Although this week has been all about commemorating the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, that didn’t stop R&B acts from making a splash. At the 2023 BET Awards, in a category stacked with rappers, Coco Jones walked away with the award for Best New Artist. Muni Long finally released the studio cut of her “Hrs And Hrs Remix” featuring Usher. While Victoria Monét and Mahalia announced the dates, for which, each of their respective albums are set to hit streaming platforms.
While, of course, new songs were shared from some of the genre’s rising talents. This Fresh Finds Fridays column features released from Kenyon Dixon, ELHAE, Tim Atlas, Tone Stith, and Darius Martin. Check out this week’s roundup below. Don’t forget to let us know who you’re listening to below in the comment section.
Kenyon Dixon – “Lucky”
Women’s History Month is in March, but that isn’t stopping Kenyon Dixon from broadcasting his love for the ladies all year round. In the singer’s new song, “Lucky” that admiration served as the musical muse.
The single produced by Marqus Curtis is filled with buttery vocals and romantic harmonies to match the whimsical nature of that track. Prior to its release, Dixon took to Instagram to tease the record detailing that fans of R&B were in for a treat but specifically Black women. As he captioned the post, “[Lucky is] an ode to the magic of the Black woman.”
As Dixon sings, “Brown sugar, caramel /Chocolate, pretty self /My shea butter, cinnamon
Work of art, perfect 10 / But then again, that ain’t news / Take my money, only you / Heaven sent, elegant / Baby, tell me where the hell you been / All my life? I got you now,” that message is quite clear.
“Lucky” is Dixon’s second single release this year, right after “Slow Dancing,” with Kincy, which was shared back in March.
ELHAE – “Numb”
Elhae shared his latest project, Forgotten Flowers, with the world in March. However, musically he still had a lot left to say. On his new song, “Numb,” the singer chipped away at just one of those lingering topics.
The track was co-produced by Rascal and Tave, marking the entertainers’ long-awaited reunion. Elhae pointed this out on Instagram, writing, “If you know, you know. Me and Rascal made history with Aura, the EP released in 2015. We haven’t worked together since then, we got more coming too.”
“Numb” comfortably fits within Elhae’s discography as the track takes a trip down a rocky memory lane of a one-sided love affair. One of the single’s standout stanzas is when Elhae sings, “Why would you love me then go away / Gotta say I had better days / Takes to the face and fade away / Is it love? / Tryna figure out if it’s love / And why we never kiss / never hug / You just pull the rug / You got me going numb / Girl this just ain’t fun no more.”
As the musician wrote on social media, this wasn’t the last release he’d be sharing this year. So, we’re looking forward to what else is coming down the pipeline.
Tim Atlas – “Attractive”
Love is a beautiful experience. Tim Atlas chronicles the hypnotizing effects of it on his new single, “Attractive.” Written and produced entirely by Atlas, the entertainer isn’t afraid to declare his infatuation from the mountain tops. The track blends of psychedelic pop and R&B vocal layering heightens the song’s dreamy vibe.
When Atlas sings, “Am I being too much, too much / Your stuff is everywhere / And all I find are strands of you / In every room / I wanna think that someday / Gold locks / No strays / Are regular weeknights in the honeymoon phase,” you can’t help but to want someone to unapologetically gush over your in the same manner.
As infectious as the song is, it is hard to believe it was nearly scrapped. On Instagram, Atlas shared a tidbit about the track, writing, “I almost cut this song entirely from the EP, but I’m so glad I didn’t because I love where it landed and love its place on this record. Thank you, Andrew Kim, for enduring this seemingly never-ending mixing process and truly making the song what it is.”
“Attractive” is just the latest offering from Atlas’ forthcoming project. The previous single, “Knockin,” which hit streamers back in May, kicked off the rollout process.
Tone Stith – “Girls Like You”
“Man, I’m excited because this record here is real to me. I remember the day after it was made, I wanted to drop it right then and there, but here we are. The birth of a new era for ya boy,” wrote Tone Stith on Instagram about his new single, “Girls Like You.”
The track, co-produced by Tone, Kenneth Paige, Melvin Villanueva, Tim Gent, and Corey Cooper, plainly put, is a nearly three-minute session for the singer to air his grievances.
As Tone sings, “Where do I start? How do I say this?/ I took some L’s, I’m not okay with / I’m always tryna downplay this / I gotta stop before I drive myself crazy / Girl, I was givin’ you / All of my time and attention, I swear, I thought I knew you / But you was just hidin’ the type of shit you do / After playin’ with a nigga’s emotions,” you know you’re in for some sh*t to which he delivers.
Tone Stith is a certified lover boy and will not allow his bleeding heart to be taken advantage of.
Darius Martin – “Some Time” feat. Marisa
Music across the diaspora has continued to dominate the US markets. Darius Martin is looking to add to the influx of multicultural tunes thanks to his new single, “Some Time.” The singer tapped fellow musician Marisa to marry together Latin and Black music elements.
Recorded in both Spanish and English, “Some Time” is R&B fusion track all about the deep yearning you experience for your partner in every aspect, not just sexual. As Martin sings, “My mind is racing I’m in my zone / But I’ve been Focused baby hold on / She gone reach for my heart and see that it’s gone / A lonely warrior walking right on this road / I tried to love you but I always lose control / Don’t listen to em baby you know this is your home / And when you get there, just call me right on the phone / I’ve known you for some years could never let you go,” he isn’t afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve.
Martin took to Instagram to share some background behind the track, writing, “This song represents just a small aspect of who I am as an artist and as a person. It is written in a way that gives the listener some insight into my mind when It comes to love, relationships, and the emotions that come along with that.”