JMW's Top 10 Songs of April 2021
Wow... what a month April has been. From becoming fully vaccinated to 80-degree weather and more, April definitely felt like 6 months all in one. April also delivered both an interesting/unique list of music that captivated me and left me wanting more. Take a look at my top 10 songs of the month.
1. Young Stoner Life, Young Thug, Gunna - Slatty (feat. Yak Gotti & Lil Duke)
When Young Thug and the entire Young Stoner Life surprised the world with the release of their Slime Language 2 compilation album on Friday (Apr. 16)l, I knew it was going to be something special. And let me just say... I was indeed right. While the entire album contains gems, bangers, and vibes for all, the very first song set the tone and atmosphere for the project's entirety. "Slatty" is invigorating, thrilling, and exciting. The moment the beat drops and Thug starts chanting "Slatty, slatt, slatt, slatt, slatt," I lost control. Teaming with Yak Gotti & Lil Duke, both Thug and Gunna literally take both the slime terminology & lifestyle to new levels. It was for me on the very first listen.
2. Justin Bieber - Where Do I Fit In (feat. Tori Kelly, Chandler Moore, & Judah Smith)
If you ever want a song that brings you to tears as you reflect on the lyricism and the imagery, this is the one. After releasing his sixth studio album, Justice, JB returned on Easter with this surprise, gospel themed-EP entitled, Freedom. Filled with utter anointing, "Where Do I Fit In" takes my heart, soul, and mind to another dimension. Being a kid who was brought up in the church and who was taught about the true importance of a relationship with God rather than religion itself, this song nearly brings me to full tears every time I play it.
When you think about how great God is and how any and every trial we face still is smaller than Him, you literally can weep. Justin, Tori, Chandler, and Judah each did exactly what they needed to do on this track. It's simply the thought that despite everything we've done or will do, God just loves us that much. Every time they said "It'll be alright," my core shook. The flow of the Lord was evident and it truly is one of my favorite songs EVER.
3. Young Stoner Life, Young Thug, Gunna - Solid (feat. Drake)
I know what you're thinking, "Wow, he already added ANOTHER song from "Slime Language 2," ?" Yes... that's exactly what I did. I want it to be explicitly clear that I have played (and continue t play) this album essentially every day since its release. Of course when Thugga, Gunna, and Drake unite, it has to be discussed. Having collaborated before in the past, the trio pick back up where they left off providing another slimy, hard hitting track. Drake sets the tone with his smooth, quotable verse and chorus before, Gunna and Thug heat up and leave listeners wanting more. Honestly, if I could make my list longer, majority of this album would be on it. Judge me.
4. H.E.R. - Come Through (feat. Chris Brown)
If it wasn't clear, I'm a H.E.R. fanatic. After announcing her debut album on Twitter, the 23-year-old legend in the making released her single "Come Through," featuring the iconic Chris Brown. This isn't the first time the two have collaborated. H.E.R. lent her talents to Brown's Indigo album with "Come Together" and Brown also remixed the young singer's "Focus" record. "Come Through" is sultry, sensual, and very calm. The two's voices blend marvelously. Hypnotic and mesmerizing, H.E.R. and Brown deliver from beginning to end and leave me anxiously waiting for H.E.R's debut album.
5. Bellah - Evil Eye
Now, while I had never heard of Bellah until this month, this will not be the last time I listen to her. After my friend sent me a link from Instagram highlighting her song "Evil Eye," I just knew i needed more. I decided to listen to the song and watch the video and immediately fell in love wit the ministry that flowed from her. On "Evil Eye," the UK based singer/songwriter asks for prayers to be protected from fake love disguised in all forms. Her voice is pure and refreshing. She acknowledges her worth being a child of God. But despite that, she is human and sometimes the negativity may try to test her.
She sings about old friendships and negative relationships that stem from jealousy and keeping her spirit protected from those fake love disguised by "friends" (and even family) who are praying for her downfall. The message is simple, what God blesses, no man can curse no matter how hard they try. Remember who you are and whose you are. The song is honestly amazing and her artistry is incredible.
(Shout out to Domo for this one!)
6. Young Stoner Life - I Like (feat. Karlae & Coi Leray)
“Omg... He did it again!“ That’s right, another YSL addition. If you thought I was lying when I said I really enjoyed this album... joke's on you. Another gem that caught my attention was the Trap&B banger "I Like." Recruiting the talents of both the rising star, Coi Leray and Karlae. The two create this trap love anthem and knock it out the park. Whether you would like to admit or not, Karlae was definitely one of the stars of this album.
