Jay Wheeler — El Amor y Yo
Nearly three years ago, Jay Wheeler graced our studios as an up-and-comer in the Latin music scene. Now with his star in peak position, Wheeler returns with his most tender work to date, El Amor y Yo. The album follows January’s De Mi Para Ti EP and sees the Puerto Rican reggaeton artist adopting even more R&B influence to make tunes for the ladies, for his exes, and more. There is a tremendous level of care put into the emotionally forward writing, as on “Te Quiero Así.” El Amor y Yo might make you cry, but that’s a good thing.
Portable — Zazuu Zeh
After a defining appearance alongside Poco Lee and Olamide for the smash hit collaboration, “ZaZoo Zehh,” Portable delivers the Zazuu Zeh EP, his first body of work since 2020’s Wanted. The budding Nigerian star’s sound blends Fuji and Afrobeats into a unique flavor of Afropop. Glitching standout “Oro Owo” features Portable’s warping vocals and an entrancing polyrhythm while “My Way” stacks Portable’s guttural deliveries. Zazuu Zeh builds upon the momentum of Portable’s breakthrough single, helping to establish him as his own artist.
Raveena — Asha’s Awakening
For her latest album Asha’s Awakening, singer Raveena went high-concept to tell the story of a space princess from ancient Punjab, discovering healing in accepting love and loss. Yes, it is epic, and yes, it is whimsical. Inspired by a transformative acid trip dating back to 2017 and the conception of “Rush,” Asha’s Awakening sees the artist experimenting with bigger sounds and themes to strike an emotional chord, as on the tear-jerking “Time Flies” and “Endless Summer.”
Cousin Stizz — Just For You
Boston hometown hero Cousin Stizz is back independent and making music Just For You. The bars are crisp and Stizz’ hustling mentality is front-and-center. But more importantly, this album exists as a testament to how Stizz lives to motivate his fanbase. “Just For You is a project for you,” Stizz told us this week. “It’s a project to show you can do whatever, and you don’t need anybody. It was a damn-near therapy session for me.” Between the rowdy “Guts & Glory” and the evocative “RIP Bro,” Just For You doubles down on the approachable style that makes Cousin Stizz such an enduring artist.
Lil Bean — forever grateful
Lil Bean is forever grateful on his new album and follow-up to his October 2021 project CARE PACKAGE 4 THE STREETS. A “10 Rappers You Should Know” alum dating back to June 2020, the San Francisco rapper’s brand of pain music holds equal space for bangers as it does for heart-spilling tunes. Jumping between songs about being the rock of his crew to connecting with Larry June for hometown West Coast vibes, forever grateful is one of those rare albums meant to be played anywhere that still has the cohesion to be appreciated as a full body of work.