The Up&Up Playlist Update: 5/2

(Chase Manze)

(Chase Manze)

2019 has been an eventful year for music. Big names from a variety of genres have released projects, ranging from the electronic pop of Billie Eilish’s WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? to the hardcore trap anthems that Rich the Kid brings in The World Is Yours 2. While the year has only just begun, we have seen releases from both established industry names like Sia and newer independent artists like HappyBirthdayCalvin.

Highlights from April include amazing albums from the hip-hop, pop, and alternative realms. Juice WRLD’s second album Death Race for Love, though not as exciting as his debut, shows why he keeps climbing the charts. His ability to cohesively meld elements of rock, rap, R&B and emo puts his versatility on full display. The Daniel Caesar sample on “10 Feet” excellently blends two of the most exciting names in music in one song.

This month also saw an impressive debut album from new pop sensation Sigrid. Her interesting vocal quality and catchy melodies entice listeners throughout the album, with no skippable song . Alternative artists Omar Apollo and Gus Dapperton also debuted new music that quickly became two of my favorite sounds of the year so far. They bring interesting vibes with their eclectic wordplay and relaxed production, and it’s hard not to feel at ease while listening.

Any fans of R&B should also be sure to check out the newest Top Dawg Entertainment signee, Zacari. His debut EP Run Wild Run Free is vibrant and melodic—a welcome addition to a wholly rap-heavy TDE roster. And I’d be remiss to talk about R&B without mentioning Anderson .Paak’s fourth studio album, Ventura, which he describes as the “pretty” counterpart to his “gritty” Oxnard. If you, like many fans, were somewhat confused and disappointed by Oxnard, put Ventura on loop and return with .Paak to his warm-weather grooves.

A worthy recap of recent months has to include Beyonce’s album (and most recent solo release since her historic Lemonade) Homecoming. The live album, accompanied by a two-hour Netflix documentary of the same name, has phenomenal renditions of some of her most famous tracks alongside two fiery bonus tracks that round out the magic. We also saw Tierra Whack’s ‘Whack History Month’ produce eclectic singles each week to showcase her one-of-a-kind talent. Long-awaited new singles by Lil Uzi Vert (my favorite is “Sanguine Paradise”) spark excitement for his upcoming album, Eternal Atake, especially following his brief musical hiatus.

Looking ahead, fans should keep an eye out for Uzi’s album, along with an upcoming full-length project by Kaytranada that remains untitled. But why wait? Even this past weekend brought an abundance of new music: the much-hyped CrasH Talk by ScHoolboy Q; the beautiful ARIZONA BABY by BROCKHAMPTON front man Kevin Abstract; the surprise Anger Management, an explosive project by uber-talented rapper Rico Nasty and super producer Kenny Beats.

CultureHenri Vrod