1. BROCKHAMPTON, “1999 WILDFIRE” (from best years of our lives)
After a stunning lineup change and a tour cancellation, hip-hop band, BROCKHAMPTON, return with the first taste from their upcoming album. “1999 WILDFIRE” is arguably their best song to date. The pseudo-soulful production is an interesting move considering their boisterous songs from previous albums, but it pays off. Truthfully, Ameer Vann, who was booted from the group following sexual assault allegations, is not missed. The remaining members go extra hard in the verses and “1999 WILDFIRE” is the most accessible and most interesting BROCKHAMPTON song yet.
2. Iggy Azalea, “Kream (feat. Tyga)” (from Survive the Summer – EP)
After a notorious fall from grace and a stint in record label-induced purgatory, Iggy returns with the slick Tyga-featuring “Kream.” With a gritty, trap-inspired beat and an impassioned flow, “Kream” is easily one of the best female rap songs, and videos, of 2018 so far.
3. Lil Yachty, “Who Want the Smoke? (feat. Cardi B & Offset)”
Although Yachty ultimately sounds like a feature on his own track, it is for the better. Of course, Cardi steals the show here when she claims to be the “king of New York” and tells an unnamed foe to look into retirement and AARP plans. The production is less electronic than previous Yachty offerings, but it’s an intriguing change that works for him.
4. YUNGBLUD, “Kill Somebody” (from 21st Century Liability)
YUNGBLUD was featured on the 13 Reasons Why Season 2 soundtrack, but this acoustic offering from his latest release, 21st Century Liability, is aching paean about anxiety. Somewhere between Green Day, twenty one pilots, and Eminem, YUNGBLUD is a rebel with a cause that uses his sharp lyricism to tackle not safe for Top 40 subject matter.
5. Justin Timberlake, “SoulMate”
Has Justin come out of the woods? This summery, surprise single is in the same vein as most of the songs on Man of the Woods but infinitely more catchy. His vocals are smooth and effortless and the production is a perfect canvas for his legendary falsetto. It’s almost the antithesis of his last summer smash, “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” but it’s equally pleasing.
6. Years & Years, “Hypnotised” (from Palo Santo)
On their brand new album, Palo Santo, Years & Years drape gorgeous electronic soundscapes over Olly Alexander’s, the lead singer, intricate harmonies and luscious voice. This thumping midtempo track is, for lack of a better word, hypnotizing. It’s the kind of track that makes you sit up straight and pay attention because of how great it is.
7. Ella Mai, “Boo’d Up (with Nicki Minaj & Quavo)
Although this remix was torn apart of music forums and Twitter, the remix to Ella Mai’s summer smash is actually pretty fun. Nicki’s verse is far from her verse but her ability to mold her flow to any genre of music is still a sight to behold. Her and Quavo’s fun dialogue at the end is cute and Ella still sounds pristine. The only thing this remix missed was an update to the production.
8. Future, “HATE THE REAL ME” (from BEASTMODE 2)
Future dropped a surprise mixtape entitled BEASTMODE 2 this week, and although most of the release is mediocre, the true standout is this track. “HATE THE REAL ME” closes the mixtape, and Future pines over his custody battle with Ciara and details his inner demons over a sharp Zaytoven-produced beat and it’s awesome.
9. Jason Mraz, “Might As Well Dance” (from Know.)
Jason Mraz is getting ready to release his next album, and this country-inspired dance tune will easily pique your interest. It’s a fun song to stick in the next beach playlist, simply because it screams summer and it’s incredibly danceable.
10. Meek Mill, “Millidelphia (feat. Swizz Beatz)” (from Legends of the Summer – EP)
The opening track to his latest EP, Legends of the Summer, is a braggadocious and rambunctions track that will be an instant addition to any workout or pre-game playlists. Meek sounds reenergized and ready to take on the whole world by himself, it’s raucous and perfect bookend to his latest single, “Stay Woke (feat. Miguel).”