R&B/Hip-Hop Fresh Picks of the Week: Russ Millions, UMI, Kaash Paige & More

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It’s the unofficial start of summer, and our favorite emerging artists know it. From Nigerian singer Nonso Amadi to Brockhampton’s Merlyn Wood, we’ve got all the hottest new releases to match the sweltering temperature. Share the wealth with our Spotify playlist, linked below.

Kaash Paige & Lil Tjay, “24 Hrs”

More from Billboard

Def Jam signee Kaash Paige delivers all the late night vibes on “24 Hrs.” Alongside east coast rapper Lil Tjay, the 21-year-old singer reveals sultry melodies, declaring to a lover, “I can tell by your ways, that p—y got powеr.”

Nonso Amadi (with Majid Jordan), “Different”

On “Different,” Nonso Amadi join forces with Canadian duo Majid Jordan to make cross-cultural magic. Produced by Amadi and Majid Jordan producer Jordan Ullman, the track blends R&B melodies with afro-fusion drum patterns for a summer-ready track celebrating that different kind of love.

Russ Millions, “BABA (Toma Tussi)”

Capitalizing on the virality of Standly & El Barto’s “Mi Gata,” drill rapper Russ Millions releases his twist on the money-spending track. Enjoying life’s frivolous pleasures, the U.K. drill favorite delivers a bite-sized summer anthem, fully equipped with a chant-able chorus and ear worm sample.

Your Grandparents & Amindi, “Somebody Told Me”

L.A. collective Your Grandparents join forces with singer-songwriter Amindi on this perfectly nostalgic offering. Centering funky instrumentation, thick harmonies and a theatrical storyline, “Somebody Told Me” is a top-back soundtrack sure to endure.

Thuy feat. Destiny Rodgers, “in my bag (remix)”

Thuy is back with the deluxe version of her EP i hope u see this, featuring a remix of “in my bag.” The track exudes bubblegum trap with undeniably catchy pop-leaning melodies and the Vietnamese-American singer’s laid-back tone.

BLK ODYSSY feat. Baby Rose, “Complex of Killing a Man”

Paterson, NJ artist BLK ODYSSY links with Baby Rose for his first release of the year, “Complex of Killing A Man.” As the title suggests, the former softly recounts the perceived mental battle that takes place when one decides to take another’s life. The two also duet for part of the song’s chorus, singing, “This glock gon’ change your ways/ So count your days (ahhhh).” Similarly, the video for “Complex of Killing A Man” acts as part two of a two-part visual, which unwinds the killing in reverse from end to beginning.

Merlyn, “Green Light”

Kicking off his post-Brockhampton era, Merlyn Wood is in Go Mode. The Texas rapper’s rowdy new single “Green Light” puts his shameless energy on full display. Inspired by the Nintendo 64 game console, the music video mimics its interface, as he swipes through his options — cars, girls, clothes — totally customizing his life. Be on the lookout for more Merlyn as he plans to drop a new single and video weekly for the next four weeks.

rei brown & Joji, “Thinking Bout You”

Ahead of his new album Xeno out July 8, rei brown taps Joji for his romantic new single, “Thinking Bout You.” The Japanese-American producer-artist delivers soft vocals over a semi-spacey beat as he sings about missing his lover. “Barely made my flight, we were up all night/ Now I’m thinking ‘bout you/ When you look to the sky in the middle of the night/ Know I’m thinking about you,” he croons for the song’s chorus.

Joony, “Drugs and Fashion”

On “Drugs and Fashion,” Joony is in love with the perks of his budding fame. Over a mysterious, climactic beat, the DMV rapper repeatedly sings “I’m in love wit it” for the song’s hook. It’s only up for Joony, as the 21-year-old continues to celebrate the release of his new album, Pretty in Black.

UMI, “wish that i could”

UMI has finally found her Forest in the City. Released via RCA, the 23-year-old’s 15-song major label debut arrived on Friday (May 27) with songs centered around healing, heritage, identity and of course, love. Particularly, “wish that i could” is an innocent-yet-intimate take on the latter, as UMI yearns to be with her lover and promises to give her all. “Wish that I could be your lover/ Never met a girl like that/ I could treat you like no other/ Wanna be yours so bad,” she sings.

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