JMW's Top 10 Songs of September 2021
Updated: Jan 31
As we sadly depart from the best month of the year (yeah, I said it), it is time to reflect on some of my favorite music moments during September. With so much music circulating, it was a bit overwhelming but there were a few tunes that infiltrated my heart and mind like no other. Here are my top 10 tracks of September.
1. Drake - N 2 Deep (feat. Future)
Let's make something extremely and easily clear. This a Drake loving blog. OVO's head honcho made his long, highly anticipated return with his sixth studio album, Certified Lover Boy. While this is not an album review, CLB proves that Drizzy's only competition is well... himself. Released at the very start of the month, from beginning to end, the album is filled with timeless gems that only grow better with each play. However, a track that took me to the promise land was none other than the hazy "N 2 Deep."
Tapping Mr. Future Hendrix, the two provide the toxicity, high energy, and feels all in one. Initially, Drake starts off sober, but as the song transitions and the cups continue to flow, he shifts. There's nothing more to say than, this is for me. Future ministers a swift word as he raps that there are some women willing to sleep with him for expensive jewelry, cars and more. The recipe is simply a chef's kiss and I find myself playing the track on a spiraling loop.
2. Drake - Way 2 Sexy (feat. Future & Young Thug)
What? You thought I was finished with Drake? Now, while I can't put the entire album on my list (and if i could I would because I mean... that album, ok I'm spiraling), it's very fitting that Drake at least hold the top 2 spots on it. The way "Way 2 Sexy" makes me feel is simply indescribable. There was a tweet I saw that basically stated, the song is every male's "bad b*tch" anthem and well... I see no flaw within said tweet.
What comically samples British group, Right Said Fred's "I'm Too Sexy," creates a completely dynamic, timeless record invoking pure confidence, cockiness, and utter swagger. Drake is a genius. Recruiting his frequent collaborators, Future Hendrix and Young Thug, Drake again creates an utterly unforgettable moment in music. The flow is so wavy, the delivery is smooth, and the video is honestly perfect. This type of cut is perfect for Drake. From the song's start, you can both hear and see he is having fun with the game and he truly feels "way 2 sexy" for his own good. Both Future and Thugger are the chef's kiss that just makes the record better. They both deliver their own charismatic bars with heavy bravado and sheer self-assurance on their way with the women, luxury lifestyles and fast living.
3. Kehlani - Altar
A little after a year after releasing her glistening sophomore album, It Was Good Until It Wasn't," the R&B revolutionary known as Kehlani is back with not only a brand new track, but a refreshing new era to accompany it. Kehlani used the earlier part of September to announce her upcoming, third album, Blue Water Road." However, Kehlani's journey along this Blue Water Road begins at the Altar.
Along with the album announcement the singer released both the album's lead single and an accompanying visual entitled, "Altar." Kehlani actually took to Twitter to highlight the song's internal purpose writing, "to all those i have lost. all the angles i have gained, all those that walk with me with hands cracking my chest open, this is for you. i love you!" Much like this tweet, "Altar" is distinct from any of Lani's previous lead singles. It's not what you hear on mainstream radio. Instead it derived from the soul. It heals. The symbolic visual and the song alike pay homage to those we have lost in our lives who continue to lead and guide us and might be one of Kehlani's most heartfelt songs yet. It is spiritually and emotionally intentional and moving. She reminds us that our angels are much closer than we think.
"Altar" leads Kehlani further down the road to true stardom. Authentic and open, she shines bright in everything she touches and this song is another testament of it.
4. Ari Lennox - Pressure
September continued to be a month where the ladies showed up and out musically. Another diamond cut that arrived during the month comes from the chocolatey goddess herself, Ari Lennox. While we eagerly (and impatiently) await the arrival of her sophomore album, Ari has been dropping little bits and pieces of music here and there to keep us fed.
With her latest release, "Pressure," Ari takes the time to note her beauty and worth while putting it all on in our faces for us to eat up. The visual pays homage to the various female eras within music. The Jermaine Dupri-produced banger feels much like soul food on Sunday, after church. While the Sunday saints may not be pleased, she angelically sings her heart out. She owns her worth by claiming her sexuality. She has no problem with being nasty and she makes it known. However, she maintains elegance and class in the melanated, vibrant, nostalgic visual.
5. Coi Leray - TWINNEM
What Coi Leray does for me, I don't truly care to explain. From her choice in production to her witty delivery and high teenage-like energy, I simply enjoy this human being. Now, when it came to this song, I was READY from the moment Coi teased the track on her Instagram page a while ago.
Released in the later part of the month, "Twinnem" is honestly the song of my life right now. You ever have those people in your life that you just are so happy to do life with? They're the ones you ride for. They are the very ones you work so hard for and want to enjoy the fruits of your labor with. Coi manages to take that perfect feeling and translate into this gem that makes you not only appreciate your Day 1's but want to immediately turn up with them. Coi continues to feed the streets with single after single while fans patiently await her debut album.
