’re going to want to listen up closely. The rap group recently dropped a brand new single called "Stir Fry," and in true Migos fashion, the song is set to be the next smash single to hit the top of the charts in no time. It's hot and it'll get you in the right mood to rock out with a quickness. The track is produced by the one and only Pharrell, so, of course it would be flames. According to a press release, "Stir Fry" follows the "recent video the group released for their monster-single 'MotorSport' featuring Nicki Minaj and Cardi B. So, in other words, Migos is continuing to win. 

Kesha - "This Is Me"

Kesha has gifted her Animals with one final treat to close out her colossal 2017. As part of the forthcoming film, The Greatest Showman, the pop star has covered power ballad, "This Is Me," which was written by Oscar winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who also won the Tony for their musical "Dear Evan Hansen." With producer Stuart Crichton, the 28-year-old brings the track into her own territory while still singing with the sort of conviction that makes the song sound like it was meant for her. Fun fact: It was originally performed by Broadway star Keala Settle. "When the sharpest words wanna cut me down/ I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out/ I am brave, I am bruised/ I am who I'm meant to be, this is me/ Look out 'cause here I come/ And I'm marching on to the beat I drum/ I'm not scared to be seen/ I make no apologies, this is me," Kesha sings during the emotional chorus.

Gucci Mane - El Gato the Human Glacier

Gucci Mane made sure to end 2017 on a high note. The rapper has been blessing us with new material throughout the entire year. From releasing Droptopwop in May, Mr. Davis in October – as well as his autobiography – Gucci is now giving us his last project of 2017 entitled El Gato the Human Glacier. This album is laced with 11 tracks and has zero features because as he put it on Twitter, he’s the GOAT. Some songs included in this album are "D--kriders," "Side EFX," "Smiling In The Drought," and more. Unfortunately, “Just Like It” featuring 21 Savage didn’t make the cut. But, the album is definitely still worth a listen.

Chance The Rapper & Jeremih - Merry Christmas Lil Mama: Re-Wrapped

Chance The Rapper and Jeremih have teamed up once again to bless us with some more holiday joy. Last year, the two recording artists joined forces and released a Christmas project named Merry Christmas Lil Mama. Now in 2017, both of them are giving us Merry Christmas Lil' Mama: Re-Wrapped, a Christmas album that consists of nine remastered songs from their previous project and 10 brand new songs. Some of the new tracks are "Ms. Parker," "Let It Snow" and "Big Kid Again." The only two features on Merry Christmas Lil' Mama: Re-Wrapped are Lena Waithe and Common. Merry Christmas all!

Imagine Dragons & Khalid - "Thunder/Young Dumb & Broke"

After performing a medley of their hits, "Young Dumb & Broke" and "Thunder," at November's American Music Awards, Khalid and Imagine Dragons have decided to release the studio version of the mash-up in all its glory. The four-minute mash-up begins with the opening of Khalid's hit, before transitioning into "Thunder" with a sudden break for silence. Imagine Dragons lead vocalist Dan Reynolds takes the lead from there with the beginning of the band's track, leading listeners to a hook offering of both cuts. Even though "Young Dumb & Broke" peaked at the No. 22 position on Billboard's Hot 100, "Thunder" is still doing exceptionally well as it sits pretty at the No. 5 spot on the chart. We've heard plenty of these two smashes, but this is a nice way to re-imagine the tracks and elevate both artists to new heights and some new demographics. Just consider this an early Christmas gift from the pair.

Rotimi featuring Trey Songz and Ty Dolla $ign - "Kitchen Table"

Not only is Rotimi an amazing actor on 50 Cent’s show “Power,” but he’s reminding us just how much of an incredible singer he is, as well. Earlier this year, he dropped his Jeep Music, Vol. 1 project, and now, Rotimi is back with a brand new song called “Kitchen Table” featuring Trey Songz and Ty Dolla $ign – and man, does this track go hard. Throughout the track, the three ladies men croon about having some adult fun somewhere besides the bedroom. "Trey is my big brother and mentor to me and Ty has become a really good friend," Rotimi said about the song. "No two artists could’ve helped me paint a more perfect picture of what goes down on the kitchen table."

Travis Scott & Quavo - Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho

Travis Scott and Quavo probably released the highest-profile joint album of 2017 when they dropped Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho. Fans of Scott and the Migos rapper have been waiting on this project for the past eight months. They would continuously tease it without mentioning when it’ll be released, until it was merely days away. Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho is laced with 13 songs, and the only two people who are featured on the project are the other Migos members, Offset and Takeoff.

Tyga - "Temperature"

It may be December, but is it hot in here?? It is now. Just a few months after releasing his mixtape Bugatti Raww, Tyga is sharing a brand new single called "Temperature." On the song, full of island vibes and Caribbean beats, Tyga sings about a special lady. In the chorus, he sings, "Ya I know when you're outside, I could feel the temperature rise/The temperature, temperature/Ya I, I say I could get you so high/You might die if you fall, ya." 