On the songs she's featured on, Karlae utterly bodied them. Coi Leray comes through with her usual charisma and animated flow to amplify the song even more and it just becomes contagious from the first listen.
7. Chelsea Collins - Hotel Bed (feat. Swae Lee)
Now, this entry was very different for me! I'm not a huge pop listener, but when it's something about Chelsea Collins that literally made me enjoy this record from beginning to end! Released on Last Friday (Apr. 23), "Hotel Bed" is just... sensational to me. When the song was initially sent to me to cover, I was not sure how I'd feel about it because I am not a heavy pop person, but Chelsea flawlessly delivered and it shows. Both the track and the visual are enjoyable. Swae Lee came through executing that trademark charismatic flow that we have associated with him for years and breathed new life into the already dynamic track.
Collins has a very Halsey / Britney Spears energy that radiates in her vocal display and artistry. Her passion flows in every word she sings and the song's production is equally great. It definitely is one of my favorite releases of this month. The young rising pop star is definitely up next.
8. Cordae - Wassup (feat. Young Thug)
Having not released any projects since his incredible, 2019 debut album The Lost Boy, young Cordae returned this month with a brand-new EP. With only four songs, the young icon did pure DAMAGE. while every song is great to me, the one that initially caught my attention on first listen was the sinister "Wassup." Teaming up with Young Thug and Take a Daytrip, the Maryland native empties the clip as he releases a barrage of bars about his come up, heavy spending, and famous lifestyle. The pairing of both Cordae and Thug was definitely unexpected to me but I loved every moment of it.
9. Moneybagg Yo & Jhené Aiko - One of Dem Nights
Releasing his fourth studio album, A Gangsta's Pain last Friday (Apr. 23), Moneybagg Yo continues to heat the streets with his trap bangers and anthems. With each release, he becomes more of a new favorite of mine. This time around instead of a heavy bass booming banger, a cut from the album that caught my eye immediately was the Trap Luv anthem, "One of Dem Nights." Forming an unexpected pair, Bagg recruited none other than the lovely Jhené Aiko. Although no one saw the duo coming, their combination is a pure Chef's kiss for me.
While Moneybagg provides the street grit and hard exterior shell, Jhené dissolves it with her warming, soulful core. The two blend well and "One of Dem Nights" is definitely a favorite from the album.
10. DJ Khaled - SORRY NOT SORRY (feat. Nas, JAY-Z & James Fauntleroy) [Harmonies by The Hive]
With his 12th studio album, Khaled Khaled freshly released today (Apr. 30) at midnight, DJ Khaled's eye for collaboration and sound is still sharp. With a long list of appearances from the likes of artists such as H.E.R. Bryson Tiller, Big Sean, Cardi B, Lil Durk, Lil Baby, Megan Thee Stallion and more, the album is heavily decorated. However a star studded collaboration no one saw coming is the formation of Nas, JAY-Z, James Fauntleroy and Queen Bey on "Sorry Not Sorry" (also knows at the Hive that provides the angelic background harmonies).
Filled with luxurious verses of wealth, traveling, and black excellence, both Nas and Jay provide of level of class, swag, and bravado that is simply unparalleled. With Jay in his early 50's and Nas creeping up on 50, the two have decades of rap excellence and dexterity that just cannot be topped. "Sorry Not Sorry" places the two together and takes the level of rap to even higher dimensions. Even with their decorated careers the two remind listeners that under these expensive suits, they are still project babies at heart (even while sipping Japanese Whiskey).
Having nothing more to prove to the game, they are happy with who they are. They are living the dream and it only gets better. James Fauntleroy and Bey's haunting yet moving vocals add further zeal to the song. The visual finds the trio of Jay, Nas, and Khaled enjoying a fun, fancy night out as they partake in a game of Blackjack and look back to their earlier days before reaching their grandiose success.
This month was a very unique listing of music. And honestly, it might be one of my favorite lists yet. With each month, the palate of music expands and it is always interesting and fun to see it all come together by the end. Although every song is not represented in this very brief list, April was truly a fun month of music. I had fun listening to all of these sounds as well as generating this list for this month. I look forward to seeing what May brings as we begin to enter into our Summer months! Until then, you can stream my top 10 tracks of April below via Apple Music!