Billboard’s first stream serves as a handy guide to this Friday’s most essential releases — the key music everyone will be talking about today and dominating playlists this weekend and beyond.
This week, Megan Thee Stallion and Future finally bond, Billie Eilish says a quick hello, and Lil Uzi Vert reappears. Check out all the picks from this week’s first stream below:
Megan Thee Stallion feat. Future, “pressurious”
Megan Thee Stallion and Future are both hip-hop stars with crossover appeal and bars that keep old-school rap fans in their pockets; surprisingly, they didn’t appear on a track together until their new high-powered single, “Pressurelicious.” Luckily, the duo hit the ground running with immediate chemistry on the track, generously crashing into each other’s verses while playing to their respective strengths – Meg with the rapid-fire double-sidedness, Future with her mesmerizing, mesmerizing repetition. – on a strange Beat Hitkidd and Payday.
Billie Eilish, guitar songs
Although his impressive second album happier than ever isn’t even a year old, Billie Eilish is already moving on to new sounds and ideas on guitar songs, a pack of two acoustic tracks that could either be a move in a new sonic and lyrical direction, or a stopgap between best-selling albums. Either way, “TV” and “The 30th” mesmerize with social commentary (“The internet has gone mad, watching movie stars on trial / As they overthrow Roe v. Wade,” laments her on “TV”), subtle guitar work, and Eilish’s increasingly confident vocals in the lead.
Lil Uzi Vert, red and white EP
“I’m at the top of my pinnacle,” sings Lil Uzi Vert on “Space Cadet,” the hyperactive first single from his SoundCloud EP Red White. Over a long and winding career that has included underground dominance, mainstream acclaim, prolonged silence followed by an explosion of new music, Uzi is at a point where he is free from commercial expectations and can achieve any type project he wants. As such, Red & White unfolds like a quick record ahead of his next opus, as tracks like “I Know” and “Flex Up” show the effortless bounce of his flow as he continues to hone his craft. .
Jack White, Enter alive in paradise
Jack White announced earlier this year that he would be releasing two new solo albums in 2022; the first, that of April fear of dawnfeatured some of the rock veteran’s most far-flung experiences to date, so one could reasonably expect White to fall even deeper down the rabbit hole in its sequel. Enter alive in paradise is more restrained than its predecessor, however, less focused on technical eccentricities and more on hot hooks that step into classic rock territory – it’s a quieter and arguably more satisfying move from White, which still has plenty of tricks up his finely tailored sleeves.
Tainy & Rauw Alejandro, “Sci-Fi”
Tainy and Rauw Alejandro’s bid for the summer pool party anthem comes halfway through the season, but the new collaboration should still find plenty of playlists to crash and hot afternoons to highlight before the arrival of autumn. Alejandro hopscotch through the styles on “Sci-Fi,” floating in and out of his falsetto and navigating like a pro, while the final minute offers an automatic breakdown of the song’s title.
Em Beihold, Egg in the backseat
While “Numb Little Bug,” which took off on TikTok before making its way to pop radio, introduced Em Beihold’s pleasantly idiosyncratic songwriting brand to multiple audiences earlier this year, the debut EP Egg in the backseat sheds new light on the personality of the rising artist while developing the quirky charm of his breakthrough success. Beihold has a knack for revealing his innermost feelings over bright melodies and pop-rock arrangements, and tracks like the springy “Porcelain” and the sparse “Spiderman” convey Beihold’s grace and flair.