• Joseph Gaither

JMW's Top 10 Tracks of August 2021


I know... It's been a little while since viewing a JMW Top 10 list. I sincerely apologize. After much-needed time to regroup, re-center, and re-focus, we're back and much better with even more content! With August now behind us, it's only right that we take a look back at some of my top songs within the last month.


1. Nija - Ease My Mind (Come Over)


August gave birth to one of my absolute favorite songs out right now (if not my favorite). Your favorite artist's songwriter, Nija Charles has finally unleashed her own music. With her official debut, "Ease My Mind (Come Over)," the young artist blends two distinct styles of music (R&B & Drill) to generate an all new, utterly contagious sound. From the beginning to end, Nija not only understands the assignment but she excutes it flawlessly. Melodious, infectious, and refreshing, Nija explores sounds and takes R&B to even higher dimensions.


The flow is there, the pen is sharp, and the execution is exemplary. While she is already a star, Nija is definitely here to stay.


2. Young Thug - Tick Tock


Arriving in the later part of the month, Young Thug returned with his newest single, "Tick Tock," from his upcoming sophomore album, P*NK, (pronounced as Punk). The upbeat single follows after Thugger's compilation album, Slime Language 2 which released back in April, 2020's Slime&B joint project with Chris Brown and Thugger's 2019 debut album, So Much Fun. With his unconventional style and flow, Thug reminds the game who exactly is the slimiest. Rapping cocky bars showcasing his wealth and stature, he effortlessly flows for about 3 minutes. He sets the bar straight on who the true innovator is and has been for the last few years.


The accompanying visual finds Thugger completely pink'd out. From beginning to end viewers witness trippy visuals and abundance of pink. For those who have been rocking with Thugger for a while, the visual does not come as a surprise.


3. Rico Nasty - Buss


If there's anything Rico does well... it's deliver. With her latest single, "Buss" Rico brings forth the rage. No matter how you feel about Rico, you have to respect that she does what she wants... HOW she wants. Creating her own lane of boisterous, punk Hip-Hop, Rico is a complete rockstar in her own right. Fast-talking and bold, she flows about her cashflow and being a trendsetter. While she's still relatively "new" to the game, her influence is obvious and clear. Her flow is sharp and her energy is relentless on the track.


Nasty previewed this new record on Sunday (Aug. 1) during her Lollapalooza set. The song may arrive as a single to her upcoming mixtape, RX. While the tape has yet to be released, this would mark her follow up to her debut album, Nightmare Vacation which was released last December.


4. Coi Leray - Okay Yeah!


Now this one caught me by surprise because I had no idea Coi was going to drop this. Released as a surprise, Coi Leray came through with a concise yet hype banger. While the lyricism is rather minimal and repetitive, it's something about the record that just goes completely bonkers from beginning to end. Playing this in my car for the first time had me pushing on the gas a little more than I should've.


While she is not the strongest when it comes to stringing her lyrics together all the time, Coi does produce bangers in my opinion. Utilizing social media and creating high-spirited dances with her tracks, Coi is a young star. Whether you like it or not, she shines on her own. Okay Yeah is one of those tracks you put on when you're about to head out to the function, pregame and get your energy right before an active day. She just gets the blood flowing. I enjoyed the track.


As she continues to release these one-off singles, her debut album is set to drop very soon. She was originally dropping the project over the summer but decided to push the release back.


5. Trippie Redd - Betrayal (feat. Drake)


Prior to the release of his fifth studio album, Trip At Knight, Trippie Redd teased a Drake collaboration to arrive on the project. After it's release, the 22-year-old added the collaboration in the extended edition of the album. On the first listen, I fell in love with the song. While Trippie is known for his larger-than-life adlibs, outlandish flow, and distinct delivery, of course it was Drake that truly sold this record for me.


Drizzy came through with yet another knockout and even took a public direct shot at Ye on the song. And honestly, it seemed fitting as the song is entitled "Betrayal," & we all know the history of the Ye/Drake beef. Despite that, the song makes for a great listen and it was interesting to see Trippie and Drake team up. I honestly would not have a problem with the two collaborating again in the future.