*books one way ticket to the Caribbean*

Panic! At The Disco - "Feels Like Christmas"

Panic! at the Disco have yet another holiday offering for their fans and this time it's an original cut called "Feels Like Christmas.” On the self-produced track, which clocks in at three minutes, Brandon Urie reminisces about the beautiful holiday moments and the plenty of ways he plans on celebrating new festivity. "Thank you all for making this year my favorite so far. Through the hard times and the beautiful moments, I'm glad we're always there to lift each other up. I'm so excited for the new year and what’s to come," he wrote on Facebook.

Good Charlotte - "Awful Things"

During Lil Peep's memorial service earlier this month, Good Charlotte performed a cover of "Awful Things" and in memory of the rapper, who passed away last month at 21 years old, the band has shared the song on their YouTube channel. In a note from Good Charlotte on social media about Lil Peep, the guys said:

"Every now and then a new artist comes along, who you know is sure to change music. Lil’ peep was one of those artists. We were excited to find out that we shared a love of the same bands, and that he was a fan of GC. We looked forward to the possibility of touring together in the new year, and were excited to share our stories and maybe even make some music together. There is a feeling of hope and rebellion in his music, for everyone who feels like they might not fit in, that we relate to and that shares a kinship to what GC has always been about. This rendition of ‘Awful Things’ was done with love, for Peep, his family, friends and fans, to celebrate his life, talent and career and we hope everyone enjoys it as much as we enjoyed making it. Thanks for all the love you shared, Peep.You are missed, but through your art you will live forever."

Sugarland - "Still The Same"

After revealing their reunion in November, Sugarland is officially back! But, maybe they never left -- maybe they're "Still The Same." It's been seven years since Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush released an album together as beloved country duo Sugarland. But now, fans have a brand new single from the pair called "Still The Same."

"Still The Same" tells the story of a two people reuniting and moving forward together. In fact, at the end of the second verse, Jennifer sings "Picking back up where we left off, this is lift off." Meanwhile, in the soaring chorus, Jennifer and Kristian sing, "I feel alive/And can we try to leave it better than how it came?/Don't be afraid to change/Our love is still the same, still the same, still the same/Here we are/We've come so far/Let's it leave it better than how it came/Don't be afraid to change/Our love is still the same."

Nipsey Hussle featuring Swizz Beatz - "Been Down"

It’s been seven years since Nipsey Hussle released his The Marathon mixtape. In honor of the project, which changed his life forever, Nip dropped a new track entitled “Been Down” featuring Swizz Beatz. "7 years ago Today THE MARATHON was released. It’s been a long time coming but we did it OUR WAY," Hussle wrote in an IG post announcing the new song. Nip’s upcoming Victory Lap album is slated to drop Feb. 16, 2018.

Cassie - "Don't Play It Safe"

Following her G-Eazy-assisted "Love a Loser," Cassie has returned with a new song "Don't Play It Safe." Now, for those avid Cassie followers, you might recognize the song from the closing credits to Cassie's short film for "Love a Loser," which premiered back in October. Using her smooth R&B formula, the seductive track is just one of the cuts that KAYTRANADA has produced for the singer's upcoming album. “Don't wait, baby," she sings during the hook. "Don’t play it safe/ Come take the reigns, show me something.” Expect a music video for the song in the coming week as it was shot and directed by Life Garland. 

Gavin James - "Hard To Do"

Gavin James couldn't let 2017 go without giving fans a new song. Following his previous single "Hearts on Fire," the Irish singer/song writer shared a new track called "Hard To Do" with fans. The entirely acoustic song features Gavin's guitar and voice, and in chorus of soaring melodies, he sings about the hardships of falling in love. "Oh, but I need you/Far more than I ever want you/It's such an unnatural thing we do/When falling in love's just so hard to do," he sings.

EMERGING ARTIST OF THE WEEK: Alex Aiono

Alex Aiono is ending 2017 the same way he started off the year -- on a high note. The 21-year-old just released a brand new song featuring T-Pain called "One At A Time," and much like his previously released tracks, it's a bop. In a statement, Alex has said of his brand new single, "I know I’m just starting out, but I've been blessed to collaborate with some of my heroes and T-Pain did not disappoint!"

"One At A Time" is all about working out the problems in your relationship ... well ... one at a time! Alex sings in the very first verse, "Obviously you got problems with me and we're probably not gonna solve 'em/Obviously you're not talking to me yet the silent treatment, girl you got 'em," while later on in the chorus he says, "I know that everything is my fault but just bring it all up one at a time."

