As we tumble through the third week of September, ahead of blockbuster releases due in the upcoming weeks from Doja Cat (Scarlet) and Drake (For All the Dogs), we have a great blend of hip-hop and R&B to showcase for this edition of Fresh Picks led by Denzel Curry, Sleepy Hallow, Kaash Paige, Cleo Sol, and Scar Lip.
Don’t forget to share the wealth and check out our September Fresh Picks (so far) in the Spotify playlist, linked below.
Sleepy Hallow feat. Doechii, “Anxiety”
Fresh off his new project, Boy Meets World, Sleepy Hallow paddles into the world of mental health and gives fans an in-depth look at his vulnerabilities. On “Anxiety,” Sleepy denounces fame and how inescapable his demons genuinely are. With TDE breakout artist Doechii enlisted for hook duties, the Brooklyn dynamo is open about how his mind plays tricks on him and how he aims to rebound from his mental anguish.
Kaash Paige, “SKITZO”
Embracing the “Beast Mode” phase of her career, Paige’s confidence is sky-high as she stiff-arms romance with punchy taunts like, “Bad b–ches wanna call/ I don’t need to fall in love.” Paige’s bravado on “SKITZO” is a pleasant change for the melodic wunderkind, who first found her footing with lovelorn anthems like “Love Songs” and “Soul Ties.”
ScarLip, “No Statements”
New York is enjoying a golden age of women rappers as Ice Spice, Lola Brooke, and Lady London have caused tremors in hip-hop with their respective wins. Earlier this year, ScarLip entered the conversation with her Tri-State scorcher “This Is New York,” earning co-signs from Swizz Beatz, Snoop Dogg, and Shaq. Now, with a major label deal in tow, Scar Lip isn’t resting on her laurels as she returns with “No Statements.” Scar willingly serves up snitches on a platter, lambasting any chatter or association with the police, rapping: “I’m from a place where we don’t do no rapping.”
Denzel Curry feat. Kenny Mason, “SKED”
The lyrical twosome of Curry and Mason are a potent combination when they spar together on the Charlie Heat-produced song “SKED.” Curry scripts a catchy hook anchored by paranoia, rapping about sleeping with a Glock by his bed. While the chorus is menacing, the Florida MC injects more fear with his punishing verse, namedropping Bill Cosby, Jesus, and Bruce Lee. Mason has an equally impressive showing, boasting about how his gun comes in different accessories.
Cleo Sol, “Miss Romantic”
On Friday (Sept. 15), U.K. singer Cleo Soul returned with Heaven, marking her third album in four years. Through the nine-track effort, her soul-stirring takes on love, motherhood and self-assurance ring true. “Airplane” is a standout, as the airy song packs resiliency, encouraging the importance of facing adversity head-on, while “Miss Romantic” offers an honest self-talk about overcoming a broken romance.