JMW's Top 10 Songs of May 2021
Photo by Mike Cyr on Unsplash
It's been a long trek, but we've finally now made it to our summer months. As we celebrate both Memorial Day and the end of the month, May definitely stormed through with a few gems. Initially, it took some time to really find some dope new songs. Taking the month of May to fast, refocus, and recenter, for once, new music was not at the forefront of my mind. However, I definitely developed a great list of music that captivated me this month. Let's look at my top 10 tracks of May, now.
1. Nicki Minaj, Drake, & Lil Wayne - Seeing Green
Having been utterly mute prior to this month, the queen returned to both the social media and music world this month with pure heat. Celebrating the 12th anniversary of her highly acclaimed mixtape, Beam Me Up Scotty, Nicki Minaj surprised fans with the treat of re-releasing the tape on all streaming platforms, for all to enjoy. Along with the nostalgic records that molded many young adults into the "Barbs" and "Ken" dolls they are, Ms. Nicki M also provided us with some brand new, unheard heat - 3 dope new songs.
Of the three, the top record for me was none other than "Seeing Green." The nearly 6 minute song reunites the "Big 3" of Nicki, Drake, and Wayne and reminds listeners of the greatness that was, is, and continues to be the Young Money roster. From production to verses and bars, the entire song is immaculate. Wayne sets the tone hitting the track full throttle with bars on top of bars.
Nicki immediately follows with unforgettable punchlines and captions for all to use on their upcoming posts. Vicious and unbothered, she lets the game know that the authentic rap is back and this "ain't no TikTok sh*t." Before the song ends, of course, Drizzy ends the song immaculately as he boasts about his extensive amount of plaques, wealth, and overall stature as the head honcho. From start to finish, the entire song is elite.
2. Coi Leray - Bout Me
The way Coi Leray has had her hold on me lately is truly indescribable. After releasing her highly anticipated single "Big Purr (Prrdd)" with Pooh Shiesty, and guest featuring on several other artists' tracks, Coi returned with yet another highly anticipated track, "Bout Me." Now if you're not a fan of Coi that's completely fine. However, "Bout Me" literally was on repeat for me for about 3 weeks straight.
While the track is not lyrical in any shape or form. The message behind the bass rattling production resonated within my spirit immediately. On "Bout Me," Coi literally asks, "Why do all of my haters and opposition continue to talk about me?" She informs them that although they may see her on social media, they indeed know nothing about her story or what she's been through. No matter what you're doing, whether it's good or bad, the haters seem to always have something to say.
Even now at the end of the month, the song is actually even more relevant to Coi's life as she's been receiving heavy criticisms and cruel shade on social media. As many continue to demean and belittle her artistry, others such as Nicki Minaj, Polo G, and others have come to defend and uplift her during the troubling moments.
3. T-Pain & Kehlani - I Like Dat
Now, whether Kehlani was in that list of people that T-Pain accidentally ignored on Instagram or not, I'm not sure. But, what I do know is, this combination of Pain and Lani is truly one of the best things to come out of the Month of May.
Flipping Pain's classic hit, "Buy U a Drank," the two create a brand new summertime banger that literally makes my inner core happy EACH AND EVERYTIME I play it. The song acts a "Part 2" to "Buy U a Drank," but tells the story from the woman's (Kehlani's) perspective. Pain passionately sings about this woman who doesn't need him for anything. She simply enjoys his company because she wants to. She makes her own money, can buy her own drinks, and effortlessly provides for herself.
If you know me, you already know... I love Kehlani. This song is honestly perfect. It's such a contagious gem, I can't help but lose myself in it. I can literally leave this song on a loop. The two flow so organically and it shows so well on the record. Their voices are mellow and pleasurable. I definitely would LOVE more Lani x Pain combos.
4. Amorphous & Kehlani - Back Together
Again, when I hear Kehlani's voice, my spirit smiles tremendously. Teaming up with DJ-producer, Amorphous, (who's real name is Jimir Reece Davis) the two create such a beautiful melody on his debut single, "Back Together." There's such a purity within this track much like the "I Like Dat" collaboration with T-Pain. Breezy, light, and entrancing, Kehlani sings about NOT getting back together with a former flame. Despite the romantic division, she declares that they can still come together. No hard feelings right?
If you've never heard of Amorphous, he actually is the dope 23-year-old DJ who went viral on Twitter after posting a video meshing Rihanna's "Kiss It Better" with the late great Luther Vandross' "Never Too Much." The video gained heavy traction and even grabbed the attention of artists such as John Legend, Missy Elliott, Queen Bey, and even Ms. Bad Gal RiRi herself. From there, the rest is history.
I genuinely love everything about this record and much like "I Like Dat," I can play it for hours if you let me...