6. dvsn & Ty Dolla $ign - Memories


Joint projects are always so amazing when they are unexpectedly incredible. If you have not listened to dvsn & Ty Dolla $ign's Cheers to the Best Memories. Take some time to bless your ears and spirit & do that immediately. When I first heard of this joint effort, I was rather uncertain. While I enjoy both dvsn and Ty Dolla, I was very intrigued and interested to see how they would co-exist on a project together. It felt random.


Boy, was I wrong. I heavily enjoyed this project. It is just so effortlessly smooth, sensual, and pleasing. On the first listen (and every listen that followed), "Memories" immediately stuck out to me. Whether it was the sample of Silk's "Freak Me" or the blending of the pair's voices, the record was simply for me. "Memories" exuded so much passion and authentic R&B appeal that I almost forgot about the rest of the album. It was just that good to me.


7. Gunna & Taurus - 9 TIMES OUTTA 10


Gunna has been relatively quiet since the release of his last album Wunna. However he ended that silence (thank God) this month with the release of 9 Times Outta 10. I've been heavily anticipating some new music from Gunna so this made me happy. While the song is rather subtle, Gunna still delivers with a volley of bars. He maintains a calm delivery that mimics much of an appetizer. In a way it feels like he's holding back because the main course is to come soon. Nonetheless, it was great to hear a Gunna record again.


8. Isaiah Rashad - Score (feat. SZA & 6LACK)


To be completely transparent, this was my first time truly diving into the phenom that is Isaiah Rashad. However, it won't be my last... While Rashad's sophomore album The House is Burning is incredible, "Score" was one of the cuts that grabbed my throat and never let go. Let's just start with SZA's cradling vocals. Her vocals send me to Heaven on cocoa scented clouds. "Score" only grows better following this. 6LACK comes through with a swift yet utterly dope verse. Isaiah really delivered this lowkey serene Jazz-influenced R&B vibe on the project and I'm truly appreciative of it.


9. Meek Mill - Sharing Locations (feat. Lil Baby & Lil Durk)


Having teased this track back in January, Meek, Lil Durk, and Lil Baby finally released their anticipated record, Sharing Locations. It's a no brainer that when Baby and Durk come together, magic happens. Adding Meek to the mix only added even more fuel to the fire as each of the artists did what was expected of them on the record. When the record dropped on Friday (Aug. 27), I played it about half a dozen times. The trio not only go off separately but they sound amazing together and I would definitely love for them to get together for future records. Durk brings the charisma and voice (per usual), Baby continues to keep the streets hot with these stainless features, and Meek's trademark flow sounds even better with these two complimenting him on the track.


10. Nas - Brunch on Sundays (feat, Blxst)


Now... Nas came through with King's Disease II, the follow up to the 2020's King's Disease within the first week of August. On the first listen, the gem quickly caught my ears. Only Nas could sum up the essence of DMV brunch culture and glamorize it in such a way that it almost makes you feel proud to brunch. Being a DMV native, obviously, I believe that no other states really brunch the way we do, but... it also seemed like Nas agreed as he romanticized the brunch culture and even stated Sundays are his favorite day now because of it.


While very lighthearted and fun, Nas still manages to tell us a story. If you never have gone to a brunch before the song makes you want to try it. His way with words and his storytelling ability is still remarkable to this very day. And it only gets better when you realize the rising West Coast sensation, Blxst accompanies Nas on the record. It's the icing on the cake.


All in all, August felt like a rebirth. After my vacation in July, I felt lost and mainly sad. I was uninspired, unmoved, and stagnant. I had to force myself to listen to music again and almost fall in love with writing again. I'm grateful for the pause period though because it reminded me of much I miss this. Music will always be an outlet for me. It will always take me to a place that nothing else can. Because of that, August is important to me. I'm thankful for this last month. I feel renewed. And now, as we begin the best month of the year (yes, you read that correctly), I'm truly excited to see what September brings us.


You can stream stream JMW's Top 10 tracks of August below via Apple Music.



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