While it is quick to miss many of the lyrics and messages over this animated, hard-hitting production, Coi spits several truths that resonate with my spirit oh so heavenly when it comes to weirdos, loyalty, and bad energy. While many continue to berate this young star, she continues to keep her head down and focused on her goals and it continuously pays off.
6. Lucky Daye - Over
Respectfully, Lucky Daye musically does no wrong in my eyes. If you must, call me Ray Charles to the BS, but the man simply delivers every single time for me. As we quickly prepare for a brand new, soon-approaching Lucky Daye album, Mr. Daye provides us with his appetizer, "Over."
Released a little over a week ago, Over is ... anointed. The melody is almost outer body. Lucky always paints a story for his listeners. "Over" finds the singer conflicted and frustrated with the various mixed singles he receives from his former-yet-current flame (ha). The very moment he feels that this thing of theirs is done, something entices him and reels him in like a fish caught on the hook. His vocal display is so moving. You feel every word he speaks as if you were the one saying them. This toxic tug-of-war is taking a toll on him and his spirit simply refuses to engage any longer.
While the album release date has not been announced, Lucky, just know... we are ready sir.
7. Chlöe - Have Mercy
Bringing it back to the Ladies, September proved to the month of Chlöe. Within the first half of September, the young star released her debut single from her forthcoming debut album, "Have Mercy." I have to be transparent, I love this song. Did I expect to rock with it this much? No. But, Chlöe has this it factor within her artistry, delivery, and vocal talent that is undeniable. "Have Mercy" takes all of the Chlöe's various insecurities and unleashes a BEAST. If you have not seen the visual, bless yourself, sit down, and witness it.
Unlike the somewhat shy, innocent, happy girl we see on Instagram and Twitter, "Have Mercy" showcases Chlöe in such a way that the world had never witnessed. The song pays homage to self-assuredness, body positivity, self-love, and sexuality. Whether you like the record or not, it makes a whopping statement and sets such a tone when it comes to visuals, artistry, and performance.
One thing is for certain, Chlöe Bailey is here to stay.
8. Gunna & Future - Too Easy
As we continue to await Gunna's highly anticipated project, he returned this month with another hot single for the streets. Teaming with everyone's favorite, Mr. Future Hendrix, the two remind us that everything they do is simply too easy. Very smooth and laid back, Gunna takes the lead as he raps about having a different woman for every season. He revels in his riches and he has no problem bragging about it. Gunna's flow is so enjoyable because he effortlessly puts his foot on the gas. His flow is organic. Everything he says, he truly believes and it translates in his music.
Future aids in the delivery with a swift appearance on the track before looping back to Gunna's sharp chorus. Gunna slowly but surely continues to provide bangers for the streets. It's only a matter of time before we get the album.
9. Tems - Found (feat. Brent Faiyaz )
This month I discovered that I should have BEEN heard the name Tems before. It is something electrifying about this Nigerian artist that leaves me wanting to hear more. The young singer released her sophomore EP, If Orange Was A Place within the first half of the month. From that concise project, I fell in love with this cut. Teaming up with Brent Faiyaz, the two intertwine in such a majestic way that my ears are eternally grateful for the song's genesis.
The texture within Tem's voice leaves such a chill in my spine. The way she shapes and controls her beautiful voice is noteworthy. As she gathers her endless thoughts, she harmonizes them with her truth. Both her and Brent's voices puts my spirit in such a setting of peace that I personally want to thank them for this song.
10. Wale - Poke It Out (feat. J. Cole)
What better a way to end the month then with the DMV's own, Mr. Wale Folarin. Wale has been in album mode for quite some time dropping successful single after single. On the very last day of September, Wale gifted fans with the third lead single from his upcoming Folarin 2 album.
This time around, Wale reunited with long time friend and collaborator, J.Cole. Unlike 2018's explosive "My Boy," record, from Wale's 2018 EP Free Lunch, the two link up for a cool, upbeat dance tune entitled, "Poke It Out." Over the charismatic Cool & Dre beat, the song samples the exact same bass heard within Q-Tip's 1999 classic, "Vivrant Thing. The uptempo track feels like something that should've been released this summer rather than now but nonetheless it still feels good.
Wale sets the tone getting listeners ready with the heavy club energy. He shout outs the little booty women and brags about having the ladies way before the fame and fortune. J. Cole follows up with an explosive verse carrying the song to the end. Cole praises both he and Wale, their pen game, and skill. Much like a franchise player, Cole ends the game (or song in this sense) with the buzzer beater that claims the victory. He even name drops/shouts out Meg Thee Stallion and Coi Leray as he tells the ladies to poke it out regardless of the assets they've been blessed with.
With Folarin 2 dropping on Oct. 22, it's safe to say Wale's season is just beginning.
Overall, September was an AMAZING MONTH. From celebrating both of my parent's birthdays to celebrating my 26th birthday, the month was nothing less than excellent. Truthfully, there was so much outstanding music released this month that I simply could not cover it all. Trust me, I wish I could. Nonetheless, September showed up and showed off leaving me with even more excitement for what's to come in the remaining months of 2021.
Stream my top 10 tracks of September below via Apple Music!