5. Migos - Straightenin
What better a way to kick the summer off than with brand new Migos?! What screams, "WE OUTSIDE" better than that? Having been patiently waiting for some new heat from the trio, the time is here. After announcing that Culture 3 would be dropping this week on June 4th, the group went straight into action and released the album's lead single, "Straightenin" as well as its accompanying visual on Friday (May. 14).
Straightenin feels like a vintage Migos record and I love it so much. With their repetitive chorus, charismatic adlibs, and trademark flow, the Migos not only prepares us for the lit summer we all will be having, but they do with pure swag. The song makes you just feel... like that dude. You just become invincible the moment the record begins. The flow is sharp, the confidence is even stronger, and the swag is just undeniable. I'm going to be honest, whatever doubts I had for the album before fled as soon as I heard this.
The three remind us that they still got it and they are just as strong as they were when exploded on the scene back in 2013. Make sure you have this one in your playlist for the pregame for sure.
6. Internet Money, Don Toliver, & Lil Uzi Vert - His and Hers (feat. Gunna)
You ever hear those records that you know are immediately for you on the first listen? Yeah, Internet Money did that for me with this one. Teaming again with Don Toliver and Gunna, the trio are joined by the undeniable rockstar himself, Lil Uzi Vert. The quad come together and deliver such a sensational melody that infiltrates your mind with ease. Don sets the tone with the chorus and first verse before Gunna blazes through with his noteworthy delivery. Uzi ends the record with the sharp bars and flashy flow.
This is definitely one of those top down, windows down, volume on full tracks that you just have to bask in during the summer time.
7. J. Cole, 21 Savage & Morray - m y . l i f e
May saw the reemergence of the living legend that is J.Cole. Following 2018's KOD, Cole excited eager fans with his sixth studio album, The Off Season. An easily noticeable element on this project was the appearance of features. If you know Cole and have listened to previous Cole projects, you know the majority of them did not hold features. Actually, The Off Season actually is Cole's first project since his 2013 album, Born Sinner.
Nonetheless, after tapping into the album, one of the first tracks that grabbed my attention was that of "m y . l i f e." recruiting the talents of both 21 Savage and Morray, the three speak on the their struggles and making their way to the top. With this not being the first time both 21 and Cole have collaborated, their chemistry translates on the track well as the two flow together naturally with ease. 21 provides the street appeal as he raps about sending his opposition's families teddy bears when he claims their lives. Along with Morray's chilling soul-filled chorus, the song is hard for sure.
8. Young Nudy - The Rustlers
Keeping the momentum going, Young Nudy came through delivering his sophomore album, DR. EV4L. The album follows his 2020 debut project, Anyways and maintains the rappers vicious flow and tenacious street life. Immediately upon playing the album, an evident stand out arrived at "The Rustlers." I'm not sure how to describe it, but the song is simply great.
Here, Nudy is talking his sh*t confidently and unapologetically. Over sinister production, he goes off from the moment the song starts to the very last second. He punks his opposition by not only calling them on their bluff, but also by having way with their women. Nonchalant and unbothered, he rides to the beat of his own drum and I love it so much.
9. Sada Baby - Little While (feat. Big Sean & Hit-Boy)
There's not much to say other than Sada Baby, Big Sean, and Hit-Boy all equally did exactly what needed to be done on this record. This up-tempo banger is 3 minutes and 39 seconds of absolute fire. Hit-Boy provides the monumental, bass pumping production while Sada Baby and Sean Don destroy the beat in the best way possible. The flow is truly 10/10 on both of their parts.
If you need something to get you hype without hesitation, this is the one for you. You'll find yourself chanting, "Lil' b**tch ain't as freaky as she used to be" both consciously and subconsciously.
10. EARTHGANG, Coi Leray, & Wale - Options (Remix)
Now... on every list, there is usually one song that appears on the list that I did not know I needed to have on here initially, but am so grateful to have. Released at the end of May, EarthGang's "Options" Remix is exactly that. I heard the original track with Wale and loved it but what I didn't know is that I needed Coi Leray on here.
Who knew the three would sound so well together. Coi's verse felt perfect for the record. She begins the song talking about her growingly cold heart, success, and large amount of haters. And even through the midst of all of those various elements, she knows she has options but she prefers to be alone. Her only desire is more success.
On the other hand both EarthGang and Wale battle with the thoughts of commitment and monogamy. While the thought may sound enticing, they make sure to keep those options in their back pocket... ya know... just in case. Honestly, I played the song about 20 times in a row after playing it for the first time. It was just that good to me.
Overall, May did initially start off slow. However, it picked up very quickly and amazed me with some impressive tunes that I have fallen deeply in love with. As the weather continues to get hotter and outside begins to open, I look forward to the summer bangers that we will receive in the near future. You can stream my top 10 tracks of May below only on Apple Music!