Sometimes the best new R&B can be hard to find, but there are plenty of great rhythm-and-blues tunes to get into if you have the time to sift through the hundreds of newly released songs every week. So that R&B heads can focus on listening to what they really love in its true form, we’ll be offering a digest of the best new R&B songs that fans of the genre should hear every Friday.
This past week, singles dominated the new releases in the R&B world. Chloe Bailey made her long-awaited solo debut with her new single, “Have Mercy,” a track she just performed at the 2021 MTV VMAs. Ari Lennox also made her return with new music, that being her fun and free-spirited new single “Pressure” while The Internet’s Syd calls for help from Smino for their bouncy collaboration, “Right Track.”
Chloe Bailey — “Have Mercy”
Last year, Chloe Bailey, along with her sister Halle Bailey, combined to be one of the year’s most impressive acts as they dropped their equally impressive sophomore project, Ungodly Hour. This year, Chloe is stepping out on her own and her new single “Have Mercy” marks her first steps as a solo act. The Murda Beatz-produced track is flirtatious, confident, and fierce, all being things we can expect Chloe to bring to the table for her upcoming debut album.
Ari Lennox — “Pressure”
Two years ago, Ari Lennox left us impressed with her phenomenal debut album, Shea Butter Baby. Last year, she cooled things down and delivered a few solo tracks and guest features to keep her supporters happy. This year, it appears her sophomore album could be on the way as she steps forward with her brand new track, “Pressure.” The song features help from Bryan Michael-Cox, Johnta Austin, Jermaine Dupri, and Jai’Len Josey for what amounts to a lively new single.
Syd — “Right Track” Feat. Smino
My hope is that Syd has a full body of work on the way, but until that’s confirmed, enjoying the music she gifts us is probably the best bet for the time being. The singer returns with her third single of the year with “Right Track” featuring Smino. On it, Syd pleads for her partner to stick to their course toward success in love while Smino steps in to amplify Syd’s message.
Tems — “Crazy Tings”
It’s been amazing to watch Tems’ rise over the past 12 months. Last fall she released her excellent EP, For Broken Ears. The following month she connected with Wizkid for “Essence,” a track that would grow to be one of this year’s song of the summer contenders. Now, she’s back to the solo route and it comes with “Crazy Tings,” her groovy new single. The track is the lead single to her upcoming EP If Orange Was A Place which will arrive with five songs and a lone feature from Brent Faiyaz.
Aaliyah — Aaliyah
Blackground Records continues to upload old albums from artists who were on their label in the early 2000s. This week’s release is a fan-favorite with Aaliyah’s self-titled album. The project featured heavy songwriting from Static Major and production from Timbaland, Eric Seats, Rapture, and more. Now, all of Aaliyah’s official albums are available on streaming services ending a wait that’s lasted well over two decades.
Yebba — Dawn
Yebba has impressed with her work this year, whether it be her collaboration with Lucky Daye or delivering her own interlude on Drake’s Certified Lover Boy. Now, the Arkansas-based singer is stepping out with her own body of work through her debut album, Dawn. It comes equipped with 12 songs and guest appearances from ASAP Rocky and Smino.
Eric Bellinger — New Light
One of the game’s most consistent and active singers is back with a new album. In what makes for his second project of 2021, following this year’s 1-800-HIT-EAZY with Hitmaka, Eric Bellinger arrives with New Light. It’s 15 tracks are amplified by appearances from Dom Kennedy, The Game, Sevyn Streeter, Brandy, Teedra Moses, and Kierra Sheard.
Kyle Dion — “Parmesan”
In less than a week, Kyle Dion will drop off his third album Sassy, and so far, the West Coast singer has delivered three singles for the upcoming project: “Purr” with Kari Faux, “Placebo” with Ja Rule, and “Money.” Now, he’s back with “Parmesan,” and it’s a record dedicated to his flashy appeal and sauce that’s like no other, but one that’s perfect for the parmesan companion in his life.
Alicia Keys — “LALA (Unlocked)” Feat. Swae Lee
In what arrives as an unexpected collaboration between the two artists, Alicia Keys and Swae Lee joined forces for their new single “LALA (Unlocked).” The slow-tempo finds the two artists singing back and forth about the growing feelings a couple possesses for each other and how their love is altered, for the better, but outside substances.
Kevin George — Everybody’s In My Ear
Kevin George is back in action with Everybody’s In My Ear, his sixth project since 2018. Comprised of seven songs and a guest appearance from Johan Lenox, George’s EP blends multiple genres that include R&B, melodic rap, and even pop. In a press release, the singer explained how the effects of “social media, perception, [and] opinions” brought him to this new era of his career. “I had forgotten my real purpose in this sh*t & for the first time since I was 15 I stopped making music completely for about 4 months,” he said. “I had to find a way to heal and move forward, but this time with absolute confidence and awareness in myself and who I am & why I even create.”
RIMON — Digital Tears
A year after impressing with her I Shine, U Shine EP last year, RIMON returns another project to display her growing artistry. Her Digital Tears EP arrives with six songs and a lone guest appearance from Earthgang. While the project delivers the up and down emotions of life that we can expect from her, it’s dipped in this sort of cyber aesthetic that makes an enjoyable listen that will stand out in her discography.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.