Alex has had an exciting year. After racking up millions of fans on social media for creating his own versions of popular songs like Drake's "One Dance," at the beginning of 2017, Alex revealed that he had signed to Interscope Records, and shortly after, released his debut single with the label called "Work The Middle." Since then, Aiono has been working on his debut album, and released several singles like "Question," "Hot2Touch" (with Felix Jaehn), and "Does It Feel Like Falling (featuring Trinidad Cardona). And looking to the year head, not only is Alex preparing an album, he'll be traveling the country on his "Feels Like Tour 2018," stopping in cities like Chicago, New York, Boston, Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and more.

EXPERT PICKS

Nicole's Picks:

Michael Brun featuring Janelle Kroll - "Easy On My Love"

It is officially winter, but when I listen to this song, all I can think about is summer. Michael Brun has tapped his Haitian heritage on his new single "Easy On My Love," which features New York City singer Janelle Kroll. All of the Caribbean flavor is infused right into the rhythm of Brun's new single, complimented by Kroll's vocals. In a statement to Billboard, Michael said of the song, "I was really impressed with Janelle’s performance on her singles 'Barricade' and 'Blush,' and was excited to work together with her. We had a really productive studio session together along with songwriter TYLERxCORDY, and 'Easy On My Love' was the result. It just feels right."

It feels like I should book a one way ticket to the Caribbean ASAP is what it feels like.

Mat Kearney - "Don't Cry For Me"

Mat Kearney couldn't let 2017 go without giving fans another taste of his upcoming 2018 album CRAZYTALK. The singer/songwriter released another new song called "Don't Cry For Me," and it is written for his nearly one-year-old daughter, which has given me all the feels. In the chorus, he sings, "The ball will drop in New York soon/And everyone here is singin' along yeah/All the lights they shine for you/You don't have to cry for me when I'm gone."

On Twitter, Mat wrote about the song, "You all have been so great to me this year that I wanted to give you one more song for the New Year. 'Don’t Cry For Me' out now! A lot of the song is about my daughter and written to her. I just finished it the other day. Hope you enjoy it!"

Follow Nicole on Twitter: @NicoleMastr0

James' Picks:

Cardi B featuring 21 Savage - "Bartier Cardi"

Cardi B is back with her first post-"Bodak Yellow" single called "Bartier Cardi" featuring 21 Savage and it's clear that the breakout rapper is in it for the long run. Teased in Manchester in early December, the three-and-a-half-minute cut hears the Bronx-born MC spit about her lavish lifestyle since making it big. Over a menacing trap beat, Bardi brings her love for diamonds, cars and being the "it girl" to the forefront and the hook might just be as fun as the sing-a-long hook from "Bodak Yellow." "Your bitch wanna party with Cardi/ Cartier Bardi in a 'Rari/ Diamonds all over my body (Cardi)," she spits during the chorus. "Shinin' all over my body (my body)/ Cardi got your bitch on molly/ B*tch, you ain't gang, you lame/ Bentley truck lane to lane."

Captain Kidd - "WILD"

Let loose into a dreamy headspace with Captain Kidd's new track, "WILD," which was self-produced by the Phio quartet. On the almost-four-minute cut, the group addresses just how difficult it is to cut ties with a former lover. It's relaxing, chill and a small taste of the group's forthcoming debut album, which is scheduled to drop Spring 2018. “'Wild' encompasses our growth as a band over the past 4-plus years,” the band said in a statement. "We self-produced and recorded the track entirely ourselves, which was a scary but rewarding process. Ryan Gilligan, our mixing engineer, and Metropolis Mastering House helped bring the song to life."

Follow James on Twitter: @newyorkinstinct

Isha's Picks:

Omarion - "#Nudes"

Omarion wants you to send him some sexy nudes for his viewing pleasure. That’s pretty much what his new song “#Nudes” is all about. On the slow, sensual track, Omarion shoots his shot by requesting some pictures of eye candy on social media. We wouldn’t be surprised if this is a usual occurrence in his every life. “Just got an Instagram alert What time you getting off of work?” O sings. “’Cause I'm tryin' to get your ass to sq**rt/ I'm about to set s**t off, I'm about to make ya take it off.” He’s such a naughty guy this holiday season.

Lil Wayne – "Bank Account"

With the much-anticipated release of Dedication 6 almost here, Lil Wayne dropped two new tracks that will be featured on the project, “Bank Account,” which samples 21 Savage’s song of the same name, and “Blackin Out,” which samples JAY-Z’s “The Story Of O.J.” Though both tracks are worth listens, Wayne snapped on “Bank Account.” “Make you eat your words, make you chew your s--t/ Then we knockin' out every tooth you pick/ N--ga f--k you and f--k who you with/ Yeah my b--ch broke but her booty fixed,” Weezy spit.

Follow Isha on Twitter: @IshaThorpe