Keeping up with new music can be exhausting, even impossible. From the weekly album releases to standalone singles dropping on a daily basis, the amount of music is so vast it’s easy for something to slip through the cracks. Even following along with the Uproxx recommendations on a daily basis can be a lot to ask, so every Monday we’re offering up this rundown of the best new music this week.
This week saw a meeting of two gigantic pop forces and a busy week for J. Cole. Yeah, it was a great week for new music. Check out the highlights below.
For more music recommendations, check out our Listen To This section, as well as our Indie Mixtape and Pop Life newsletters.
Coldplay and BTS — “My Universe”
Coldplay and BTS have both been titans in their respective fields for years, and now the two meet up on a new collaborative single, “My Universe.” It may not have been easy for Coldplay to get to South Korea to make this happen, but the end result — a Max Martin-producer pop banger that feels true to both artists — was worth it.
J. Cole — “Heaven’s EP”
It’s been a big year for J. Cole, as he dropped a new album, The Off-Season, earlier this year. He made some more noise last week with “Heaven’s EP,” a freestyle over Drake’s “Pipe Down.” Fittingly, this moment arrived a few days before Cole brought Drake on stage at a concert, where Drake effused about Cole’s place in hip-hop history.
Joyner Lucas and J. Cole — “Your Heart”
“Heaven’s EP” wasn’t all Cole was up to last week, as he also linked up with Joyner Lucas on “Your Heart.” Uproxx’s Wongo Okon notes that on the track, Lucas and Cole “admit to their wrongs in past relationships, which often left their past partner brokenhearted and hurt” while using “maturity and wisdom to criticize their wrongdoings while sympathizing with the person they hurt.”
Run The Jewels — “Ooh La La (Remix)” Feat. Lil Wayne, Greg Nice, and DJ Premier
Run The Jewels’ “Ooh La La” is over a year old at this point, but El-P and Killer Mike managed to effectively refresh the song with a fresh remix. On the new version, Lil Wayne kicks the track off with a verse full of aesthetic rhymes: “I can boom shakalaka your medulla oblongata” is pure ear candy when Wayne delivers the line.
Gunna — “Too Easy” Feat. Future
Gunna and Future teamed up on “Street Sweeper” last year, and now they’ve blessed 2021 with another collab. The new one is “Too Easy,” a quick and hard-hitting tune which sees the pair waxing braggadocios about their prosperity.
Coi Leray — “Twinnem”
It’s been a breakout year for Coi Leray and she kept it going last week with “Twinnem.” Uproxx’s Aaron Williams notes that on the song, “she shouts out her most loyal friends and tells everybody else to kick rocks” while rapping over “a thumping bass drum and joyful organs in her now-signature slurred chirp.”
Janelle Monáe — “Say Her Name (Hell You Talmbout)”
Janelle Monáe has never shied away from getting political, and she shares a message on her latest track, “Say Her Name (Hell You Talmbout).” The song includes the names of over 60 Black women who died at the hands of police brutality, and Monáe got quite the roster of collaborators to join her on the track: Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Chloe X Halle, Tierra Whack, Brittany Howard, Zoë Kravitz, and others.
Latto — “Big Energy”
On Latto’s latest single, “Big Energy,” she deviates from her, as Uproxx’s Wongo Okon put it, “hard-hitting strip club-friendly tracks” for a more pop-oriented, dance-ready sound. That’s largely thanks to the sample of Tom Tom Club’s ’80s classic “Genius Of Love,” which sounds surprisingly modern when re-contextualized on the new track.
Giveon — “For Tonight”
Giveon took care of his fans in 2020 with the EPs Take Time and When It’s All Said And Done, and now he’s back with more. The singer returned last week with “For Tonight,” an emotional ballad on which Giveon lets his voice command the track as he pleads for an intimate moment.
Bartees Strange — “Weights”
Bartees Strange has become one of the most fascinating voices in indie rock in a short time, and he added to his growing legacy last week with “Weights,” which starts with a wall of guitar and proceeds much in the same way through the rest of the energetic single. Strange says the track is about “going back and forth in my head about relationships that could have happened, missing that it didn’t, and finally realizing I gotta let the weight of it all go.”
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.