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 week, Yung Bleu leads the way with “Walk Through The First, “his second single in as many months beside Ne-Yo. It comes shortly after Bleu released his late 2021 EP, No, I’m Not OK. Elsewhere, Oakland-based singer Elujay arrives with his debut album Circmvnt complete with features from Serpentwithfeet and HXNS. Raheem DeVaughn also returns with Bee Boy$oul beside him for their Back 2 Love project.
Yung Bleu — “Walk Through The Fire” Feat. Ne-Yo
Yung Bleu and Ne-Yo have already struck together with their late-2021 track “Stay Down.” While that track is a bouncy and upbeat release, the duo’s latest release, “Walk Through The Fire,” is the complete fire. On that record, Yung Bleu and Ne-Yo let off passionate accounts of their love for a special woman with the promise that to walk through the fire is their relationship calls for it. Whether or not this signals more music to come between the duo remains to be seen, but so far so good.
Elujay — Circmvnt
After years of mixtapes and EPs, Oakland’s Elujay has finally arrived with his debut album Circmvnt. It clocks in with 11 songs that include “Pandemia” as well as features from Serpentwithfeet and HXNS for a body of work that sees the singer exploring and pushing new sounds. “It’s about finding alternative routes to an ever transitioning/deteriorating world,” Elujay said about the project and its title, adding, “Striving to find peace and solace and new techniques to approaching life.”
Gemaine & Charlie Heat — “No Questions”
Back in the fall of 2020, Compton singer Gemaine arrived with his Lefty. It boasted highlight efforts that included “What’s Goin On,” “Take Off,” and more. After keeping things quiet in 2021, Gemaine is back with producer Charlie Heat beside him for “No Questions.” The song balances sultry with a light bounce for a record that amounts to a reminder to men “that there’s nothing wrong with being soft-spoken and romantic with your girl,” as Gemaine states in a press release. The song also serves as the lead single for Gemaine and Charlie Heat’s upcoming joint album New Jack City.
DJ Neptune — Greatness 2.0
Since his debut project, 2018’s Greatness, DJ Neptune has collaborated with some of the names in afrobeats. They include Davido, Wizkid, Mr Eazi, and more. Nearly four years after that project arrived, he returns with its sequel Greatness 2.0. Its sixteen tracks feature the aforementioned names as well as additional appearances from Rema, Joeboy, Omah Lay, Lojay, Ladipoe, Zlatan, and more who have all grown in their own right within the afrobeats world.
Adekunle Gold — “Mercy”
Adekunle Gold fans from near and far can rejoice as the Nigerian singer recently announced that his upcoming album Catch Me If You Can is set to arrive on February 4. So far, he’s released singles that include “Sinner” with Lucky Daye and “High” with fellow Nigerian singer Davido. Now he returns with “Mercy” for gives fans a trio of singles that represent the promise Adekunle’s project has for them.
Fave — Riddim 5
Nigerian singer Fave earned her spotlight moment thanks to the success of her rising single “Baby Riddim.” The track has tallied 45 million streams across all platforms while being used in 600,000 TikTok videos. Looking to use that momentum to her advantage, Fave returns with her debut EP Riddim 5. Altogether the five-track project combines sultry and addictive Afropop melodies with tropical Caribbean influences and nods to R&B and hip-hop for a diverse and genre-spanning body of work that boosts Fave’s appeal.
OHenry — “Racin'”
After concluding 2021 with “All You Need,” Nigerian-American and Oakland native OHenry makes his return in the new year with “Racin.'” On it, OHenry provides the sultry vibes for a lovestruck single that finds him moving at the speed of late to reconnect with his lover. Altogether, the song is yet another example of OHenry being open with his fans as he displays his vulnerability, versatility, and emotions.
Koryn Hawthorne — “You” Feat. Big KRIT
At the end of 2020, Louisiana native Koryn Hawthorne released her second project I Am. It arrived after she made her mark as a contestant on season eight of The Voice. After releasing The Worship EP last year, Hawthorne returns in 2022 with a fresh take of one of the most popular songs from I Am. Hawthorne recruits fellow southern artist Big KRIT for a remix of “You” that breathes new life into the song and boosts its appeal.
Ashlee — “No Ceilings, Just Feelings”
Long Island singer Ashlee is back in action after a 2021 year that featured a pair of singles: “Risk It All” and “Decide.” To start off 2022, she drops off “No Celings, Just Feelings,” a track produced and co-written by Jonxlewis. The song captures her attempt to ignore her growing affection for someone. Despite this, the feelings grow to be too much and she eventually opens the door for a new attempt at love.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.